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100 Percent Humidity

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
How much can humidity affect cooking times?

I did my first smoke last week in a Big Chief. It was 20f outside. I put a cardboard box around the BC to help insulate it. cooking temp varied but then reached about 200* for last 2 hrs. or so.

I did venison jerky...outside looked a bit charred but inside was very tasty.
post #2 of 14
I would think that humidity would have an effect just as any other variable would, but in cooking in various climates and temperatures, I can't say that I have seen any noticeable difference.

I guess part of it would depend on what type of cooker you are using, but I still can see where it would make a significant difference.......unless you are just talking about cooking in a flat out rain.
post #3 of 14
Are you talking temps or humidity. I am not sure where you live but if you are talking 20º out, temps are working against you. Humidity is something that controls moisture levels around the meat. I make a decision to use water in the pan or sand in the pan if the humidity is 70% or more. 70% and above, we use sand. I know if you are in cold climites and struggle to get your temps up to a reasonalbe range, you should consider trying Playbox sand, instead of water. You will see much higher temps. For moisture, spritz your meats with a marinade or your favorite spray to keep the meats moist.
post #4 of 14
If you're smoking with a water pan, it seems to me that you already have a fairly high humidity inside the smoker, so it doesn't seem like high outside humidity would make much of a difference. I still pretty new at this stuff so there's probably a pretty good chance I'm completely wrong on this. PDT_Armataz_01_09.gif
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Outside temp was 20 degrees
Relative humidity 100 %
Big Chief Smoker
"No Water used"

Smoking jerky should I use water?
I did use lava rocks...should I add sand?

I was hesitant to check the jerky near the end because it took so long to restore the core temp. a few times earlier.

Just wondered if I should decrease cooking times when Humidity is so high....was afraid to add water and not attain a hot enough temp. in 20 degree weather.
post #6 of 14
Unless you need the water in the pan to help hold your temps down, I would not put water in the smoker since the goal in making jerky is dehydration........seems like that would just work against you.
post #7 of 14
boy, I will never see that in Florida icon_mrgreen.gif

Maybe use sand in this case if you have issues with maintaining a good temp, just cover it with foil sheet. I would think you would almost be grilling without water or sand being used. Of course, you have me on jerky, never done it before. Love to eat it though.
post #8 of 14
I am using a little cheif smoker, just smaller versoin of big cheif. I am in ND and it's only 22 degrees out and I am smoking pheasent breasts and beef short ribs right now. What I did to make up for the short comings in the little cheif, so I could smoke when its cold out, is I made an insulated box for it to sit in. I used plywood and 3/4 inch styrofoam and panaling. I put wheels on it and such, but thats just me. I also recently installed a larger element along with the original element. So I can if need to run both elements or one or the other seperatly. The larger one is a 1000w and the smaller one is a 250w. So I can have a total of 1250watts if needed. I also made a temp control using the plug in and control from an electric frying pan. So far I am getting good temps today. When I make jerky I use the smoker outside when its smoking, but when its done smoking and in the cooking mode I move the smoker inside my garage till its done. Humditity doesn't seem to be much of an issue for me, the wind is more of an issue here. Hope this helps you out.

post #9 of 14
Now that's what I call inovation! Bet you have some great Q. Points to you.
post #10 of 14
Thanks bwsmith. The Q isn't to bad, still learning and experimenting. But hey that alot of the fun.

post #11 of 14
Hey Kookie,

I have the same smoker and would like to do something similar. I was wondering about where to get an additional larger heating element for it. If you have an pics of your setup I would be interested in seeing them

post #12 of 14
Hey Chubbs, I live in Henrietta and suprised the humidity got to 100% at 20*? Maybe because you live by the lake.

Anyway, with jerkey your trying to dehydrate the meat and not cook it per say. I have a gosm and try to keep the temp down to around 150*, no water in the water pan, you can use sand, i just make large loose balls of aluminum foil and put them in the water pan.

Hope this helps.
post #13 of 14
What everyone else said....ditch the water in the water pan when smoking jerky.
post #14 of 14
And WOW... 200° is a bit high for jerky. I try to keep my smoker below 150°, and finish the jerky after a couple hours in the smoke by putting in the oven around 130°

You'll like the stuff MUCH better this way.
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