Limited rack space
The problem with electric smokers is that to get up to the high end of their temperature range with 120 volts there is a good chance that it will blow the circuit breaker and care must be taken with extension cords. The answer is to go with a propane powered smoker. Just like on a stove top, gas is more powerful and responds faster when the heat is adjusted. The problem is that anyone who makes gas appliances these days seems to think that they can turn out a gas smoker for cheap and sucker people into buying it.
To be honest to make a decent gas smoker you need a box, a burner, and some racks to hold up the food. Yes, a pan for water and a pan for wood chips certainly help, but so does a door that closes properly so that all the smoke doesn’t leak out before it reaches the top of the box. Making a good gas smoker shouldn’t be that hard, but it turns out to be a little too much for many. This is partly due to the fact that most big box stores don’t think a gas smoker should cost much more than $100 USD and because most of them are made in China and to make a profit they can’t weigh much more than 40 pounds.
Door mounted thermometer notoriously inaccurate
Wide range of temperatures
Yes, Camp Chef makes this smoker in China, but they actually seem to care about the products they produce and their customers. While this smoker is small and more expensive than similar products, it is better built and best of all it isn’t limited by some engineer who thinks he knows more than you do. The temperature range of this smoker is 140 to 400 degrees F. This is important because it hasn’t been limited and it can hold on to enough heat to hit higher temperatures. As the Camp Chef website says, this smoker can be “used for smoking ribs, fish, and turkeys as well as baking pies and breads”. Add to that pizza, because you can actually crank this smoker up high enough to make a decent pizza.
Powerful heat output
One of the problems with gas smokers is that the heat output can be limited by a factory who thinks they know best. While smoking is done in a specific temperature range, it should be up to the user if they want to “flash” smoke or do a low-temperature smoke. This Camp Chef smoker has a temperature range from 160 to 400 degrees F so it is much more versatile than many gas smokers on the market. However, like many most box style gas smokers, the body isn’t insulated and though the door on this one fits better, you still get smoke leakage.
The weight is a little like, and the metals are thinner than I would like, but this is a well-built gas smoker that is actually worth buying. This model has a better capacity and shape than the less expensive Smoke Vault 18.
Read about the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Gas Smoker, and the limited heat output of this specific kind of grill.
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As AmazingRibs.com’s Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, Max Good is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells them around the country.
3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.
– Larry Olmsted,
Senior Contributor (Forbes)
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There is also a water pan, steel wood chip tray, removable porcelain base tray for easy clean up and push button ignition. Three adjustable damper valves, one on top and one on each side, help control smoke and heat. The Vault is built solid and you can easily find it for well below list price by clicking our Where to Buy Links below. Even so, you can find a hundred vertical gassers for less money, but if you have the extra dough, this big beauty is worth it.
Many gas smokers have limited temperature range and can't get down and hold low and slow temps of 225⁰. This big beauty can go down to 160⁰ and crank up to 400⁰! AND it converts to natural gas so you don't have to worry about you LP tank running out. We tested this model and gave it our AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal.