Seems that rather than smoking, the trays of chips catch fire and burn. Causes a spike in the temp but more importantly, the burning is causing dirty black.smoke on the product. The door gasket looks good. Any ideas?
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I would suggest using chunks and not chips. And make sure the wood is of good quality. And use only 1 or 2 ounces of chunks per smoke. I get my hickory chunks from CookShack, never from a big box store. Too dry and prone to ignition. I also strip wood of bark; read somewhere that bark produces a bitter smoke. Just my 2 cents worth. I have the Amerique but aside from its diminutive size compared to the 260, they function pretty much the same. You can always contact CS and they can help troubleshoot.
Agree with oldsarge. Don't use chips, they tend to ignite too readily. Use chunks without soaking. I do use chips with some bark, particularly pecan for beef, but never with fruitwood for pork or alder for salmon.
What about using pellets