Question about propane smokers

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scott in kc

Meat Mopper
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Feb 3, 2006
220
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South of KC MO
I have eaten a lot of Q cooked in propane cookers, both home and commercial rigs. Most of it is no different than all wood Q. Some of it however tastes just like raw LP gas smells.

My question about this is, do the burners "wear out" like gas grill burners do, or is there a gas air mixture adjustment out of whack on these suspect cookers or what exactly causes one LP cooker to make great Q and the others taste horrible?
 

bearswoodshop

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Dec 31, 2005
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Central Indiana
Scott, a propane burner can wear out (or rust out) usually from water getting into the burner assembly. Another cause could be a spider has formed a web inside the burner or air intake assembly and restricted the air needed for a good clean blue flame. If the flame is not blue, the air mixture is not right. I have a large fish cooker that stays inside, but once or twice a year has to be blown out with the air hose in order to get a strong blue flame. If the flame is yellow, then you will get that smell and taste you describe. Hope this helps. BEAR
 

scott in kc

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Feb 3, 2006
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South of KC MO
Bear, thanks for the response. I got curious about this becase even as an avid cook, I still eat at a lot of Q joints and many do use gas. Most the food is fine but a couple of places that are real handy for me to grab a quick lunch from have this problem. Not sure what cooker one uses, but the other place uses a Southern Pride Cooker. I was always under the impression these were top quality units, and they may be, but something is certainly amiss with this particular cooker as their brisket tastes like the exhaust from an LP powered forklift.
 

Dutch

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Jul 7, 2005
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Scott- It kinda a sounds like that this place is restricting the air flow thru the smoker-whether by restricting sufficient air flow into the smoker (air intake dampes closed) or by keeping the exhaust damper closed or partially closed thus litting the smoke and stale air concentrate within the smoker. That my $.02.