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Hi ya'll I just got my smokette today and after unboxing/assembly I got to seasoning. I used some of the Jack Daniels wood chips and put them in aluminum foil in the wood box set to 200 and let her go for 4 hours. Smoke was evident around the 20min mark but not a whole lot and then it seemed to dissipate. So I checked the wood(after 4hrs) and it was just slightly black on the bottom but the top looked like I just poured it out of the bag. So I just dumped out the same woodchips directly into the wood box and turned it back on. The temperature in the smoker had stayed at 200 for the first 4 hours so when I started it again I just went back inside and let it heat back up. Well the temp shot up to 268 and kept rising. There was alot more smoke so I went to investigate. I opened the door to the smoker and there was fire in the woodbox. I am not sure if the chips were already on fire or if the wind outside ignighted the chips(very windy tonight). I pulled the wood box out and doused the flames. Any suggestions/theorys on why it caught fire or if I did something to cause the fire? Also the temperature shouldn't fluctuate that much should it? I mean I get it if there was was a fire but if not thats 70 degrees over what it was set to. Sorry to mini rant but slightly confused/concerned and looking for guidance. Thanks in advance- John
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The overshoot you described is pretty normal for that model. There is a program in the control that keeps the element on for 20 minutes regardless of what temp you set the oven on. If left alone, it will come back down to the set temp. The fire probably happened when you opened the door and exposed the wood to oxygen because there should not be enough oxygen inside the oven otherwise.
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The fire happend because you poured a bunch of wood chips in, exposing more wood to the heat.

By using chips instead of chunks, you're exposing more wood to the heat, so EACH individual piece can actually start the burn. Unlike a chuck on wood where it burns from the outside in.

Using chunks, not chips (unless you're cold smoking)
Originally posted by jsmehil:
... but soaked them in beer beforehand to help prevent fire. I think the fire was just a one time thing-

It's not a one time thing if you throw a handful of chips in there. Soaking is a bad idea for smoke chips.

I guess you just don't want to go with the proven methods but you're certainly welcome to use your methods. If you damage the unit or get bad tasting food, you really can do it anyway you want.

BEER soaked will do nothing, but allow the chips to smolders and give off a gray, nasty smoke.

That's why real pros suggest you never soak any wood for any smoker. Gray smoke carries all the impurities from smoldering smoke, you actually want a blue, almost clearless smoke. It gives a more clean/pure smoke taste.

I find it funny sometimes how new users have to reinvent how things are done, before trying out the proven methods, but you're always welcome to do it anyway you want, that's no absolutes. Well there aren't a few, but they key is you being happy with your end results (unless you boil ribs, that's one absolute NOT to do) but what do I know, 9979 post later... Big Grin
Last edited by Former Member
My words were actually quite kind. When someone offers you correct information and you ignore it, there is always the possibility that someone else might think you need to be shocked back into reality. I shocked gently. It's always best to learn to do something the right way before you start improvising without some kind of baseline. A simple task can be broken down into many, many separate sub tasks so that it can be taught, or it can be made hopelessly complex through the addition of layers of complexity that have no bearing on the final product.

The beer can approach won't hurt anything, it's just an added layer and a big waste in a CS. It really helps to have a reason for doing something, rather than just doing it because you read it on another forum or you just thought it sounded cool. Beer can chicken was designed to keep chicken moist in a hotter, dryer grill or oven environment. The CS is super moist and usually doesn't get hot enough to boil the beer and give off steam. Even if it did, you'd be adding water where it isn't needed. Kind of like having a shower head mounted on the wall of your swimming pool, two feet under water. But the chips I get. You enjoy the taste of creosote and the challenge of fighting the occasional fire in your smoker, and both these are completely a matter of choice. You may find the process and the smoke from chunks to be boring in comparison. Wink
Last edited by Former Member
Jsmehil, don't feel that you're getting "bagged on" ...though you might think of it as initiation into the 'club.' :0)

Let me try a little different approach. You CAN make your new, expensive, toy smoke like many of the other smokers out there (grey, acrid smoke; wet, creosotey wood chips... hey, most all of us have been there at one time in our lives)...

BUT, if you take the time and read the 101's, and learn how great...and simple...the process is that will turn out smoked Q better than you've EVER had before, we think you'll be much happier.

I would say that using your new CS like an old style smoker is similar to buying a fancy new laptop computer and pounding nails with it. Yes, it will pound nails, but it will do so much more for you than you are realizing!

Oh, and welcome...friend! :0)

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