• I think it must have been Steve 4102


  • I got this last night.

    It is the first Email correspondence I received on the subject.

    Steve,
    I apologize for the delayed reply as I’ve been working with the customer you referenced below from Walton’s website and his name is also Steve….in my mind, I had blended you both together. While we’ve got the other Steve taken care of I again apologize as I realize your inquiry has been idle.

    We have not ever heard of this happening and we’ve had the PK in existence for almost 40 years with literally thousands of them in the field. There have been 3 instances where the smoker sides buckled when pellets were used…twice by consumers and once by our testing, but never before with sawdust. Pellets or wood chunks can absorb a great amount of heat and if ember is not created, you can get pressure to build up and once the temp gets high enough, along with the wrong mix of air flow, you get that massive ignition/combustion and pressure release. That’s why we over-mention the use of only sawdust for smoke within the first 4 pages of the manual.

    We are having that unit brought back to our facility but there will be limited testing we can do on it. The customer is adamant that he only had sawdust in the smoke pan, so we can only assume that he got very high heat on the element without an ember starting and once temps got to that high enough point, airflow caused that ignition and release of pressure. But he also mentioned that this occurred in under 2 minutes and it would be very difficult to get that type of pressure to build up that quickly. We may never fully know the root cause of this. For my personal use, I do “slightly” moisten the sawdust when I’m smoking. It gives me just a slight amount of humidity in the chamber which is great for smoke distribution to the product when smoking. That being said, there are plenty out there who do not moisten the sawdust.

    I also use my index finger and create a dimple in the center of the sawdust….the center of the pan is the hottest in smoke setting (625 low watt setting) and that allows oxygen to the wood…wood to the heat…to give me quickest/most thorough smoke. I hope that made sense, but if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. I’d be happy to help where I can.

    Thanks for reaching out to us and I hope your move forward with your Pro Smoker plan……you will absolutely love it.

    Jeff Warren
    Account Executive
    Pro Smoker ‘N Roaster / Vortron
    Phone: (920)-387-5255 Ext. 147
    Cell: (262)388-3839

  • PK100

    I wonder if these type of cookers would benefit from a pressure relief valve or if it is not common enough to worry about.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    ButcherBrown typically you dont have that much “pressure” in these units as they are double ventilated. One intake at the bottom door and an exhaust out the top. That neutralises the cabin pressure. What it looks like to me, going back to my firefighter days is what they call a back draft. All the burning hot gases depleted the oxygen, then the oxygen was reintroduced which causes the volatile environment and the excessive gases to reignite which causes your pressure build up in sealed or contained environments

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    ButcherBrown There is a pressure relief valve in that the chimney on the top does not completely seal–there’s about a quarter-inch gap all around the inside diameter of the chimney even when it is “closed.”


  • Update on the smoker, I can not thank Jeff and his team enough for helping me resolve my issue. The customer service that I recieved from Pro Smoker was over the top to say the least. They got me back smoking in short order, If you are looking for a smoker this one should be at the top of your list. Thanks again Jeff.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Phantom any explanation on thoughts of diagnosis?


  • My only thought after speaking with Jeff was that I had it on high, switched it to low for smoking but didn’t give it time to cool the burner before putting dry sawdust on? Just my thoughts im sure they are looking into it

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner

    Phantom I’m glad you were very pleased with their response and action
    May I ask, what was the response and action?

  • Team Blue

    Phantom I wish I had the same response on our chamber vac and mixer/grinder at the shop…radio silence and finger pointing at best

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