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Temp Fluctuations

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

Dave here from San Diego, nice to meet everyone! Brand new to smoking, and just firing up my "new" 30" MES for a 4# brisket. By "new" I mean that I bought it refurbished...remains to be seen whether that was a good idea. In any case, following directions seen on here, I am working with a temp of 235.

Problem is, the smoker tends to drop about 10 degrees below before firing back up, and then gets about 10 degrees too hot before it reaches it "peak" and starts dropping back down...so instead of a 235 constant, it keeps rising and falling in the range of 220-250ish. Just want to make sure this is normal and that as long as the average is close to 235 I'm good to go, or whether this is a serious fault with the machine.

Thanks and look forward to seeing how the first one ends up, will share once I pull it from the smoker!
post #2 of 7

No different than your oven in the kitchen..... 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Right so a 20-25 degree swing up and down isn't a big deal? Just wasn't sure if that was outside the ideal range or if I should adjust so the top end doesn't get so high...or same question with the lower end...basically which side of the spectrum is it better to err on? I imagine the lower end. Thanks for the quick reply!
post #4 of 7

I lean toward the average temp... 200-250 swing = 225 cooking temp....  or something like that....

post #5 of 7

Piling on to Dave's comment ... I'm documenting some issues and mods I'm making to my MES-40 here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151864/mes-40-model-20070512-temperature-problems


If you look at the temperature graph you'll the smoking chamber temperature swing. About 7:15 I put the prime rib in the oven @ 300. The oscillations at that time are in my oven.


I made the leap and bought a PID controller for my smoker.  Now I'm wondering if I should get one for my oven! :icon_lol: 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Came out pretty well for my first Brisket try!


post #7 of 7

not bad! my best friend lives in San Diego and he was complaining the other day that he couldn't find a decent brisket.


you will get fluctuations like that on every electric because when it gets to temp and turns the element off there is still a lot of residual heat on the element. 20 degrees on mine is pretty normal. ive found that putting in or out of sunshine depending on the weather can help decrease this but honestly 10 degrees on either side of your target temp isn't going to be a huge deal.