Temp control for propane 2 door smoker

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Original poster
Nov 9, 2016
Today I took my first crack at making summer sausage. I got a great recipe from a family recipe. He has helped me up until the cookieg part because he cold smokes and I dont have the tools to. 

everywhere I read about sausages, people use electric smokers with digital temp gauges and they all start at around 100-120 degrees. The lowest I can go is around 150ish and thats right now because its below 20 degrees out. I put my sausages in the oven at the lost temp which was about 156deg for 2 hours then i put them in a smoker at about 165 and they've been in there for about 4 hours and and IT of 145. when I took them out of the oven you could tell that there was a lot fat that had rendered out. 

Is there anyway i could lower my Masterbuilt 30in 2 door propane smoker's minimal temp that way I could skip the oven precess all together? Any tips on cooking sausage with a propane smoker that doesn't have temp control? 

Go to the propane forum and type in "needle valve".  You will find tons of threads regarding using a needle valve which helps gets you down to lower temps with the gasser.

  I have the same smoker, and experienced similar problems on my first batch of SS.  As cmayna suggested, I looked into the needle valve fix, but it seemed as it was not without its problems as well.  When the flame is as low as you need for lower temps, it has a tendency to blow out.  My fix was simply an electric conversion.  I just purchased a 2 burner electric hot plate and disassembled it so that it would fit in the bottom above the propane burner.  I mounted the controls just under the propane controls, and run the plug through the bottom vent.  This is not a perfect solution, but it works well for me.  I use a 2 probe thermometer that monitors meat and cooker temps (Maverick ET 732) and keep an eye on everything pretty closely.  This electric fix allows me to run as low as I want, and up to about 200* if needed.  If i need any hotter than that I use my offset smoker.  When doing SS or snack sticks, I start the smoker early, and get it up to temp (100*) before adding any smoke, then add the sausages for about an hour to completely dry out before starting my AMAZN 12" Tube smoker.  Then I will bring the temp up to about 150* and let smoke for 4 ish hours.  After that, I will slowly bring the temp up to about 160-165 until my target IT is reached.  It is a slow process, but once you get it dialed in it works very well.  I am very happy with the product that it turns out.  If I were to do it over, I would have just started with an electric rig all together.  I can still remove the electric burners to use the propane if necessary.  I also have a couple fire bricks wrapped in foil that sit above my water pan to help maintain temps and prevent hot spots. 

Hope this helps.

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