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I just acquired a the SM025 from a friend that is upgrading to the FEC100. so it is new to me but not new.

Anyway, I put three wood pieces in the smoker box. I put them toward the front, near the holes in the bottom, and covered about 1/2 of each hole with the wood pieces.

I noticed that after smoking for four hours that the piece that was in the center and the piece on the left had pretty much burned to charcoal, but the right piece of wood didn't appear to be burned at all.

Can someone explain?

Thank you!
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Welcome to the forum.

The element below the wood box needs to make contact with the bottom of the wood tray. You can gently guide the element to do so. After doing so, note where the element makes direct contact...those are the hot spots. Heat will transfer through the bottom of the tray. Wood placed directly over an element area will burn faster than one off to the side.

A properly positioned element will consume all wood in a matter of hours. Hope that helps.
Thank you. I put some country ribs on this AM. I have not made any adjustments to the element because I didn't read your response until after I started the ribs. Doesn't seem like that much smoke is coming out of the vent, but I am not sure that means I dont have enough smoke. I moved from a Bradley to the CS smoker and I have been told by several people that less wood is more. Smiler
Dat be true. Better to limit yourself to 1 or 2 oz of wood to begin with. The initial heavy white smoke will be replaced with's called "blue smoke" ...almost transparent.

Depending on the lenght of your cook time, the burnt wood will (or should) be anywhere from evenly colored black to grey to powder.

Be sure to read through SmokinOkie's 101's and take notes of each smoking'll be up to par in no time.
Well, I can't say the country ribs turned out the way I wanted. Not much smoke flavor. Neither of the wood pieces seem to have been consumed to any great deal. I really cant see anything wrong with the element spacing either. But they are still good.. moist and tender.... but I guess it is hard to screw up country ribs very bad. I actually prefer them over a side of ribs. I am not a rib person... but I do like the country rib cut smoked.
Following up with your advice... I did a closer inspection of the heating element and it was lower on the right side, so I bent the element up on both sides so that it would be in contact with the bottom of the wood box. I would say there could have been as much as a 1/4" gap between the wood box and the element on the right side. I hope this is what you meant for me to do. I will keep 'ya informed. Just put two butts in that totaled about 16 lbs.
For my taste on butts I use 4-6 oz of hickory. Not sure what wood your using, but like anything there is a learning curve with these machines and your taste buds. You might adjust to stronger wood profiles if you are looking for more smoke flavor. I have recently used some mesquite (1oz) with my chicken and we loved it. Most people would say mesquite is too much flavor for chicken but it was really good and we liked it. So just play around and find what works. The fact that you have time to actually be on the computer during your smoke should tell you something about the product your using. In my stick burning days I had to be outside every 10 minutes adding wood or opening and closing vents. Enjoy!
One more thing, that I learned after reading through the archives. Perhaps you haven't read it yet. Evidently meat won't take on much more smoke flavor after internal temp reaches 140 degrees. I don't want to bore you with the details, but do a search sometime on that subject. So you might have to try cooking your meat at lower temps for longer periods to get more smoke flavor.
Thank you. I knew the 140 thing. I am smoking at 225 just because that is where I smoked with my old smoker. I have a feeling this smoker will cook to the same internal temperature faster than my old smoker because my old smoker took forever to get up to the setpoint temperature if I had 15 or 20 lbs of meat in the oven.

I am currently using hickory.

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