I always put the wood chunks up front in the metal wood box in my CS Smokette Elite. The hole that shows the heating element always burns the wood, but the other chunk ( next to it )is not touching the element, and very often doesn't burn.I have bent the heating element up as far as it will bend. My question is, has anyone drilled more holes in the wood box bottom so more wood is directly exposed to the element? Thanks Again..Damn I love this stuff!
Original Post
I admit I once considered it. I'm glad I never tried it.

Foremost is warranty issues. Second is, that once I stopped focusing on the wood and begin studying the smoke flavor results, it really wasn't necessary.

Are you getting all the smoke flavor in the meat that you want/expect?

If that answer is YES, you don't have a problem and can stop fussing over what the wood/ash looks like when your done. Period.

If the answer it NO, I'll still bet that the problem can be solved w/o power tools.

note: don't limit yourself to just the front of the woodbox. Try several smoke test with wood positions. Try placing wood partially over the holes - not blocking hot air flow. I found that the rear holes produced as well as the front positions. Have fun.
It would make sense that the area that is hottest would be upfront where the 2 heating elements bend, more element means more heat(that's the only 2 areas where the element can circumvent 3 directions underneath the wood).

Drilling holes in the box may change the draft dynamics. This might not improve things. It would seem the folks at Cookshack would have experimented with this process and developed the best alternative. Can we improve upon their efforts? Of course, you can always try it. If it improves things, let us know. If it doesn't, I'm sure Cookshack will provide a replacement box at a reasonable price. Big Grin
Last edited by pags
I agree with redoakNC, focus on the product.
I converted to pellets a few years back. I almost never use chunks now. You could try that. make a foil pouch put in the pellets, squeeze tightly leaving a small opening at the top. Clean up is easy.
good luck
David. Are you using pellets smoking in a Cookshack? Or an FE? If you're using pellets in a Cookshack smoker, that introduces an interesting dynamic.

Evidently, you feel it provides better smoke flavor. Yes? Do the pellets ignite on their own from the Cookshack heating element? Do they last long enough on longer smokes or are you required to add additional pellets? Can you share your experience or make comparisons between chunks and pellets?

Any more information would be appreciated.
Great answers from everyone, thank you. I guess I will not drill the holes. RedoakNC I think I will follow your directions, and YES the flavor is good. I just thought both chunks of wood should be burning. One becomes ash and other just char. My Elite will smoke at about 250* but not much smoke lower then that. Just thought I would have more smoke if the wood sat directly over the hole above the element.
My thoughts always go back to the basic question. Did CS design it that way.

You will be changing the airflow dynamics if you drill more. Not necessarily good or bad, but you'll be changing them.

More air, wood burns quicker.

If you think it's an issue, call CS and ask them why they don't have more air holes. Maybe it's an issue they need to change, maybe not.

They like to hear from customers when they have questions (they dont' really monitor the forums).
This i do know! Open the door and you get more airflow, more air means wood doesnt smoke but you get flames! Found this out making jerky and im not sure this is what your looking for.
Yes Pags, I have an 055 and an 09. I use pellets almost always. I get them from Candy Sue at BBQr's Delight. There are many more flavors to choose from then chunks. Its easier to mix pellet flavors and clean up is a snap. The pellets burn just fine. Plenty of smoke. No, I dont add pellets during the smoke. I make a small foil pouch, put in the pellets, wrap tightly leaving an opening on the top of the pouch. I put the pouch closest to the front of the smoker and forget it. When I'm done, I pull the pouch out and toss it. No ashes no worries. Give it a try.
Good luck!
Hi David...and all. I, too, use Candy Sue's pellets, but in the smokebox of my grill. And even at that they seem to make smoke for only about 20 minutes and then they are ash.

That's enough time if I'm trying to flavor up some steaks, or chops, but not if I were to try a 16 hour pork butt/shoulder.

I gotta think that chunks smoldering away, even if not to ash, provides more of the flavors we're looking for on long cooks... IMHO.

P.s. I very much like Candy Sue's all flavor-wood pellets...just not so much in my Cookshack.
During the first 2-3 times I used my Smokette my wood was hardly burned. It was black and in tacked. After checking the forum I placed my wood closer to the front and the improvement was marginal. After examining the alignment of the wood box holes and the heating element I discovered that the two were not properly aligned. When smoking at low temps, I figured the wood was not getting enough heat. Sure the bottom of the box was getting warmed up, but the heat from the electric coil was not getting to the wood. I then got a sharpie and marked the bottom of the wood box at the spots where the coil ran under the box. Using a metal drill bit I drilled about 4 additional wholes. When I used the Smokette after that the wood smoked very well. Some of the blocks were just ash while others were still onlt partially used. I marked more spots where I wanted more wholes drilled. I'll be taking the box to a metal shop and asking them to punch additional holes into the bottom of the box. Since it looks like the box is made of stainless steel, its easier to have the additional holes pinched rather that drilled at home. I believe the problem results from a design flaw in that the holes are not properly aligned with the heating element. The manufacturer should probably relook the design since many others have identified the problem of the wood not burning.
I guess it could be related to the element size in a smokette but I haven't had issues with wood on my AmQ

DB
quote:
Originally posted by yardworker:
.... I believe the problem results from a design flaw in that the holes are not properly aligned with the heating element. The manufacturer should probably relook the design since many others have identified the problem of the wood not burning.


