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I am new to the Cookshack world, and recently bought a SM045. I lined the bottom of the smoker, and top of the wood box with foil, added 6 oz of wood, and my pork shoulder and brisket (totaling 27 lbs) and set for 225. 20 minutes in I hear a noise, and see dark smoke coming from the top, and trying to get through the door, and the wood was on fire. I removed the wood, only used 4 oz (2 pieces), and same thing, catches on fire. I tried a third time, 1 piece of wood (2 oz), and again catches on fire produced a dark, not pleasant smelling smoke. All of the recipes, even from cookshack, recommend 4 oz of wood so I'm finding it hard to believe that too much wood is the issue. What other reasons could the wood be catching fire?
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Thanks for your response.

I called cookshack and below is what is some of what I heard:
- ensure the hole is punched out of the bottom (which I did)
- this is a fairly common occurance for new smokers, and less for broken in smokers (less science around, but has been observed)
- if it keeps happening their is a chance it is not sealed properly

And to your question, I also wondered the same thing. That wing, is the wood simply too close to the heating elements and was told that it is meant to be that close.
I recall a thread from a few years ago referencing the "bang" or some such, where new smokers before being well seasoned tended to overheat the wood or allow too much oxygen, or some reason for a short ignition event that could be quite loud and disconcerting. I know mine was, but I never had it again and was never able to track down a definite cause.

My only advice (which may be overtaken by your recent cook) would be a long, slow cook with a large pork butt to compete seasoning. Based only on my own experience, when significant seasoning of your smoker happens, you should not have any more problems.

Another option is to slightly bend the heating element down to increase the distance from the bottom of the wood box just a little. Good luck!
I got a new SM045 a number of years ago. Iam one that had a "Big Bang" on my first smoke with it. After calling Cookshack, and doing some searching I figured out that they are going into a "Backdraft" condition, and the smoke and fire you are seeing is the end result of the smoke explosion. I am a retired Firefighter, and have see this in a much larger version. If you watch the smoker before this happens You will see the smoke pouring out of the top vent hole, and then you will see it get sucked back into the smoker almost like the smoker is breathing in and out. During the discussion about this here, There were some who observed that the type of wood and amount of wood made a difference in these "Bangs". The good thing is that they go away with use and seasoning build up. When I had my "Bang" it loud enough that all the dogs in the neighborhood were barking. I had a 20 pound turkey in the smoker and expected to open the door and have turkey parts everywhere. The turkey was fine, and I got out a square to check the smoker inside. The smoker was fine and still in use today. Thanksgiving dinner was one of the best smoked turkeys I have done.

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