quote:Originally posted by redoakNC:
hmm. Me thinks this is why FAQ's are so prevelant in forums.
Jjliver: The smoker is fine - it takes a little time to learn to use it.
1)The full sized chunks (like supplied in CS sample box) take a higher heat and a load of meat to ash up nice. For temps below 225* try splitting down the chunks a little until you find the right size. Cal is right - they may or may not fully ash - doesn't mean things aren't working.
2) Learn the hot spots in your wood box. Most are over the element loops in the front and center. After you use it a while these spots will darken first.
3)Examine the clearance between the element and the woodbox. You can use care to bend it slightly if needed to create a slight even contact (no problem - think of a fry pan on your oven element. A little contact works better there huh? lol)
4) The wood must be dry. If all fails try a different batch
5) After you use a CS a while it gets easier to make smoke. I made no visible smoke at 200* for a while. Now I make plenty at 180* or so.
6) Once you reach setpoint the white visible smoke will soon diminish - but a nice clean clear fragrant wisp should continue for quite sometime. The sooner you reach setpoint, the sooner the element stops working hard and wood ash results will diminish. Adapt to this by including thinner pieces for lo set-point cooks.
7)To really season the smoker don't be afaid to exceed the 200* recommendation. Split 2 or 3 pieces of the wood(1/3 to 1/4" thick), place them up front over the elements, set to 250* or so and let it rip. It that doesn't make smoke..
To This day I think this is the BEST post I've read about making a CS smoke properly...THANKS redoak!