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meat not reaching tem

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
ok, so after dealing with crappy built in thermometers and trying to maintain temp all day I just pulled my ribs from the smoker after 3.5 hours. The internal temp of the meat only hit about 150. I had to put the meat in the oven to bring it up to 175. do many people have this problem? I am using a 60 dollar brinkmann vertical. I am just out side of boston. The temp outside is about 30, will this effect my smoker reaching temp? am i destined to only use my new smoker in the summer?
post #2 of 16
Truebaca, have you tried drilling holes in your coal basket or even replacing your coal basket. Seems like the coal baskets that come with those smokers do not allow enough air flow to get the coals up to temperature.
post #3 of 16
If you were using the 3-2-1 method then you were prob not far off on temp. But like cowgirl said you need to get air to the coals to maintain temps.
post #4 of 16
6+ hours for spares without foiling...5+ hours for BB without foiling...@ 225-250 degrees. no BS! A bit less with foiling.

post #5 of 16
Sounds like the smoker needs some mods to get you better temps and you need more time in the smoker to get them done as was mentioned above.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

reaching temp problem

the ribs tasted great. i did have to finish them off in the oven to get the meat temp to 175. the meat was not even close to falling of the bone, but i assume its because i couldn't get the temp high enough. I have drilled the holes in the pan, about 20 of them. should I drill holes in the bottom of the pan? I think next time I will using a less water in the pan, see if it allows the temp to climb a bit higher. Out of curiosity, how much lump charcoal and wood chips would be considered average for smoking 4 pounds of ribs? I used about 4 pounds of charcoal and 16 oz wood chips. Next month I have committed to smoking ribs for about a dozen people. Im hoping i didn't count my ribs before they're smoked.
post #7 of 16
What temp did you get to into the smoker? At 3 hours you could foiled for 2 hours more and then remove for the last hour hence the 3-2-1 method. If your smoker was running around the 220 to 250 then you was good. Sometimes the wood chunks can mess with your heat spikes you just have to let them work themselves out. Check out the mods that can be done they will sure help. Post type of heat source, temps you was maintaining, with or without water, and rib prep such as fresh or boiled first (ouch). It will help with assisting you with just a little more info.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

temp problem

i could not get the temp over 180. i took the water pan out at one point and the temp went way up. I didnt feel comfortable with this so i put it back. I have made mods to the pan by drilling holes in it. (before the next time i use it im going to drill more). Im also going to try the 3-2-1 method. in close to freezing temps I hope i can get the temp up to 200+. I would like to avoid using the oven to finish them. Oh, and no i didnt boil. how much lump charcoal and wood chips should it take to cook ribs for 6 hours. I need to know if i have to buy another bag of coal

thanks everybody for your help. this is the most friendly and attentive forum I have ever subscribed to

post #9 of 16
Was it windy when you were trying to smoke? The low outside temps should not affect the smoker's ability to reach 225° - 250°. There are people here who have posted threads of smokes they have done in single digit temperatures. However, even a slight breeze with temps in the 40s will raise havoc with the smoker temp. You may need to construct a windbreak.

Maybe not quite that much wood but you get the idea.

It's always good to have an extra bag of charcoal on hand. The other thing you might do is do some practice runs to get the feel for how the smoker runs. Just light it up with no meat in it and practice regulating the temps. You can learn a lot about your smoker this way without the pressure of people waiting on dinner. PDT_Armataz_01_04.gif

You may also want to practice with ribs if you've committed to smoking for a group. Try the 2-2-1 method for babybacks and you can adjust from there. The great thing about practicing with ribs ahead of time is that you get to eat them.biggrin.gif

Hang in there and keep asking questions if you need to. The smoker in the above picture would have been sold long ago if it wasn't for the help I received from the members here.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

post #10 of 16


Hey truebaca and welcome! How large are your holes? You may need larger holes and not more.

your smokes will get better with practice.....guaranteed!!

post #11 of 16
When its cold, use playbox sand instead of water. It will give you higher more consistent temps. Hard to read the internal temp on ribs. Try the 3-2-1 method, then adjust to your taste. I like alittle more bite to my ribs so I use a 3-1.5-.5 You may have to spray the ribs with apple juice mixture to keep them moist from time to time.
post #12 of 16
Sounds like you are using the same smoker I have. Even with holes drilled temp will be a problem. I use a wok pan available from home depot or lowes.

With this pan you will use less fuel and get higher temps. With just a small bend to the handles it slides right into the brinkman verticle.

This is the same smoker?

Or you could build something like this. I forget which member of the forum made it.

With the wok pan you will have no trouble with low temps. You may have trouble keeping the temp low enough but this can be managed by the amount of fuel in the smoker. You will have to experiment to find out the amounts you need.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

up to temp

thanks everybody. I may try the wok basket idea. Before I go that far, Im going to make my current coal bowl look like swiss cheese. I have about 25 1/4 inch holes drilled now. Im going to double or triple that. Im also going to try the sandbox sand . On top of that im going to use the 2,2,1 method for baby backs.
post #14 of 16
I agree with Flash. Water does nothing towards keeping the meat moist, it's purpose is to help with temp fluctuations and has to be replenished often. I use sand year round. Leave the sand an inch from the top and line with heavy duty aluminum foil to catch grease.

It's hard to get an accurate reading on rib temps because there is so little meat. Use the 321 method and modify to your liking of doneness. When you get the the point of foiling, ( where the meat has pulled back 1/4" from the bone) you can put the ribs in the oven, to keep consistent temp, the smoking is done, anyway. A rack of ribs should flex about 45 deg when picked up in the middle with tongs.

Don't trust the thermometer that comes with your smoker. My GOSM therm was off by 25-30 deg. Get a good duel probe, digital thermometer, to monitor smoker temp.

As DDave said, wind is more detrimental to smoker temp than outside temp. Set up a wind block, when needed.
post #15 of 16
You can drill all the holes you want in the bottom of your fire pan but if you don't get the fuel off the bottom the ash will still choke you down. Get a piece of extended metal to get the coals off of the bottom of your fire pan, you need air flow.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

up to temp

one more mod to add to the list. extended metal . You guys rock.
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