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We bought the 009 in 2007. Many, many uneventful smokes since then. Then today, I loaded 2 3.5 pound corned beef points into the smoker, fat down. Sprayed Pam on foil-covered bottom and racks as usual. Added 4.5 ounces of Cookshack hickory (split in 4 chunks), and set the temp at 250. 30 minutes later, I had the usual smoke beginning, and I turned the heat down to 225. As I did so,I heard a loud pop, and smoke engulfed me. I opened the door, and the wood was on fire. No accumulated fat (meat was only at 50*), or other noticeable problem (the heating element was red hot). I got the smoke box out without incident, let things cool a bit, added new wood, and started over, with the temp set at 225. All seems ok after about a hour, but this scares me. What if I hadn't been close by? Dare I EVER leave the smoker unattended again? Any ideas or suggestions? Bad thermostat that overheated? Something in this particular piece of wood? Bad Karma? TIA for any feedback.
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Thanks for the reply, Tom. Thinking this problem was totally unique, I didn't do a search before I posted. I should have. There are some similar threads, and others have reported a loud pop, and a puff of smoke about 30 min. in. What I had was way more than a puff! But, perhaps this has happened before and I wasn't around to get stressed by it. Also, the other threads indicate opening the door as I did was "not wise"--I should have cut the power, plugged the vent and waited.
Thanks for the replies.

Definitely poked a drain hole in the bottom foil--a lesson I learned when I did not do so when double smoking a ham, and had liquid running out under the door, and discovered a 1/2 crust on the lower sides of the smoke box. What a mess!

This smoke continues uneventful. I pulled one corned beef at 160, and will steam it tomorrow. The other (for comparison) is still on, and will go to 190 before I pull it.
4.5 is a "lot" (not bad, just a lot) and the infamous "boom" happened.

Here's a search on "bang"

One thing I couldn't tell was what was the "real" temp inside the smoker. For your own information, get a dual probe or a separate probe and set one so you can monitor the internal smoker temp. If you need help on doing that let us know.

Also, not sure why you set it at 250, then down to 225 after such a short time, but you don't need to do that if you're trying to get the wood smoking. It automatically goes to a higher temp. The element is almost always "glowing" when it's own, you just don't usually see it.

Best check on that is to monitor the actual internal temp of the smoker.

I think the flames probably happened when you opened the door and a lot of oxygen got in there. It's hard to tell if the flames were there as it can be pretty rapid building of flames when you open the door.

I don't think it was a safety issue, that it wouldn't have been a fire without opening the door.

SmokinOkie: I am embarrassed that I didn't do a search before posting--I just thought my experience had to be totally unique! Who knew the "boom" is a fairly common thing.... As for setting the thermostat to 250* until I see smoke: I knew the newer CSs defaulted to the max temp at the start, but I didn't know the 009 do so, so won't bother with that step again. On the actual temp: I have previously checked the temp using the suggested method (empty smoker, probe stuck through a foil ball, chart temp over time) but I haven't done so recently--probably time to retest.

The corned beef point I left on to 190* is pictured. I followed the basic pastrami guidelines with some modification--soaked an hour, rinsed 4 times; used coriander, pepper, granulated garlic for the rub; weighted down in the frig. overnight. Ate a good portion of the 190* piece after a 30 minute rest--it may be the best thing to come out of my Cookshack EVER. I think I liked the result better than the previous briskets I have done because it was just the point.

The point I pulled at 160* is still weighted down in the frig--it was all I could do to not steam it last night. I have never steamed a corned beef after smoking, and I'm anxious to compare the two pieces I did yesterday. The steamed piece will have to be out-of-this-world good to beat the piece we almost totally devoured yesterday! I don't think it will be as "pretty" as the 190* piece, even if it tastes better.

Thanks to all for the "adult supervision," and the helpful replies.Corned Beef[/url]


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can you repost your corned beef in the Brisket forum? I can't must replies, just the whole post.

Just don't want to get the post lost in a post about explosions.

It's a pretty current topic and it might help others. What would you change next time? details are always welcome. Thanks

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