I am having trouble getting my cooker up to temperature at start up.
There are a number of things that you can do to solve this issue. You can add more charcoal, open your vents more, add dry smoking wood or put less water in the water pan. Check your charcoal to make sure it is not damp. Make sure not to put the meat on until after the unit is up to speed and don’t overload the cooker with too much meat.
Why do I have water dripping from my doors?
Excessive steam build up in the cooking chamber can cause condensation on the door. Open the upper vent all the way. Or the water is too hot. Put the coals to the side of the water pan.
Spicewine Ironworks Smoker Instruction Manual
In order to ship your new Smoker, the top stack and lower drain valve may have been removed and placed inside your Smoker cabinet to avoid damage during shipment. You will need to reinstall these at this time. You will also need to remove the tie wraps holding the cooking racks in place for shipment.
WHAT FUEL TO USE: You can use either LUMP or REGULAR CHARCOAL.
(We recommend REGULAR CHARCOAL because Lump Charcoal burns TOO HOT and TOO FAST.
THE FIRST RULE IN PROPERLY SMOKED MEAT … LOW & SLOW … 210 To 250 Degrees
THE SECOND RULE OF SMOKE COOKING … LEAVE THE DOOR CLOSED … IF YOU’RE LOOKING, YOUR NOT COOKING
WHAT WOOD TO SMOKE WITH: You can use Hickory, Oak, Apple, Cherry , Mesquite or any good hard wood . ( Remember use small chunks in small amounts. Large logs will burn too hot and may cause damage to your Smoker. Too long of a smoking period will also cause your meat to taste Bitter.
You are now ready to use your new Smoker. Please follow these START UP directions very carefully to avoid damage to the Smoker.
Turn off Lower Water Drain Valve.
Fill Water Pan to about 3″ from the top. (If you use warm water it will not take as long for the Smoker to come up to the proper temperature.)
Spray cooking racks with vegetable oil. (This will make them easy to clean after cooking.)
Stuff the bottom of 1 Charcoal Lighting Chimney with newspaper , fill top with Charcoal and light paper. ( Do not use Lighter Fluid as it will give off a fuel flavor to your meat. Make sure to set the chimney on a fire proof surface before lighting.) Depending on the size of your smoker, 2 or 3 chimneys may be needed to bring the smoker up to temperature.
When all coals are lit with gray edges, pour contents of chimney onto coal grate in the fire box directly under the water pan to heat up the water ( Note: When refueling put the coals on each side of the water pan to keep the water from getting too hot and causing excess steam. ), add a few wood chunks and close Fire Box Door. Open Lower Damper to about 3/4 open. ( Do not add unlit charcoal to Fire Box fresh coals may give off unwanted flavors.)
Open Top Damper to about 3/4 . ( Clockwise to Close, Counter Clockwise to Open. ) If you have an excess of steam in the unit, open the upper vent / vents wide open.
When Upper Cabinet reaches proper temperature, put meat on the Cooking Rack and close Upper Cabinet Door. Close upper and lower vents to ½ NO PEEKING! IF YOU’RE LOOKING YOUR NOT COOKING!
Allow about 1 ½ hours per pound of meat you are cooking.
If temperature of Upper Cabinet goes below 220 degrees add another chimney of charcoal. Or more dry smoking wood.
Use meat thermometer to test meat for proper doneness.
When done, pull meat off and let rest for about 10 minutes. Open Lower and upper Valves all the way and drain off water from Water Pan into a 5 Gallon Bucket. The residual heat will bake off any excess fat in the Water Pan to prevent it from molding.
Clean Cooking Racks with warm soapy water. ( Do not clean interior of cooking chamber. Oils from the wood smoke and cooked meat will season the interior and keep it from rusting. If oils should accumulate, remove with a putty knife and small bucket. ( Do not use chemicals to clean interior of Upper Cabinet.)
Upper Cabinet Thermometer will need to be cleaned and calibrated periodically.
New door seals are very tight when new and will flatten out a bit as you use your smoker. There is an adjustment screw on the smoker behind the latch. Please note that it is common for some smoke to escape from the door seal.
Enjoy Your New Smoker
Apple Wood gives off a nice sweet smoke and goes well with pork.
Mixing a little Oak with your Hickory will mellow the hickory smoke flavor.
It is very easy to over smoke with mesquite so take it easy.
Fire management is a learning curve. It may take you a couple of cooks to feel the temperament of your cooker.