Hello All!
After almost four weeks, my SM025 arrived on Tuesday. Unfortunatley I started three days of 12 hour shifts on Tuesday and had to wait until today to unpack my much awaited Christmas gift to myself Frowner

After unpacking the smoker, I seasoned it with four ounces of Hickory. During the seasoning process, I set the smoker temp to 210 degrees. During this process, I noticed that according to the display on the unit the tempurature would only go to 115 degrees. I found this odd and when I touched the outside of the smoker it was extremly hot. I then placed the probe from my Oregon Scientific thermometer in the smoker (close to the built in probe) and found that the smoker temp was over 400 degrees.

After seeing this discrepancy in temperatures, I contacted CookShack and spoke to Bill in Technical Support and explained my concern. Bill was quick to advise that the problem was probably due to a wiring issue and explained what to look for and how to correct it. I pulled the control unit off and found that Bill was correct in his analysis. My unit is now up and running in proper order. Thanks Bill!

Now to the important stuff..... After correcting the wiring issue, I bought two six pound butts at a local butcher shop. I rubbed both with the Cookshack rib rub and kept them in the fridge for about 12 hours. At 10:30 tonight, I put the butts in the smoker with 2 ounces each of hickory and mesquite. Now I'm patiently awaiting the finished product. After spending countless hours reading this forum, I fully understand that "when it's done, it's done", so I'll have my wireless thermometer by my side awaiting the magic temp of 195 degrees.

Thanks to all who have asked the questions and those who have taken the time to answer them. Your experience and insite is invaluable.

I'll keep everyone posted on how the "first smoke" turns out.
Original Post
That is exactly why I haven't bought my Cookshack yet.

I've been reading all over the internet, getting as much info as I can about the product. I keep finding people writing about basically the same kinds of problems as Dr. Dan had, the controls not working right, wiring issues, whatever. Granted in every instance the writer has praised Cookshack on telling them how to correct the problem and sending the necessary parts, if needed. My question is why the smokers aren't coming out of the factory right to begin with. I'm interested in cooking and eating, not becoming a factory certified tech. How many others of you out there have had to fix your smoker before before you could use it?
This forum is not the place to discuss production issues. I suggest either calling Cookshack or taking the issue private. Cookshack makes a fine product that, at the moment may have some difficulties, will be nothing shy of a class-act smoker.

Removing four screws and securing a wire certainly does not constitute a "certified tech."

I got my smoker two weeks ago. Everything was perfect...from answering some real newbie questions when I ordered to communicating the shipping date. My smoker arrived in perfect condition. The first smoke I did last weekend was terrific. The meat from the butt could not have been better.
Sign me a new but very loyal CS customer.
At 6:30pm I took the first butt from the smoker when it reached 195 degrees. I sat it on the counter to rest and had to slap the wifes hands several times, because she couldn't wait to taste it. I have to tell you, this is the best tasting pulled pork we have ever had. I can't wait to share it with the kids and freinds. Again, thank you all for all of your tips. I can't wait to try this thing again. I just don't know what to smoke next..
On a side note. As far as LSL's post about becoming a "Factory Certified Tech". The only thing that I know about electric and electronics is when I flip the light switch the light comes on. Although I was a little disappointed with the wiring issue, it was no big deal to correct and the folks @ Cookshack were more than helpful. I am in no way disappointed with my purchase and would recommend their products to anyone.
Just my 2 cents worth!
This will probably make me an outcast but I have been asking myself why some of these problems get by quality control. I can see a wire coming off in shipment but I can't see 'mis-wiring' getting out of the shop. There's not that many wires that they couldn't do a good check on them as well as some of the other quality control issues.

Just my $.02
We occasionally have these problems and most agree the silent majority doesn't go on line and comment that my new __________ does everything just like everyone else's has for a half century.

I have talked with folks coming and going on the forum for a number of years,talk to folks at cookoffs,vendors,caterers,and the conversation is very rarely about a minute problem.

I realize that at our first glance,it is frustrating that our new ,much anticipated,piece of equipment has a minor glitch.

I've found that over the years,folks may remember they had something little,that CS fixed immediately,but after the several hundred experiences ,over many years,they can't remember exactly what the little problem was.

Thus,being a stand alone in the cooker community for customer service and offering a moneyback warranty,CS does about as fine a job as can be expected.

Just my $0.02
I will say this, regardless of ANY problem, CS Stands behind it's unit and in today's day and age, that's a great standard.


If you see an issue, such as the above, let's not try to figure it out for CS. As they don't monitor the forum, they want you to call them directly so they can understand the specifics. Pick up the phone and talk with Stuart or the rest of the people in CS.

They'd love to hear from you.

As has been said, most Cookshack smokers work great right out of the box. When one doesn't, the disappointed buyer is more likely to complain online. We want people to love their smokers, and we hate it when we ship one that isn't up to our standards. We will do everything we can to make it right for the buyer.

I would encourage anyone who has a problem of any kind with a Cookshack product to call us at the toll free number that is slapped all over anything that we print, publish, upload, etc. 1-800-423-0698. You WILL get help, because we DO stand behind our MADE IN THE USA products!

Thank you for listening!
I guess I have stirred up a bit of controversy, which I by no means meant to to do..... I started this post to keep the members aware of my first adventure as a new "Smoker", from out of the box to the table.

I researched this product prior to my purchase and based on this information alone, it was obvious that I was purchasing a quality product.

Although I had a minor problem with my smoker, I was in NO WAY disappointed with my purchase. As I have stated earlier, when the problem was discovered, I contacted Cookshack and Bill in Technical Support was more than helpful. After the problem was corrected, he assured me that he would contact the manufacturing staff to make sure that this error did not occurr again.

After correcting my issue, I completed a smoke of 2 pork butts and they were the best that my family and freinds have ever tasted. This is a quality built product, with out a doubt.

I have purchased numerous new vehicles in my time, that have cost far more than this smoker and few of them have been perfect "out of the box". I understand and appreciate that we would all like to purchase a perfect product, but I have come to learn that Customer Service after the purchase, is as important if not more than the original purchase. Without a doubt....... Cookshack is very concerned with cutomer satisfaction. That being said..... I will not hesitate to purchase from Cookshack in the future or recommend their products to others.

Just my $0.25
Dr. Dan,

Thanks for posting your "first Smoke" story...it's a great one are many on this forum. I can't wait to order one.

I stuck between an 008/009 vs. an SM020/SM025. Had you considered the old vs. the new? And if so, what was the compelling reason to go with the SM025.

Hope you will continue to enjoy your new smoker.

Originally posted by Dr. Dan:... I completed a smoke of 2 pork butts and they were the best that my family and friends have ever tasted. This is a quality built product, with out a doubt....

Nice report Dr.Dan! It's the "best I ever had" comments in this forum that became the main reason I ordered a SM020 back on Jan 7. Hoping to have the same results.(not the wiring... the cooking lol) I can't wait to see it delivered!!
Doc, thanks for the post,great job!I learned from your experience.It just reinforced my belief that I made the right choice.I spent many hours reading and researching,this is a large purchase for our family. My 025 shipped yesterday.If there IS a problem, they fix it!Us newbies need to see that.As for the negative posts,( a screwdriver and a couple of wires) I say lift up your skirt and getter done!And yes the forum is the place for free speech, anything less would be censorship, and there would be no forum. God Bless all, and buy American!

Continue to read the posts, as they are very informative. As far as this being a large purchase, I fully understand. However, I am a firm believer in "you get what you paid for". That being said, I experienced a MINOR glitch, witch was quickly corrected with the help of the CookShack staff. As I have stated before, customer service after the purchase is important me and I have found CookShack's customer service to be second to none!

Good luck with your new purchase and keep everyone posted with your experiences.

Later, Dr. Dan
Look for the "silver lining"of having that time to read.

Donna's family developed the Cookshack a half century ago as a brisket cooker,and it is the best.

That said,the reason contests wrap up with brisket is it separates the cooks from the wish they were.

The fine work Smokin' has done to prepare us,and the posts of experiences by the many fine forum cooks ,will make you a brisket cook as well.

Then there are those that don't take this to heart,and you will read their "trail of tears".

Appreciate the prep time you will have. Wink

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