o FAQs, Warnings and Usage

FAQs, warnings and usage

CAUTION: HOT! Do not touch the metal housing or flap with bare skin while in operation. The Phenolic knobs can also get hot at higher temperatures.
It is recommended to wear gloves when operating the Smokin' Ace, especially at the higher range temperatures of operation.

WARNING: Do NOT use the Smokin' Ace with and/or on natural gas or propane or any gas-fired pits, smokers or cookers, and/or in conjunction with the use of any flammable gas or propane! Buildup of gasses could cause an explosion leading to serious injury or death.

Never use toxic or caustic oils or cleaners on the Smokin' Ace, *especially* if the Smokin' Ace is located directly above the food chamber(!).

WARNING:ONLY for use outdoors. As with any wood or charcoal-fired pit, smoker, or cooker there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when used indoors, or even outdoors with inadequate ventilation.

What types of pits or cookers will work with the Smokin' Ace?
Most consumer and many custom or professional wood and/or charcoal-fired BBQ Pits, Smokers, 'kettle' grills and 'egg' style cookers which have a pipe flue, or upward-facing vent, pipe or hole up to 6" in diameter may be compatible with the Smokin' Ace using one of the available adapters. We're also making new adapters based on customer feedback.

What if my BBQ Pit only has vents on the side with no pipe or flue?
Unfortunately we've not yet developed an adaptive solution for these types of pits, but we're always working on more so hopefully we'll hook up with you soon!

What temperatures can the Smokin' Ace withstand? The Smokin' Ace is rated for sustained temperatures up to 350F, which should be good enough for ribs, briskets, cake & biscuits, to name just a few!

While higher temperatures are possible, the spring could expand to the point of becoming unusable until cooled down, and could also warp, voiding the warranty. Custom Color units are only rated for operation at temperatures lower than 350F (see below).

Why does the Smokin' Ace have no thermometer or temperature indicator?
The Smokin' Ace does not have a temperature indicator because differences in cooking chambers such as ineffective baffling, and differing exhaust types (IE; 'Kettle' cookers as opposed to Traditonal BBQ pits with exhaust pipes), combined with ambient temperatures, may result in a difference in temperature between where the food is cooking, and where the Smokin' Ace BBQ Pit Regulator is located.

The temperature to pay attention to is the temperature at which your food is cooking, so that's where the themometer should be located. Although there may be a difference between the temperature at the regulator and the temperature inside the cooking chamber, the relationship between these temperatures should remain quite linear. One could see some slow 'flapping' while cooking in lower temperatures with a long exhaust pipe however, depending on the rate of airflow.

It is possible to drill or punch a hole through the silicone adapter which could be used to insert a thermometer for use in conjunction with certain cookers such as kettle-style grills, where the Smokin' Ace might be located in close proximity to the cooking chamber (modified adapters are not returnable for a refund in used or unused condition).

Can I get a custom color Smokin' Ace?
Yes, however: There is an extra cost, and while the stock Smokin' Ace has a high-temp powder coating which is rated to more than 500F (but don't get it that hot, see below!), other powder coat colors may only withstand spikes of up to 400F, and sustained temperatures of 350F+ can degrade the finish and color. For that reason custom color Smokin' Aces can only be rated for temperatures up to 250-300F, cannot be warranted against degredation of color or finish, and are non-returnable for full refund used or unused. Warranties protecting against defects in materials and workmanship still apply, of course.

Can I get a customized Smokin' Ace?
Just like the laser-etched label on the front, names, dedications, graphics, logos and phrases can be laser-etched into the back and/or sides of the Smokin' Ace. Extra charges apply and while warranties may still be in effect, customized units cannot be returned for a full refund used or unused (we may not be able to find another "Zeke McGillicuddy, BBQ GOD!" to sell it back to).

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding or would like to request a custom Smokin' Ace BBQ Pit Regulator.

How long is the warranty?
The Smokin' Ace is warranted against defects in materials and workmaship for a period of one year from the date of purchase and with an accompanying RMA may be sent back for repair or replacement at the discretion of Texas BBQ Regulators, LLC. This does not include normal 'weathering', or neglect which can or could be remedied by simply cleaning and maintaining the unit as outlined in the instructions; Returns for repair which only require a cleaning and oiling may be subject to labor and shipping costs.

