View Full Version : Starting to second guess my decision to purchase a Smokin Tex.

02-04-2012, 02:01 PM
I purchased a 1400 in July. The first 5 to 6 times of use were great. I decided to make some Canadian Bacon. Plugged in the smoker, put the bacon in, set temp to 225. Checked my remote dual probe thermometer a few minutes later and discovered the smoker was not heating up. Checked outlet to make sure it was working, tried another outlet same problem. Turned the thermostat on and off several times and at last it came on. Ok thinking everything is good now. Started checking the thermometer and notice the temp was going way past the 225 setting. Temp was going over the 300 mark and only cooling down to 235. Pulled bacon out when the internal temp got to the 150 mark which happened in half the time the recipe called for. Ok so I thinking I have a thermostat problem. Called ST tech support and spoke with Scott. He requested that I take the back off the smoker and check all the electrical connections. Everything was good and tight. Next he requested that I connect my remote thermometer to the temperature sensor in the smoker and do a three hour test and write down the temperature every 3 minutes. I had to turn the thermostat on and off several times to get the unit to come on again. Reading revealed the smoker indeed was running hot. Called Scott and discussed the results. He shipped out the replacement parts right away. So I replaced the thermostat and turned the unit on and off several times. Unit came on each time. Picked up an 8.5 lb pork shoulder yesterday to smoke. Rubbed down the shoulder and let it come up to room temperature. Put the shoulder in the smoker at 7 PM last night, set the temperature to 225. The outside temperature was 40 at 7 PM and never dropped below 30 all night. Watched the temperature on the remote for a couple of hours before turning in for the night. Temperature was swinging between 221 and 260. Iím thinking this is looking good. Shoulder should be done @ 7-8 AM in the morning. Checked the temperature at 6:30 when I got up and discovered the internal temp of the meat was only 171. So I turned the temperature up on the unit to 250. Shoulder finally reached and internal temp of 195 at 12:20 PM. Thatís 17 hours and 20 minutes to smoke a shoulder that weighs 8.5 pounds. Something still has to be wrong with this smoker. Iíve smoked shoulders at least 3 out of the 8 times Iíve used the smoker, all around the same weight of 8 pounds and never had to cook them that long. Usually 12 to 13 hours at the max. Whats up with this smoker?

02-04-2012, 04:40 PM
see my prior post about calibrating the thermostat. My two pork shoulders took 24 hours to do.

02-04-2012, 11:14 PM
Sodacking27...It depends on the quality of the meat...some take a lot longer than others. Most say give the meat 1.5 hrs per pound and to reach 195-200. This is a good guide, however, not written in stone. Again...the quality of the meat make a BIG difference. I cook mine at 230-250 and don't have any problems,but I rely on my meat probe to tell me the true temp.


02-06-2012, 07:04 PM
Billybob is correct. I've had 9 to 10 pound butts take 16 to 17 hours, and have done 8's in 10 hours. Time is a difficult thing to predict because you're not smoking the same piece of meat each time. Similar, maybe, but maybe not. Doesn't help to clear much up, I understand, but may serve as more documentation of the variability of it.

02-07-2012, 02:26 PM

The following is my own personal experiences regarding cooking pork butts on my ST1400. I am at peace with how mine operates.

The pork butts I have cooked each weighed in at about 8 pounds. I have so far cooked 10 of them. Most have taken 20 to 24 hours to reach 195 internal temperature. One cook was done in 14 hours. All were cooked with the temp set at almost exactly at the range you reported. In my case, most of the cooks were done with an injected marinade. Most of the cooks also had a drip pan on the bottom rack. One cook had no marinade and no drip pan. That one cooked in the least time.

I too am fully convinced that there is a great deal of difference between each piece of meat even though it comes from the same supplier. There is a difference in the amount of water and fat contained in each pork shoulder/pork butt and that makes a huge amount of difference in cooking time. I have also proven to my satisfaction that a drip pan above the heating element acts as a heat shield and that also makes a dramatic difference in cooking time.

It sounds like your smoker is operating as it should temperature wise.

Best wishes for future happy smokin.


02-07-2012, 05:07 PM
I have owned or used 7 different smokers over the past 5-6 years and when I purchased my ST1400 it was wonderful and I predict it will be my last brand...

Yes the temp will cycle, and I have found it just helps the over all process, kind a like a convention oven effect. I have also found that this helps keep the moisture in the meat. I found that good product, requires patients, good meat, good seasoning, love and plenty of time.

All great meal deserve and require planning... also trust your equipment and relax

*** DON'T RUSH IT!!!! ***** This is not McDonald's.

It is well worth the wait.

I have cooked (32) Brisket Flats, (6) full size briskets, (6) racks of pork Ribs, (5) 12-18 #Turkey's, (3) pork 5-8 roast, (50#'s of Beef Jerky), (11) 4-6# TriTips and (4) large Eye of Rounds, and 4 Large Pork Loins. and each and every time I cook it just keeps getting better & Better. The ST1400 allows me to focus on the meat, rub, and the internal temp... Yielding excellent smoked products.

I have also smoked (300) Ball Park hotdogs for my family and you would think I invented the Smoked Hot Dog....

Try smoking a Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf.

Fish is something I have never tried, but soon.

Smokin Tex is what I should have started with years ago.... but we have to learn....

Enjoy your smoker, we do...

Steven Par
02-08-2012, 09:08 AM
How did you do the hot dogs? I was going to do a bunch for an event last summer and ended up grilling them instead. Now I wish I would have tried smoking them after reading your post. Just curious about temperature, time and amount of wood.

02-08-2012, 11:38 PM
We have used our Smokin Tex smoker for the last 5 years. No problems at all other than replacing the element after smoking roughly 800 lbs of meat. I have noticed when smoking boston butts some do take longer than others. I have also noticed it with briskets as well. We are actually about to purchase another ST1400 in order to help with tailgating. Plus we built a custom aluminum rack that will hold two ST1400s. The rack is extremely helpful by reducing the amount of bending over when loading and unloading.

02-20-2012, 11:28 AM
Sodaking27 -- I must agree with the folks above. I've owned my ST for 10+ years and have never been disappointed with the results of a butt/shoulder. I am a member of another forum and the moderator's tag-line is "It's done when it's done!" Surely you've read about the "plateau" in cuts like butt/shoulder/brisket. Between 165* & 175* the temp rise will stall & even fall as the fat, collagen & connective tissue render.

These fine machines are certainly easy to use but far from "set it & forget it." And... NO two cuts of meat are the same. I've done as many as five butts in my smoker. Three were done at the same time, one had to stay in 2 hrs longer & the other 3.5 hrs longer.

All that to say "hang in there!" You'll not find a finer machine for the price. Practice, practice & practice some more. Take detailed notes on each smoke and learn from them. If you are having difficulty with a smoke and don't get a response (quickly enough) from the forum, please feel free to message me. I'll do my best to walk you through the issues you are having.

Good luck!