Newbie with a new smoker- temperature problems.

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by adk boy, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Hi folks.  I'm new to the forum, and new to owning a "dedicated smoker".

    I recently purchased a Masterbuilt Pro, Dual Fuel upright cabinet smoker (propane and charcoal).  It seems to be a well built unit, the sheet metal is heavy, the welds are good, and the grills (4) appear to be rust proof.

    The main problem I'm having is that I cannot get the temperature down below *200F, even with the main door ajar 1/4", and the control valve on Low.  I modified the wood chip pan by replacing it with a cast iron fry pan on a cooling rack, so I can get plenty of smoke, but I would much prefer to smoke salmon at 160*F to 175*F.

    I've read a lot here about "mods".  Would it help to install a chimney w/damper in the top of the unit?

    Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

    Adk boy
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    One thing that can help is to install a needle valve (PM sent) it will help fine tune the temps. I had the same problem with my GOSM not getting below 250* and the valve got me down to 185*, I wanted to go lower so I could smoke jerky so I took the side burner off my gas grill and replaced the smoker burner with it  (it was smaller) and I can now maintain 135*.
  3. Is your smoker black and sitting in direct sunlight?
  4. Hi ConchoKitty.  Great Nickname!

    Yes, the smoker is black, but it's in partial shade.  I think the final answer is either the needle valve suggested by S2K9K, or another member's suggestion to replace the burner with a smaller one.  Someone else suggested to just use an electric hotplate or heating element.  If all else fails, I'll go electric.

    The smoker can use charcoal, and that is controllable with air vents, but it's not at all clear how I would add wood chips.  There is no separate pan or rack.  I'm pretty good mechanically, so eventually I'll make it work.

    Happy smokin',

    Adk boy
  5. Hiya Adk boy,

    Yeah... sounds like you got good advice with that needle valve to more precisely regulate the flame. I am lucky in that my gas regulator will let me go to low temps as I am not into monkeying around with it. The idea of dual heat source is great. I hope you have luck sorting things out.

    Happy Smokin'

    Concho Kitty
  6. Hi Concho Kitty,

    Thanks for the reply.  I just want to give Master Built "props".  They replaced the regulator, at no charge to me, and their staff (You MUST call.  Emails get lost in the ether.) was very helpful.  The new regulator got me from 200* down to 180*.  I still want to tweak it down more, but that will be easier now.

    Happy smokin'.

    Adk boy
  7. That is wonderful news!
  8. spoolinaz

    spoolinaz Meat Mopper

    IMHO, the masterbuilt burners are pretty big for smoking. There is only so low you can go on a burner before it won't stay lit. Dave's idea to add/replace with a smaller burner is the best option. You could also consider a temp regulated gas setup like the new master built's offer. Not sure what the temp range is, but it will hold a temp better. I did my own regulated setup with parts from a gas stove.

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