Vault smoker, smoke issues

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by copper, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. copper

    copper Newbie


    I would classify myself as a Beginner as I've only smoke a handful of times. I have a vault propane smoker and I've noticed this happens every time I smoke. What happens is when I smoke ribs for example,  I put hickory or apple or mesquite chips in the bottom tray and it really smokes well, like a good amount of puffy wood smoke is produced. Then after about maybe 30 minutes the smoke amount really tapers off. I add more chips and still don't get anywhere near as much smoke as at the beginning. I'm not soaking the chips or anything like that and I keep the heat around 210 degrees.
    Does this sound familiar? Am I doing something wrong.

    Thanks for any pointers.
  2. smokinal

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

    Use wood chunks instead of chips. I start with a couple of chunks & some chips just to get it going. Then about every hour to hour & a half you will need to add a chunk. Here's a photo of my Vault.

    Hope this helps!

  3. When I first got my Smoke Vault I used chips, like yourself I was very new to the vault smoking world.  After a lot of looking around on the forums I soon learned about TBS (thin blue smoke).  My cooks started out very smoky, in fact, too smoky, after learning TBS, much better.  Now in my vault I usually start with one or two chips under the edge of one nice chunk.  The chips will start the edge of the chunk and from there it a nice wisp of TBS out the chimney.  Like Smokin Al said, about every hour or two depending on chunk size you can add another.  Happy Smokin'!
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Billowing white smoke, what you are getting initially, is ok for a quick 30 to 60 minute smoke of some foods like Shrimp. But the Thin Blue Smoke that starts after 10-15 minutes IS your goal for a long cook like Ribs and such. The TBS is what you want to maintain by adding a chunk as needed as Al describes. Long term white smoke will give food a bitter taste...JJ
  5. As thethree esteemed gentlemen ahead of me said,  use wood chunks.  I have had my SV for 5 yrs, and have always used chunks, not a bad smoke yet,  TBS every time.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  6. copper

    copper Newbie

    Thanks for all of the great responses. Truly appreciate it. Chunks it is.
    TBS is something I wasn't aware of.
    I've got my Super Bowl plans.
    Next up, rubs!
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What are you looking for? Type of meat?...JJ
  8. copper

    copper Newbie

    Hi JJ,
    I'm going to smoke pork ribs using 3-2-1. Ive found it difficult to remove the membrane, but am getting better at it. I've see one or two recipes around the site. Also I'm not a big fan of mustard.
    Any recommendations?
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There's no need to use mustard. Put whatever rub you want directly on the meat. The moisture from the meat is enough to hold the rub on. I like to keep it simple and use SPOG. Salt, Pepper, Onion, Garlic. Good luck with your ribs!
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You probably know this but here is some info and recipes you may like...JJ

    Smoked Ribs as easy as 3-2-1

    A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
    The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.

    The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    Rubs I like...

    Cajun Rib Tickler

    1C Tubinado or Dried Brown Sugar*

    1/4C Paprika**

    2T Kosher Salt

    2T Garlic Powder

    2T Onion Powder

    2T Mustard Powder

    2T Chili Powder

    2tsp Black Pepper

    1-2tsp Cayenne

    2tsp Dry Oregano

    2tsp Dry Thyme

    2tsp Cry Celery Flakes

    1tsp Celery Seed

    Grind the Oregano, Thyme, Celery Flake and Seed. Mix all and store in air tight container, up to 3 months...

    Notes...* Leave out the Sugar for a Cajun Blackening Spice.  Spinkle a lot or a little, on whatever meat, dip in melted Butter or Olive oil and saute in a                     very hot pan until cooked to your desired IT.

                 ** If you wish you can use Smoked Paprika in the recipe. This will give a seasoning that will add some "Smokey flavor" to Grilled, Sauteed, Fried                    or Roasted meat, not just stuff you smoke.

    Mix and store in an air tight container...JJ

    Chipot-i-le Desert Dust

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    2T Chipotle Powder

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1T Cocoa Powder

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1tsp Thyme

    1tsp Oregano

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    Makes about 1Cup.

    Mild Bubba Q Rub  (All Purpose)

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder* (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there. Makes about 1 Cup

    Apply your desired amount of Rub to the meat, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator over night.or longer. The day of the smoke, pull the meat out, add more Rub and go into your pre-heated Smoker...

    Note*...Some Chili Powders can be pretty Hot. McCormick and Spice Island are Mild...
  11. copper

    copper Newbie

    Thanks to you both for the information on the rubs. I'm going to try making one of those rubs myself. JJ, yes I have followed that exact cooking method. One issue I've had is that when I wrap the ribs in foil, heavy duty foil, the bones make holes in the foil and all the juice comes out. Wouldn't it be just as good to use a small tray and cover that while keeping it in the smoker?
    Once again thanks for the great feedback .
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sure you can just pan them covered with foil. I have had the bones poke through too. You have to be very careful handling the packs. Double wrapping helps...JJ
  13. Some great info there.  Going to print it for the recipes.  

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