Author Topic: Smoke generator temp?  (Read 414 times)

Offline shawnj

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Smoke generator temp?
« on: September 03, 2019, 11:40:13 am »
While smoking salmon, I was trying to do the first two hrs apprx at around 120 deg.  The only way I could get it below around 160 was to actually shut off the main element and use the smoke generator for heat. I was also using a wireless temperature sensor to make sure temp was reading.  Is this what everyone else does as well when needing to start off at a cooler temperature?

Offline Toker

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 11:44:55 am »
Perso i use a pid controller for easy temperature control.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 12:45:02 pm »
Hi Shawn,

Welcome to the forum.

That is one of the things I do, but if you need to have temperatures under 120°F you may need to take extra steps. Such as add ice in the cabinet, but this often will have an effect on the draft. You can buy or make a cold smoke box, that detaches your generator from the cabinet. Since you have the digital model you would need to extend your sensor cord, and make or purchase a by-pass plug. Do a search for "cold smoking box" in the cold smoking sections. Other helpful tips are to smoke during the cooler parts of the day, if you can't do that make sure your smoker is in the shade. If the cabinet overheats, open the door to allow excess heat out, and/or probe the door slightly open using a #2 pencil or something of that thickness. This doesn't seem to have a significant effect on smoke flavor.


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Offline shawnj

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 05:18:13 pm »
Thank you both for the above info.  If it looks like a problem that I will continue to have I may look into this PID controller a bit further.  I had smoke Salmon once early summer but I dont remember the excessive heating.  My digital controller has a minum setting of 120 deg if memory serves me correctly.  I had to shut main element completely off in order to get a temperature lower than around the 150 -160 mark.  Thus using only the smoke generator for heat which I never would of thought I could of got such temperature out of using just that.  Im prepping my third batch of Salmon for tomorrow.  Will see how it goes.   

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 02:22:18 am »
The PID will not bring your cabinet temperature lower than the heat the  bisquette burner produces, since the PID; when hooked up correctly will not control that heat source. The surface of the bisquette burner gets over 550°F, and can bring an empty cabinet above 120°F. Depending on the ambient temperature, and overcast the temperature the bisquette burner will  bring the cabinet to will vary. If the ambient temperature is lower, and it is cloudy the burner will not bring the cabinet temperature up  as high as if it were a hotter/sunnier day. The amount of food you are smoking, and moisture content will also help keep the temperature down. Also the temperature of the food when placed in the cabinet has an effect. So that may have been one of more of the reasons your temperature was lower the time you smoked earlier this summer.


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Offline shawnj

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 07:59:21 am »
Ya that all makes perfect sense.  Its been going about an hour now.  I am using the smoke generator only.  The main element is completely off.  I am using my dual Thermo Pro.  The one probe I have down fairly low and its currently reading about 145 whearas the digital temp on the Bradley display is reading about 155.  Both have been fluctuating some but nothing terrible.  The second probe of my Thermo Pro is currently reading about 127 and also fluctuates somewhat, between 118 and 130 but that is find for what Im trying to do for the first couple hours.  This probe is located between upper two racks.  I may even leave main element off after the next hour depending on how high the temperature rises as I think the next temp level is to be around the 140deg mark for a couple hours approx.  The smell is making me hungry.

Offline dubob

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 09:14:08 am »
I have a Bradley 4-rack digital (BTDS76P) with an Auber PID Controller (WSD-1203CPH).  The PID temp probe is installed on the back wall about 1 inch below the top rack.  My smoked fish recipe calls for 120, 140, and 160 degree temps in the process.  Holding the temp at 120 degrees has never been a problem using the PID in my unit.  The heating element is the original, standard element.
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Offline shawnj

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2019, 09:28:02 am »
Sounds like this PID controller may be the way to go at somepoint for me too.  Im at hour 3 right now and still using the smoke generator only and its now 138 deg middle of the smoker and 132 deg between upper two racks still.   Im sure if I had of put the main element on and walked away it would have gotten completely away from me. 

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoke generator temp?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2019, 01:22:02 pm »
A PID can be useful, but it is not going to control the heat that the bisquette burner is giving off. Search the cold smoke section for techniques that most use to keep the cabinet temperature down when cold smoking, and smoking at the lower range of hot smoking.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)