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camp chef 24-inch gas smoke vault NG conversion

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    camp chef 24-inch gas smoke vault NG conversion


    Based on a good review on this site, and the assertion that the propane burner as it is delivered can be converted to natural gas, I bought and did the conversion using the instructions on the Camp Chef site. It did not work out well. After drilling out the orifice to the specified number drill, I found the flame way too lean - it was windy sounding and tended to blow out. Attempts to move the venturi air shutter to decrease air flow was stymied by the shutter being pinned in place for propane. A bit of Dremel surgery was required to release the air shutter so i could close it. Even closed all the way, the flame is noisy at high, but no longer blows out, It admittedly is quieter than it was. Customer support, although answering promptly and trying to be helpful has never answered a key question - what larger size number drill can i use to open up the orifice by a few thousandths more to better balance gas and air. OW, it's a nice smoker. The design of the burner allows replacement should the burner burn out (I tossed my Masterbuilt smoker because replacement of the burner meant replacing the entire bottom half of the smoker, at a cost nearly as high as i paid for the smoker new). The water tray is very generously sized, the smoke-wood tray is very heavy gauge. and there is a removable bottom tray to catch grease. Overall, I like the Smoke Vault, but it would be nice if the tech guys at Camp Chef had actually tested their conversion.
    Last edited by btberlin; May 14, 2021, 03:00 PM.

    #2
    Sounds like too much hassle.
    I would rather be a happy griller.

    Comment


      #3
      I did this on a Jenn-Air some years ago. The attached pic is part of an Excel sheet I found which describes various orifice sizes needed to achieve a BTU rating. The top row is NG line pressure. I highlighted the sizes I used for the 3 burners on my grill (main, rear (rotisserie) and side burner). If you need more BTUs, the table continues. Sorry for the eye chart, PM me your email and I'll fwd the spreadsheet to you. I couldn't see how to attach it here.

      Before you re-drill anything, consider that you may need to add a regulator to the NG line before the grill. I ran it at 7psi.

      Those are some tiny drill bits needed. I got mine from drill bit city and was glad I ordered two sets, because I broke one bit.

      Attached Files

      Comment


        #4
        If the orifice is made from brass you could drill it out to larger size and if that did not work you could solder it up and re-drill again?

        Comment


          #5
          Wow...what a PITA, sorry you are going through this.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by btberlin View Post
            Based on a good review on this site, and the assertion that the propane burner as it is delivered can be converted to natural gas, I bought and did the conversion using the instructions on the Camp Chef site. It did not work out well. After drilling out the orifice to the specified number drill, I found the flame way too lean - it was windy sounding and tended to blow out. Attempts to move the venturi air shutter to decrease air flow was stymied by the shutter being pinned in place for propane. A bit of Dremel surgery was required to release the air shutter so i could close it. Even closed all the way, the flame is noisy at high, but no longer blows out, It admittedly is quieter than it was. Customer support, although answering promptly and trying to be helpful has never answered a key question - what larger size number drill can i use to open up the orifice by a few thousandths more to better balance gas and air. OW, it's a nice smoker. The design of the burner allows replacement should the burner burn out (I tossed my Masterbuilt smoker because replacement of the burner meant replacing the entire bottom half of the smoker, at a cost nearly as high as i paid for the smoker new). The water tray is very generously sized, the smoke-wood tray is very heavy gauge. and there is a removable bottom tray to catch grease. Overall, I like the Smoke Vault, but it would be nice if the tech guys at Camp Chef had actually tested their conversion.
            Did this eventually have a happy ending? I was considering going the same route

            Comment


            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              I second that inquiry. If I ever get a SV24, it will be so that I can run it on NG.

            • btberlin
              btberlin commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm a couple of years late with comments, but someone else may want to try this - yes, it worked out well. Most of the difficulty was the Dremel surgery to get the air shutter on the burner to close down. As far as a pressure regulator, I haven't used one.
              We moved a year ago, and in both locations the residential gas pressure is low enough to get by without a regulator.

            #7
            Jfmorris... Did you ever get the Smoke Vault? I'm ordering one today and will convert to NG. CC sells the gas line but they seem to ask a ridiculous price for it. Do you know if there is anything special about their hose or fittings or would any line designed for NG work?

            Comment


              #8
              Temperature control in a smoke vault.

              My 24 inch Smoke vault has been difficult to maintain a set temperature. The gas control on it is very finicky. So I decided to make a simple, inexpensive device to stabilize the temperature. The Smoke vault has three vents with shutters, and I decided to use one of those vents for an electronically controlled fan. My idea is borrowed from a commercial temperature controller that I saw on a Green Egg. I found two devices on eBay that we're relatively inexpensive that I thought would do the job. One is a 5 in square muffin fan that operates at 120 volts. The one I chose comes with a nice power cord. The second is a small digital temperature controller that has a cooling option. The one I chose is small, and inexpensive. If you decide to make this, make certain that the controller has a cooling option. Mine allows output for heat or cool. They use a K-type thermocouple input, which is in the form of a stainless steel probe and several feet of braided metal jacket. First. I removed the vent shutter on the lower left vent opening. Then I tapped ( threaded) the four screw holes in the corners of the fan. Using the fan as a template, I drilled two holes through the side of the Smoke vault, and then used two two small thumb screws that I could insert from the inside of the vault, and thread into the fan. This holds the fan securely against the side of a Smoke vault. I put the sensor from the temperature controller into the Smoke vault, dangling it from one of the grids in the center of the Smoke vault. The door seal on the Smoke vault is not very tight, so the probe wire can be passed through the door opening and the door closed on it without hurting it. The temperature controller is set to the cook temperature, and the fan is plugged into the controller. The smoker gas flame is set so that the temperature will go above the desired temperature, and the cooling fan will blow air into the Smoke vault when the temperature rises about 2° above the set point. The fan comes on, blows cooler air into the vault and the temperature drops a couple of degrees below the set point. This cycle repeats until the cook is done. With this setup temperature is maintained within about 3 to 4°. The controller is mounted in a plastic box along with a solid-state relay, a receptacle for the fan, a couple of switches and indicator lights. You need to have some DIY electronics experience to make this gadget, or a friend who can help. And, you need to plug this into a GFCI outdoors for protection against shock


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                #9
                I missed this post many moons ago. I posted on my NG conversion here in 2017. Only change is we redid the patio and gas line. I removed the regulator since it wasn’t needed for the line pressure we have. It’s been a work horse ever since. Sorry you it didn’t work out for you as well. It’s great that the fan and temp mods worked! That’s awesome. My temp jumps around a lot and I haven’t done much to address it yet. I have had some flow issues recently having to clean and blow out the line and burner.

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