Author Topic: Maintaining temperature  (Read 6750 times)

Offline whitetailfan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 799
  • Nice Rack
Maintaining temperature
« on: March 11, 2004, 05:34:40 am »
How does everyone find maintaining a temperature when you add your meat product to the smoker?

I have started to preheat my smoker lately which I think is a good idea, but as soon as I add my product to the smoker, the temp drops and stays low.  Of course when you open the door your internal temp is shot[:(!] but it will not reheat to the same temp with the cold meat in it.

How do some of you handle this.  Since I am shooting for a specific temp to smoke at, I have to crank up the heat control to try and reach the temp I just had the smoker at.  There is no control when you have to guess where to set the slider to.  Does anyone else "chase" the temperature back up, or do you leave the heat control where it is when you add your meat, and then just wait until it slowly climbs back to the temp the smoker was maintaining prior to adding the meat[?]

John - Lethbridge, AB
Vegetarian is an ancient aboriginal word meaning "lousy hunter"
We have enough youth...how about a fountain of smart?
Living a healthy lifestyle is simply choosing to die at the slowest possible rate.

Offline Regforte

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2004, 07:27:30 am »
John, do you put your product in the smoker straight from the fridge or do you let it warm up a bit first? The lower the product temperature, the more it may drag the oven temp down (more mass also  increases the effect).

Is it bad enough where it's really a problem? On more forgiving cuts of meat where temp stability is less of an issue I don't worry much about it. If it takes a while for the smoker to get hot again while cooking pork butt it won't matter very much. With something that requires more precise temp control (certain kinds of sausage, for instance) then yes it might be an issue.

Some more details would help.

What are you cooking?
Is is cold from the fridge or is it warmed to room temp?
What is the initial oven temp?
What does the oven temp look like after putting in the product?

Offline Bassman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 01:54:18 pm »
This is what I do. I preheat the smoker,take the meat out of the fridge at least a half hour before smoking and let it come up to room temp. After putting meat in the smoker bump the slider just a little bit.this will help bring your temp back up quicker.Like Regforte said, with things like pork butts it doesn't really matter because the longer it takes the better.[;)]

<i><font color="blue"><b>Jack</i></font id="blue"></b>
Jack

Offline Danny

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2004, 03:25:16 pm »
For the past 15 years I have been working my way up the "smoking ladder" as far as quality and price goes. Starting with a "little chief" and now I own a 20lb smoker from the Sausage Maker out of New York. Really nice unit, but it doesn't have a separate smoke generator. In addition to the heat loss from the addition of cold meat, you suffer a double hit when you put the dampened pan of chips on the only heat element in the cabinet. I have had my eye on the Bradly for some time now, but was disappointed to find out that it had no thermostat.[:(] As some of you have said, on many things the temp is not that critical, but for smoked sausges using a curing salt, the smoking cabinet and the internal meat temp is very important. And I too am tired of "baby sitting" the dial until the cabinet temp stabilizes. The Sausage maker sells an add on thermostat that can be added to any smoker. Sells for about $100.00. I have not purchased it. I was sure that the Bradly would have one considering the price? That is the only thing that is making me hesitant on buying the bradly. Danny

Offline ChefJeff

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2004, 03:30:50 pm »
I take out the  meat and let it get to room temp. Before putting it in the smoker.I pre-heat the smoker and have used it at 24'F.(wind chill 14'F} and it came back to temp and maintained without a problem.[8D]

SMOKIN & SPOKEN

Offline Bassman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2004, 08:42:26 pm »
Danny,
I have not had any trouble maintaining temp with the bradley.I have a remote thermometer so I can keep an eye on temp from inside my house.Works really well,can also monitor internal meat temp with it.[:D]

<i><font color="blue"><b>Jack</i></font id="blue"></b>
Jack

Offline trout

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2004, 12:21:35 am »
I usually will set me stuff out at room temp for an hour before smoking.  I also turn on both the smoke generator and main cabinet heat to warm up.  But I don't put any biscuits in until I add the meat.  I also bump up the heat a bit after adding the meat, but within less than an hour temp stabilizes and you can let it go.

Danny,  As far as sausage making, I don't think you want to use a small cabinet electric smoker with a thermostat for that.  If you ever put a good thermometer in an electric oven, you will find pretty good peaks and valleys of temp as the element kicks on and off.  Your temp will be very inconsistent in a small cabinet like a smoker.  You are much better off with a consistent variable heat source where the only variation is lower temp for a bit if you open the door.  Anyone who has smoked sausage before knows that if your temp spikes too high it will render the fat in your sausage and ruin it.  It will not hurt cured smoked sausage at all if the temp drops down for a bit if you have to peak inside.[8D]

Let your trout go and smoke a salmon instead.

