• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Noob here. How close should chip bowl be to the element?

tralfaz

Newbie
5
0
Joined May 15, 2019
First timer, no experience here so I have no idea what I'm doing. How close should the chip bowl be to the heating element? I assembled a cheap Masterbuilt bullet electric smoker and the instructions were... vague. If I install the heat shield (beneath the heating coil) one direction, the chip bowl sits maybe 1/2" or more above the coil. If I have the shield the other way, the chip bowl is basically sitting in full contact with the inner ring of the coil.

So which way should it be?
 

Smiller15

Newbie
16
5
Joined May 24, 2018
I have a smoke hollow and the wood chip box sits maybe a few inches from the direct flame. You want it close so the wood burns otherwise it'll just sit there and you won't be smoking anything.
 

tralfaz

Newbie
5
0
Joined May 15, 2019
So... close but not too close? Not in direct contact? I smoked a chicken 225 and it produced enough smoke. Today I'm trying salmon at a lower temp around 180. I preheated fairly hot and it produced smoke, but turned down to 180 and the new chips haven't produced much visible smoke.
 

Smiller15

Newbie
16
5
Joined May 24, 2018
So... close but not too close? Not in direct contact? I smoked a chicken 225 and it produced enough smoke. Today I'm trying salmon at a lower temp around 180. I preheated fairly hot and it produced smoke, but turned down to 180 and the new chips haven't produced much visible smoke.
What I've found is that anything under 200 i won't get much smoke if any at all. I did Pork Belly burnt ends on Monday and had issues with my smoker flame blowing out (mine's Propane fueled) due to the wind. When the smoker blew out and the temp inside hovered around 175 there was no smoke whatsoever. Only when I turned it back on and got the temp back up did I notice the smoke returned.
 

Smiller15

Newbie
16
5
Joined May 24, 2018
So... close but not too close? Not in direct contact? I smoked a chicken 225 and it produced enough smoke. Today I'm trying salmon at a lower temp around 180. I preheated fairly hot and it produced smoke, but turned down to 180 and the new chips haven't produced much visible smoke.
But to answer your question, for electric I'd still get it close but probably not in direct contact with the coil.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,141
1,666
Joined Jan 14, 2014
I have a mes30, chip tray is pretty darn close but don't think it's actually touching, anyway you should look into the amnps pellet or dust tray or tube that way you will get constant smoke, masterbuilts usually won't produce smoke until you get close to 200 degrees, so if you plan on cold smoking the masterbuilt chip tray won 't work for you.
 

tralfaz

Newbie
5
0
Joined May 15, 2019
I did hot smoked salmon, and it turned out pretty well. The thing is that since this is all new, I don't know if I'm doing something right or wrong. I guess the proof of the salmon is in the eating.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,141
1,666
Joined Jan 14, 2014
I did hot smoked salmon, and it turned out pretty well. The thing is that since this is all new, I don't know if I'm doing something right or wrong. I guess the proof of the salmon is in the eating.
that's the best part of smoking, even our practice runs are tasty, if it's eatable you must be doing something right.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,141
1,666
Joined Jan 14, 2014
I did hot smoked salmon, and it turned out pretty well. The thing is that since this is all new, I don't know if I'm doing something right or wrong. I guess the proof of the salmon is in the eating.
should mention you should get a thermometer to check inside if smoker temp masterbuilts therm. are known to be off, also if your looking for some ideas of what to smoke check out bearcarvers step by steps they are very detailed and easy to follow and are proven to be good,
 

TomKnollRFV

Master of the Pit
Group Lead
3,407
723
Joined May 19, 2018
First things first.. Welcome to SMF!

Second; if you can snap some pictures of your unit and take a gander at..
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t...cognition-pictures-info-digital-units.246300/

Mr Bear is the MES Guru. And Generally, below 200-225f <depending on smoker> the chips won't produce smoke, the element doesn't cycle enough. I use the AMNPS for the bulk of my smoking, and only use the chip tray for short smokes or to blend different woods together.

Like Smokerjim said, you want to independently verify the probe and temp. Alot of earlier MES were notoriously bad, I think they've gotten better now, but I never trust the built in probe.
 

tralfaz

Newbie
5
0
Joined May 15, 2019
Thanks for all the help everybody. And yes, I've been using my own probe thermometer in the smoker.
 
Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.