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Old 08-07-2008, 11:43 AM   #11
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Thanks Kathe.
If I can't get this thing to work with a hot plate, which is basically set it and forget it and why I liked it, I might as well buy a smoker and will probably go "purist" charcoal. You can buy a cheap charcoal smoker, but the electric ones I see add another hundred bucks to it.

I haven't given up yet, but I wish I knew how to find out if older hotplates were hotter
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:08 PM   #12
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Well, just for the record, there is nothing wrong with the hot plate or the thermometer. That thing got up to, maybe over, 300F in no time flat. That's all my digital goes up to and I took the dial thermometer off once I saw it climb over 275.

So, it could be that it just won't heat the inside of a metal garbage can, or it might be in the foil container I used for the smoke chips. Maybe the container is acting like a heat sink and dispersing the heat off the plate. When the plate cools I will put it in the can without anything on it and give it a try.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:14 PM   #13
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Put a piece of the wood you're using for smoke directly onto the burner. If it doesn't ignite, it's a no go.

If the alum. pan is dispersing heat, it should be going right to the wood chips.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:27 PM   #14
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I've got the plate sitting back in the can now on high.
When I looked at the wood chips from yesterday, some of them are charred, so I'm not sure what the problem was yesterday, but I'll know more in a while....
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:22 PM   #15
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OK. This might need a little playing around with. I think maybe there is an overheat safety feature in the unit, but I haven't called.
The temp was climbing nicely, then stalled at 225. Then quickly fell to 150. I put the proble directly on the hot plate with the wood chip container holding it in place, checked a couple minutes later and the temp was up to 250.
I'm thinking that if there isn't some kind of "load" on the plate, that is shuts down or turns the temp down automatically. Sort of like a duty cycle. This won't work.....
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