Help needed with needle valve mod

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by shaneyb72, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Newbie

    Okay, I will do my best to ask this as clearly as I can. I have a Master Forge upright propane smoker that I really enjoy. But I need to add a needle valve for doing jerky and snack sticks. I bought the M5HPR-30 from Bayou Classics from Home Depot. I saw that one in a few posts and it seemed easy.

    But I do have a question that I'm hoping someone can help me with. How do I now attach it to my smoker. Obviously the one end goes to my propane tank. And the other end goes to the smoker. But the OEM hose on my smoker isn't threaded on, it is crimped on permanently. So how do I connect the 3/8" OD flared fitting to my smoker? I'm guessing there are multiple ways, and could use some advice on what's easy. I assume one option is to cut off the OEM hose and use a barbed 3/8" flared male threaded adapter and hose clamp? Does such a thing exist? Is there another way?

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They do make a barbed fitting like you describe. I was fortunate that mine OEM hose had the same citing as the needle valve. I would see what the OEM hose crimps onto. You may be able to cut the fitting off the needle valve and clamp the hose right to smoker.
  3. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Newbie

    Okay, Lowes had what I needed. Not in 1 single brass fitting...but in 3! But worked well, looks good, and hopefully does the job! The 3/8" Flare fitting converted to 3/8" pipe thread. But the 5/16" barb I needed only went to 1/4" pipe thread. So I had to use a 3/8" pipe thread to 1/4" pipe thread reducer. But all looks good now! I'll update next week on how it worked.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Test for leaks! make a soap water solution. Apply to every joint you worked on. Leave the smokers temp control in the off setting. Open your propane tank then open the needle valve. Look for bubbles. If you see bubbles shut everything off and redo your connections.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  5. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Newbie

    Will definitely do that!

  6. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Newbie

    Okay, so I have some questions on this. I installed the needle valve and have used the smoker once since make jerky. The needle valve certainly made it easier to control the flame and therefore the temperature. But it is still difficult to get down to very low temps. If I were to try snack sticks again I do not think I could get it down to a low enough temperature to get them started properly. It seems as though the needle valve would certainly allow me to reach much higher temps since when I open it fully its like a damn jet engine! But again, I just can't get it low enough. I turn it down as low as I can but then have a tough time keeping it lit...even without any wind at all. The flame seems to get erratic sometimes, and then sometimes goes out. If I turn the propane completely off and then back on the flame settles back down to a nice low blue flame. But then occasionally it seems to flare back up and get erratic. And if I try to adjust it down a little it goes out.

    Any suggestions?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The burner in the smoker is designed for tons of BTU's.... If you plug 1/2 of the holes, that will reduce the BTU output... The inlet air will need adjusting... The flames coming out of the reduced holes will be larger and not flame out after the number of holes has been reduced...
    One other option is to get a smaller burner and install it... like a side burner from a gas grill....

    If your burner is cast iron, maybe you can plug the holes with self drilling screws.. or red devil stove cement.....
  8. mrbucket101

    mrbucket101 Newbie

    I have the same problem with my smoker/needle valve. I ended up needing to use a 3/8" to 1/4" flared reducer to attach to my smoker. Had a bit of a leak, but I used some pipe threading tape and that solved that.

    Before the needle valve, I was needing to run the smoker on HIGH to hit 250, now with the valve, I can turn the gas all the way down, and it seems to idle around 275. So I'll add some water to the pan and that will temporarily drop the temps.

    I did have the flame blow out on me once on low, I took some old bricks and built up a mini-wall around the bottom of my smoker, and that solved that problem.
  9. shaneyb72

    shaneyb72 Newbie

    And I would like to be able to get down to like 100 to start snack sticks properly before slowly raising the temp to like 180. But the way it's running now I couldn't. I'll have to look at DaveOmak's suggestions.
  10. djrocketodd

    djrocketodd Newbie

    How are you able to get MORE propane flow and higher temps by installing a needle valve, that makes no sense, unless you are taking out the regulator off the line?
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What one member did to lower the BTU output of the Masterbuilt Gasser smoker....    To get the flame correct, when lowering the propane flow you "should / must" reduce the area of the burner holes.....

    Last edited: May 10, 2017

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