Looking for some Pointers

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by rjj70, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. rjj70

    rjj70 Newbie


    This is my first post. I've been interested in smoking meats for several years and the other day I bought a CampChef SMV 18S propane smoker. It was a bit of an impulse purchase. I kind of pulled the trigger without doing much research.

    Here are my first two questions:

    1. Is there any trick to regulating the heat on these things? I figured I would need to keep an eye on it and check it regularly but the little bit of cooking I've done so far has required almost constant attention to maintain any consistency of heat. Maybe this is just the way it goes.

    2. Does smoking more than one piece at a time (multiple chickens, a pork butt & a ham, etc..) affect your timeframe? If so, is there anyway to calculate or predict the difference?

    Any help at all with these questions or just general advice would really be appreciated.
  2. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome to the SMF RJJ70![​IMG]
    I'm not familiar with the CampChef, but I bet someone will come along to answer your question.
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    i don't have your smoker.......but in my experience, and what others have said here...........the amount of meat doesn't affect the time frame, ONCE you get up to temps you want to cook at........

    as for temp regs.......you mite want to go to the propane smoker area and ask......that way the propane smokers know you need help



  4. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hello there, and welcome to the SMF. I'm not familiar with your smoker, but hang on as someone will be by shortly. As far as your timeframe is concerned, you would usually smoke something till it reaches a certain internal temperature, not so much as how long it smokes. And some cuts/type of meat do have different finishing temps., always put poultry on the bottom rack/shelf, so as to avoid contamination from drippings while it's in the danger zone.
  5. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Rj:

    Welcome to the forum.

    I also own a Camp Chef Smoke Vault and it is a very versatile smoker. Once you get comfortable with it you are really going to like it. For one it is pretty well put together and holds the smoke better then most.

    A lot of variables will affect maintenance of the temp. One is the wind. If it is windy it is hard to hold a constant temp in any type of smoker. I would recommend building a wind break out of plywood to lessen the effect of the wind.

    After making temperature adjustments it takes a while for the temperature to stabilize. You have to be patient and give it that time to equalize, otherwise you will be adjusting up and down and chasing the temperature all day. You have to realize since there is no thermostat, the temp will not go to a certain temperature and immediately shut off the burner, so it will vary a few degrees up or down. In colder weather this can vary even more.

    Also the amount of food you have in the smoker will definitely affect the internal temperature of the unit, as well as the amount of time it takes to cook your food. The camp chef smokers are usually pretty accurate with the thermometer temp but you should check it just to make sure by pulling it out and testing it in boiling water or freezing water. Also remember that the temperature will vary from shelf to shelf, more so with a smoker full of meat.

    Any other questions feel free to ask. Good luck with it, I think you will enjoy it.
  6. minn.bill

    minn.bill Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] for an impulse buy you did good i love my sm24 and i know several other peaple with them also. my temp gauge is right on . its very easy to hold 200-250 the 160-200 is a little trickyierbut by playing with your dampers you'll figure it out
  7. smokeys my pet

    smokeys my pet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome be sure to check out the 5day e-course.
  8. homebrew & bbq

    homebrew & bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to SMF! As you're already finding out, the folks that hang out here are always ready and willing to answer questions or give you a hand. Look around and make yourself at home. We're glad to have you.
  9. rjj70

    rjj70 Newbie

    I can't believe how quick so many folks were willing to respond and share some really good advice with me. It all makes good sense. Thanks to you all (and hopefully more to come) for your hospitality.
  10. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Welcome RJ -

    I have a Camp Chef Smoke Vault also. DO build a wind break it'll make temperature more stable and save to alot of fuel! Ron gave you some great info there he's knows his stuff!

    A full smoker will affect the temperature somewhat in the begining but once the meat heats up it actually save fuel by retaining heat as well. You can regualte the temps by the dial on the unit and the propane bottle for really low temps. That's a great smoker! You will love it! Also get an extra bottle for propane so you can change out fast when you run out!

    Wait until you start smoking pork pies for the holidays! WooHoo!
  11. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    I was out for dinner and just saw your post. Can't add anything to what has already been posted. I will just send off a welcome and hope you enjy your time on the forum.


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