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Smoker duration issue

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I own a 36 gallon RF smoker. For some reason all my smoke sessions take a lot longer than 'usual'. The first thing you would think of is the smoker temperature might be low. I have used 4 different thermometers, I place them at the food grate a couple inches away from the meat.

I have stopped spritzing and have tried to not use water pans. I have no idea why it's taking me hours and hours longer to complete something. I'm pretty sure I have tried and thought of everything, but still wanted to post this on the forums.


post #2 of 11
Have you checked the thermometers in boiling water? What temp are you showing close to the meat?
post #3 of 11

Yea, I'd start by checking the accuracy of the themometers. As you clearly know spritzing/fanning the door is a god way to extend cook times. However, you should never have any extended cook times when using a water pan, unless you're having to refill it every couple hours, and thereby fanning the door. Water pans give you the luxury of not only creating a moist environment but promoting even sustained heat as well. Not that uneven heat should ever be a problem in a RF. Beyond that, the only thing I could see would be not having enough air/heat flow.

post #4 of 11
Same meat supplier? Fresh or pre packed. I've had times vary on equal weight Butts from two different suppliers.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

I have checked the thermometers and are working well (did the ice water test and boiling water test).

I am talking about all meats I smoke. From butts, to ribs to pork belly, to a rib roast.

@KRJ I am interested in your not enough heat/air flow. How would I be able to test if that would be true or not?
post #6 of 11

Do you allow the meat to sit out or take it straight from the refrigerator?  What is your temp that you are stuck at?

post #7 of 11
I'm not entirely sure how you would test it, but there surely is a way. I mean from what I can tell about a lot of the calculations for building a RF, part of the main design is the amount of air flow throughout the smoker.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Take it out of the refrigerator, then rub the meat then on the smoker usually.

I usually smoke between 225 and 250F. It's challenging to get my smoker hotter than 250F.

I did not build this smoker myself. But there is definitely some flaws in the design. So besides the temperature of the pit, air/heat flow contributes to cooking the meat as well? That would mean that 250F inside one smoker could be very different than 250F inside another smoker.
post #9 of 11
Take from fridge, rub it, and let stand till meat is almost room temp. That will shorten your cook time. I never put cold meat on, always room temp.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am not looking to shorten my smoke session necessarily. I am trying to figure out what could causing the hours of extra smoke time with my RF smoker.

Getting meat to room temperature is a myth. Measure the internal temp of your pork butt next time and check the IT after 60 or 90 min and you will see :)

Heat/air flow makes the most sense since I have ruled out the rest (unless I didn't think of something). On the other hand my meat is never bitter or over smoked which would indicate the flow of heat and smoke should be relatively alright...
post #11 of 11
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