It is important to clean and maintain your Smokin' Ace, just as one should any fine-quality instrument!

Can I return the Smokin' Ace for a refund?
Unused Smokin' Aces may be returned for a refund, however we cannot accept the return for refund of any units which have been used.

How much is it, and where can I buy one?
Current price is $89.00 plus shipping. The base model Smokin' Ace includes a universal adapter and hardware which will work to fit the regulator to many if not most Kettle style grills, Kamodo and Egg style grills, and will also fit on many types and sizes of pipe flues, round and square. There are marked areas for cutouts to make the adapter fit differing styles of cookers and pits making it useful to go from one style to another. We also have adapters available for round and square pipe flues, to fit many if not most charcoal and/or wood-fired Pits and Smokers. It's your choice which one we ship.

We have a limited quantity available with each round funding the next, and given the fact there are only two manufacturers of bi-metal material left in the United States, lead time for materials to make the Smokin' Ace can be up to 16-20 weeks(!). Due to this, at the moment we are only taking orders via direct request. If you would like to order a Smokin' Ace please send an email to Mike@BBQRegulator.com and we'll get back to you soon as we can.

Where can I get more information?
Send an email to Info@BBQRegulator.com

How do I operate the Smokin' Ace? The Smokin' Ace has two knobs, looking at the front label, the knob on the left is the locking knob and the knob to the right is the adjustment knob:

Remove damper band if applied. If the regulator is locked, rotate the left knob counter-clockwise to unlock the center axis and flap/damper, then rotate the right knob clockwise to adjust the Smokin' Ace to be fully open, and lock the flap in place by rotating the left knob clockwise. Leave the flap fully open as you bring your pit to the desired cooking temperature. You will probably have to adjust the Smokin' Ace one or more times to keep it open as it reacts to the rise in temperature. Be careful not to use too much force on the left knob when locking the flap, use enough torque on the knob to insure the flap stays where set but avoid applying so much torque that it becomes difficult to unlock.

Once your coals are ready, the smoking chamber is within about 10-15 degrees of cooking temperature, and you're ready to begin cooking as you normally would; unlock the Smokin' Ace using the left knob, then using the right knob, adjust the flap to be about 1-1/2" open, and lock the flap in place again using the left knob. As the pit nears your cooking temperature, if necessary adjust the flap until the front is about 1/4"-3/8" inch open, and lock the flap in place again using the left knob.
Note: The Smokin' Ace may not stay fully closed when temperatures go higher than desired, unless there is a serious flare up. You may notice that it will open to at least 1/8", even if you close it fully after setting to temperature. This is normal and due to the air at the top of the stack becoming stale, and cooling off once the air has stopped moving through from the fire chamber.
This is generally a good thing, it is not desireable to completely stop the flow of air for an extended period of time, this can result in a 'sooty' taste. It's best just not to overfeed the fire too much unless you want to for some reason, IE if you need to run an errand.

Watch the flap, or damper on the regulator for about the first 10-20 mins of operation, and adjust up or down as needed to find the 'sweet spot' where the temperature is effectively held to within a few degrees +/- of your desired coooking temperature.

If the temperature is staying cooler than you wish and you think there is enough heat from the fire, adjust the flap open about another 1/4-1/2" and check operation. Conversely if the temperature is higher, close the flap slightly or if necessary, completely but remember it may open to about 1/8" even when closed. Continue to watch and adjust the regulator until you find the point where the desired temperature is effectively held. The sweet spot varies with pit or cooker model/type, your cooking style, and can vary due to fire feed rate (IE if the fire is over-fed causing considerably more airflow), or changes in temperature and weather (IE if it happens to rain and/or becomes much cooler outside while cooking).

Check the Smokin' Ace once in a while by simply looking at it from inside the comfort of your house, from the patio or even across the yard. If the Flap is open twice as much as it had been set to begin with, you may want to check temperature and feed the fire if need be. Once you know where the sweet spot is for your pit or cooker given the weather, you might find you're able to set it to that point each time you cook, then just walk away and check periodically with a glance.

