Smoke Question.........

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Original poster
Dec 23, 2010
I recently bought a 24" Smoker Vault. I've tried both pellet and chips and I find I'm getting a burnt taste to my food more than a nice smoked flavor. I've tried wet chips, dry chips, pellets in a tinfoil pouch. Any tips would be great! Thanks JHM
First of all, welcome to the forum!

The first question, in a situation like this is what is the temperature inside your smoker, and how do you know?  The built in thermometer for many smokers is not very accurate.  I use a Maverick Ready Check.  I have both the ET73 and now the ET732 versions and that allows me to have relatively good control of temperature inside my smoker.

How much smokey taste are you looking for? What is producing your smoke, wood chips or wood chunks?  What type of wood?  The more info you can share the more likely people here can come up with some help

I too want to say welcome to SMF there JHM. I have a vault and it sounds like you are putting too much chips into the chips tray. Now you just want the thin blue smoke and not the big thick heavy white smoke. I would like to know what kind of chips/ pellets that you are using too. If you are using hickory or mesquite you might be putting to much smoke to your meat those are really heavy, and strong woods and you don't want to use too much of them. Do us a favopr and swing into Roll Call and introduce yourself and we can give you the big howdy that we like to give to new members also. 
I am with these guys it sounds like you are getting thick white billering smoke coming out of the smoker instead of the thin blue smoke you want. If you can smell the smoke then you are smoking and that's all you need. Less is more in this case. If you have thick white smoke your meat will taste like licking a burnt stick.
Licking a burnt stick that's the perfect way to discribe it. My normal cooking temps are from 225 to 250 to read my temp I use the built in and a digital thermometer. So I sure my temp isn't to hot. The first time I ever smoked with my Vault I used about 1.5 cups of hickory chips and they definately burn't way to fast (on fire I'm sure). From searching threw this site I came across another post about bitter tasting BBQ and mentioned they power sprayed there smoker out to clean it. So that's what I did today. I'm actually trying it out right now with a couple racks of ribs so there will be a report good or bad. For my smoke I use either Grill Care Chips or BBQ Delight Pellets (wrapped in tinfoil like recommended). I hoping cleaning it solved my problem we'll see shortly. Anyways time to go to the Roll Call section to formally introduce myself. Has anyone modified there chip tray in there Vault?
I also have a 24" Smoke Vault and I haven't had a need to modify my chip tray.  I used chips at first and had too much smoke with them.  I switched to chunks and it works great now.  As others have said, don't trust the thermometer in the door.  Mine is off by 40 degrees, so I use a pair of ET-73's.
With chunks do you soak them?.........Just 1 chunk at a time?..........I'll have a hard time finding chunks I think. I've never seen them anywhere but I'm on it now.

As far as chink size goes, it doesn't matter too much.  As far as where to get them, try Lowes or Home Despot (S added deliberately!).  I actually bought hickory firewood from a vendor I found on Craigslist and then cut them down on my table saw.
I'll try Home Depot a if not I'll look into someone who sells firewood.

When I cut my own, I kept them to about 1 1/2 to  2 inches thick.  I have a GOSM Big Block which has a good sized chunk/chip holder. The ones I cut are generally less than 4 inches in the longest or widest.
The thermometer in the door of my Smoke Vault is adjustable.  Yours should be too.  Using the chart in the link, you can find the boiling point of water for your area.   I use a few chips to get the smoke started along with chunks to keep it going. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.