How to generate smoke at low temps

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by marknb, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. marknb

    marknb Meat Mopper

    Hey all,

    Can someone give advice on how to get the smoke going in these electric units when you're smoking at low temps? I'm smoking kielbasa right now, and I can see the original wood chips in there that went in about 4 hours ago, and they're not burnt yet. Heat is set at 155 right now, not to exceed 165, according to the recipe. I have a MES/Centro 30", fyi.


  2. ne.hunter

    ne.hunter Fire Starter

    Don't soak the wood chips. Use chips not chunks. Set temp to 225, let the chips start smoking then turn down temp to what you want . Open door to let some heat out . when you hit temp you want put in the meat. At least that is what I have to do when I smoke jerky
  3. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A lot of people add a Smoke Daddy to use for generating smoke. I have been thinking about getting one to cold smoke with.

    You can see them or get them here.
  4. The problem with low temp on electrics is that your smoke is provided when the element is 'on'.

    At low temps, the element doesn't have to be on very much to maintain temp.
  5. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Which means that you will not get hot enough to generate smoke without something like a Smoke Daddy which isn't dependent on the heating element.
  6. marknb

    marknb Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the input guys. I think the smoke is very important, not just for flavor, but to get the nice color change as well. These came out very tasty, but on the pale side. I think I'll check out Smoke Daddys too....
  7. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Smoke Daddy does a nice mine. Only mistake I made was ordering the large one instead of the "big kahuna" even with the large (they say four hours of smoke...NO WAY) you'll have to check it every 90 minutes or two hours at the ouside, but it does do a great job at low temps.

    Good luck in your search!
  8. marknb

    marknb Meat Mopper


    What did you install your Smoke Daddy on? I was thinking my 30" Centro Smoker, do you think the size of the Big Kahuna would put the smoke outlet too far up in the chamber? I was thinking I'd get a smaller unit so the smoke would enter lower down, but not if I have to refill the thing every 45min or whatever.

    BTW, love that avatar, lmao!
  9. justsmoke2

    justsmoke2 Smoking Fanatic

    You could try about 4 pieces of charcoal lit. Then make a foil pack and put a few holes in the foil pack. The heat from the charcoal should make your element run less or will help in maintaining your heat. A win win either way.
  10. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hi there. Not much exp on electric smoker other than my big chief, but I did remember a post a while back that you may find interesting as far as generating smoke at the low temps you are talking about.
  11. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    With my cookshack smoker to cold smoker it says to put your chips in and to load your meat or whatever your smoking and either cold smoking plate or as I did rack cover with foil and then a pan of ice over the cold plate and close door and run smoker at 225 for 20 minutes then turn heat off for 40-45 minutes and then heat back on for 20 minutes then heat off again for 40-45 minutes. I only do that like 2 or 3 cycles and my temps never got over 100 degrees and everything has a nice smoke flavor and color. Hope that helps.
  12. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Smokedaddy is installed on my GOSM gasser...really easy to control the temps with that, and a needle valve I installed on the propane line.
  13. txbigred

    txbigred Meat Mopper

    I use Hickory sawdust in my MES and don't have any trouble with it smoking at low temps. This is the 40" if it matters.

  14. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have the Smokin Tex 1400 with the cold plate and the instructions suggest running it at 150 for 20 min with wood chunks and a pan of ice on the plate then shut off for 45 and restart as needed -in mine the smoke continues for the entiere 45 min. Works great for cheese. Have not done any sausage yet.

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