550# smoker LP conversion



  • Converted Nat gas smoker over to LP. Last year was real suety heat. Got correct orfices. But now even with just pilot on it reaches 190deg after an hour. Will it act differently loaded with meat? Hoping to smoke today, need quick advice😵


  • Walton's Employee

    @big-dld What brand and model is the smoker? Is it a true smoker or is a grill/smoker? What temp were you able to get it to stay at before the change over? 190° being your lowest setting could be an issue for some products, you can make it work you just will have to reformulate any smoke schedules you previously had that ran below 190°.

    Let me know and I will see if there is anything we can think of here as to why you can’t obtain as low of a temperature as you were before the conversion.



  • It’s a true commercial smoker 7ft tall, we move it around with a pallet jack. Unit was purchased from a butcher going out of business. Not sure of make n model off hand.

    We ran 300+ lbs of sticks, brats and jerky saturday. Had smoker loaded up with 125lbs of sticks at 5:30 with temp of approx 100f. Got to 120 and flame went out. 2 hrs later, decided thermocouple must died and abandonded gas valve entirely and piped direct from a 100lb bottle with a manual regulator. Not ideal and not the safest. Got it done and to bed finally at 4 am. 50lbs of ring balogna the next day went way easier. Tempatures came up fairly close to the temp and smoke guide for rings I found on this site.

    We need to get the gas valve and pilot corrected and reinstalled. Once we get back to that point, I’ll have questions on how to keep the low temp.



  • When you convert from natural gas to LP or back the orifices should be changed as you did but the spring in the regulator or the regulator pressure should also be changes. LP has approximately 2 1/2 times the BTU’s per cubic foot as natural gas hence the much small orifices for LP compared to natural gas. If the regulator or gas valve are made to be converted the manufacturer can supply parts and instructions for the conversion. Sometimes it’s just a matter of inverting the plunger but you would have to check with the manufacturer to confirm what is needed to convert. Normally pilots have a different orifice when they are converted also. If the pilot orifice hasn’t been changed you are producing much more heat than it would have with natural gas.


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  • @KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!

    The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.

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