Smoker not reaching 250 degrees

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by muka, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. muka

    muka Newbie

    I am having a hard time getting my smoker to go up to 250 degrees. In a couple of recipes I was following, the instructions says to maintain 240 to 250 degrees for about 3 to 4 hours. to cook my chicken halves. I had to let it go for about 8 hours for the meat to reach 165 degrees and the temperature in my smoker was between 210 and 215 degrees. I have been using about 3 pieces of Hickory wood at a time and have to add water about every hour to keep the pan full. There is a regulator to adjust the flame from Low to High. I have kept it at high. I also try to keep the door close as much as possible. I only will open it about after 2 to 3 hours to look at the meat. 

    I live in Dallas area so the temperature outside is over 90 degrees.

    I have a Vertical Charboil Smoker with spec below.

    20-lb Cylinder Piezo Ignition Gas Vertical Smoker

    (Common: 46.46-in; Actual: 46.46-in)  

    Model #: 15202033
  2. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    So you have the dampers wide open?
    You add hot water? You probably don't need any water. Not many people use water.. water takes a bunch of fuel to heat and absorbs all kinds of your heat your trying to maintain. You use another temperature gauge other than the one that comes on the smoker?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  3. TulsaJeff

    TulsaJeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    You may have already done some of this but here's a few basics to check:
    • Disconnect the regulator from the propane tank for 30 seconds then reconnect, turn on the propane (slowly) first then wait 30 seconds and turn on the burner and light. Some of those regulators have a "safety trip" if things are turned on incorrectly or in the wrong order.
    • Check the holes/orifices in your burner to make sure they are all clear of debris.
    • Check the burner tubes and hoses for debris. You may have to turn the smoker over to get to the bottom where you can see these.
    I believe the burners on those are 16k+ BTU and should be able to handle that size of cabinet so something is certainly wrong somewhere. It may not hurt to contact Charbroil customer service.

    Also the regulator may be bad or not working correctly. Consider installing a needle valve  to better control the propane.
  4. muka

    muka Newbie

    Thanks Jeff and Rings R Us for replying. I will try to answer both of you in the same reply

    I had the vent mostly between least opened and half opened but not all the way opened.

    I always add water (every hour), never ran it dry. I was told that water makes the food more moist (not sure). 

    I will try another gauge when I smoke next time.


    I'm not at home now but I'll try your suggestions when I get home. 

    PS: The Smoker is only 2 weeks old so I don't think the holes in the burner is blocked but I will blow it our using my air compressor. 

    Thanks again to both of you for your help. 
  5. muka

    muka Newbie


    The smoker is reaching over 250 degrees when no water is in the water pan but it only gets up to about 210 with water in. With that said I have a couple of questions. 

    Is it OK to use the smoker with no water without affecting the meat? Will the meat be dry?

    Should I have the Damper fully opened, half way or close? There is a feature on the damper that does not allow it to be fully closed.

    My smoker does not have a method to set the actual temperature, just a regulator to regulate the gas from low to high.

    Thanks for any help.
  6. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    your damper on the exhaust is going to be open mostly all the way ... pretty much always. The bottom one let's the air in so your fuel can get full potential.. burner gets hotter.. chips or chunks burn faster.. it gets closed little by little after your temps inside start climbing over what you want.. If you have the dampers on the sides or bottom that is. a digital dual probe thermometer that can be placed inside to tell you what the temp is, would be better than the junk temperature gauge that comes on the cooker. Or at least a new oven thermometer in there you could periodically peak at.

    That water pan doesn't need water.. your not smoking with humidity Will not hurt anything or effect meat quality.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
  7. muka

    muka Newbie

    Thanks Rings,

    I don't think I have a bottom/side Damper that can be manually adjusted and I don't have anyway to set the internal chamber temperature to what I want. Like I said earlier, the only adjustment I can make is to adjust the gas regulator on the smoker between low and high. See Picture below. 

    I know this is a cheap ass smoker but I bought it as a starter. Maybe as I get more experienced, I can get one that you can actually set the temp. Thanks again.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017

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