Hello all.  New smoker here that needs some advice.   

I have the sm45 and had a question about the best way to get a more even smoke?

i soak my chunks for about an hour before use.  Before my smoker even gets to the desired temp I see a billow of smoke coming out of the top vent.   When I open the smoker the smoke is so strong.  

Sometimes the product is over powered with smoke.  I never use more than 2 oz of wood.  Any tips. 

Original Post

First, there is no need to soak your wood. You might be seeing water vapor being vented as the wood heats up. Second, the smoker will heat at max until set temp is reached. Usually this takes less than 30 minutes, and shouldn't cause too much smoke flavor, except for when you want lower temps and less smoke, like for fish. That process might take longer, and use more heat, if your smoker has to boil off the water in your wood before it can come to temp. Keep the wood amount low. Once your smoker is seasoned, you shouldn't need more than about 2 ounces of wood, max, for any smoke, maybe except a 12 - 16 hour brisket.

Based on previous posts, you might want to check if there is clearance between your heating element under your wood box, and the box bottom. A little clearance is good to avoid igniting your wood (a bad thing). Making a slight manual adjustment to the heater level is easy. Call CS if these tips don't work. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Thanks for the response.   How much clearance should there be?   I can tell you from memory that the element is very close to the woodbox if you need exact measurements i can provide later? 

Can you provide the procedure for adjusting?

Since the smoker burns at full temp for the first 30 minutes to get the smoker up to speed would an alternate solution be to add the wood AFTER the unit gets up to temp?

I don't have a clearance spec for you - might want to call CS. On my SM066, the burner is about 1/4 inch below the bottom of the wood box. My wood has never caught fire. I think you can just slightly bend the burner down (carefully) if you need to.

I can't advise on adding wood after the smoker is up to temp. It seems that would delay the smoke, maybe not start it at all.

If you have too much smoke on your product, I would not necessarily blame the smoker heat-up time which should not be over 20 minutes or so. The smoke plume should then settle down to a thin plume, that may come and go as the smoker cycles on and off. I haven't encountered too much smoke unless I use too much wood to start.

Again, don't soak the wood, and use chunks, not sawdust or chips.

 

 

Ok.  Thanks again for the feedback.   Maybe it is normal and I will see how it goes as far as the flavor of the meat goes.   

 

I will say that I am surprised with how much smoke is in the chamber when the unit is heating up.   That being said my only experience is a cheap master built.

I guess I’m just afraid of a rapid overload of smoke and bitter meat.     

 

 

I also used a Masterbuilt. It did what it did ok as long as it did it. I actually got some good bbq out of it, but it required continuous monitoring to keep the temp stable, and lots of wood re-loading. Not too much fun. especially having to cut rib racks. Before that I used a Sausagemaker uninsulated sawdust smoker, that I actually got some good sausage from. Everything works if you learn how to use it.

Try a relatively large pork butt (maybe 5 - 6 lbs), just for something the smoker won't screw up. Give it lots of time at 225 deg. with a couple oz of wood until it is pullable at around 200 - 205 internal. Maybe 10 - 12 hours. If that hasn't been done, maybe your smoker needs more seasoning.

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