Master Forge and Smoking Questions

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by txinmd, May 28, 2011.

  1. txinmd

    txinmd Newbie

    A couple of questions if I may.  Fired up my brand new (and unmodified) smoker yesterday, quick and easy chicken legs.  Somethings I noticed, my electric thermometer (another Master Forge) fluctuated a lot.  I tested it in boiling water earlier and it's right on, tested the door thermometer and it was 23° high in water.  While temps were coming up the door went up to 300, the digital lagged it by ~50°.  Couldn't get temps above 290 with the vents on the bottom closed and the stack vent 1/2.  Dropped temp to 250 (dig.) and the door temp stayed at 300.  Also, my 'smoke' disappeared by the time I got temps up enough to throw the chicken in.  Added more and it was gone in 15 minutes.

    So, temps, does the temperature change a lot while smoking?  Varying +- 15-20°?  How to keep the smoke going for longer than a flash?  And what's the technical name for the rope trick around the door, the guys at Lowes don't know and wood stove equipment is off the shelfs, I need to order on line and can't find it.

    Note: my flame is almost totally blue, no yellow, assume this is a good thing?

  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The stuff is called oven rope.

    Did you have a lot of wind during your smoke? That could vary temps a lot. Otherwise, temps should remain quite stable, especially in a propane smoker. Another thing that causes temp swings is constantly peeking in the smoker. We have a saying around here: if you're lookin, ya ain't cookin!

    Think of your rig like a chimney; in order to burn correctly, you must have proper air flow (which may be part of your smoke generation problem). Oxygen is key. The way I manage temps is to leave the bottom vents wide open and regulate using the top vent only (just like your fireplace flue). In your case, you should also be able to boost or reduce you flame with your valve to manage temps as well.

    As far as the smoke goes: when you couldn't see it, could you SMELL it? If you can smell it, you're smoking. What are you using to generate smoke? You just want the stuff to smolder, but it sounds like yours may be actually catching fire (flaming up).

    Keep working with it and you'll figure out how to manage all of this. It gets easier with practice and experience.

  3. txinmd

    txinmd Newbie

    Thanks for the reply!  Lowes doesn't have it on their web site, but HD does, $30 for a 'kit', but well worth it.

    Like your idea for the chimney action, will try that next.

    My smoke basically burns out fast, no smell no nothing.  Very gentle breeze yesterday, very gentle, temps in the mid 80's.  Trying to determine which thermometer is a liar, the dig or ana.  Kinda hard to figger out.  Guess I need to dig's anyway, one for the grill and the other for the meat.

    Again, thanks for the info.

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