Modifications needed for 24" Camp Chef Smoke Vault

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by excusame, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. excusame

    excusame Newbie

    I would appreciate thoughts on a problem I'm having with my Camp Chef Smoke Vault (24").

    The problem is, that even on the lowest setting, I cannot get this unit to heat below 200 degrees. I also know for a fact that the external temp gauge reads about 30 degrees lower than the inside of the box (I have a dual thermometer for food & box temps). I really enjoy making beef jerky and smoked fish but this but I have no way to reduce the heat down to the 160 degree or so level.

    That being said, I have tried several methods to reduce the heat profile. I even tried turning off the propane and running the smoker using in only the heaping pan full of hot smoking apple chunks as the heat source. Didn't work.

    Does anyone else have the same problem or better yet, has anyone made modifications that have been successful?

    Thank you everyone for your input.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    WOW I have never heard of a SV 32". I have the 24" & would love to have a 32".

    Where did you get it?

  3. I have the same cooker, I bought it for winter cooks, I did summer sausage on it and ended up controlling it by cracking the door open. It was in the mid forties that day if I remember. I have a needle valve installed but the flame is at a risk of going out set that low on mine.
    Mine's a Smoke Vault 24
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  4. pikestabber

    pikestabber Newbie

    I guess this can serve as my "roll call" as this is my first post. I'm a Northern Minnesota guy and have been smoking foods for about 18 years. I've used all types of smokers but currently run with a Camp Chef Smoke Vault, 24" and use a AMPS tray for cold smoking. I am an avid fisherman/hunter and process all my own meats and sausages. New dad to an awesome 9 month old boy and future smoker!

    As to the problem at hand, as mentioned I have the SV 24 and have used it pretty extensively for about 5 years now. Here's what I've learned, and I hope some or most of this can help with your issue with your 32.

    For smoking at higher temps, say 175 and up, I have no issues getting and maintaining a pretty consistent heat. For me it seems my temp gauge actually is pretty accurate, but as with most smokers you will get "hot spots" (back right for me). I have also found that in order to get chips or even pellets to actually smoke in the smoke tray, I have to hit about 170 degrees. Once they get smoking, they then create more heat, and your temp starts climbing into the 180 plus range... This is bad news if you want to smoke things like sausages, etc., where you want and need lower temps.

    My solution was to get an Amazing Pellet Smoker (tray version). Because it is lit and will smoke independently, I don't need to crank my heat any higher to get the pellets to smoke. I then put my burner just a shade above its lowest setting (very lowest setting and it seems to go out with any wind gust) and that gets me to right about 165-170. Still a bit warm. I then crack the door and engage the handle so the latch it kind of stuck on the door frame, if that makes sense. This keeps the door from swinging open or closed and keeps about a 1" crack in the smoker. The result is getting smoke from the AMPS while getting about 150-155 degrees from the heat source (or even cooler temps if it's cold out--a regular occurrence in Minnesota, as you can imagine). This has allowed me to get great results from a propane smoker that you'd usually need an electric smoker for.
  5. excusame

    excusame Newbie

    Dang Al........ You caught me and my fat fingers!! I don't know WHERE I got 32"'s 24" Thank you. I edited the post. And I agree with you....I'd love a larger model!
  6. excusame

    excusame Newbie

    Thanks Rob.....tried the same method. Flame went out.
  7. excusame

    excusame Newbie

    Thanks for replying...glad to know I wasn't the only one with this problem. I want to make sausages but not at 200+ degrees. Think I'll try to rig up something that does a better job of keeping the door cracked. Really don't want to buy another smoker. This has years of life left....but I guess I could find someone new to the craft to sell it to. Anyway modifications first!
  8. I'm also considering closing up the top vent and adding two larger vents to the sides up top.
  9. I know this is a little old, I have the same smoker. One thing I discovered, if you turn the knob all the way to the left, one would think that is the lowest setting, however, if you go back toward the off position, you can get it set even lower. I set up a wind break with a piece of OSB or plywood to make sure the wind doesn't blow out the low flame. On cold days (20's), I can keep it as low as 30 degrees. What I have done to generate smoke is to use wood chips, heat them up until they are smoking good, and then turn the heat down to the temp I desire. I just keep adding chips so they don't burn out until I have the amount of smoke I want. If you made any other mod's, I would be curious to see what you came up with. Hoping you have it figured out by now.....I really like my Smoke Vault. 
  10. excusame

    excusame Newbie

    Thanks for the tip, Bladeguy! I'll give it a try!
  11. I know this thread is OLD, but I'm a newbie to this forum.
    Low temp control is a fairly common problem with alot of propane smokers...
    First, on alot of them you can't turn the propane down low enough and second if you can often it's not hot enough to get your wood to smoke.
    The solution is two pronged, simple and fairly inexpensive.
    1. Get a needle valve adjustment that attaches to your propane tank...This will enable you to turn down the propane even more to achieve lower temps
    2. Get a smoke tube or box that you can ignite and get smoke from independently from your heat source.
    Hope this helps.

  12. excusame

    excusame Newbie

    Thank you, Walt! Great suggestion!

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