Thermostat Temp Variance?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by bulldawg66, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Hello everyone...I am a newbie when it comes to smoking.  In fact, I have NEVER smoked anything. (I posted yesterday on Roll Call.)   I just purchased a new electric smoker from and I just did the break-in period yesterday.  I hope to have my first official smoke tomorrow.

    Anyway, when I was doing the "break-in" I noticed my temp ranged from 201 to 240.  Basically the temp would drop to around 202...thermostat would kick in and the unit would heat up to 240...(usually 235 but once to 244).  For some reason I expected a constant temp of 215 or 225...or whatever I selected.  Since I was a little concerned I asked the support line for my smoker about the variance in temp.  He said a 30 degree variance was normal for this smoker.

    1) Should I be worried that the temp range is around 30 degrees?

    2) When cooking, should I target an average temp, a min temp, or a max temp? 

    I had no food or shelves in the unit during the break-in period.  Used about 4-6 ounces of wood.  (4 1/2 hours with a target of 215)



    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have a SmokinTex unit and went thru the same experience when I first got the unit. These units work on what they call "average temperature" not exact temperature. What this means is that the element cycles to keep the box temp an average temp rather than an exact temp.   I have been looking into a PID controller for my unit to get a better temp control. 

    Hope this helps
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah.... its like an electric oven, element turns on and heats up, then turns off, when temps dip below a certain point it turns back on again. If you want constant steady temp. you have to use gas or a very efficient charcoal or wood burner.
  4. nozzleman

    nozzleman Smoking Fanatic

    It will produce great food and I concur it is working normal for an electric. I have a Masterbuilt and it has the same kind of temperature swings. I always figure my temp on the average of the swing.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The temp swing will not affect the food you are cooking. You will just have to learn what temp setting works best for you. It may take a few tries, but every smoker has a bit of a learning curve.

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