Steady Temp due to welding blanket issue

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Aug 4, 2015
What a great day for smoke'n a brisket in the winter wonderland of Minnesota. This year I decided to invest in a welding blanket to help get control of the temp swings as I believe the only time I can't smoke is when I am gone. So here is the question I am hoping I can get some feedback from others up north. Since using the blanket I have very little temp swings and the pellet usage has reduced dramatically compared to last winter during the same approximate weather. Down side is I think the lack of temp swings (hotter) is resulting in longer times on the smoker. Last year 9 - 10 pound brisket would take 8 hours. So far today I am at 10 hrs with an IT of 181. Others have this experience?

I am looking forward to seeing what it looks like when it is finally done, fortunately I did not need to have it done by a specific time.


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Legendary Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Nov 9, 2019
Nw Iowa
I'm not for sure, but if I was to guess I would say under windy conditions your smoker was cycling more often trying to keep the temp up... so possibly running hotter.
There's also the fact that no two pieces of meat are gonna cook the same.
Hopefully you get some other answers as well.



Smoking Fanatic
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 22, 2022
Brookeville, Maryland
I'm a big fan of covering a thin-walled smoker during cold days - I've been doing it for 35 years. I used to use burlap on my little water smoker as it is loosely meshed and allows the smoke to escape through the mesh. I covered it out of necessity. I would light the smoker and if the temps refused to rise like they should, I cover the smoker, and the temps rise right up like magic.

I now have a fitted welding blanket on my offset. I don't cover my drum or my kettles - no need.

I haven't noticed longer cooking times with a cover.

Good luck


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 13, 2017
Northeast Ohio
I’m unclear on what you mean when you say “ lack of temp swings (hotter)”. I’d have assumed that by adding the blanket you were at your target pit temp consistently resulting in faster cooks.


Jun 11, 2016
st louis
I use a felt welding blanket year round. Even in hot conditions it keeps the fuel consumption down. I have had no difference in cook times related to the blanket.
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Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 18, 2020
Western Colorado
The temp swings are really not the problem that some make them out to be. Overall it’s the average temp that makes the difference. With the blanket, the pit temps stay closer to the set temp, this is often then a lower temp than the average temp was without the blanket. without the blanket, you were likely cooking hotter and faster, not a bad thing at all, but you used more fuel to do that. Now with a blanket, you can try turning up the temp a little at a time until you get the same cook time, you will then use more fuel than Now, but will get the same time frame.
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