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Just got an SM025 from the Charcoalstore.

It looks like it's got a problem. I can't set it to the proper temp to season it. It's stuck on 225 (no matter which button I press) -- and then it flashes "83" and then "84" -- and then blows the circuit.

I've tried two different outlets, turned off the AC, dryer -- and I'm not using an extension cord.


Of course, it's after 5pm CT, so I can't contact cookshack.
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Yeah -- I think that's the issue. The GFI. I have two outdoor outlets with GFI. Both trip as soon as the heating element turns on.

If I go to a nearby indoor outlet with an extension cord -- and no GFI -- it's fine.

So what does this mean? Is this thing drawing greater than 120V? Is this thing safe? Why is it tripping the GFI when the element goes on?
So the trick is to run it empty for a good long time to dry out the element?

I'm not too concerned -- I've got a hole in a basement window from an old dryer vent and the non-GFI is right there -- but this is something I didn't expect (and hope isn't a serious issue -- although I'm assuming a non-GFI will always work?) The SO is gonna be none too happy if I have to run it on an extension cord from the non-gfi up through the basement onto the patio. We just spent $$$$$ to put in a separate 120V (for the smoker specifically) and a 220V (for my homebrew setup) on the outside of the house. Frowner
Last edited by bobbytuck
Tripping means it's got a ground problem.

The first culprit is the heating element, it's the finicky part.

bobby, call CS yourself. Yours could be the same or completely different issue. Just give them a call. They don't monitor the forum and don't work weekends, so do it today.
Thanks, SmokinOkie.

I appreciate it. Bill just a few minutes got back to me via email. I'll season it tonight on the non-GFI. Bill confirmed the issue with moisture in the element due to the manufacturing process tripping the GFI.

I'm sure everything will be fine. If not, I'll reach out to Cookshack again.

Thanks again for the info! Smiler

This is great news...but I'm a little concerned about your setup, yep homebrew and CS Que. Ya might just be the most popular guy in your neighborhood and everyone will be able to tell when you're smoking.

Just ask some of us how the guest list seems to grow and grow when everyone gets a taste of that Que,really!

Have FUN this weekend with your new toy.
Ran it empty for a while then put in a brisket around 1pm. Just took the brisket out. Looks good!

Will taste test before I call it a night.


I used the Incredible Brisket recipe. My first brisket in the CS025. Incredible is a good name for this recipe! It was fantastic!

Regarding the moisture problem with the heating element, my CS025 is housed in a 20cf plastic garden shed. The humidity has been so thick up here in the woods of Maine that you can cut it with a knife. So if my CS trips again, I'll know to plug it into a non-GFI and run it for awhile to dry it out before I plug it into the GFI for that slow and low cook.

Last edited by smokinmaineiac
Seasoning my CS025 on a non-GFI outlet, and it's working like a charm. Heating right up -- no problems. Smells wonderful.

I've dry-rubbed and saran-wrapped a 6.5lb PB, and it's waiting in fridge for tomorrow @ 5am. Will cook all day tomorrow and shoot for a 7pm (or thereabouts) dinner of pulled pork! Smiler

We'll be drinking one of my own IPAs with the pork, so it should be a killer dinner tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.
Originally posted by bobbytuck:
Seasoning my CS025 on a non-GFI outlet, and it's working like a charm. Heating right up -- no problems. Smells wonderful.

I've dry-rubbed and saran-wrapped a 6.5lb PB, and it's waiting in fridge for tomorrow @ 5am. Will cook all day tomorrow and shoot for a 7pm (or thereabouts) dinner of pulled pork! Smiler

We'll be drinking one of my own IPAs with the pork, so it should be a killer dinner tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.

