Tried to smoke some almonds at 225 and got a no-smoke situation, not my first time. Anyone care to elaborate on how they bent the element to remedy this, where to bend, how to tell if you are making contact? I already put my wood at the front of the box, should I cover the holes or leave them clear? Thanks
Original Post
Remove the wood box. Grab the element at the bends which are farthest from the back of the smoker. Bend up carefully. You don't have to bend much. If the first attempt doesn't fix the problem, try to bend it a little more. I only needed to bend mine once and it made a big difference. I never had to adjust it again.

I never cover the holes with anything, including the wood chunks. I get good smoke even at temps as low as 200 degrees.

Hope this helps,
As clarification, you lift the element up at the curved end not literally bending the element. The wood burns better towards the front of the box cause that's where the element is now closest to the box and where the element bends producing more heat/sq. inch.
Thanks for the replies. And if anyone else is following along, you just need to lift the curved end of the element until it resides near the top of the woodbox supports surrounding it. I did not see anything visibly bend, but changed the angle enough for her to smoke right up.
Not to be contrary, but, how come we all seem to think that the heating element needs to be bent so as to be closer to the wood box?

I have two 055's. I've never touched the heating element on either one. I don't always SEE smoke coming out the top, but I SMELL it once it gets going, and notice plenty of blue wispy stuff coming out. If I ever wonder, I stick my nose near the top hole and, yep, it's smokin alright.

AND, by the way, I think the units smoke just perfectly. Sometimes the wood chunks are just black, and I leave them in for the next smoke along with new wood. Sometimes they are down to ash. Why do I care? My units produce GREAT Q...seem to do exactly as intended.

They ain't broke...don't fix 'em.
Well, to be contrary, this ain't my first rodeo. The Amerique is a brand new line, and it shipped with thermocouple problems which were identified by users of this forum.

If we all did one-on-one troubleshooting with Cookshack, they may or may not identify a common problem. They may solve it for one and not for others. I don't expect Cookshack support to read these forums, but I do look for common (or uncommon) experiences from other users. And if I open an electric smoker after two hours and find no smoke in the chamber and an uncharred piece of wood in the box, I think there is a need for a fix.

And I am sure that if I were your next door neighbor you would have wandered over to observe my shiny new Amerique, and you would have been equally baffled by the situation. Having never owned a 055 I would presume you to have better understanding of their workings than I.
Twofer, I was speaking in general terms. If you've got a problem with your smoker, you've got a problem with your smoker. They ain't cheap, and I'd want it fixed pronto, too.

That said, it seems that we've generally created a bit of a paranoia that every new owner now thinks that their unit needs a heating element adjustment... and as per a stream of others' comments they are looking for billows of white smoke to be coming out of their new toy, and think it needs "the tweak" to make it work right if that's not what they are getting.

Wishing you luck and an expediant fix to your problem. No ill will intended.
Thousand, I appreciate your clarification. Speaking in general terms, your advice is sound. As a reply to this specific adventure of mine, it sounded as if I was tilting at windmills.

My previous electric smoker was a competitor's knockoff which I did not want to praise here, but let's just say it was a lot closer in size to the 055. This Amerique is huge by comparison, and so is the woodbox. Based on the number of reports it is not unreasonable to assume that some of the heating elements are not in their ideal position, and that this might not have been considered prior to mass production.

I have seen all types of smoke come out of these machines, including rare puffing smoke rings which I could not explain. But I have always seen at least some white whiffs within the first twenty minutes. Maybe the 'new' owners need some coaching on their expectations; then again, maybe they wouldn't recognize broke when they see it.
I use a model 55 which I am very happy with. I considered an upgrade but had concerns about the electronic controller keeping temp to + or - 1 degree. To hold that tight a tolerance it usually requires the element to pulse. The element will not get cherry red if it is pulsing and so will not be hot enough to get the wood smoking except for for bringing it to temp from cold. If the wood stops smoldering then it may not start again unlike with the old controllers which had larger swings in temperature that required the element to be on longer and keep the wood smoking. I think that air circulation to keep the wood smoking would be more critical in the new style smokers as once it stops it would be difficult to start again.
twofer, if you get an answer to this please let us know. There are many threads here with "no smoke" My 025, has never smoked below 250.Bending and proper wood placement to make things work? At this price?..... They do not follow the forum?... Shame on them.
bigdogs,
I just bought a 020 and only had chard wood on 1st seasoning, I put in middle of wood box. There was smoke on walls. I have had 4 smokes since no trouble. It looks like on my 020 that the element almost touches wood box in the middle and the front is lower and element is at edges. You might look and see about yours.

Just my 2 cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bigdogs,

I believe my problem may have been unique to the Amerique, and as far as I am concerned my unit is now working properly. I would echo your comment, "at this price" indeed. However, without test-firing every unit, I can easily see how this problem might be missed at the factory.

In their defense, this forum is a free service they provide for the community, and is not meant to be a customer support service. If you have questions or concerns, I have found that Cookshack customer support consists of good, honest folks who have no agenda other than your satisfaction with their products.

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