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Question about temp maintenance...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
With the cooler temps coming, I was dreading the idea of not being able to use my smoker. I've been using an electric Brinkman Gourmet that's worked very well for me. (It's my first smoker so, there's no such thing as a "Bad Smoker" yet.)

That Brinkman that I've been using well, she's either ON or OFF so, in the past few weeks it's been to cool to keep the temps up. And I was just getting to where I could run it very well.

Anyway....I've come across a new Char-Broil cb600x, $20. I bought it immediately. I also bought a digital, wireless thermometer. Whole new game for me now.

Instead of seeing temps in analog and 10° increments, now I'm seeing them in degree increment in real time. I'm really getting to see how much they actually do fluctuate by degrees as I STARE at the LED. Up and Down, Up and Down..

I've yet to put any meat into the new one but, as I'm seasoning it right now, I'm starting to wonder about temp control. And how to react to the changes.

Say I adjust the temp inside for 220° without anything cooking. When I put the meat in, the temp will surely drop. Do I adjust to get the temp back up to 220° and readjust it down as the meat warms up or just leave it as it was before I put the food in? Also, as the wood turns to embers, I'm thinking it creates heat so, do I adjust again to maintain the 220°? Or am I just getting too specific about this. I'd think +/- a few degrees isn't much of a big deal but, this is the first time I've been able to see temp change by the degree and it's gotten me thinking.

Sorry about the rambling but, I love smokin
Thanks
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
I didn't realize it was that long! I've been up and down messing with the machine and I guess I really did ramble on.
post #3 of 10
You will get fluxes in temps, that is ok and normal. I would suggest getting your cook temps to 250 or higher. It gives you a bit of a cushion on your cook temp. Yes when you add the meat it will drop for a short while, but should recover. Allow for things to settle before you adjust anything.
post #4 of 10

I think Chef has the right of it. I always start off during my preheat stage at 275,  When I insert my meat I normally then reduce the temp to where I want to smoke.  Don't worry about smoke right away either, you have an hour or two to reach an IT of 100 the smoke absorption sweet spot is 100 to 140 IT so don't worry about it.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Start cooking my foods at 250°? I can do that. I've not had any water in the smoker tonight so that may have something to do with the fluctuation. That and the rain and the wind and me adjusting....
post #6 of 10
Yes you can cook at 250. Mine are usually between 250-275 for most meats. Chicken over 300.

Yes wind, rain, outside temps, time of day, mood and just about anything can effect the temps....
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've cooked burgers, they seemed to have taken longer than cooking on the ECB. I'm smoking ABT's now and they seem to be taking longer than cooking on the Brinkman electric. Why the
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
....time difference?
post #9 of 10
I am not sure why food seems to take longer on the electric smokers.

My theory is not much air exchange, but that is only a theory and not a lick of science with it.
post #10 of 10

As others have said, you'll get small fluctuations, it's not enough to worry about.  Preheat to 250 or 275.  When you add your cold meat to the chamber, the chamber temp will drop noticeably and will take time to recover.   As the internal temp of your meat rises, so will the chamber temp.  IF you want, you can dial the temp down just a bit in the later stages of the cook.

 

Adding water or sand into the drip pan will help with smooth out the temp fluctuations and will speed up temp recovery after opening up the smoker.

 

Should also note that the more meat you add in the beginning, the larger the temperature drop will be.  I.e. if you put 40 pounds of cold boston butt into a 230 degree smoker, your chamber temps will drop down under 200 degrees for quite some time and will stay there until the temp of the meat rises enough.

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