Smokin Tex 1400

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by pgeobc, May 30, 2011.

  1. pgeobc

    pgeobc Fire Starter

    A number of years ago, I bought a Smokin Tex 1400. Nice rig. However, when initially testing it to make certain the listed temperatures were accurate, I noted some problems. First was that on the initial temperature rise, the unit overshot any reasonable cycle high by quite a bit. Then, to get the thing to average 225 degrees, I had to set the temp control to a little less than 200 degrees. I used it that way, with its wide swings, for 3 or 4 batches of smoke.

    Then I got sick, really sick, and did not use it for 2 or 3 years. The unit sat, unused, covered, and under a gazebo roof for all that time.

    Now, having made a partial recovery, I was desperate for some smoked meat. I went to the local grocery store and got a packer-trimmed brisket and rubbed it with my spice rub. I let it sit, covered, in the frig over night

    However, before I cooked the brisket, I tested the unit to see if the temp was what I had ascertained before. Well, I got a big overshoot on the very first cycle and subsequent cycles varied +/-35 degrees. That is a total swing of 70 degrees; I can run a charcoal water smoker closer than that.

    Worse yet, when I got to 150 degrees on the meat, I hit an unexpected plateau. Originally, I thought that it simply hit the conversion a little early. But no, it did not hit the conversion early; the unit had screwed-up and the temp would not cook any higher without readjusting the temp dial. It took 5 hours to get that straightened out.

    Well, I whizzed the temp dial back and forth a few times and set the dial 25 degrees higher. With that setting, the meat eventually got to 190 degrees.

    Well, I'm going to buy and install a new temp regulator. I am thinking that a new Barbeque Guru outfit with a Raptor would be a jim-dandy addition, as it did so well with my Bradley years ago.

    What say you?
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have had a SmokinTex 1400 for a couple of years and they (ST) say it is an average temp. I too would like to set up a temp control but am not electrically gifted. I can do a lot of mechanical stuff and repair most of the stuff in my house but this is mentally challenging to me. If you figure this out please tell me how to do it in laymans terms. 
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  3. pgeobc

    pgeobc Fire Starter

    "...they (ST) say it is an average temp  ..."

    Well, that is true for any oven and even a refrigerator. The point is, that my home oven varies not more than about +/-25 degrees and my fridge less than that. One can buy electronic oven calibrating thermometers that do the averaging electonically and there are mechanical calibrating thermometers that do the averaging by supplying a ballast measurement.

    I guess that I could use a standard electronic thermometer and surround the end of the probe with an aluminum block of some sort or just a big ball of crumpled aluminum foil. Maybe that would do it.

    When I ran an old water smoker, the old vertical kind, I had a temperature probe hooked to a V-O-M that must have been a thermocouple type. I drilled a hole in the smoker and stuck the probe in, which was simple enough. When the temp got down to 200 degrees, I added charcoal. I had it figured out about how much charcoal to add to get the subsequent rise to about 250 degrees. I could smoke all day and all night that way and it worked and it was good.

    My suspicion is that this sloppy regulation on this machine is due to a) cheap/low-tolerance parts or b) damage, such as an unfortunate problem with the expansion bulb.

    Maybe not. Anyway, thanks.
  4. pgeobc

    pgeobc Fire Starter

    Well, I called Smokin Tex. Their product support lady was quite helpful. For the paltry sum of $29.95 (plus a little shipping), I'm going to get a new thermostat. I hope the new thermostat holds a closer tolerance than the old one.
  5. pgeobc

    pgeobc Fire Starter

    Well, Smokin Tex got the new thermostat to me in what must be record time. It was over-night, without paying for over-night. The thermostat is a conventional analog type with an expansion bulb; it is not digital in any way, shape or form.

    I called Smokin Tex tech support again and leaned on them for more detailed information. I'm going to recalibrate using a different technique this time, using a method that will take into account not only the extremes of temperature swings, but average in just how long the machine stays at different temperatures.

    Will keep you posted.

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