Right you are, Dude.http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=61546
An empty smoker behaves much differently than a loaded one. My UDS does not like to stay below about 290° empty. But throw 10 pounds of pork butts on it or a 12 pound brisket and it will cruise nicely anywhere in the zone. It seems pretty happy at around 240° as long as there is a heat sink. But towards the end of the cook when the meat is approaching the finish temps of 195°+ and there's not much heat being absorbed by the meat, then it wants to creep a little bit and I have to throttle the air back.
You got that right, Piney.
And don't worry, sadfjnb. I don't think you've screwed up your first smoke. It's just taking a little longer than expected. Now, the first spare ribs that I smoked . . . talk about screwed up. They had so much creosote on them it made my tongue tingle. (I thought it was the pepper at first.
) It all gets better with experience.
In my humble experience and according to all I've read, there is not much benefit to be gained from smoking at the bottom of the 225° to 250° range. I've read where some folks start low say around 225° and then let it creep up towards the middle or end of the cook. I think many more people cook at the high end 250° or even in the 260s and 270s than cook at the low end the entire time. And from what I have been able to gather, there is almost no gain at all from trying to smoke at 200°. It just takes longer and often times just dries out the meat. Just my opinion and what I have observed from reading others experiences.
Sadfjnb, take this brisky to the end (however long it takes) and show us some pics of it sliced and you'll get points from me for hanging in there.
Nothing wrong with starting big as long as you're able to improvise. He who improvises best, wins!!