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Smoke 2

Smoke 2
Attempt at smoking pork - before
Attempt at Pork #2

So today was the second real test of the smoker. At the start I tried to get my temp to 250 degrees; this proved to be a problem.  In order to get the temp that high I needed to turn my dial to full heat. Once I got to about 230 degrees it started shorting out like it used to. (I can wiggle the connection and have it start working again.)


Issues?

Is this a problem of the contacts expanding from the heat? Maybe, but my money is on the control trying to pull too many Amps. Only time will tell. It was able to sit at a steady 225 degrees if I removed the foil drip tray I was using above the wood.  This was great but my smoke changed from a thick, hard-to-see blue to invisible. There is still some sort of smoke because I can smell it and see that the wood is charring. I do not know the significance of this change in smoke but am very curious.
smoked fish - flounder
Smoked Flounder

My next goal will be to increase the efficiency of the smoker.  Possibly drill some holes in the side of the wood/water tray to allow for the heat to rise better. Maybe use the tray I made last week as a bottom tray for drippings as it should hold heat better than foil. Insulation may be a good idea too. 

I am weary of a gasket on the door though, as it seems that gap is where most of the air comes from and I don't know how the wood will react to such a reduced oxygen level. Maybe it will bring my nice blue smoke back? Maybe not. I guess only time will tell. It does look like some research is in order though.
Delicious smoke pork
DELICIOUS Smoked Pork

P.S.

I think it may be time to get a digital thermometer for the smoker (I have one for the meat) as my pork loin took longer than it should have and I think this is because my temps may be off. I am no expert but I don't believe a 2.5lb pork loin should take 8 hours at 225 degrees. It makes me think also that my butt last week was not 4lbs (I guessed based on time & temp).

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