Good luck with your first cook. I know how disappointing it can be when the breaker trips. My bet is that you'll have no problems!

friday and my ameriquejust showedup. this is easier tnan words can tell. got it all prepped, decided to season it with a 9lb shoulder, set it to 225 and 14 hours and "blam" it tripped the gfi. tried another gfi outlet same thing,called cs and got voice mail so quick wired up a 20 amp direct outlet and it is smokin'! very cool. just read this thread and will try it tomorrow with ribs and the gfi.
Something about cook shacks and GFI's. I use mine in the garage and it is on a circuit with a GFI at the beginning of the circuit and I have never had a problem. I wonder if it just doesn't like plugging directly into a GFI plug but as with mine works fine plugged into a normal plug but still protected by a GFI up stream. Anyways I'm glad this post helped you get that first chunk of pork done, now the fun starts.
You guys are very helpful.....Received the SS Smokette for Christmas (thank you Santa). Upon my attempt to season the smoker, it kept tripping my GFI at the outlet, so I tried another GFI outlet prior to discovering this forum. Its the day after Christmas so there did not seem to be many options.... After reading your posts, I ran a cord into the house and now watching the temp rise. Your detailed descriptions on both the problem and rationale to solutions helped a lot. Thank you all for keeping the forum alive.
Congrats on the new smoker, glad to hear that the seasoning process went well. There is a lot of valuable information for the reading here, but don't shy away from asking questions, or even better, a post with some pics.

Your probably smart hiding the smoker in the garage, but don't worry, the neighbors will found out soon enough. It then will be PARTY TIME at the hoosier house...LOL!

Once again congrats and welcome to the CS forum!
After a couple of years of problem-free smoking, I ran into the same problem about two hours ago. I came straight to the CS Forums, found this thread (and the others), picked up a 25' extension cord from Walmart, ran it under the garage door to a non-GFI outlet, and am now sitting outside enjoying the weather and the smell of hickory.

This isn't the first time I've benefitted from the collective experience of this community. But this time I wanted to be sure to say thanks to all of you!
Just bought a used 105 and had similar problem with tripping GFCI. Plugged into non GFCI outlet and had no problem. Also found that since this unit had been stored for awhile there were threads of spider web from element terminals to the case. Removed the spider web and plugged back into GFCI outlet and unit works perfectly. Probably just enough current through web to trip GFCI.
After six years with no issues, my Amerique started tripping GFCI outlets, very frustrating as that's all I have outside, and they were all tied into my garage freezer and refrigerator.

I did a lot of research on the Internet, and it turns out that if your heating element is chipped in any way or fashion it will trip GFCI outlets until it gets warmed up.

I replaced my heating element (no easy task on an Amerique) and no more problems!


I am having a similar issue with a SM025.  It has been in garage storage for several years and trips the main house 20amp breaker when it starts warming up (approx 1-2 minutes).   I changed outlets and still am tripping breakers.  Removed the back cover and controller to inspect the wiring/motherboard and visual everything looks good.  I am hoping it is not the controller as seeing replacements around $400.  Got a note into customer service.  This is a unique case as it belongs to my father who stopped using it about 8 years ago and it worked fine before storage.   Any ideas what to inspect?  thanks

These ideas may not work but it will give you something to do.  A the same outlet, plug in another heat producing appliance like a toaster oven (crank up the temp) or a steam iron on a high setting. Does the breaker trip?  

Plug the smoker into a different outlet NOT connected to the breaker that is tripping.

Lastly, check the heating element per the link below. I don't know if any of this will help but your testing may help you and CookShack figure out what is happening.

Lots of people seeing this issue. My experience is similar, tripped my GFCI. I ended up having my electrician install a dedicated GFCI circuit to my Patio and that worked but every once in a while I'll get a trip after about 3-4 minutes after unit has not been used for a while (months). If I switch to a non GFCI circuit it will work just fine.

I think the heating element has just enough leakage to trip the GFCI protection but it isnt a "short" such that it is tripping on overload.

Once unit has done the initial warm up I can switch back to the GFCI circuit and it will work just fine.

I suspect Humidity is the culprit here.

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