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traeger fails. - Page 3

post #41 of 81

By the way, sorry for hijacking the heck out of your thread suze!


post #42 of 81
Thread Starter 

well, i tried a chicken at those high temps. i got little smoke taste. it was the same as done in the oven.


i like a heavier smoke taste than most people. i get that best with low temp cooking over longer periods.


this may apply only to pellet smokers. i suspect not, but i have no experience with other smokers.

post #43 of 81

you are correct. Pellet cookers are known for the lack of smoke. That's why a lot of people use smoke generators with them

post #44 of 81
Thread Starter 

sigh. one more reason to hate treager.


i need a smoker that burns chunks, but uses electricity or gas. i hate moving parts anyway.

post #45 of 81

I would not give up on it


lots of people love them and have great results.


just do some research on it, I am sure you will find out something that will work for your pit!!


lots of info out there

post #46 of 81
Originally Posted by susieqz View Post

well, i tried a chicken at those high temps. i got little smoke taste. it was the same as done in the oven.


i like a heavier smoke taste than most people. i get that best with low temp cooking over longer periods.


this may apply only to pellet smokers. i suspect not, but i have no experience with other smokers.

Actually you are correct....it is am issue with pellet cookers.  Because of the efficiency of the pellets in producing heat, pellet eaters certainly don't produce as much smoke as other cookers, especially at higher heats.  As discussed earlier, it is the reason why many folks, including myself, use a smoke generator for added flavor.


Now I wish someone would tell me what hot and fast temps are and what low and slow temps are, because as I see these discussions, if someone is smoking at 225 and someone else is smoking a 200 then the 225 guy must be hot and fast (and lazy)?  Never in the bbq community has 250 to 265 been considerd hot and fast....just hotter and faster than 225.  I've cooked on them all, started with block pits and then to horizontal stick burners and if you know how to maintain the efficiency of your burn you'll get any type of smoke you like.  There is nothing wrong with laying on a little heavier smoke at the beginning of the cook to get a smokier flavor if you are smoking at high heat or want to add more smoke flavor to your chicken.  But sooner or later you are going to have to get the temp up for poultry to crisp the skin or unless you  like it rubbery, or want to finish it in the oven. In which case you'll be a "kitchen cook" again.  (only kidding guys).


Also, one last thing.... if you are using Traeger pellets, they suck for smoke flavor.  Probably the worst in the business.  Lots of others out there that make a world of difference.  I happen to use BBQ Delite and have never looked back.  They have an oak base, which I have always like for a smoking wood, and then have another wood combined with it.  Very efficient, very flavorful, and when I add them to the AMAZN smoke tube and pop that in the pellet cooker it gives me just about exactly the smoke flavor I like.

Edited by geerock - 12/16/14 at 10:17am
post #47 of 81

Yeah... it's one of those arguments that has no conclusion. It's too subjective. For instance, my 2 cents:

- Any smoking protocol under 140F is "cold smoking".

- Between 140F and 225F is dangerous because it allows proteins to stay too long in the bacteria growth zone.

- Between 225F and 300F is "low and slow".

- Anything over 300F is "hot and fast".

post #48 of 81
Thread Starter 

remmy, are you saying that only cured meats can be cooked under 225?

post #49 of 81

Nope. Not what I said at all. Again, those are just my "off the cuff" generalizations about time and temp. Fish is different than beef, which is different than pork, etc and the scales change with each. The protein's starting temperature, thickness, whether there is fat running through the cut or it's very lean, etc all play a role in the time/temp/safety calculus.


Food safety is a huge chunk of common sense. One thing I'd love to see with the electronic temperature probes (Maverick, etc) is an on-device (and downloadable) time/internal-temp chart. It'd be another great tool to properly manage food safety.

Edited by Remmy700P - 12/16/14 at 1:07pm
post #50 of 81

Remmy is right on with his comments


In the groups I am in 275 is considered the low of the "Hot and Fast" range, but its the same general idea.


Other than that I concur completely

post #51 of 81
Well....... I guess it's good to have more than one definition for different stages of smoking temperatures.... Below are definitions that Marianski has noted... Steven Marianski... you have maybe heard of him......

Don't get teed at me.... they are his definitions.... Just thought a different point of view was appropriate here.....

