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Anticipating winter withdrawls

johnbphotos

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Well, in Michigan the temps are starting to drop.

Unfortunately I'm running a thin skinned offset that, I'm sure once the snow flies, won't be capable of keeping temps.

I would hate to think that I won't be smoking until spring of next year.

As a possible alternative I have been looking into verticles like the WSM and possibly wrapping it up in some sort of thermal (fireproof) blanket or building an insulated barrier/shed for my offset to sit in.

How do the rest of you Northerners tackle the winter months other than drinking heavily and staring at the past summers Q-Views? hahahaha
 

bigal

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Do you have a little garden shed or detached garage?
 

rbranstner

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My three smoker go all year long. I especially love using my UDS in the winter. Build one you won't regret it. 
 

johnbphotos

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I think a shed/enclosure is in my near future.  Currently I do not have a detached garage or shed with enough space to house my offset. Just trying to weigh things out, spend money on an enclosure or another smoker
 
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johnbphotos

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I've been considering a UDS also seeing as the thermal blanket wrap could be incorporated
 

johnbphotos

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The MES is on my list of possibilities, only thing is I, for whatever reason, love to tend the fire. Kind of makes me one with the smoke hahahaha
 
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mballi3011

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Is there anyway that you could vent your smoker out to the outside??? Maybe a drier vent or something along those lines but maybe heavier for the hotter air. Hey it's an idea from a FLA boy. GO GATORS
 

johnbphotos

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Mark,

I've been seriously thinking about that too. My basement would be a great place for an MES. Not sure I'd want to put a stick burner downstairs LOL
 

bmudd14474

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I just run the smoker the same as in the summer. I have smoked in 30 degree weather with it snowing and it worked fine. I am using a propane GOSM. It does take a bit longer to recover when I open it. A welding blanket would work good. 
 

carpetride

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I actually smoke more in the winter than the summer months.  Just too busy in the summer months and I don't mind the cold.
 

rbranstner

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I actually smoke more in the winter than the summer months.  Just too busy in the summer months and I don't mind the cold.

I second that. My buddy came to town last year and it was soo cold my propane was freezing up in the tank. If I remember right that happens around -30degrees. It was cold has heck but we had the smoke shack loaded to the gills.
 
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rdknb

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We had tons of snow last winter and I shoveled to get to smoker and then smoked away.
 

forluvofsmoke

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I have a 10" x 20" covered patio with 3 walls...havent's missed a smoke due to weather since I put it up 18 montha ago.

If you have limited space or budget, go with a simple 3-sided plywood shelter for your smoker with a flat or slanted roof. Anchor it so the wind doesn't take it away from you, and face the open side down wind. You could build the same thing as a portable/take-down type shelter so you could put it all into a shed when not in use if you like that better.

My experiences have been that the main thing that kills a smoker's ability to build or hold temps is wind, then wet, with cold having the least effect. If you can get close to the downwind side of a building, you've got the biggest problem all but solved.

Eric
 

forluvofsmoke

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The MES is on my list of possibilities, only thing is I, for whatever reason, love to tend the fire. Kind of makes me one with the smoke hahahaha
It's all about being in a satisfying state of mind when I am cooking, which for me, is a comfort zone about being able to try new methods, foods, etc. Not fighting the weather helps me get to that place whenever I want, and in the least possible amount of time. I like tending the smoker myself, and the charcoal fire gives so much more flavor than a gasser or electric could ever hope to. I have a couple gassers, never used/owned an electric...don't like a lot of the bad rep that has gone around the troubles with electric, so I'll like never buy one as long as I can run a gas or charcoal burner.

You mentioned putting an electric smoker in the basement...I would have to strongly advise against that, unless you're not married or living with a significant other half...she'd probably put you in the doghouse over that one, as the entire house, including the contents of the closets would smell of smoke woods in a just few weeks. Myself? Well, I'd just gor for it, not minding the aromas at all!!! LOL!!!!!!! If anything went wrong with the smoker and it caused a fire...hmm, the insurance adjuster would have a crap fit over that one, I bet.

Eric
 

johnbphotos

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Wow, awesome input. Thanks!!!

I guess I'll be running to the lumber yard soon :)

(and yes, I'm sure the insurance adjuster would have a fit lol)
 

eman

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I second that. My buddy came to town last year and it was soo cold my propane was freezing up in the tank. If I remember right that happens around -30degrees. It was cold has heck but we had the smoke shack loaded to the gills.
If y'all are like us when we all get together , The folks tending the smokers were loaded to the gills too.
 
 

eman

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Wow, awesome input. Thanks!!!

I guess I'll be running to the lumber yard soon :)

(and yes, I'm sure the insurance adjuster would have a fit lol)

 Just remember Snow is HEAVY!!! Make sure and build so that you can get the snow off the roof or make sure the roof will hold the weight.

We had one member lose his whole gazebo last winter from snow.
 

rbranstner

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No need to wrap the UDS, I smoked in -30 last year and had no problems keeping her going.
I agree no need to wrap the UDS I have also smoked in these temps and it works just fine. If your temps are low you just need to open another valve a bit no need to insulate the barrel.
 
 

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