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Old 06-12-2005, 12:35 PM   #1
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Electric Smokers Please Read!

Now that the maiden voyage is behind me I need to do a post mortem to determine what went right and what could be done better next time. The most obvious area for improvement was the smoke from the wood chucks.

The Charbroil H2O electric model # 475451205's heating element is suspended approx 1-1.5 inches above a "reflector plate." There are no lava stones beneath as is the case with the Brinkman electric. The illustrations that come with the smoker show wood chunks placed around the element and it suggest using chips for less than 3 hour smokes and chunks for longer times.

After several hours of 225-235 degree heat the chunks never did smoke although the faint smell of hot wood was evident. I lifted the top of the unit and examined the chucks. They were hot but not ignited and certainly not smoking. I pushed them up against the element and they ignited immediately and began smoking. This can't be the way it was meant to be used.

I ask the distinguished panel here what you recommend and to share experience. Son Greg has made the suggestion of a foil pouch placed directly over/on the elements. He also suggested I call CharBroil C.S to ask what they think. Their suggestion was, get this, "soak the wood chunks longer."

Does anyone beside me own one these?
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:43 PM   #2
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I'd try wood chips or even sawdust wrapped in foil. I don't mean sawdust from a weekend project either, make sure it's a hard wood that has not been treated. Another thought is if you have a gas grill to start the foil packet over a high flame until it starts to smoke, then place the packet in to the Electric Smoker. Good luck
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:47 PM   #3
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AB (alton Brown, not Airboss) puts wood chips in a small CI skillet covered with foil on a hot plate to smoke. You could do something similar with your smoker I'm sure.
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:54 PM   #4
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Good suggetions as expected. Doesn't it seem like a poor design if we have to go through such unconventional hoops to get the smoke? What did you think of the "soak the chunks longer" suggestion from C.B.?
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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Sounded like B.S. from C.B.
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Old 06-12-2005, 01:06 PM   #6
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Sounded like B.S. from C.B.
Now that's funny!
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:20 PM   #7
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I think Glenn hit it on the head. No foil. I don't know if I'd soak the chips. I'd try a combo of chips and chunkc. As the chips get smoldering, they inturn will get the chunks smoldering. Maybe, sort of, why not?
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:27 PM   #8
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AirBoss PM Grillslinger and ask him questions. He owns an electric smoker. Maybe the same one as you.

Here is his website http://grillslinger.tripod.com/index.html
You can see his smoker under 'gear'.
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Old 06-13-2005, 08:41 AM   #9
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AirBoss PM Grillslinger and ask him questions. He owns an electric smoker. Maybe the same one as you.

Here is his website http://grillslinger.tripod.com/index.html
You can see his smoker under 'gear'.
Thanks Chris. Looks like his electric is a Brinkman. I'm getting some good feedback form the gang here so maybe the combination of thoughts will yield a smoke solution.
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Old 06-13-2005, 08:49 AM   #10
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I'd use soaked chips in an aluminum pouch. Punch several holes on the top of the pouch for the smoke to escape. I'd be a little leary of putting anything that could catch fire near an electric heating element, that's why I 'd use the pouch. Chunks are too big to produce much smoke from an electric element, especially wrapped in foil. They're great on a WSM place directly over the coals though.

Full disclosure: I don't own an electric cooker so I may not know what I'm talking about here. Just trying to think it through on common sense.
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Old 06-13-2005, 08:55 AM   #11
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I'd use soaked chips in an aluminum pouch. Punch several holes on the top of the pouch for the smoke to escape. I'd be a little leary of putting anything that could catch fire near an electric heating element, that's why I 'd use the pouch. Chunks are too big to produce much smoke from an electric element, especially wrapped in foil. They're great on a WSM place directly over the coals though.

Full disclosure: I don't own an electric cooker so I may not know what I'm talking about here. Just trying to think it through on common sense.
There seems to be a growing consensus that chips and even chips under chunks for ignition could be a solution. If my electric can only ignite and effectively use chunks, son Greg is gonna get a windfall of primo chunks I just received fro CookShack.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:08 AM   #12
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That Greg's a crafty fellow. Could have been part of the strategy all along. Like I said, wood chunks work great on a WSM!
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:04 PM   #13
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hey I have an idea, try placing some sturdy steel mesh or 'fireplace curtain' directly on the burner then place your chips on that ...
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:17 PM   #14
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The screen idea is worth investigating. Some have discouraged having anything in direct contact with the element. I can't see the harm. Chris put me onto "Grillslinger" and we have communicated via email. He has suggested a real cool approach that anyone with a Brinkman or CharBroil electric would find worth trying I think. I will ask him for permission to post his words here.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:26 PM   #15
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10 gauge expanded metal with a porcelain pie pan under the element works great. You can probably pick a scrap piece up for free at your local welding shop.The pie pan check the granny's in the neighborhood.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:33 PM   #16
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10 gauge expanded metal with a porcelain pie pan under the element works great. You can probably pick a scrap piece up for free at your local welding shop.The pie pan check the granny's in the neighborhood.
Thanks Pigs. Sorry to be such a dumb ass here but what is a "10 gauge expanded metal?" I know where to get the pie pan although Mrs Airboss hates it when I call her "Granny." Why do I need the 10 gauge expanded metal? Do you own a CharBroil like mine? If so that makes two of us.
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Airboss
The screen idea is worth investigating. Some have discouraged having anything in direct contact with the element. I can't see the harm...
Just wondering AirBoss, what is the heat element like? Is it like an electric oven element or burner or is it a thin wire like a toaster, electric heater or clothes dryer?
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
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10 gauge expanded metal with a porcelain pie pan under the element works great. You can probably pick a scrap piece up for free at your local welding shop.The pie pan check the granny's in the neighborhood.
Thanks Pigs. Sorry to be such a dumb ass here but what is a "10 gauge expanded metal?" I know where to get the pie pan although Mrs Airboss hates it when I call her "Granny." Why do I need the 10 gauge expanded metal? Do you own a CharBroil like mine? If so that makes two of us.
Your not a dumb ass. If you don't know ask.How will you ever learn and know? Only dumb ass's I know are those who don't ask quistions. It looks like a big kind of dimond shape grate. Look at gator pits grates I think there 10 gauge.
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Old 06-13-2005, 03:44 PM   #19
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Opps, Bend the expanded metal like a little shelf about 3 inches from the heat element. The pie pan will reflect heat and colect ash.
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Old 06-13-2005, 04:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Shawn White
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airboss
The screen idea is worth investigating. Some have discouraged having anything in direct contact with the element. I can't see the harm...
Just wondering AirBoss, what is the heat element like? Is it like an electric oven element or burner or is it a thin wire like a toaster, electric heater or clothes dryer?
It's exactly like an electric oven element or burner not like a thin wire. Getting a read from someone with a little electrical know how is key I think. I picked up a little 3x5x1 inch smoker box for chips at H.D. If the smoker box is in contact with the element, what are the things (good, bad or nothing) that can happen. Short? Melt down? Cold spot on the element? Sun spots? Locust plagues? Oh the humanity!

:beach:
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