Smoker temperature at various levels

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 21, 2013
Mahanoy City, Pa
This is no doubt a very elementary question to most. I have been smoking for about 20 years, and have never used two levels simultaneously. My question is will one level cook faster than the other? Which one ? Ernie
Hey OLDEBOONE.  I can only talk about two levels on my WSM.  My WSM has about a 15 degree difference between the upper level (hotter) and the lower level.  I usually smoke for just my wife and a few friends or family.  If I'm smoking the same type of meat on both levels, which I rarely do, I count on the lower level taking a little longer.  I usually put two different types of meat on and put the one that will finish quicker on the upper level, more for convenience sake that anything else.   
Hi Oldeboone,

Thinking thermodynamically, heat rises so it makes sense that the upper level will be hotter than the lower level.  This is true with any type smoker.  

Good luck,

I have found in my vertical smokers that the racks closest to the heat source are hotter than the others. So in my UDS, GOSM and mini-WSM the heat source is at the bottom. Therefore the lower racks are hotter than the upper racks.
I've seen several cutaway pics of a WSM with meat placed on both racks. What was confusing to me is one showed chicken on the top rack and another showed it on the bottom rack.

If I'm smoking pork and chicken I'll smoke the chicken on the bottom rack so the chicken drippings don't contaminate my pork.

I've also smoked both of them on the top rack together making sure they don't touch. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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