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have a cs-25 that’s around 1 year old, give or take a few weeks. Yesterday I was trying to smoke kielbasa at 180f and part way through the temperature took off to over 280. It looks like I have no control over the temperature. I tried it this morning with an empty oven , set it at 180f and 20 minutes later it was reading 264 … I verified with a temperature probe that it was indeed 264f. Any ideas on what might be wrong? worst part is I think I screwed up 12 lbs of kielbasa !

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Heck the tough questions always come on the weekend when everyone's sleeping...

Listen try this, set up the smoker with a small pan of water and some wood, set to 250, yes 250, and let her rip for say 3 hours. Reason I say this is that no matter how low or high you set the temperature I BELIEVE (the old timers here will chime in later) the smoker is designed to reach a higher temperature at first to get the wood smoking, then settle into the temperature you set.

And on Monday you can call Cookshack and talk to Bill or Stuart and they will be able to give you good advice on what to do. I worked all my life for IBM and our motto was IBM MEANS SERVICE. Knowing that I gotta say that COOKSHACK service is 2nd to none, those people really care and they really are helpful and friendly at the same time. They'll get you straightened out fast...
ok, what I think happened was that the sausage was up against the the temp probe and made the temperature spike, then I turned in off in panic putting it in startup cycle when I turned it back on which jumps to 250F (wish we could bypass that). It seems to be working okay now after testing ....thanks for reminding me about the startup cycle.
The digital SM smokers have a 20 minute pre set. I can't remember but think it goes to 300 degrees. It doesn't matter what temp you set, the pre set kicks in for 20 minutes. The only way around this is to start the cooker and wait 20 minutes before you load the meat and wood. In cool outside temps this pre set isn't a problem, but when it is warm out, it can be a pain. Cookshack did this to get the smoke going early in the cook. The problem I have had with it is: when it is hot out, the preset temp can take the smoker over 300 degrees. The smoker then turns off the heating element until the temps come down under 300 degrees. Try turning the smoker on, wait 20 minutes, open the door and let the smoker cool down, then close the door and wait another 20 minutes. The temp should have stabalized at what you want.

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