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??? about cook time inconsistencies

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

When I first began doing this a couple of months ago it was considerably cooler outside (where the electric smoker is) and often the wind would be blowing pretty hard. In my notes I wrote down the temp and time used to do the few things I've tried cooking/smoking so far: fillets of Swai, boneless pork loin roast, ground turkey 1lb loafs and 1/2lb patties, and a ribeye steak. This past week things have been much different than they were a couple of weeks ago. I've had the RediChek 2 probe thermometer that was so helpfully recommended by the nice people in this forum, and have been paying attention to the IT as suggested. But for example the ground turkey loaf that took 2hrs at 230° to reach 150 IT a couple weeks ago, was cooking "too" quickly a couple days ago and ended up dropping the temp to 207° for about the same or less time to get the same result. And tonight the pork loin that took 2hrs 40min at 225° to reach 135 IT a couple weeks ago, tonight took less than 2hrs to reach 140°. Is that because the outside temp is higher, or because of humidity, or what? Thinking from one direction it could seem that if the outside temp is higher the overall temp in the smoker will stay higher, but from another direction if the outside temp is lower then the electric element in the smoker will be on a higher percentage of the time so it could take less time to cook than when the outside temp is higher. What to think??? Do we need to always take the outside temp into consideration and adjust cooking times and temps accordingly, and should make note of such things for different outside temperature ranges?

post #2 of 5
Yes outside temps make a difference. As well as the wind.

Summer time makes things cook quicker.
post #3 of 5

I am Sorry to disagree with my Esteemed Colleague, :icon_redface:But...Outside temp should have little effect, when preheated, on Smoker Temp and Cook Time in an " Electric " Smoker as most are well insulated to hold a steady heat and the Digital Controller is designed to turn the coil on and off as needed to maintain the set point. I am not talking 50° Below Zero or 120°F in the shade, just average Winter temps vs average Summer temps.  What make and model do you have? As not all are well insulated and some can be set to a temp or Low, Medium and High but have only simple thermostatic control. The opposite is true of Gasser's and Stick Burners. They are rarely insulated and with these, if you set at 225 before sun up, your smoker temp will be hotter by Noon. It may also drop if the wind kicks up and it starts raining. With a well insulated smoker like a MES or Smokin-It the biggest impact outside temp typically has is...In the Winter the Coils are on more to hold 225 and in the Summer the Coil does not run as much. But regardless of time of year, the smoker temp should hold fairly steady or swings will average out during hot smoking. I have 2 MES40's and once hot, it holds well whether it's 30°, cycles more, or 90°F, coil not on as much...

 

There are many factors that effect cook time. No two pieces of meat will be EXACTLY the same Weight, Thickness, Density, Fat Content and Moisture Content. Even if you bought two Butts and trimmed them to exactly 8 pounds then placed them side by side, they are from different Hogs. They will more often than not, hit a desired benchmark IT like 140 and later be probe tender pullable, at different times. It may be only minutes but it could also be Hours. There are hundreds of Step by Step instructions, How To's and Cook Tutorials on this site. They do provide a great guide to what timing you can expect but Your cook time will never be the same. No One can say an 8 Pound at 225 but will always take 12 hours or a 4" thick, Brisket at 250 will always take 10 hours to get probe tender. Continue to take notes, but as they say...YMMV...JJ


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 3/30/16 at 10:31pm
post #4 of 5
I agree with chef jimmy....outside temps don't affect how long a piece of meat will take to cook, although depending on your cooker the outside temps can have a significant effect on how much fuel or energy it will take for a cooker to maintain a particular temps. For instance if the temp is 10 degrees and windy outside I'll be able to notice an increase in fuel needed compared to a calm, hot summer day. The old saying "BBQ is done when it's done" really is true,time per pound and even internal temp is a guideline.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

I am Sorry to disagree with my Esteemed Colleague, icon_redface.gif But...Outside temp should have little effect, when preheated, on Smoker Temp and Cook Time in an " Electric " Smoker as most are well insulated to hold a steady heat and the Digital Controller is designed to turn the coil on and off as needed to maintain the set point. I am not talking 50° Below Zero or 120°F in the shade, just average Winter temps vs average Summer temps.  What make and model do you have? As not all are well insulated and some can be set to a temp or Low, Medium and High but have only simple thermostatic control. The opposite is true of Gasser's and Stick Burners. They are rarely insulated and with these, if you set at 225 before sun up, your smoker temp will be hotter by Noon. It may also drop if the wind kicks up and it starts raining. With a well insulated smoker like a MES or Smokin-It the biggest impact outside temp typically has is...In the Winter the Coils are on more to hold 225 and in the Summer the Coil does not run as much. But regardless of time of year, the smoker temp should hold fairly steady or swings will average out during hot smoking. I have 2 MES40's and once hot, it holds well whether it's 30°, cycles more, or 90°F, coil not on as much...

There are many factors that effect cook time. No two pieces of meat will be EXACTLY the same Weight, Thickness, Density, Fat Content and Moisture Content. Even if you bought two Butts and trimmed them to exactly 8 pounds then placed them side by side, they are from different Hogs. They will more often than not, hit a desired benchmark IT like 140 and later be probe tender pullable, at different times. It may be only minutes but it could also be Hours. There are hundreds of Step by Step instructions, How To's and Cook Tutorials on this site. They do provide a great guide to what timing you can expect but Your cook time will never be the same. No One can say an 8 Pound at 225 but will always take 12 hours or a 4" thick, Brisket at 250 will always take 10 hours to get probe tender. Continue to take notes, but as they say...YMMV...JJ

You dont have my mes. Its horriable to cook in. Huge temp swings. Maybe thats why it got replaced.


JJ got you covered.

Sorry for bad info
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