I can't get my smoker above 140

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by txg derwood57, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. OK so i built a wooden electric cabinet smoker at home. It is 42" tall 26" wide and 18" deep with a 1800 watt double burner hot plate in it. 

    Empty it gets to 150 at the top but as soon as I put the first layer of jerky in it the heat stops there, and will burly make it to 135-140 at the top. then burns that layer of jerky.(jerky strips are 1/2" apart no closer)

    What do I need to do to get more heat and air to move past the first layer of jerky.
  2. genek

    genek Smoke Blower

    Without seeing what it looks like I have to make some assumptions, first thing is vents. Smoking is about moving smoke through and around the meat to be smoked. You need vents low down for air to enter and a vent on top for the smoke to exit. Your description sound like the heat is not circulating.

    With vents top and bottom you should be able to get convection to move the air through and even out the hot spots.

    Like I say I'm shooting in the dark, any pictures of your rig will help for others to understand what is happening.

  3. i wish i could show a few pics but i am not able to get them clear enough to see. so i will describe it. the sides back and door are made up of ceder wood 1\4" siding stapled in place not glued. the top is the same way but with a small 1/4" gap above the door. floor is lose 1-2 boards and not nailed down for air flow by standing one board on its end. there is a 3" space between the racks and an 1" from the wall to the rack. there are 9 racks.

    would i have too much air flow at the bottom and not at the top?
  4. Txg, I think you need to take a look at your power supply. What is your real voltage 110 or 120 volts how many available amp service is available at the outlet? What size power cord do you have? How long of a extinction cord are you using?

    You are using a 1800 watt burner that is a  15 or 16 amp draw depending on the voltage. You need a 10 GA power cord. Too small of a cord will result in over heating the cord.(fire) Not supplying enough currant will drop those 1800 watts fast. A long ( over 25 foot ) cord will give you some voltage drop voltage drop means lack of current and lac of watts or in the long run your burner won't get hot.

    Supply some info and a electrician will chime in if you think it is a power problem.          jted
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  5. it goes to a 110 2 feet from the plug dont know what the draw is on it the cord dont get hot ether.
  6. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Have you adjusted the setting on both hot plate controls?

    Is your smoker only getting to 150f when both hotplates are set to high?

    They do have a high level switch in them. When they get too hot it shuts them off. If you are running both sides of the hot plate on high then there is a good chance everytime it cycles it over heats and is shutting down, which is preventing the temp rising.
  7. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I ealy ldhe yohad ome picture.

    You menioned tha he jery urne. did all of it bur or only h iec closest to the fire?  I've done jerky in my smoke which s a vertical offset smoker.  It has 6 grates.  Te pieces closest to the openingwhere the smok ces n did burn but evrything ele turned out ok.  I also oy smoked it for 2 1/2 hours hen used the dehydrator to finsh.  My dehydrator gets to 160 so it is safe to eat.

    I hoped some of this helped.
  8. TX, you've got 2 possible problems here. Your not supplying enough power to the hot plate unit and the hot plate unit is, even while set on high, not on 100% of the time. Can you post a link to the specific hot plate your using?

    #1: We need to know what AMP the circuit breaker is that that outlet is running off of. It's likely a 20AMP if you're able to even get the hot plate running, but I ask this just to be safe. If it's a 20AMP, then you shouldn't have problem. That is, as long as the hot plate isn't a 240V version. So please post a link.

    #2. Even on high, a hot plate will not just continuously run. Ever set an electric stove top burner on high and watched? It still cycles on and off randomly. You need to hook that hot plate up to a controller that will cycle the hot plate based on a temperature that the controller reads and not what the hot plate is programmed for. 

    If your hot plate is plastic, it may be a hazard to be heating up the plastic as high as it's going to get to heat the chamber up to your desired temps, so please be careful with that. 

    Want my advice? Return the hot plate and go buy this:


    Just mount that to your box and put together a simple PID and you'll have 100% control of the temps in there. 

    Good luck and feel free to ask any questions!
  9. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    HOLY COW!  I really can't type!  Sorry for the jiberish.  Not even gonna retry.  lol  good luck.
  10. Ummmmmmm is it beer thirty already??  [​IMG]
  11. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    REALLY!  I don't know what happened to my fingers.  I have no idea what I wanted to type.

    Maybe a beer might just help.  LOL
  12. It can't HURT!!!!   [​IMG]
  13. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    PadronMan, I like the way you think!  Though, with a user name like PadronMan I kinda figured I would.  lol

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