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Whats special about 225°

tallbm

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I see it often here where someone asks about how to smoke.something and the general response is to smoke it at 225° for a time range, and an IT to shoot for. Sometimes it is recommended to smoke higher.

My question is, is there magic in the 225° or is a temp like 215° just as good but will take longer? Is there some reason that smoking lower can cause a problem?

Just trying to understand. I like the smoke from my smoker at 215°.
Didn't read the whole thread but the only magic I can think of when dealing with 225F are the two following things:

  • Meat in the smoker doesn't really want to go higher than 15F degrees below the smoker temp. So at 225F smoker temp you can get meat to 210F internal temp (IT) before it wants to really resist rising in temp. This means you can do any kind of BBQ and hit an IT.... but 225F will still take a looooooong time to get it there when often not necessary.

  • On the East Coast or the "Old" South a lot of BBQ is seasoned/rubbed with sugar. Sugar will want to burn and get bitter at temps around 250F or above (that's my understanding at least). So no burning sugar. In Texas this isn't really a problem as my whole life I never saw anyone put sugar in a seasoning or rub for BBQ so sugar to burn and get bitter.
That's about all I can think of, but that is just knowing nuances of making BBQ. I never heard anyone say 225F because of those 2 points.

When making BBQ it is best to understand that each meat has it's own quirks to deal with. These quirks will affect the time, temp, and approach to making the BBQ

For example chicken/turkey with skin on will want to be smoked at 325F or higher in order for the skin to be edible. If not you get leather/rubber skin. Yeah you can attempt some other tricks to avoid the rubber skin but all I have tried have not been satisfactory, only the temp to cook at. Skinless, no issue cook at any temp.

Brisket, chucks, pork butts, beef ribs, and some others don't care what temp they are smoked at as long as you don't put sugar on it. They are all done when they are tender and the IT of the meat will tell you when to check for tenderness. Never time or temp, only tenderness.

Other meats chicken/turkey, ribeye roasts, and others are done when the meat hits a specific IT.

Sausage and bacon have a specific process of curing and then brining the smoker temp up slowly to like 160-170F until the meat hits desired IT.

So, on and so on. The meat you are making will determine what you do with process, time, temp, tenderness, etc. :)

I hope this info helps
 

xbubblehead

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At my 6,000 ft or SmokinEdge's 6,500 ft the ideal pull temperature is still below the boiling point. At 7,000 ft the boiling point is below 200F where it can start to become an issue for an extended cook time.
 

SmokinEdge

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At my 6,000 ft or SmokinEdge's 6,500 ft the ideal pull temperature is still below the boiling point. At 7,000 ft the boiling point is below 200F where it can start to become an issue for an extended cook time.
How is 7000’ a problem?
 

WaterRat

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On most pellet smokers you’ll get more smoke at lower temps so that is a consideration when I’m smoking. So I may smoke a butt at 225 until an IT 160, then wrap it and bump to 300 until tender.
 

schlotz

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There is no real special temp to smoke at. For example you can smoke butts and briskets at any temp, low & slow or hot & fast. Same for ribs. There are other more important aspects mentioned above related to food safety that should be followed. The rest is up to you. Find a method that suits you and fits the time frame you have available.
 

yankee2bbq

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It's all about the clock for me. I do 225F on long overnight smokes. The magic? I can sleep!

I'll be doing spare ribs today. Probably will smoke them north of 300F.
I’m with noboundaries noboundaries .
I smoke big pieces of meat overnight @ 225. Wake up in the morning and kick up the pit temperature to 250-260 and finish off to my desired IT.
My smoker: WSM 22 with a Bbq Guru controller.
 

pineywoods

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Most cuts that we smoke are cheaper (I know not so cheap) and are tougher cuts so 225 gives the meat longer to break down all the meat fibers and collagen to make the meat tender. Cooking it at 300-350 doesn't give it as long to break the fibers and collagen down. It will also affect the amount of smoke the meat gets some people say not much but how can something smoked at 350 have the same smoke content as something smoked at 225? When it comes to smoker temp shoot for a range not an exact temp otherwise you will drive yourself nuts constantly trying to adjust the temp. I shoot for 225 but have a range of 215-250 if It's running in that range I'm happy and not adjusting anything. As was mentioned some things are better at different temps like poultry it doesn't have all the tough meat fibers and collagen to break down so smoking it at a higher temp will affect the amount of smoke it takes in. At 225 the skin on poultry comes out like rubber kick that smoker temp up to 325-350 and you get a little less smoke but nice crispy skin. Fish is another one that doesn't need to be smoked at 225.
As was mentioned earlier in the old days most people didn't have thermometers for checking the smoker temp or the meat temp but if they kept the smoker going at just below boiling point it was considered good if liquid started to boil then they knew it was to hot. They could run the smoker just below boiling and cook it long enough to be tender but not dried out
 

DougE

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On most pellet smokers you’ll get more smoke at lower temps so that is a consideration when I’m smoking. So I may smoke a butt at 225 until an IT 160, then wrap it and bump to 300 until tender.
I have got to where I run mine on low smoke (160 degrees) for awhile, to get some good smoke on, then bump up to 275-300 for the rest of the cook.
 

xbubblehead

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How is 7000’ a problem?
Large muscle meat contains 45% to 72% moisture depending on several factors that don't really matter here. Even if we assume our cut of roast is on the low end of that range that moisture is going to vaporize when it gets to it's boiling point and in the process it can retard the meat getting to our desired pull IT and potentially cause the meat to dry more than we want due to extended cook time. Brining adds to the moisture content so consider it as well.