Guess you missed my point above, CALL CS, since they don't routinely monitor the forum.

If you as a customer see a potential fix to a problem you have and solved it, they really do prefer the personal touch, just call them, they're great.

Maybe it's a fix and future owners will thank you for it.
As suggested by one of you all I sent my post of Nov 17 regarding drilling more holes in the wood box to Cookshack and got the following reply:

"Thank you for your input. Adding holes directly over the element does help the problem. However, we are working on a better fix which will include a different heating element. Once we have the details finished we will be putting it on the forum."
Thanks,
Stuart

Cookshack, Inc.
I'm waiting to see how this goes. I have not been able to get the wood to smoke under 250. And even then, limited with the racks full. Can't wait to hear the answer from Stu. I called, bent the element, Am I happy with the results? Not at all,( as you pointed redoak) taste or other. Why after spending $600, should I be thinking about where I place the wood and bending factory parts. Sure didn't say that in the ad. Yardworker, I have to thank you. That reply, might force them to do something. Drilling ss is not easy, But then again why should I have to?
quote:
Posted November 20, 2009 08:23 AM Hide Post
As suggested by one of you all I sent my post of Nov 17 regarding drilling more holes in the wood box to Cookshack and got the following reply:

"Thank you for your input. Adding holes directly over the element does help the problem. However, we are working on a better fix which will include a different heating element. Once we have the details finished we will be putting it on the forum."
Thanks,
Stuart

Has anyone been contacted or received this upgrade? It's been several months, I would think we would have.."the details finished"
My biggest problem is to much smoke. I've had brisket come out black smelling like a house fire. Now I just put a small piece of wood in the front and get good results. Man it's easy to shoot a 30.00 piece of meat into the trash can.
Considering I've got 2000 pounds of Fast Eddy pellets, I'll give them a try.
quote:
Originally posted by bigdogs:
quote:
Posted November 20, 2009 08:23 AM Hide Post
As suggested by one of you all I sent my post of Nov 17 regarding drilling more holes in the wood box to Cookshack and got the following reply:

"Thank you for your input. Adding holes directly over the element does help the problem. However, we are working on a better fix which will include a different heating element. Once we have the details finished we will be putting it on the forum."
Thanks,
Stuart

Has anyone been contacted or received this upgrade? It's been several months, I would think we would have.."the details finished"

Hey Stuart, Are you going to answer this?
Stuart doesn't monitor the forum (actually no one at CS does) so if you have a question, you should go direct. Email or call CS (as stated above). Keep in mind, let's see that reply via email was 11/20, which is Thanksgving, then we have the holidays and oh yeah, now they're into show season. Lots going on, but a direct approach is the best way.

Since someone posted a reply they got via E-MAIL, they should probably go back and ask the same way. Stuart doesn't monitor this thread, so I'd just go to him direct and let us know. If I get a chance, I'll try, but I've been gone to the Houston World Championship competing so it won't be today for sure.

Smokin'
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT YOU MODIFY YOUR COOKSHACK SMOKER IN ANY WAY!

That being said, this weekend I did drill 4 more holes directly over the heating element of my CS Elite's woodbox and put in a brisket. I did notice about 50% more smoke generated, and the smoke looked thicker than the somewhat wispy clear-ish smoke that I am accustomed to. At the end of the smoke all of the wood (4-6 ozs mesquite) was reduced to white ash and more importantly the brisket was fantastic. It had a deeper, richer smoke taste than any I had done in the 6 months that I owned my Smokette. My wife also noticed and kept asking me what I did differently and saying that it was the best ever.
Was this just a fluke?... I dunno, maybe. All I'm saying is, it didn't hurt anything, and I'm EXTREMELY pleased with the results.
Again,

If you want to modify the smoker, you're on your own.

IF you think it's an improvement, please take it to CS direct, they don't monitor the forum for suggestions / improvements.

I'm not saying good or bad, I'm saying we won't discuss modifications to the smoker here because there could be warranty issue and the ONLY one who can make those changes is CS.

Hey, CS loves new ideas. Give 'em a call or an email.
Big Texan, I was fortunate enough to cook with Smokey Hale several years ago and I'll never forget him telling me that the perfect smoke coming out of smoker is the "wispy, clearish smoke you had been accustomed to. Mabe your great brisket was the result of something other than the "thicker" smoke you mentioned?
quote:
Mabe your great brisket was the result of something other than the "thicker" smoke you mentioned?


Maybe, Pitminder, but the CS Elite is nothing if not consistent, and I was consistently producing lightly smoked food. Today's brisket was 100% better (smokier) than earlier results. Wispy, clearish smoke being the best smoke doesn't seem intuitive to me... I would think that you needed denser smoke earlier in the cook to really impart flavor before the meat reaches that 140 degree barrier that Smokin' talks about in his helpful '101' guide.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×