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Smoke Vault

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    Smoke Vault

    Bought a used Smoke Vault (18") off a friend and have tried it out twice. My first try was on a Thanksgiving turkey, which ended up being an unmitigated disaster. I had foiled over my water pan and didn't realize all the water had evaporated until thick black smoke (wrong kind of TBS) started billowing out copiously, opened the door and saw that all my wood had caught fire. Left the door open and went to get some water, and when I came back, the fire had spread to the dripping pan and I had me a little grease fire. Panicked and got the fire extinguisher fixing to give the dripping pan a quick shot, not realizing that fire extinguishers are designed to, well let's just say you don't need good aim to use one. Bottom line, turkey ended up covered with ABC dry chemical and I ended up doing the walk of shame to a local grocery store to pick up an over-priced, mediocre pre-cooked turkey so that my family could have the turkey dinner they were craving.

    With that fun experience under my belt, I decided to go simpler and smoked a chicken last week. It was cold and windy out, and I didn't realize how important external temperature was, so I was starting to panic when the internal temp was only 135 after 2.5 hours, but I stuck it out and it eventually finished off really nicely... best darned chicken I ever tasted. I'm excited to try some more stuff in there over the coming weeks.

    Anyway, I've been devouring everything I can on forums such as this one to educate my self about BBQ. One thing I'm concerned about is that my smoke vault leaks significant amounts of smoke through the front door. Others have had similar experiences, but others seem not to have that problem. Still others have apparently modified their smoke vaults to reduce leakage.

    Any advice on what I might need to do? Is it a matter of opening up my top vent more? Should I look into putting some kind of seal around the door? Should I not worry about it?

    Welcome to the pit cs!


      Welcome to The Pit carolinastyle! Your experience here made me laugh...WITH you not AT you. I had a similar experience with some 2" thick porterhouses that I had some steak aficionado friends over for. That moment of flame and shame is not soon forgotten...

      I'm going to movce this thread over to the Grills & Smokers channel. Easier searched if it's over there. you'll get some great advice there too. My suggestion is check out BBQgaskets.com they seem to be highyl recommended by many. I don't own a Smoke Vault myself so I can't say if it's necessary to seal 'em up or not.

      Moving on, give us a bio of yourself when you get time over in the Introduce Yourself channel, and since this is your first post, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos!

      Hope to hear & see more from you.


        If the door is leaking, you probably want to seal it with something like nomex tape which you can buy on Amazon (using the AR link, of course). Leaks play havoc with temp control. The top vent (actually all vents) a nd won't solve your leak problem. In fact, the reason to seal your door and other leaks is to allow you better control through use of the vents.


          Welcome CS! You got a real LOL from me. Great story!

          You live close to Charlotte?


            "If you never screw up, you ain't doing sh*t!" -- I had a foreman along time ago tell me that.

            So true.

            Now, if you are having the same problem over and over - that is a different story!

            Welcome from the Lowcountry of SC!


              Thanks, all for the warm welcome. Dewesq55, I'll try the nomex tape and see if that helps. I'll get right on that homework assignment and post a more extensive bio soon, but the quick version is that I was born in Greensboro, NC and now call Dallas, TX home. I've traveled all over the south (NC, SC, GA, AL, KY, AR, TN) and tried lots of BBQ but keep coming back to that East Carolina pork, hence the handle. Been grilling on a Weber Spirit for about 6 months with some pretty great results, including smoking with a foil pouch. I'm now trying to learn "real" BBQ with my smoker, though from what I've read, a propane smoker is still not "real" BBQ. Whatever, one step at a time.


                I just purchased a 24" smoke vault, does anyone know if I can use wood pellets, and in general does the size of the wood chips matter? I see some companies have larger chips than others. Much Thanks.


                  I wouldn't think the size matters. If you add cos by volume, and then re-add when the smoke fires down you should be fine.


                    Originally posted by TheFienshmeker View Post
                    I just purchased a 24" smoke vault, does anyone know if I can use wood pellets, and in general does the size of the wood chips matter? I see some companies have larger chips than others. Much Thanks.
                    I have the SV24. Have been very pleased.

                    I have heard of people using pellets but I haven't tried it. For low and slow I usually use a mixture of chips and chunks. The chips are easier to get started at lower temps and chips help the chunks get started. Chunks last much longer. At 275 and up doesn't seem to matter.
                    Last edited by aucivil; March 13, 2015, 05:40 PM.


                      I purchased a 24" smoke vault... Having trouble getting thin blue smoke... It seems once the chips catch it kinda bellows tons of smoke...any suggestions?



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