About keeping proper temp.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bucko1, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. bucko1

    bucko1 Newbie

    Say you want to keep your temp. at 225. How much can you safely go over or under 225 while trying to get back to 225? I am going to try a boston butt using charcoal for the first time and hope it works for me. THANKS 
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Safely?   Safely is a lot different then what is good for the cook.  If you don't inject or penetrate the butt with a thermo within the first hour your have some flexibility.       When I was using charcoal I always shot for between 200 and 250.  But I did have it go to 300 at times.   We like a nice steady 225 because of the quality of the food it produces but even now when I run my wood burner I am happy to keep it between 210 and 240

    Start with a hot fire and load the meat.  If you are using a smaller charcoal burner the heat will come down when you load the smoker.  Add small amounts of fuel to help stabilize.

    Good luck,  you have to pay attention to charcoal smokers so be prepared to baby it a bit.
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Remember that any adjustments you make to the vents, etc. will take about 10 minutes to demonstrate the effects, so be patient after you tweak things...

    If you stick to the basic internal meat temperature-gets-out-of-the-danger-zone-(40-140*)-in-4-hours-or-less, you will be safe.  And don't insert the temp probe into the meat until well into the smoke, so you don't introduce bacteria into the center of the meat before the surface is sterilized...
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What smoker do you have?
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Butts are very forgiving , a temp. range of 50* or so won't hurt, it's the IMT that heralds the finished product. Judge time at 1.5hrs. / lb. and sit there drinking your brew and watch for  , say 10* changes and move the intake just a little to regulate airflow and thus heat, keep the exhaust wide open and use only the intake, as stated , patience is your friend - be vigilant and your Butt will be Lip Smacking...

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