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brinkman stock thermometer off by almost 100 degrees

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

You guys were right in suggesting to check the thermometer on the outside of the smoker it is of by almost 100 degrees!!!!!!!

 

that means all the duck that I have been doing at a steady 200 degrees over the last year was actually getting done closer to 275 or 300!!!! mad.gif

 

what a joke

post #2 of 10

Well at least you caught it, and now that you are on track the duck will be even better.

post #3 of 10

If you're at 275* for birds, you should be in the ideal range. I've done cluckers at 225* and over 275*. The hotter smoked birds are much better eating, IMO. Birds are already tender, so don't seem to get much benefit from low & slow. For large turkeys, I'm finding that 300* and above will get them through the danger zone early enough and develop the crispy skin more easily as well.

 

You'll get a good handle on that gasser once you've got your actual temps figured out...getting to know your rig is the first step to great smokes...figuring out what to toss in it next is always the hardest part (for me).........................................

 

Eric

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

i've read the same thing wit birds that the higher the temp the better.

 

however my wild game duck breasts which are rather small with VERY VERY VERY low fat content kept turning out like potatoe chips!

hopefully they will become much better now..

 

infact have my newest batch in the smoker now!

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by aftershox454 View Post

i've read the same thing wit birds that the higher the temp the better.

 

however my wild game duck breasts which are rather small with VERY VERY VERY low fat content kept turning out like potatoe chips!

hopefully they will become much better now..

 

infact have my newest batch in the smoker now!



Aah, wild duck breast...yeah, that makes a huge difference. They don't get to just wander around a couple hundered feet a day to get their meals. They gotta work for it, so they'll be lean & mean.

 

Probably a fairly small piece of meat to stick a thermo-probe into, but it sure would be worth a try. Maybe yank 'em out @ 168-170* internal and wrap in foil for about 15-20 minutes...carry-over will take 'em 3-5* higher while they rest, and this should redistribute the juices as the temp begins to fall off. Always a good thing to rest meats after cooking anyway just for that reason alone. I won't even cut into a freshly grilled steak after plating it, unless it's been sitting for at least 5 minutes.

 

Man, you're bringing back memories of my childhood stomping grounds where my brothers and I hunted. Been about 35 years or so since I've had duck, or pheasant now that I think about it.

 

Dangit, this reminds me of Pheasant Corn Chowder...mmm...ever have that? Would make a darn fine meal with duck, too, especially smoked. Holy cow, you have conjured up some wicked good eating in the back of my mind, brother smoker!

 

Have a great smoke!

 

Eric

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well the smoke turned out much better this time around since i didn't have a 300 degree smoker torching the duck breast the whole time and even though i didn't notice the same amount of smoke coming out of the smoker itself the smoke flaver is MUCH more intense than it has been the previous smokes.

 

the digital temperature probe makes a big diference in taking the guess work out of the smoking process and allows me to keep the door closed for much longer periods of time.

 

teh biggest problem i noticed was with the position of the pans in the smoker itself.  if i wanted to keep the temp at around 200 - 225 the chip pan was far away enough from the  burner that it would not smoker... if i bumped it to 250 or so then the TBS would start to vaguely show up...

 

should i consider drilling holes to drp the chip pan even further down? how far from the burner are all of your guys' chip pans?

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by aftershox454 View Post

Well the smoke turned out much better this time around since i didn't have a 300 degree smoker torching the duck breast the whole time and even though i didn't notice the same amount of smoke coming out of the smoker itself the smoke flaver is MUCH more intense than it has been the previous smokes.

 

I've found that the higher the smoke chamber temp, the less smoke reaction with the meat. Sometimes, I'll start a smoke at much lower temps than I plan to actually cook at just so I can get more smoke reaction right out of the gate...then, bump temps up afterwards. On larger cuts which have not been injected or de-boned, I may start the smoke @ 200*, then bump to 230-240* for the duration.

 

Smaller pieces generally take on alot of smoke in a very short time if the chamber temps are in the 200-220* range, so I'd say your smoker was definitely running too hot.

 

the digital temperature probe makes a big diference in taking the guess work out of the smoking process and allows me to keep the door closed for much longer periods of time.

