Author Topic: Do you have to preheat?  (Read 517 times)

Offline JackAttack

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Do you have to preheat?
« on: March 25, 2017, 05:31:53 am »
Hi guys, I was just wondering if you have to preheat? I lose so much heat when I open my door to get everything in, can I just put my meat, my boiling hot water in water bowl and my bricks in at the same time and turn the OBS on. Then when it gets to temp, put the pucks in? I'm in Saskatchewan, Canada and we've had freezing rain all night and temp is supposed to get to 5 C today. My smoker is in a shed. Making ribs for a birthday supper tonight. Ribs will be at room temp and covered in rub.

Offline TMB

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Re: Do you have to preheat?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2017, 08:33:19 am »
Yes I would say.

    Even though you lose heat when you open the door to load your food the interior of the box is still warm so it will not take a long time to heat the box up.  The biggest issue I have with my OBS is heat recovery after the door has been opened.
 
But, it is what it is and I'm not going to spend time and $$$ for a second element upgrade.  I feel the OBS should have come from the factory with a 750 or 1000 watt element instead of a 500.  But I learned to overcome most of the reheating issues.  Even down here in the sunny south it can be a issue with heating back up during cold spells

Only cooker I do not pre-heat is my Big Easy line of gas infrared cookers.  I do however pre-heat my Electric Big Easy because it does take time to get to the proper temp for cooking and smoking
Live, ride, eat well and thank God!

Offline Edward176

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Re: Do you have to preheat?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2017, 09:29:53 am »
Hi JackAttack, I live in Winnipeg so I'm familiar with your plight as we are very similar in temperatures. I see you are doing everything possible to limit your temperature loss (boiling water, heated bricks and meat at room temperature). All these are helpful, but I still would preheat my smoker though its not a MUST. Like TMB said preheating is just that, preheats your smoker and the temperature recovery is quicker. I usually preheat for 30-45 minutes (including bisquette/puck burner element) and when my meat is placed in it's ready for smoke since bisquette burner is HOT. 

Offline tskeeter

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Re: Do you have to preheat?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2017, 09:49:51 am »
As TMB indicated, preheating your smoker isn't about heating the air inside your smoker.  It's about heating up the smoker walls, racks, and any heat sinks (bricks) you are using.  This creates a reserve of heat that is available to be transferred to whatever you are smoking and to speed temperature recovery.

Offline JackAttack

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Re: Do you have to preheat?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 10:02:09 am »
Thanks guys!

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Do you have to preheat?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2017, 12:31:56 pm »
As TMB indicated, preheating your smoker isn't about heating the air inside your smoker.  It's about heating up the smoker walls, racks, and any heat sinks (bricks or hot water) you are using.  This creates a reserve of heat that is available to be transferred to whatever you are smoking and to speed temperature recovery.

I put a foil half-pan of hot water and a foil-wrapped brick on the floor tray (to replace the round bisquette bowl that comes with the Bradley).

Preheat, including bisquette burner before turning on the bisquette feeder.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 12:33:58 pm by Ka Honu »

Offline cathouse willy

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Re: Do you have to preheat?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2017, 01:02:33 pm »
Keep your smoker warm and happy in cold weather, wrap it in an insulating blanket made from hot water tank insulation.  It's easy to work with,add some stick-on velcro for a custom fit, it makes a big difference. I've experimented with adding hot air to the cabinet with a heat gun poked in the bottom of the slightly opened door and it really speeds up recovery time. Just some thoughts.