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Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 tips/tricks/advise

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    Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 tips/tricks/advise

    Greetings fellow smokers, I recently sold my Oklahoma Joe’s highland to my brother and just ordered a Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 that should be here soon. Does anyone use one and have any tips/tricks/advise for me when learning to use it? I used the search option but didn’t find a whole bunch. Any advise would be appreciated. I mostly do pork ribs and chicken wings.

    #2
    Jerod Broussard just got one I believe, perhaps he can chime in with some others. Alas, no experience here, although for a gasser that one has held my attention.

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      #3
      I've yet to fire mine up. I have vacation next week to fire up then 'cause 6-12's don't open much time. Maybe tonight after church I can run some heat to figure my hot spots on the chip tray.

      I plan to maybe drill some vents in the top if I feel the heat up top is too high.

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      • MBMorgan
        MBMorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        You might want to add the same adjustable vent that you put on the PBC instead of just drilling holes.

      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        MBMorgan I thought about that, but I could also just slide something over the hole. But adjustable would be pretty spiffy.

      #4
      I’ve used mine about a half a dozen times for pork butts and/or ribs.

      When I’ve loaded it up I’ve noticed the top runs about 15 degrees hotter.

      Ive also come to the conclusion that a blend of wood chunks and chips gives me good smoke.

      I don’t take notes or graph or mark my cookers when I cook so I might not be the one to give you advice on how to use the Smoke Vault.

      Comment


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        I've gonna have to start graphing since my notes include taking pictures of my thermometer read out and writing the time on the pic with my finger.

      #5
      I have had one for several years and use it as a backup for my Yoder, which I purchased later, and also for baking. Several things I have learned:
      Be careful not to cause the regulator to go into low flow mode. You only need to open the tank valve a few turns and open it slowly. The temperature knob has to be handled gently, and it has a lotmof play in it. If you need to adjust temperatures do so in milimeter adjustments. Just a hair of a difference can greatly affect the heat output. As far as vents go, you will get a lot of different answers, but I close my side vents down to their smallest hole and if I want to make any adjustments I just use the top one. Your mileage may vary on this point. Last but not least is don’t go chasing temperatures as it will drive you crazy. It will settle down after awhile. After making any adjustments, just sit back and wait for a period.

      It really is a great smoking machine but it has to be adjusted with kid gloves. Once you learn it you will know the settings that work and be able to hit them very close to where you want them right from the start.

      Comment


        #6
        I've been running a Smoke Vault 24 since 2012 and have really enjoyed it. Here are some things I can suggest from my experiences:

        Put a layer of heavy duty foil in the water pan before each cook. That makes clean-up of the pan much simpler. I also put in a layer of heavy duty foil in the drip pan at the very bottom of the smoker. I'll leave that on for several cooks. That pan can be a real challenge to clean, so this foil really helps.

        As for cooking temps, I also find that the temp is very sensitive to the dial position. But once I figured out what setting gives the temp I want, it has been pretty easy to get close when you first turn it on. But it will take a little trial and error - make small changees, as Donw says. I also find that you have to be patient and let the smoker come up to temp. The initial heat-up is fast, but then things will slowly increase over time. So once I get close, I generally just stop fiddling with it. The cooker does best when left alone.

        I find that the vents are pretty much useless for temp control, so I just leave them mostly open.

        There can be a 20-30 deg temperature gradient between the lowest and highest shelf racks, so make sure to put your ambient probe on the rack(s) on which your food is. Otherwise you can get fooled. Experiment to see how much temp shift there is on your SV.

        I use wood chunks exclusively and sparingly, and get great smoke. Let one or two chunks smolder all the way down before adding more, if you need them.

        My experience has also been that cooks take longer on my SV 24 than what others report for similar temps in other cookers. Thick baby backs can take up to 6 hours, and spares almost always take 8-9 hours. But again, patience pays off.

        Enjoy your Smoke Vault.

        Comment


          #7
          What is the dimension of the drip pan? I've read that they are a little flimsy and want to get one fabricated from stainless steel.

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            #8
            Thanks for all of the comments y’all!

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              #9
              This is my second year with my smoke vault 24. As others have mentioned, be careful with the propane valve, it seems to have a funky nature of slowing flow if you open it all the way. I cook a lot of bacon, fish and ribs in mine and it handles them all nicely. I still prefer my kettle for a butt or a brisket for whatever reason, never quite been able to put my finger on it.

              Also, the instructions do state never to run it without the water pan full, not sure why but it seems to require filling every 3-5 hours. I havent had any problems hitting temps but i havent tried to do anything hot and fast on it.

              Overall its a great smoker for the money and once you get it dialed in its really easy to handle. Enjoy!

              Comment


                #10
                I'm starting my 3rd season with my 18" Smoke Vault. Donw is spot on -- I normally preheat my 18" smoke vault on medium, see where the temp is running, then tweak the dial as needed to get the temp close to what I want. When I've got it close to the right temp range, I'll slow down -- make a tiny tweak on the dial, and then wait maybe 10-15 minutes before making another tweak if needed.

                The vault is sensitive to wind, so I usually build a wind shield on the upwind side if there's any breeze.

                I second (third?) the advice to line the water pan with foil for easier cleanup. I don't think the pan is built especially flimsy -- no real complaints there. But everyone's different.

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