Help / advice. smoker temps low

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by baker86jl, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Hey experts,

    I'm running a smoke hollow pro series propane smoker, love it, but with a water tray in I have trouble getting temps above 200/225 degrees. I get good smoke at these low temps but it takes forever to cook. Not looking to get a lot hotter but I'd like to run 250/275 at times. I have csr's in right now, so help is appreciated.

  2. As you can see its on high and it's running at 200. Not sure if it's how I have it vented?
  3. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    Never used a that type of cooker before, but have you confirmed your temp gauge is accurate? Most of the supplied gauges aren't very reliable and some Ive seen are off by 50 or more degrees. Also most units come up to temp slowly, try heating your water first and open it as little as possible. Some units can take 30-45 minutes to recover from opening the door.
  4. I have not verified it, but it took me much longer than usual to finish chicken thighs the last time I used it. I've run it for a couple hrs w/o opening and it'll never get above 225.the only time I've gotten it hotter is w/o the water tray. Is it as simple as don't cook with a water tray?
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    a couple of things...

    first... if you would go to your profile and list your location... people wouldn't have to ask where you are located... this helps in answering questions without a question.... for instance... If I knew where you are I could kinda get an idea of ambient temps that you are trying to cook in...

    second... are you getting a big flame when turned on high ?? if not....propane tanks have safety valves.. don't know if you are aware of these or not... but when you turn the tank valve on really fast, the safety valve kicks in and only lets a small amount of gas through... this is a safety feature for when a hose gets cut or breaks... when you turn the valve on fast there is no back pressure and the valve kicks in... turn tank off with burner control on to release all gas from the lines.... now turn controller off and then open the tank very slowly and allow pressure to build... relight burner and see if flame gets bigger....

    third would be .. no water tray.. just foil the empty water pan for easy clean up... some people even fill water bowl with sand and then cover with foil... sand will help with heat retention...
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Usually a propane smoker will get up to temp pretty easily, but in your weather conditions maybe not. Do you mean taking the tray out or just not putting water in it?

    Most of the guys up north leave the tray in, but leave it empty or fill it with play sand or lava rocks. 

  7. Thanx guys, I'll fill out my profile.

    I do get a bigger flame... When I crank it up, I burn up my chips faster but the temp doesn't necessarily go up. I am and Michigan and it's about 40 degrees out, that could play a role. Is there much of a downfall to not putting water in the tray and using it as a drip pan? I use water bc on my old smoker it helped me keep more consistent temp.
  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    only downfall is if you don't foil the dry pan... clean up really sucks...
  9. Appreciate it. I'll foil the pan and see how she runs.
  10. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    Yup, try no water in the pan. Water is a heat sink and only functions to moderate temps, if you can hit and hold your desired temps with no water then there is no reason to use it.
  11. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    you might find holding steady temps a little more difficult to obtain if you don't have the needle valve .... if that's the case an inline needle valve will help tremendously....
  12. Thanx a ton guys! Foiled the tray and were running very consistently at 250 at med heat. Gonna dial it back and try to hold 230.

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