Originally Posted by daRicksta
I own a MES electric digital 30 inch Gen 1 smoker. I took a BBQ class recently and the instructor said to keep smoker temps in the 180 to 225 degrees range (for pork ribs anyway). In the book "Smoke & Spice" they recommend cooking temps typically around 215 degrees. In books I have by Ray Lampe he mostly advises 235 degrees. Steven Raichlen recipes are only for gas or charcoal grills and he advises real low and slow smoking only occurs between 250-275 degrees. In one of Myron Mixon's books, he says he cooks all his hogs at 275 degrees, but then he's using professional big rig professional smokers.
I've read in these forums that although the top range of the MES electric digital is 275 degrees it can't always be attained. So I'm just curious as to what MES electric smoker users have found to be the primo temp.
The question you are asking is much like, Whats your favorite color?
I use different temps, just to try diffeent things. Smoking is about trying to do even better tomorrow than you did today, I don't care who you are. All the Pros say consistancy untill someone wins using a different proceedure. LOL
Myself I Have a MES30, and now a MES40 and I prefer to use 220. The reason for adapting a single temp is learming how to adjust time to meats then, instead of adjusting temp and time. Its a lot smarter and easier when you use only one variable.
To me its alot about what you are comfortable with, and what type smoker you use. See if I am using wood or charcoal with a fire breather and have to buy it or split it and tend it. I want it to end expeditiously. With an electric which is more a set and forget, I tend to smoke for convience. I know that with only one exception, LOL, if I stick a butt in at 220, I can figure on 18 to 22 hours. So if I put it in today, 2 hours before I want to eat tomorrow, generally I am happy. The key word is generally. No tending required.
With a fire breather its hourly checks, so using the Texas Crutch, with a higher temp getting about the same quality is attractive if I can cut my time to 12 to 16 hours. Put it in at breakfast and be generally ready at supper. There's that word again.
Meats always have their own internal clock you can only use generalizations and luck to guesstimate when it will be done. But!
Back to the question again. I would say 220 is my norm. But I have been happy at 275, 260, 250, and 200. Each time I was luckly enough to get something good to eat while learning.