After some use, it's not uncommon to be able to predict to within a couple of degrees the temperature inside the cooking chamber, simply by looking at the Smokin' Ace from a distance. One may also find that the Smokin' Ace changes the way you cook; using a large, old, drafty pit I used to throw a whole log's worth of wood on the fire. But now I find myself cutting my logs into chunks, and tossing a large handful of wood on the fire and then not having to feed the fire again for 30-45 mins, and longer during the hottest parts of the summer. Users of high-quality smokers, and kettle or 'egg' style grilles which hold heat very well will generally find it easier to maintain temperature for a much longer period without having to feed the fire.

When not using the Smokin' Ace, and if keeping it installed onto a pit or cooker, leave the left knob and flap _UNLOCKED_ , and apply the included strap/band over the flap to keep it closed if your pit or cooker is exposed to the elements. If you have misplaced the locking strap/band you can use a light paperweight or even a small rock. Leaving the left knob loose and the flap unlocked when not in use will insure that the spring does not become overloaded or over-tensioned, and helps to keep water out of your pit if it happens to rain and the pit is uncovered.

If the flap is closed and locked during the day, and it gets cooler during the night, the regulator will open during the night in an effort to feed air to a non-existent fire, and if it rains during that time the inside of your pit could get wet.

It is not recommended practice to overload or over-tension the spring. Overloading/over-tensioning the spring and/or locking the flap with such force that major changes in temperature cause the spring to become over-tensioned and damaged will void the warranty.

Cleaning and Maintenance
It's a good idea to apply a little bit of oil to the hinge before each use. We recommend using 'CLP Break Free' or another non-toxic cleaner/lubricant/protectant for mechanisms. Gun and reel oils usually work well but be sure to use a high-quality, heat-resistant, non-toxic oil that will not eventually 'gum up'. It can also be advantageous to periodically carefully remove the hinge pin, clean and polish it with a soft cloth, then carefully insert it back into the hinge before oiling. Wipe or dab off any excess oil from the mechanism and/or hinge with a cloth or paper towel.

If using on a kettle grill or other cooker that has the exhaust directly over where food is cooking, remove the Smokin' Ace before applying oil. If possible, always use naturally-derived, non-toxic oils and cleaners with the Smokin' Ace. Never use a toxic or caustic oil or cleaner on the Smokin' Ace, _especially_ if the Smokin' Ace is located directly above the food chamber(!).

After extended use or if using especially 'wet'/uncured wood which deposits a lot of soot or sap, if the mechanism seems 'sluggish' even at cooking temperature, it may be necessary to clean the mechanism and oil the bearing. This is normal; the mechanism uses a shielded bearing but excessive sap and/or soot can eventually end up causing the bearing's sheilding to stick to the outer bearing. Cleaning, applying oil and working the mechanism should free the mechanism. See Below.

The oil on the stainless steel hinge will eventually dry out, and with use soot and grease will build up on the hinge and outer surface of the inner ball bearing. This will result in sluggish and/or sticky operation. This is normal and is often countered simply by oiling the regulator's hinge and bearing, and 'working' the mechanism. See further Below.

To clean, remove the Smokin' Ace while cool and use a non-toxic, non-caustic grill or BBQ pit cleaner or natural de-greaser to remove soot and oils. Be sure to get cleaner in between the coils of the spring to loosen built up deposits between the coils.

Follow the cleaner's instructions then rinse with water and allow to dry. Do not use very high-pressure water to rinse, you could bend the spring and/or force dirt and other contaminants past the shielding of and into the inner ball bearing, which could retard the action of the mechanism.
After cleaning and drying, apply a small amount of non-toxic oil directly onto both sides of the bearing which is inside the center "drum" to which the spring is attached, and also to the flap's hinge. You will probably need to use a small tube to bend inside of the bearing seat, or drum, to apply to the bearing itself.

'Work' the mechanism and hinge by opening the flap almost fully open, locking the center axis in place and gently but quickly forcing the flap up and down to closed a number of times until the action is noticably faster and smoother. If this does not help try adding more oil to the bearing and hinge and work the mechanism again, and/or removing and servicing the hinge pin as explained further above.
If the issue persists contact us, it may be necessary to send the unit back in for repair. Do not send any units back without first communicating with us and obtaining an RMA or repair order.

Never gamble with your meat®, always have a smokin' ace® in the hole!(TM)

Never Gamble with your Meat® always have a Smokin' Ace® in the hole.™
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