cold weather smoking

Started by nodak, January 21, 2007, 09:22:33 AM

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While It's nice today here in the teen's F here in ND.  I usually only have time to do most of my smoking in the winter often in 0 or below 0F. I have a few thoughts/questions?

1. would it help to put bricks on top shelf to help hold heat and even out cabinet temperature instead of sitting them in the bottom of the smoker?

2. how cold of temps have you used your PID? manual says above 32F, I set mine inside and run an extension  cord for my thermocoupler and burner under my garage door out to my smoker, is this unnecessary?

3. I seen a picture recently where somebody put bricks around their vent for wind block would this be more helpful if I put a couple feet of pipe to extend my vent?

anyone have any thoughts or ideas on this subject?

West Coast Kansan

Greetings, used to live by the Peace Garden for two years so remember about the cold... last gravel road north was our lane and corner of farm joined the corner of Peace Garden. Best time was snowmobile down the fire break.

1) The bricks just add mass that will absorb as well as give off heat depending on which is hotter the oven or the bricks. I would think if the bricks were warmed when you put them in it would help maintain temp sooner than a cold brick. I think the function is the same where ever you put them but you will give up rack space up high. They help more when you have a small load of food so maybe that is OK. Just dont like bricks where I might want to put my food.

2) No clue what they are worried about on the PIDS operatonally, unless maybe the display freezing.  Others can comment to correct all this anyway.

3) The smoker draws air in at the generator and exhausts through the vent. This is a good thing unless it is happening too fast and the wind ends up sucking air through the smoker too fast and you loose temp.  The bricks stacked around the vent seem to break up the venturi, coanda, or whatever blow through effect that allows the wind to do this (generator downwind helps too). I would be afraid the extension on the vent pipe would just result in condensation raining on your food. Some type of wind break at the vent and no wind up the generators skirt seems like what helps the most just thinking about it in 70F San Diego.

I think I would also try a hot water heater blanket just to keep the tower warm if I had trouble with heat.

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Nodak, we are in MT and are wondering if you have found any tricks or tips yet? We have our OBS in our uninsultated garage, and have a hard time reaching high temps as well, as most of our smoking happens in late fall, over the winter.


that's an old post  but to help a bit here are a few tips. keep the smoker out of the wind it sucks the heat right out. it helps to preheat the smoker over your cooking temp. lots of people preheat a couple of foil wrapped bricks to use as heat sinks. some have used insulated blankets to wrap the smoker (like a welding blanket) fire retardant  be safe. do not open the door to look all the time. or you can look at some of the mods to increase your heating ability.. hope this helps


I've used as many as four bricks at a time for heat sinks.  Two below and two above the not quite defrosted turkey breast that I was smoking.  (There was plenty of space in my six rack.)  Because it was cold, windy, and rainy, and I still had some ice crystals in the cavity area of the bird, I preheated the bricks in a 400 degree oven before transferring the bricks to the smoker.

If you've got the space, I think that using heat sinks speeds along the cooking part of the smoking process.  For me, heat sinks are part of my smoking routine.  Regardless of the outside temp.