Cold Smoking

Cold smoking at 52-71° F (12-22° C), from 1-14 days, applying thin smoke with occasional breaks in between, is one of the oldest preservation methods. We cannot produce cold smoke if the outside temperature is 90° F (32° C), unless we can cool it down, which is what some industrial smokers do. Cold smoking is a drying process whose purpose is to remove moisture thus preserving a product.

You will find that different sources provide different temperatures for cold smoking. In European countries where most of the cold smoking is done, the upper temperature is accepted as 86° F (30° C). The majority of Russian, Polish and German meat technology books call for 71° F (22° C), some books ask for 77° F (25° C). Fish starts to cook at 85° F (29.4° C) and if you want to make delicious cold smoked salmon that is smoked for a long time, obviously you can not exceed 86° F (30° C). Cold smoking assures us of total smoke penetration inside of the meat. The loss of moisture also is uniform in all areas and the total weight loss falls within 5-20% depending largely on the smoking time. Cold smoking is not a continuous process, it is stopped (no smoke) a few times to allow fresh air into the smoker.

Warm Smoking

Continuous smoking at 73-104° F (23-40° C), from 4-48 hours depending on the diameter of the meat, humidity 80%, and medium smoke. The weight loss varies between 2-10%, with the difference being largely dependent on the time spent smoking. The surface of the product becomes quite dry but the inside remains raw. Because of the warm smoke, the product receives more smoke in its outside layers. This dry second skin helps increase shelf life, as well as prevent the loss of its natural juices. The color ranges from yellow to brown and has a little shine due to some fat moving outwards.

Warm smoke temperatures lie within the The Danger Zone (40-140° F, 5-60° C), which is the range of temperatures where all bacteria grow very fast. We may say that most bacteria love temperatures close to our body temperature, which is 36.6° C (98.6° F). Optimum growing conditions for infamous Clostridium botulinum are 78-95° F, (26-35° C) but it will still grow at 45° C (113° F). At those temperatures the only protection we have is the sodium nitrite (Cure #1 or 2) which should be added to smoked meats. As explained later in the book, the reason for using cures (nitrite) is not only to eliminate the risk of food poisoning (Clostridium botulinum) but to obtain the desired color, achieve better flavor and prevent the rancidity of fats.

Hot Smoking

Hot smoking is the most common method of smoking. Continuous smoking at 105-140° F (41-60° C), 0.5-2 hours, 5-12% weight loss, heavy smoke. This is not recommended for large pieces of meat that are expected to be stored for a long time. Although it is the fastest method, there is not enough time for adequate smoke penetration. This results in higher moisture content, reducing the product’s shelf life. This type of smoking can be divided into three separate phases:
1.Drying out the surface of the meat for 10-40 min at 112-130° F (45-55° C), some very light smoke is acceptable, although not necessary. Besides drying out the surface of the meat, the temperature speeds up nitrite curing. Keep in mind that the draft controls must be fully opened to eliminate any moisture residing inside of the smoker. Applying smoke at temperatures higher than 130-140° F (54-60° C) will prematurely dry out the casings on the surface of the meat and will create a barrier to smoke penetration.
2.This is the proper smoking stage at 112-140° F (45-60° C) for 30-90 min, using medium to heavy smoke. The color becomes a light yellow to dark brown with a shade of red. In this state, the natural casings become strong and fit snugly on the sausages.
3.Baking the sausage at 140-176° F (60-80° C) for about 10-20 min. Temperatures as high as 194° F (90° C) are permitted for a short period of time. Proteins are denatured in the outside layers of the product, but the inside remains raw with temperatures reaching only 104° F (40° C). Natural casings fit very snugly, become shiny, and develop a few wrinkles. This is a welcomed scenario; lots of smoked products are subsequently poached. Acting like a barrier, the drier and stronger casings prevent the loss of juices. This type of cooking (poaching) is more economical to baking (less weight loss).
post #52 of 81

this is about smoking sausages which I am totally in agreement with.


I am sorry, I thought we were talking about meats like pork butt, brisket, chicken etc.

post #53 of 81
Thread Starter 



post #54 of 81

well if you dont want to believe me, check out Jeff Phillips (the owner of this website) own recipes.


