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Consistency across the smoking chamber - simple mods

post #1 of 2
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I did a lot of reading up on pellet grills before purchasing my Rec Tec and I did note that many people have problems with actual temps vs set temps, consistency across the grates, and getting a good smoke on the meat.  I just did a long smoke this weekend on some butts and had great results.  I had read a lot about a downdraft mod that people are purchasing for around $100 and this intrigued me.  The mod is supposed to help in the areas mentioned above.  I wanted to test the theory and after seeing a mod from Pelletheads, I purchased a $3 3" elbow and used it to pull out exhaust air closer to the middle of chamber rather than from the top.  One other mod I made is pouring about 20# of fullers earth in the bottom of my chamber.  That does two things, sucks up any residual grease that misses my grease tray and helps me hold / maintain temps a bit better in sub freezing weather.

 

 

I had it set at 200 for about an hour while putting some smoke on the butts and the steaks in the pic above.  After pulling the steaks and doing a reverse sear on them on my gasser, I bumped the temp to 230 and let the Rec Tec do it's thing.  Early on in the smoke, there is a bit of a difference from set/actual temp, and grate temp (I have a maverick prove in the rear left corner just behind the elbow.  I think the temp of the meat has a bit of play in this.  The following were smoker set temps, grate temps and meat temps at different stages:

 

Set temp - 230

Grate temp - 221

Meat temp - 81

 

Set temp - 230

Grate temp - 221

Meat temp - 115

 

Set temp - 230

Grate temp - 226

Meat temp - 122

 

Set temp - 230

Grate temp - 232

Meat temp - 160

 

I then foiled and raised the temp to 240.

Set temp - 240

Grate temp - 245

Meat temp 200

 

I am more than ok with these temps.  I can go to bed on overnight cooks and not have to worry about my actual vs set temps.  This unit is rock solid and is very consistent across the chamber.  I think the mods have helped.  The nice thing about the elbow mod is that I can remove it in literally 5 seconds - the downdraft hood for $100 looks good, but is bolted to the chamber.

 

The results:

 

 

Happy smoking!

 

Lance

post #2 of 2
I use something similar in my GMG Daniel Boone! Good mod and a decent fix for the price.
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