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Need help from any smoke vault users ?

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    Need help from any smoke vault users ?

    I have an 18” smoke vault & am having a lot of trouble holding a set temp. It seems to hold for about 10 to 15 Min. then starts dropping until I mess with the gas valve to get it back up then it starts all over. My modified COS holds the temp much much better but its to big to move very much so I got this little smoke vault as a portable to take places. Also need help with setting the 2 side dampers. & I need to know how you get the wood chips to smoke, covered them with foil like it says in the book but hat didn’t work they flared up for a few min. then nothing Do you soak them or not?
    Thanks in advance for all help & advice.
    Dave

    #2
    I have the 24" model. I've had it for about two years, and I've ALWAYS had problems maintaining temp. I'm a bit nerdy about these things, and I'm constantly adjusting the burners (the dampers are useless, in my opinion). If I can get the temp to within 20 degrees on either side of the target temp, then I'm satisfied. As to wood, the last time I used it, I used some tiny branches of oak, without soaking 'em. They went up almost immediately, and lasted maybe a half hour or so. The next time I use the smoker, I'm going to use a chunk of wood instead of the chips, without soaking, just to see whether or not it works as well as soaked wood chips.

    I didn't follow the book when using wood chips. I soaked two or three good-sized handfuls of chips, when I use the chips, and I'll get around an hour, give or take, of smoke. I put the chips in when I put the ribs or pork butt or whatever I'm smoking in the smoker. So far, I've never covered the chips -- I just let 'em go.

    I'm not a pitmaster, and I'm still on the front end of the learning curve; but, I hope that my comments helped.

    Comment


    • Darchie03
      Darchie03 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you that is very helpful.
      Dave

    #3
    I had trouble at first maintaining temperatures, but after a few years not so much anymore. Maybe it is just that I am getting older and more patient, or I've stumbled over a few things that seemed to help.

    1. Only crack the tank valve 1/2 to 3/4 open. The lower flow seems to help. I'm really not sure that the regulator actually maintains constant flow when the tank valve is opened more.
    2. Cook in the shade. I always cook under a large beach umbrella that protects the smoker from the sun.
    3. Orient the back of the smoker towards the prevailing wind.
    4. Top vent always opened wide, both sides to the narrowest setting. Only play with one of the side vents if you really need to. I don't bother anymore.
    5. Change the temperature knob not more that a milimeter at a time, and wait for a long while to see the reaction.
    6. Use a remote thermometer to record oven temp and never bother with the built in one.

    i don't bother soaking, I just use chunks, and I think I get pretty good smoke that is not overpowering. I like cherry.

    Not an expert at all, but I have over 100 cooks on my 24" and usually can keep it within 10 degrees of the temp I want. Of course, your mileage may vary.

    Don

    Comment


    • Darchie03
      Darchie03 commented
      Editing a comment
      Donw, Thank you very much I use a smoke unit to monitor temp. I had been wondering about the bottom vents. I will try you other items. Do you cover your wood with foil?
      Dave

    • Donw
      Donw commented
      Editing a comment
      No. I do use large chunks. I have read places that to get a good smoke from some smokers it was necessary to use a lower temperature at first and then turn up to regular temperature after that. I only start the smoker after it is loaded, so maybe I'm doing something similar and not realizing it.

    • Eugene A
      Eugene A commented
      Editing a comment
      Tank valve recommendation and changing the temperature knob -- that's what I do. All this time I thought I was the only one -- good to know I'm not.

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