Take note of the temps he is cooking at.


Here is an example



post #55 of 81
I believe you.... You cook food with smoke, at very high temps...
post #56 of 81
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

I believe you.... You cook food with smoke, at very high temps...

my last post was in response to suzyq's last post, then she deleted it


your post referred to smoking sausages.

Edited by ButtBurner - 12/17/14 at 3:52am
post #57 of 81
Hey Brian..... Those temps are for whole muscle meats too....

You seem to be convinced that whole muscle meats need to be cooked hot and fast.... Taking precautions for bacterial growth, low and slow is good, very good...
post #58 of 81

I never said they NEED to be cooked hot and fast.


I said that I cook them hot and fast (most of the time)


the reference you posted refers to cooking sausage.

Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Hey Brian..... Those temps are for whole muscle meats too....

You seem to be convinced that whole muscle meats need to be cooked hot and fast.... Taking precautions for bacterial growth, low and slow is good, very good...

no I never said it NEEDS to be cooked hot and fast.


I merely suggested that she try it.


And again, your reference is about smoking sausages.

post #59 of 81
Well, according to Marianski, you are Barbecuing.... 190-300...... Smoking is done with temps below 140.....


There is a significant difference between smoking, barbecuing, and grilling. When grilling, you quickly seal in the juices from the piece you are cooking. Grilling takes minutes. Smoking takes hours, sometimes even days. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that by throwing some wet wood chips over hot coals you can fully smoke your meat. At best you can only add some flavor on the outside because the moment the outside surface of the meat becomes dry and cooked, a significant barrier exists that prevents smoke penetration. A properly smoked piece of meat has to be thoroughly smoked on the outside and everywhere inside. Only prolonged cold smoking will achieve that result. Smoking when grilling is no better than pumping liquid smoke into it and claiming that the product is smoked now. Let’s unravel some of the mystery. All these methods are different from each other, especially smoking and grilling. The main factor separating them is temperature.

Smoking – very low heat

52° – 140° F(12° - 60° C) 1 hr to 2 weeks, depending on temperature

Barbecuing – low heat 190° – 300° F (93° - 150° C) low and slow, few hours

Grilling – high heat 400-550° F (232-288° C) hot and fast, minutes

The purpose of grilling is to char the surface of the meat and seal in the juices by creating a smoky caramelized crust. By the same token a barrier is erected which prevents smoke from flowing inside. The meat may have a somewhat smoky flavor on the outside but due to a short cooking time it was never really smoked. Most grilling is performed on gas powered units.

Barbecuing is a long, slow, indirect, low-heat method that uses charcoal or wood pieces to smoke-cook the meat. The best definition is that barbecuing is cooking with smoke. It is ideally suited for large pieces of meat such as butts, ribs or whole pigs. The temperature range of 190° - 300° F (88° - 150° C) is still too high for smoking sausages as the fat will melt away through the casings making them greasy. The baked sausage will taste like bread crumbs.

Barbecue is a social affair, people gather to gossip, drink, have fun and to eat the moment the meats are cooked. On the other hand, traditionally smoked meats are usually eaten cold at a later date. As barbecue brings people together, it is not surprising that everybody loves the event. Although barbecue is popular in many countries, nobody does it better than Americans. There, barbecue is a part of tradition like American jazz. It has become the art in itself with constant cookouts and championships all over the country. Although barbecued meats can be placed directly on the screen and cooked, in many cases they are first marinated. Marinades consist of many flavoring ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, and spices whereas traditional curing basically contains only water, salt and nitrite, sometimes sugar is added as well. To make great barbecued products the understanding of the following steps is required: controlling fire and temperature, moisture control, smoking with wood and the required time for barbecuing.
post #60 of 81

While this is all true and I agree with it, we are talking semantics here.


Look at suzyq's posts. She wants to "smoke" at 225. which is impossible according to this


Also, Jeff Phillips (site owner) recipes refer to "smoking" pork butts, brisket, all sorts of meat at temps of 225+


Which of course is also impossible according to your posted information


"smoking" as its referred to on this site, is generally referring to a wide variety of cooking methods using smoke as a flavoring.


I was addressing suzyq's desire to cook at 225.

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