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Smoker Temp

Lucas G

Joined Nov 30, 2020
Hi all. Newbie here. Any opinions are greatly appreciated.

I have a GMG Davy Crockett. I was having trouble with meats getting way too done, so I set up my Maverick temp probe and found that the reading just above the grates, where the probe is held, could be wildly different than my setting on the smoker, even though I was pretty careful about placing the heat shield where instructed to. I just decided to trust my Maverick going forward, and set the smoker to whatever temp was needed so my Maverick read the temp I wanted. Obviously not an ideal solution, but I'm not sold on trying to get the smoker fixed, and probably trust the Maverick more anyway.

The question is this: during setup, I'll set the smoker to 230* or whatever is needed, but once I put a 6-8 pound chunk of room temperature meat in there, the temp obviously drops quite a bit from what it was holding steady at before (part of this is surely that the "cold" meat is near the temp probe, but also just the physics of it all means the temp in such a small volume of the smoker will assuredly drop too). Should I be manipulating the smoker temp setting throughout the smoke to attempt to keep my Maverick probe reading the desired smoking temperature? This would require setting the temp quite a bit higher to start, and monitoring the probe temp and dropping the smoker setting as the meat warms up for the initial portion of the smoke. Or, should I trust that the setting I used prior to putting the meat on, which held the empty smoker temp steady, is the proper setting to use throughout the smoke, even though my Maverick probe will read quite a bit lower for a while until the meat warms up?


Meat Mopper
Joined Jan 27, 2016
I'd argue yes. I mean i typically smoke hotter (250-270), but what I usually do with my WSM is get it running around 250-260, then put on the meat, then I'd set my partq to 235ish for about an hour or two and raise to 255 after that. Reason being is that the probe is usually near the meat so while the ambient temp is "low" its not actually low. Once the meat's been in for around an hour i've found I can bump the temp back up without the smoker going crazy. sometimes i have to go + 10 degrees and then in another hour do another 10 degrees. I tried 2 times of just setting it straight back to 250 and ended up with 280-290 temps so i've learned to back it down about 20 degrees of target for an hour and slowly start raising it as the meat heats up.

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