Need Advice

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by zjaybird, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. zjaybird

    zjaybird Meat Mopper

    I have a Weston "Prago Trade" Stainless Steel propane smoker. I have been playing with it after seasoning it and here is my problem. The max temp I can get out of the smoker is 275. That temp is with the unit completely empty(not even a water pan). With the water pan installed and any kind of meat my best temp has been 210. The Smoker comes with a brass burner, 20000BTU in the 36in or the 48. Before I give serious consideration to trying a bigger burner, what do all you Smokaholics think of drilling out the orfice 1 drill size bigger. I have had burners before that had bad casting.

    Thank you as always for your help.
  2. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I can't comment on your burner, but that is what I ended up doing on my Holland grill. Could hardly get it up over 250, but now hits 350 and better recovery after I open the lid.

    I'm sure someone will be along with more experience.
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I see you are in Denver. Is that a high altitude there?

    I live at 5,500 feet here and had to get biger Orfices for my Weber gas grill. Now it goes beyond hot. The drilling idea may be the ticket.
  4. zjaybird

    zjaybird Meat Mopper

    First off Ron, Congrats on your Knighthood in the Order of the Thin Blue Smoke.
    Ron and Werdwolf......I live the high life here in Denver....alt. 5432 I believe. I asked when I bought it if I needed to change anything for higher altitudes and of course the salesperson said of course not...we have already covered that. I think I will try the drilling of the orifice 1 size bigger unless somebody else comes along that has had the same problem.
    Thank you again.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Drilling out sounds like the solution. I'm @ 4,700 ft elev., and I did the same thing with my old Brinkmann Gas Grill King...40,000 BTUs on a 35" grill and it would barely get hot enough to sear a steak with both burners cranked and the lid closed. After the mod, it could peg-out an 800* thermometer, if you let it.

  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry I cann't help you cause we are about 18" above sea level here. But I didn't know that Ron and Werdwolf were inducted into the OTBS so congrats to both of you guys Great Job.
  7. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Drilling the orfice one size at a time until you get the right size shouldn't hurt...

    Be sure to use wire size bits after finding the current size it is...

    You can always drill bigger but you can't undo what you have already drilled...
  8. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good advise. Points to you my friend.
  9. zjaybird

    zjaybird Meat Mopper

    I got around to drilling out the orifice it was really small. The smallest wire drill bit I could find was 65 and it was bigger than my orifice by 2 to 3 sizes I would have to guess. Drilled out the hole and now my smoker on high hit 300 degrees. 25 degrees better than it had before and was still climbing when I shut it down for the night. Will have to test it with the water bowl in it next to see if I can obtain 225 or higher. Thank you all for the great advice.

  10. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Glad it worked out for you...[​IMG]
  11. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good news, I figured it would work.
  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Glad to hear the good news! You may want to eye-ball or measure the front/side/rear clearances between the water pan and the cooking chamber walls/door to make sure it is may be just a design flaw that never got straightened out.

    Then, check the flame color between the various heat ranges of lowest, medium, then high. It should be completely or nearly completely blue on low, with increasing amounts of amber color with a higher flame...if mostly amber, this is a very in-efficient flame and there is a problem with the air/fuel mixture (too rich)...not enough air getting into the gas burner venturi/inlet.

    Also, look for excessive leakage of smoke from the cabinet/door...this will cause alot of heat loss as well.

    Be sure to try different vent setting also...if you have lower intake vents, try closed, 1/2 open, full open positions while watching the the same with the exhaust, only never fully close it...1/3 open to full open with most verticals.

    If the above items check out OK and you still have problems getting temps up with the water pan in, then I'd say go with a slightly smaller sized pan if possible...the pans act as a baffle to deflect and distribute the heat outwards for a truer indirect cooking. If the clearance is too small, the heat may not pass around the pan fast enough to carry the thermal energy upwards throughout the cooking chamber.

    Good luck and good smokes!


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