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Do you all preheat higher than your intended cook temperature?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Just had a quick question. Been smoking since October with pretty good results but it always seems to take longer than the cook times I see other propane smokers achieving on SMF. Wondering if that's because I spend some time at the beginning of the smoke waiting for my smoker temp to climb back up to the desired temp once I put the food inside. So my question is if my target temp for the smoker is 250, should I preheat to 300 to allow for the temp drop of putting the food in and opening the door to do so. I am using a maverick which I know is accurate and I have a masterbuilt dual fuel pro. I have just been hitting my target temp, making sure it stays there for a few minutes and putting the food in and eventually the smoker climbs back up to where I want it. However if I add a lot of food to the smoker or for some reason keep the door opened longer than I should, it could take 20 minutes or more to climb up to my desired temp. Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 5

I don't see a problem starting at a higher temperature.  I start my small Lang at 325 - 350 and then load.  It takes 15 min or so to stabilize at the final cooking temps but that's ok.  I find it easier to come down with the temps then to turn up the fire and raise the temps 

post #3 of 5

Really depends on how much is going into the smoker.   The more mass you put in your smoker, and the longer the door is open, the longer it will take to come back up to temp.  Shooting a bit higher on the starting temp is the way to go in my opinion.  How much higher really depends on how loaded the smoker is.


If I'm just throwing in a rack of ribs (which I almost never do), I'll bring the smoker up to my target cooking temp.   If I'm going to load in 100lbs of cold Boston Butts, I'll crank the heat up higher at the start and dial it back as the meat heats up.

post #4 of 5

I have done it both ways and it turns out fine. Smoking for me is more about enjoying the weekend at home with the family so if the end result is good then I don't care about that 20-30 minutes of heat stabilization. Heck, I dont even have a fancy digital temp for the cooking temp just an el cheapo homedepot brinkman gauge. Best advise I can give is do what ever is easiest to you and set back and enjoy.. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the responses. I will try preheating a little higher then my desired temp. And if I am doing a large smoke, I will start significantly increase it and just lower it as necessary.
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