Author Topic: Hard time generating smoke  (Read 2305 times)

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Hard time generating smoke
« on: March 01, 2020, 03:37:23 PM »
Hey folks,

So I'm trying to smoke some sausage and I'm recommended to keep the temp as close to 140 as possible.  No problem... this thing holds a temp like a champ.  Problem with smoke though.  I can't seem to generate any with wood chunks even if I bump it up to 160.  That seem normal?  Two pieces of cherry and it's just lightly brown on the outside after being in for 1.5 hours.  I'm thinking maybe I have to go to chips for that low?  Pretty stuck as the main reason why I bought this unit was for high volume smoked sausage.  Not too happy at this point.  Any help would be much appreciated.




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Re: Hard time generating smoke
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2020, 10:05:17 PM »
Like you mention, chips could help or even some pellets. Iíve read where others will use the Amaziní Tube with pellets to help. But one way to get the chunks smoking, turn the heat up to 225* with the wood in and sausage until you see smoke, then just feather the power switch off an on to keep the temp down a bit. I also throw on a home made fan on the smoke hole to help draw air through to keep some smoke coming out. Iíll be doing this method tomorrow with the beef sausage I made today, but, I have cure powder in mine to allow for the smoke period. You can go until you get the color you are looking for. The key is not to let the fat get to hot, or it starts to ooze out and will dry up the sausage.

the other option, which costs more money, is to look at the smoke adaptor they just came out with. Thereís a few posts here and you can see it on the main store site as well I think.

But Iíve done the method I mentioned a number of times and it works for what I want. Maybe Iíll try the pellets some day if I start smoking more sausage on a regular basis.

Hope that helps.
Jeremy in NM
3D for lazy q
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Re: Hard time generating smoke
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2020, 10:34:12 PM »
You could start off with the a much higher target temperature so the element is really cranking out the heat at first to get the wood going.  Once that happens, you can cool it off considerably it'll probably keep going.  Another option might be to leave the door less that fully closed to get a little more air flow going.  Of course, like some people do for smoking cheese and other 'cold smoking', you could use a tube and pellots and just use the Smokin-It as the container and not the source of smoke.
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Re: Hard time generating smoke
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2020, 12:43:44 AM »
If I remember correctly chips will smoke at 130* or so. I'd try a dry run without sausage 1st to be sure. I have an A-MAZE-N tray so I'll most likely use it when I get around to smoked sausages. I've only made fresh so far.
Jeff from central Oregon


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Re: Hard time generating smoke
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2020, 01:06:10 PM »
You have a lot of great suggestions already that should help with the issue.

Another thing that could help is how/where you are positioning your wood in the smoke box.

On my smoker, I have used it enough to know that it definitely burns hotter in the rear of the element/smoker (I am not sure if this is universal or if it varies by smoker). So, I have found that when I am doing higher temp smokes, I place my wood chunks as far forward as I can to avoid having combustion issues by having my wood right on the hottest part of my element. On the other hand, this works to my advantage during lower temp smokes because I can then position my wood toward the rear of the smoker/element and make sure to add them right over one of the holes in the smoke box.

Please let us know if any of our suggestions help you and/or if you have any other questions.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 (purchased in 2014) that replaced a Masterbuilt XL (ugh) and a 10+ Year-Old Big Chief (still used for fish), and few others over the years, along with variety of Weber Gas/Charcoal Grills, Anova Sous Vide, etc. devices.


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Re: Hard time generating smoke
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2020, 12:32:08 PM »
 Matt-  I came on here today to post an update on my latest pork belly/bacon smoke and I saw your post.. I do use a cold smoke process as part of my bacon smoke and I use a combination of chips and "pencil" size chunks of hickory or maple.. I also will wet some of the chips/small wood chunks..As noted earlier the chips will usually start to smoke at 130-135 degrees.. Since I do not have a device like an A-Maze-N tube I follow a suggestion from a regular poster here (Pork-Belly) and I turn up my smoker to 200+ degrees to get the chips really going. Then open the door and wait for the temp to drop (usually 110-120).. This process worked well for me last year when it was in the teens/lower 20's (I am in Wisc).. Smoker IT stayed in the 100-130 range for 1-2 hours before I noticed a lack of smoke.. Tried the same process this week but it was warmer 34-40 degrees and the temp's would immediately jump up to 160-180 degrees after I closed the door. Tried again by turning off the unit at 160 and opening the door and letting IT drop to 100.. This worked better and smoke kept going for an a little over an hour.. I smoked a 2nd belly yesterday and let the IT go up to 140 and then turned off the smoker with the door closed.. Smoke only lasted for 15-20 minutes.. I then started again and let the IT go to 160.. Turned off the unit and it smoked well for almost two hours.. At the one hour mark I checked the IT and it was 125.. Wanted this belly to get more smoke (just to test taste) and I added some wood and did the 160 IT test all over again.. Same results on the wood smoke.. Attached are pictures and you can see which belly got the extra cold smoke.

Certainly more work/monitoring than the normal EZ smokes I get from butts, pork loins, ribs etc.. To be honest if I did a lot of cold smokes I would invest in something like the A-Maze-N product (or the new device from SI)..Grew up on a local family farm that has a smoke house and we still cold smoke all our venison summer sausage there so I can't give you specific sausage experiences. Sorry for the long reply but hope it helps you on getting smoke at lower temps..   

Gene from Wisconsin
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Live/breathe for the outdoors..