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Well, one week after assembling my new SM025 I finally seasoned it! First of all, let me say the smoker is a quality build, and it was very easy to assemble. I cannot wait to get my first Q out of it.

The seasoning process was easy - I just followed the manual. I placed 2 ~2 oz hickory chunks in the front of the smoker box. I'm glad I read the forums first because the outlet in my garage kept resetting on me every time I turned the unit on. So I used a 25' extension cord and used an indoor outlet and I was back in business. I set the temp to 200F as instructed, and placed my Maverick remote thermometer on the middle rack in the center of the smoker. Temp went up quickly and steadily. I was concerned when the temp went up to 265F, but then remembered that this is expected and sure enough the temp steadily dropped to 200F in about 30 minutes. The Maverick read about 5 degrees higher than the smoker thermostat (205F), which ain't bad at all.

About 15 minutes after start-up, an aromatic white smoke was coming through the vent hole and the upper corners of the smoker (that didn't bother me) and the heavy white smoke lasted about an hour or so. For the final 2 1/2 hours I didn't see any smoke coming from the vent hole and became a little concerned. Once again, the forums were helpful as I read about the clean blue smoke. I looked carefully and I think I could see some faint wisps of smoke occasionally. Not sure. I'm assuming that you can't always see the clean smoke, right?

After the seasoning was finished (4 hrs, 20 min), I opened the door and didn't see any smoke in the chamber, but I could smell the hickory, although it wasn't overpowering. Is this what is expected? I pulled open the wood box and the chunks were good and charred on the bottoms and barely browned on the tops. I hope to post a pic of the chunks soon (just sent to Smokinokie) so I can get comments on how they look (because I have no idea what they're supposed to look like after seasoning process). I was expecting thoroughly charred chunks but my expectations could have been wrong. What has been other's experiences with the appearance of their wood chunks post smoke?

These forums have been awesome!
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Heck to much thinking, time for smoking if you ask me!!! Nice job, I have the 020 and everything you described happened to me...except the reading about it on the forum...wish I had done some of that myself,oh well. On to becoming a pitmaster I say.

Good notes will be your best friend and find out which probe is wrong or not.
Realize you shouldn't always "see" smoke.

You actually prefer to have clear or blue smoke. The white smoke you see is actually the wood burning off impurities. Many people will always recommend the clear smoke (especially with offsets burning lots of wood).

I don't think white smoke is bad in a CS, unless you put a whole bunch of chunks.

Just know that as the wood burns, it's not always going to be gray/white smoke.
As the smoker seasons, the wood will burn better. Having some food to smoke will also improve wood burn as it acts like a heat sync.

On my last pork loin smoke, the wood was discolored all over and charred on the bottom and some of the sides. The meat actually had more than enough smoke flavor. So base your results on the flavor of the meat and not necessarily the looks of the wood.

Lift your heating element so the end touches the wood box. Place your wood towards the front of the box with the edges right next to the holes. These will also help burn.

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