Offline Chez Bubba

  • Tryin' to be a good guy
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,969
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2004, 12:52:44 am »
In another thread, someone (I forget who[:I]) suggested putting a foil-wrapped brick on one of the racks at the pre-heat stage so that it would retain heat & help the smoker come back to temp faster. I haven't tried it yet, but that makes sense to this simple mind.

Kirk

http://www.chezbubba.com
Ya think next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non?" they would mind?
http://www.brianswish.com
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?

Offline whitetailfan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 799
  • Nice Rack
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2004, 03:30:39 am »
Regforte and others,
I have been taking the meat directly from the fridge which taking it out for an hour or so makes a lot of sence to me - thanks for the tip.[:)]

Basically I have been preheating to about 180deg for the last couple of outings.  When I put in the meat, it drops to around maybe 110deg or less and hangs there for longer than my patience will bear[:(!] therefore I wind up bumping the slider to get it up to temp quicker, and then have to back it off to it's "pre-bumped" position.  Then I usually wind up going over to over 200deg.  No biggie when I'm cooking something, but the last thing I did was a batch of jerky and I did not want the temp that high.  Some of you pointed out some of my problems in another thread, and I was smoking too hot.

I also read the tip about the brick and what I used (but forgot to report on) was some extra barbecue briquettes I had when I changed over my grill from lava rock to ceramic.  They are like 2 inch square, and I lay out six of them around the water bowl on the bottom tray in hope that I can replicate the brick idea.  I had a brick, but it is really heavy and ackward compared to the briquettes, so I never tried the brick.

I think one big difference is the temp of the meat, and I will try to warm to room temp next time.  I have two loins in a brine right now and will be smoking them on Saturday.  Report my results on my smoked porkchop thread under curing.

Thanks guys[:D]

John - Lethbridge, AB
Vegetarian is an ancient aboriginal word meaning "lousy hunter"
We have enough youth...how about a fountain of smart?
Living a healthy lifestyle is simply choosing to die at the slowest possible rate.

Offline Danny

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2004, 02:13:21 pm »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Bassman</i>
<br />Danny,
I have not had any trouble maintaining temp with the bradley.I have a remote thermometer so I can keep an eye on temp from inside my house.Works really well,can also monitor internal meat temp with it.[:D]

<i><font color="blue"><b>Jack</i></font id="blue"></b>
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Thanks to everyone for the feedback on temp. Allowing the meat to warm up is not a problem at all. My next question maybe answered in the Bradley catalog that I have not yet received yet. Is there a door in the back of the smoke generator to empty the ashes? Do the biscuits drop into a Pan or tray of some sort? Will that pan hold the all the ashes that as made in 8 hrs of smoking as the copy says the Bradley will do? Thanks Danny

Offline ChefJeff

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2004, 03:23:16 pm »
Danny, The ash falls into the water bowl,this keeps the biscuit from flaming.The bowl holds all the ash(8hrs.)but you might have to add more water.

SMOKIN & SPOKEN

Offline snapper39

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2004, 12:04:52 am »
Danny: although I am in the process of building a smoker with an old fridge, a hot plate and a Bradley Smoke Generator, I think I have the temp control thing figured out. I purchased a digital temp controler, a J coupler and a relay which I will hook in line with my hot plate. Bought everything on ebay for about $35.00 USD. It is going to take about a week and half for me to get it, so I am still a few weeks away from starting. Point is I cant see a reason why you couldnt do the same with the Bradley heat bulb.
It's going to be nice to be able to set the temp and forget about it. Seems like cheating a little though.
Snapper

Offline Regforte

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2004, 04:40:45 am »
Howdy Snapper.

Can you give details on models, part numbers, etc on what thermostat parts you're using?

Thanks.

Offline snapper39

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2004, 02:26:13 pm »
No Problem As soom as I get everything delivered I will list everything for you. This guy I am dealing with over the ebay email seems like a real electronics specialist. He has all kinds of Thermostats relays and j couplers, for real cheap. He can hook you up for under $30 CDN which is about $2.00 US. Anyway as soon as the transaction is complete I will give you the guys Canadian ebay #, He ships to the US and dont forget how far your money goes up here.

Snapper

Offline Chez Bubba

  • Tryin' to be a good guy
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,969
Re: Maintaining temperature
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2004, 11:31:02 pm »
Danny,

If you're still waiting on your brochure, send me your address. We'll send one out to you Monday, along with an owner's manual so you can see exactly how it works.

Kirk

http://www.chezbubba.com
Ya think next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non?" they would mind?
http://www.brianswish.com
Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?