Buying a new propane smoker but have a few questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stevetheteacher, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. I am looking at a Smoke Vault at my local Home Depot, I am ready to pull the trigger and buy, but I have a few questions:

    1. What are the pro's and con's of a 24 inch vs. an 18 inch? (There are only 3 in my family)? Is it worth the extra $100 for bigger one?

    2. Approximately how many chips do I use when starting?

    3. How often can I expect to replenish the wood chips throughout the smoke>

    4, Can I use pellets?

    5. How much propane will I use during an average smoke?

    I realize a lot of the answers to questions are different under different conditions, but approximates are fine.

    Thanks  in advance for your input!!!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    1. If you plan on making sausage, the larger unit would be nice for that. If you can spare the extra dough I'd go for the larger unit.

    2. I haven't used chips in my gas smoker for years. If you want to use wood use chunks, they sell them in big bags at HD. The chunks are 2"-3". I'd use 2-3 per smoke. You may need to use a torch or lit briquette to get them started to smolder.

    3. Using chunks you won't need to.

    4. Yes if you use a tube smoker from AmazeN Smokers you can as long as your pit temps are below 285.

    5. All depends on pit temps, outdoor temp, wind, rain, what you're smoking. Could be very little or a whole tank or more. For ribs, chicken etc, you'll get quite a few smokes out of a 20 pound tank. Keeping a spare tank around is a good thing if your planing longer cooks.
  3. Thanks for all the excellent advice!!!!
  4. " You may need to use a torch or lit briquette to get them started to smolder."

    So the chunks won't be ignited by the propane?
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It depends. The chunks will be sitting in a pan of some sorts. The one that came with my smoker is thick cast iron and it takes too long to heat up. When I use wood I just put one lit briquette in with the wood to get it going.
  6. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm not sure how your smoker works, but in my master forge, the propane will start the wood smoking.  What you need to do, is play with the smoker. Wood in, low heat... what happens? Wood in, med heat...what happens? Chips in...? Where is it located? Heck, if I move mine 10 feet from beside my deck to on top of the deck, everything changes. Heck even wood makes a difference. Let's use white oak for an example. It grows as far south as Georgia, but as far north as Quebec, from NE texas to the atlantic coast. The oak I have here in the northern range is quite different from the south. Mine is more dense because of climate. Mine burns different because it grows slower.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  8. Thanks for the advice, guys!!! I went with the 18 inch because 9 times out of 10 I'm just cooking for myself.

    I plan to have a lot of questions once it arrives, so all help will be greatly appreciated!!!


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