Smoker not getting hot

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Smokingnewbie11

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Jul 31, 2022
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So I just got into the smoking game with an entry level vertical cuisinart propane smoker. I was told to buy a skillet and a couple of bricks and smoke the chunks/chips that way and get rid of the tray thay came with.

I smoked some ribs today and the temp was at 220-240 the entire time . Which of course is a perfect range. The problem is this was with the device set pretty much as high as possible.

Is it possible that my set up is blocking too much of the flame? I could potentially utilize some rebar to prop it up a bit higher. Attaching a picture to reference the setup.


Thanks!
 

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SmokinEdge

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Welcome aboard the SMF.

Kinda hard to see with that picture but I’m thinking the skillet is a bit low and between that and the two bricks blocking the sides you may not being getting all the heat from the burner going up. The skillet looks to be just about the same size as the burner well so definitely try to raise it another inch or inch and half. Would it be possible to hang the skillet with wire from above?
 
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Smokingnewbie11

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Welcome aboard the SMF.

Kinda hard to see with that picture but I’m thinking the skillet is a bit low and between that and the two bricks blocking the sides you may not being getting all the heat from the burner going up. The skillet looks to be just about the same size as the burner well so definitely try to raise it another inch or inch and half. Would it be possible to hang the skillet with wire from above?
Thanks for the suggestion! That's my thinking as well. I don't think it will take a big adjustment to get it where I want. Like you said, an inch or so should get it to the sweet spot I think
 

rdknb

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I would first use it the way it was made before making changes. I had a vertical Brinkman propane smoker that gave me years of use just the way it was made.

If your stay with your mods I would definitely raise the pan and probably close the bricks
 

boykjo

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Also verify the chamber temp with a remote therm that has been verified 212F in boiling water and 32F ice bath.

Boykjo
 
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JckDanls 07

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If your only looking to go an inch or so. You can just put the bricks on thier side.

Chris


This was gonna be my suggestion as well as I was reading down through...

Or slide bricks closer and set bottom of pan on top of them ...

But also as boykjo boykjo said ... get yourself a good 2 probe thermometer for checking temps... Relying on the therm on the door is not trustworthy ...
 

Smokingnewbie11

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Jul 31, 2022
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A lot of good feedback! I did buy a dual probe thermometer so I can monitor temp of meat and then temp of the smoker and it's pretty darn accurate.

I guess I didn't try the actual tray myself, but a friend of mine has a very similar masterbuilt and his issue was always the woodchips would catch fire and burn too hot which made it tough to regulate the heat and he went through chips/chunks super fast

However, it isn't the exact same so maybe I could just give it a try with the tray that came with the unit.
 
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Smokingnewbie11

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Does it hit the temps you want without the bricks and skillet inside?
Yeah, it was hitting 230-245 on low without that in there today so I'll just have to try a few different things.

Definitely like how the wood smokes in the skillet but I also don't want to burn through propane super fast either
 
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Smokingnewbie11

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well, I think I have the solution. Just turning them on their side next time. I was able to hit 230-240 on pretty low setting so I am super happy. Thank you for all the help
 

cmayna

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So, before you flipped the bricks onto their sides, was the cast iron skillet sitting directly on the fire ring that surrounds the burner?

For my gasser, I made a metal spacer support that crosses the fire ring a few times. The skillet sits on the spacer which raises it 1" up off the ring, giving plenty of air to the burner.
 

bill1

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Another thing folks overlook: if you're looking you're not cooking.
Folks with new smokers always open the door too much, which wastes a lot of heat and makes your achievable temps much lower.
Get a couple wired thermometers, one for the meat and one for the ambient space around the meat. (Or your unit may have one mounted on the door.) Then there's really no need to open the door.
If the ambient temps shoot up, it could be your wood chunks are burning instead of smoking. You can control that with a steel cover over your pan with just a few .25" holes. Getting that balance right can take time. And what works for 225F cooking isn't quite right for 300F. So I suggest mastering the art at a single temp and then moving to other possibilities.
 

Smokingnewbie11

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Jul 31, 2022
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So, before you flipped the bricks onto their sides, was the cast iron skillet sitting directly on the fire ring that surrounds the burner?

For my gasser, I made a metal spacer support that crosses the fire ring a few times. The skillet sits on the spacer which raises it 1" up off the ring, giving plenty of air to the burner.
It sat directly above the burner, but noy completely covering it. But flipping it on the side seemed to give it just enough extra air flow to optimize the heat flow.

I tried putting the skillet even higher, but the pan wasn't getting hot enough for the chips to smoke.

I may eventually look into doing something like you mentioned.
 

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