Next time, hang them, use 4-6 oz. wood, smoke at 200* for 4 hours. Try that. Your meat must have alot of moisture in it. Did you cure the meat? I preheat on 250*, then turn down after the meat is in and the door closed. Keep trying, we'll get you there. Keep good notes, good or bad.
The rods are not a must for jerky. Seafood grills are nice also, especially when you need to slide the jerky and the woodbox into the smoker quickly.
Take the woodbox out and put in lots of wood of your choice. Cover the top with foil. Line the bottom of the Smokette with foil. Make sure the drippan is under the Smokette, and you poke the drainhole out. Close the door and latch it and turn the thermostat up full blast. Lay your cured and seasoned jerky on the seafood grills while the Smokette preheats. After about an hour of preheating, open the door and quickly slide in the jerky and woodbox. Close the door quickly, latch it, and turn the smoker down to around 180*-200*. Wait 2 hours. Open the door and quickly grab a piece of jerky and close the door back. This will allow steam/moisture to escape and let you check the doneness/dryness of the jerky. If not ready, wait another hour, quickly open the door again, switch the top and bottom seafood grills around, quickly close the door, wait another hour. After an hour, quickly open the door, grab another piece of jerky off a different grill, quickly close and latch the door back, check dryness/doneness.
I have the best luck with lots of wood. I feel an abundance of smoke helps dry the meat. Jerky can take alot of smoke and be good. I usually set the dial just a hair below 200*, which might be close to 180* in my Smokette.
I do not know how to do jerky in any other smoker besides the CookShack Smokette. This is pretty much the gist of my latest trials and experimentation. I take very good notes with each smoke/cook. (disclaimer)