 

Digi-probes are a must for most items in the smoker, IMO. You don't need it right away, but eventually you want to know what the internal temps are. Also, for monitoring grate/chamber temps, they're a very good tool. Oh, on larger cuts of intact whole muscle meat, I don't probe the meat until several hours into the smoke. As soon as anything punctures the meat, it can no longer be considered whole muscle meat. Probing later on allows you to waive the 40-140*/4-hr guideline, as long as I've kept reasonably hot chamber temps (220* or so).

 

teh biggest problem i noticed was with the position of the pans in the smoker itself.  if i wanted to keep the temp at around 200 - 225 the chip pan was far away enough from the  burner that it would not smoker... if i bumped it to 250 or so then the TBS would start to vaguely show up...

 

With my gassers, I put my meat into a cold smoker, fire-up with the burner on high and the smoke is coming on pretty well before the chamber temps are very high. Then, I back off the flame to dial-in the chamber temp I'm looking for. If the smoke wood is dry, it should continue smoldering for several hours, depending on how it's placed into the pan. If you have trouble with the duration of smoke from chips, you may want to try a larger volume piled up a bit and not spread out, or just one larger chunk instead of chips. I haven't done anything to mod my smoke box/pan (raise/lower) in my GOSM or Smoke Vault. I just get the smoke going before I dial in the chamber temps and it seems to work out pretty well.

 

The smoke will always come on heavier when it first starts...white smoke. This is the stage where water vapors and some volatiles in the wood are being off-gassed. Once this has stopped (usually in 5-10 minutes), you'll notice what we call thin blue smoke...this what you want for as much of the duration as possible. When this smoke seems to disappear, you'll still be able to smell smoke exiting the vents, and I consider this to still be prime smoking conditions.

 

Proper size, amount and loading of the smoke wood into the box/tray are the main keys. More smoke wood for longer duration, less for shorter smokes. Smaller size will help for lower chamber temps, also, as it will heat and smolder more readily at lower temps.

 

should i consider drilling holes to drp the chip pan even further down? how far from the burner are all of your guys' chip pans?

 

I would try the other method I mentioned first. Get it hot, and cut the burner flame back as soon as you smell smoke, and dial in the chamber temps from there. The smoke should slowly come on heavier as it finishes heating up from residual heat in the box/pan, and the lower burner flame should carry it through to a slow smolder for a continuous smoke for a few hours or more depending on the size and amount of wood is used.


I think if you excersize a bit of patience for yourself and your smoker, you may find that replacing with a more expensive rig is not neccessary. Just give yourself some time to get to know how your smoker likes to run. Lots of folks are turning out some killer smokes with very inexpensive and simple smoker designs...a couple mods and everything works out great for them. As far as gassers, usually very little needs to done to them to get some really great smoked meats. Heck, I've gone from some pretty decent smokers to the Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal just for the added challenge of getting to know another rig, and finding out what mods it needed to do what I wnated it to do for me. Maybe that's an extreme case, but, just to give you an idea. You can get very comfortable with using a particular smoker in a very short amount of time once you learn the basics.


Hope this helps you out, brother smoker.

 

Eric

post #8 of 10

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Now just about anything we say here is well thought out and researched too. We want everyone that comes to this sight to leave with a handful of knowledge on smoking and cooking in general.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Eric,

 

Thanks for the great help. I'm finding that my smoker isn't as bad as i first thought but still would like to have a unit that is better built (besides the smoke vaults look cooler icon_cool.gif)

 

with my pork butt i'm planning on doing this weekend i'll try the tips with heating it up then backing off. hopefully that will help with the TBS. and i do have some largeer hickory chunks instead of chips to try- hopefully that will help keep the smoke rolling for a long time!

 

thanks for the help!

 

Alex

post #10 of 10

The stock thermo on my Char Griller reads about 90 degrees low.  Now I use two probes to be sure my heat is balanced across the grate, then switch to watching the stock thermo and making temp adjustments mentally.  This frees up my two probes for other purposes.  I like to use drip pans, and I have found the drip pans make pretty good tuning plates, too.  Experiment and you might find that perfect setup!

 

Good luck and good smoking!

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