We all like to do the mods. They are fun, and we think we making our CG fool proof. I'm as guilty as most are.
But I think for the most part we just fooling ourselves. I've tried a lot of things. Side to side temp regulation for starters. Every time I think I have it nailed down, on the very next cook, it goes haywire, and nothing helps.
Yesterday I smoked 2 slabs of Rib's to give to a neighbor. And I got a new curve thrown at me by my "not so trusty" CG. Top rack temp vs. bottom grill grate temps.
Last time I tracked this was my 1st smoke of the year. Ribs & Chuck. That time when I was preheating the smoker the top rack ran 40*-50* higher than the bottom, but when I added meat to both racks, it settled to only 10*-15* higher on top rack. Stayed that way the whole cook.
Yesterday? started out the same way. Preheat, no meat yet, top 50* higher. BUT... When I put 4 half slabs on grill grates and only a couple of flap ends I trimmed off on top rack, the temps ran 25*-30* higher on BOTTOM grate and not the top as expected.. I reversed the probes, and still got same readings. Nope not the p[robes.
Then when I foiled the ribs later on, placing back on the bottom grate in same area they were at naked, the temp top to bottom, REVERESED! Now it was 30* hotter on top!!!
And it stayed that way, the whole 2 hours they were foiled. I came in the house to watch the Tigers and the Convention going on, and started laughing when I looked at my Maverick and saw that. My wife asked what was so funny, as the Tigers were losing, and I told her I thought I was losing my mind. This is impossible. She agreed with my mind loss.
But then, when I took them back out of foil, and placed on same grill spot, a few minutes and the temps had REVERSED BACK to 30* higher on bottom than the top. What the...?
For those of you inclined to try and figure this out. Meat and probes in in center part of smoker. Not near fire box side. Same for meat on top rack. Same for probes.
So how much did all my modding help me? Well, the temps held nice & steady, even though reversing top to bottom, and confusing me? Steady temp was from good seal on my CG, Stack lowered to with an inch or so from grate. and the welding blanket.
Other than extending stack down to near grate level, sealing chamber well and a blanket over it to retain heat, I can't think of a single mod that has helped me beyond that.
So now my motto is, whatever today smoke throws at me, I will adjust to, and live with, and not sweat the small stuff. Some days I never have to move meat nearer or farther from firebox. Some days, I do have to. Some days I have to pay attention to top vs. bottom temps.
BTW the ribs turned out great. Some of the best I've made lately. Very nice pull back on both slabs. Only 2 small bones on one did not have pull back. Yet even though they are very tender, they weren't fall off the bone.
No pics though. SRY
Have fun, and keeps mods to minimum. Save the expense and worries.
Edited by fpmich - 7/20/16 at 9:51pm