There is nothing magic about 7,000 ft, it just happens to be where the BP drops below 200F, a typical pull IT. The elevation issue is much more severe for other cooking methods such braising, boiling or steaming but it doesn't go away because we're grilling or smoking.
 

chesterinflorida

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I cook poultry north of 300 degrees

Big meats I like 270-280 degrees or so.

Stuff like ribs that don’t take so long or pork tenderloin i like 225 to 250 degrees at least to start, then tend to bump up later in the cook.
 

SmokinEdge

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Large muscle meat contains 45% to 72% moisture depending on several factors that don't really matter here. Even if we assume our cut of roast is on the low end of that range that moisture is going to vaporize when it gets to it's boiling point and in the process it can retard the meat getting to our desired pull IT and potentially cause the meat to dry more than we want due to extended cook time. Brining adds to the moisture content so consider it as well.

There is nothing magic about 7,000 ft, it just happens to be where the BP drops below 200F, a typical pull IT. The elevation issue is much more severe for other cooking methods such braising, boiling or steaming but it doesn't go away because we're grilling or smoking.
Still matters not.
My meat is fall off the bone at same IT as sea level. No difference.
You people over think stuff, and create problems where there are none.
What’s next? BBQ on the moon??? Who cares, it’s irrelevant.
I’ve made chuck roast so mushy tender I didn’t want to eat it cooking at 135* in SV for 48 hours. How is that possible??? Good grief the fake news.
 

jcam222

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If my cook will never take longer then 4 hours, I dont have to worry?

Or if the IT will also not be above 130, I'm safe? Is there a different time constraint to get to IT 130°, or is it still 4 hrs.
What are you smoking at 210F that finishes in < 4 hours? I smoke virtually everything between 250F and 300F. I see no discernible difference in flavor or tenderness or even smoke ring between thst and lower temps.
 

Nefarious

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What are you smoking at 210F that finishes in < 4 hours? I smoke virtually everything between 250F and 300F. I see no discernible difference in flavor or tenderness or even smoke ring between thst and lower temps.
A 4lb whole prime beef loin, I'm in 2 hrs now.and IT is 112°.

Actually it is at 215° on average. That was.just an example.
 

thirdeye

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At my 6,000 ft or SmokinEdge's 6,500 ft the ideal pull temperature is still below the boiling point. At 7,000 ft the boiling point is below 200F where it can start to become an issue for an extended cook time.
Well, maybe it's a competition secret (or some teams might fudge the numbers).... but I judge in the Mountain West and two of the highest comps are Leadville, Colorado and Frisco, Colorado at 10,000'+ and 9,000' respectively. The cooks I've visited with pay attention to the boiling temp of water at a particular competition.... but base their pull temps on probe tenderness. In Leadville for example a brisket will hit a second stall about 196°F. In the next hour the decision on when to remove from the pit and into the hot box is based on probe tenderness because the internal temp might not budge. The same team may cook at the American Royal (Kansas City) with the same meat and same technique and they see a second stall about 210°, but again they wait for the good feel.
 

noboundaries

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Yeah,, and??
Setting the three laws of thermodynamics aside, here's a simple explanation how sous vide works.

 

civilsmoker

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There are many magic temps to smoke with.....

150 - peppers
180 - 20-30 heavy smoke steaks before sear..
225 Prime Rib and many other things if you have time....proof in the pudding general temp....
235, similar to above but better bark on shorter cooks, my new PR temp...
250, just a set above 235 for same treatment
275, ideal for reducing overall time and bark....ribs, PP, brisket all do really well at this temp and you don’t have to cook all night - max temp for sugar rubs...
295, quick non-sugar cooks, good bark...good for beef ribs (prime rib ones)
315, good to keep birds roasting with reduced skin browning
325, standard roasting birds...
335, better skin color and crispness on whole birds, my go to for whole....
350, good for roast rack of pork, because short cook and good caramelize for sugar rub, again short cook for sugar rub...
375, good for bird parts
395, even better bird parts for roasting BBQ style, smoker needs to be clean of grease or bad smelling stuff
425, Beef Wellington (should also add pulled pork, brisket, and turkey wellys too)....

this was just a quick brain dump on the perfect temp....to be honest I smoke at way more other temps than 225, because of the short descriptions above.... I have even gone to smoking prime ribs at 235 for a better bark with no reverse sear....
 
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SmokinEdge

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Setting the three laws of thermodynamics aside, here's a simple explanation how sous vide works.

Cool.
but how does this change anything in this conversation?
Elevation would change this?
 

pineywoods

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Still matters not.
My meat is fall off the bone at same IT as sea level. No difference.
You people over think stuff, and create problems where there are none.
What’s next? BBQ on the moon??? Who cares, it’s irrelevant.
I’ve made chuck roast so mushy tender I didn’t want to eat it cooking at 135* in SV for 48 hours. How is that possible??? Good grief the fake news.
It may matter to some people
Does elevation change the boiling point of water? So 212 degrees isn't the same at sea level and at high elevation so if someone wants to take that into consideration in relation to smoker temps of finished internal temps of smoked items then that is up to them. If you choose not to that is up to you. Is your way right is their way right do what works for you. There is usually more than one way to do things and neither is right or wrong if it ends up correctly.
 

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