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I recently purchased an SM160 from a defunct restaurant. I like everything about it for cooking and smoking birds, roasts, BBQ..etc.

I was a bit surprised to find a 1-inch vent on top. As a first voyage I went to do some jerky hoping I could put some smoke on it AND dry it out. I don't see any way the meat was going to dry out in such a sealed environment. It worked out in that I got some smoke flavor on it then put it in a kitchen dehydrator to finish it off.

My concern is that the real reason I bought this was to make sausage. I'm accustomed to a 3-4" adjustable vent. I've been a weekend sausage maker for more than a decade and my normal M.O. is to open the vent wide open to dry out the casings to start the run...I'm really concerned that drying is going to be curtailed with virtually no venting.

The tweaker in me is moments away from looking for my 4" hole-saw to remedy the situation. Before I do that I thought I'd approach the bastion of knowledge that is this forum.

I should add that I'm a weekend amateur. I've built a large smoker (bakery proofing oven). I've also run a 20# stainless smoker for years too.

Looking for advice. Does anyone see any problems with making the vent larger? I'd add a baffle for full control. I do have concerns that making the hole larger won't do much good since the unit is so sealed up that I don't see any incoming air to make a difference except for the grease drain hole which is even smaller.

I do have the optional hood and exhaust fan. I run outside so I thought about covering up the hood so that running the fan would suck air out of the smokebox when trying to dry things.

Sorry...very long post...hope I'm not straying from the rules. I did a lot of searching to see if anyone else had this concern but I couldn't find anything.

Cheers! Hillbilly John.
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I remember reading from years ago previous posts, about a guy inheriting a smoker from a neighbor that he modified with a larger hole and using a can with a lever lid to control exhaust. He showed how he it done and what was required to do the mod. You might try to using the find feature and read up on it before trying it. Be sure to keep us informed.
Ya, I don't have questions about how to do it...looking for someone to talk me off the ledge and talk me out of or in to doing it. I did quite a bit of searching and didn't find anything related to my questions.

If I do it, it will just be a 4" hole-saw and a cheap chimney from Menards with an adjustable baffle. That's what I used on both my other smokers. I know cutting the hole will be a pain. Stainless Steel is not nice to hole-saw blades.

Thanks! HJ.
Ahhhh ...good to see someone else shares my thoughts..I should have been using "flue" in my search. I'm going to leave the unit alone for now and do a small sausage batch as an experiment.

On the post with the 2 links, only the pictures link works, the second link gives an error. No big deal.

I have thoughts of overriding the "door-open" switch too which I suspect will help facilitate drying by cracking the door a bit. I haven't looked at how that works yet, hopefully no permanent mods would be required.

I doubt my unit is warranty since I bought is used and it's got a 2011 manufacture date. I have no idea what the warranty is.

So if other sausage makers want to chime in, I'd be all ears. Will post later next week after I do 2 chickens plus a couple of pounds of wings tonight and do some Andouille this weekend. I figure the wings will come out non-crispy but the plan was to put them on the grill before enjoying.

By design, the electric smokers have a small hole because they are designed to keep the moisture/humidity level high to help with the end product.

The heating element / thermostat isn't designed well for operating at cold smoking temperatures. So basically you're trying to do things it's not designed to do, off the shelf.

The challenge as you'll find is evacuating the moisture to help but when you let the moisture out, the smoke goes with it. That moisture is why many end products come out with a more muted color than a dry heat type smoker such as the FEC100.

For cold smoking, there are some good threads recently about 3rd party products to assist.

They made a Dehydrator version of the 100 which had a fan to draw air out.
Hi Hillbilly. I have you're solution. I smoke a lot of sausage in my SM150 and for the longest time was frustrated at having a steam chamber. The sausage always tasted good but never got that good color and snap. I the stumbled across something called a jerky dryer sold by smokin-it smokers (Chinese copy of cookshack). Bingo. Just like having a big vent. Sucks the moisture out without affecting temperature. It works great for jerky also. For the sausage maker or jerky maker with a cookshack it is the the answer to our woes.. Hope this helps. Cookshack should sell one...

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