Cold weather smoking...

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by dwalker, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Hey - I just joined up the other day.  Today was my second try with my off-set smoker.  I went with tenderloins again, thinking I will save my pennies for the big cuts until I feel a little more confident. Anyway, I used lump charcoal, got a good fire going and got to about 245 in 20 minutes or so (CT).  Put the meat on at 2pm, was able to maintain a range of 225 to 255, frustrating that it fluctuates so much.  I probed at 2 hours and had 115 IT.  I added lumps and one more wood chunk (apple) and by 6:30 pm, was only at 131 IT after many more charcoal additions.  Long story sort of shortened, I am finishing in the oven... and my wife wants me to ask you guys if you make house calls!  To relate this to my title (cold weather smoking) my humble theory is that mother nature out did me by dropping the outside temperature from 65 at 4pm to about 35 at 5:30... making very hard for me to keep the heat up in the smoker.  Does that sound reasonable?  It's darn chilly out there.
  2. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    All I will say for now is 10 layer of HD Foil.

  3. Sweet!  Thanks for the photo.  I was starting to think if i could find an asbestos blanket somewhere.  Finished in the oven, tastes great but a little dry on the ends.

  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Colder temps will cause you to use more fuel to regulate the smoker temps. How long it takes to finish the product is determined by the size of the product. We always cook to internal temps rather than time.

  5. smokinal

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

    I'm not real familiar with cold weather smoking, as I live in Florida. But I know that a lot of guys use welding blankets to keep the heat in.
  6. shortend

    shortend Meat Mopper

    I sometimes use one of those aluminum coated insulator wraps made for water heaters that I fitted for one of the WSM's. Works real good. Just cut flaps where I need to get at stuff, like charcoal door etc., and tape back shut when not using. Don't know why one couldn't be cut to adapt to a side firebox unit.

    Lots of folks use welding blankets to throw over the top, and that seems to work as well. Sometimes, just some type of windbreak does the trick, as the wind is probably more of a problem than the actual temperature. At any rate you will definately use more charcoal in colder temps. But hey, were smokin' here, and will often got to great lengths to git-er-done. Right?

  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How did it turn out?

    Sounds kinda risky!
  8. I am no expert, but I don't think it was risky.  I sure hope not, I just ate a big plate of it and it is delicious (even if I had to finish in the oven.)  Maybe I will go back to some of the safety articles, but I had a good 2 hours of 225 to 250 for the outside of those tenderloins before I probed.  It took me a while to realize that the cold air was sucking away my heat and I was too afraid of over doing it.  

    Thanks for the welding/water heater blanket ideas guys, more practical than that asbestos blanket....

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Since you waited to Probe, you will be fine even though it went a little long getting to 135*+...JJ
  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  11. 2salty

    2salty Fire Starter

    I'm hoping the cooler ambient temperatures will aid me in my cold smoking.  I've seen the examples of underground pipes with buried fireboxes.  But in 40 degree weather (in Louisiana), seems like the smoke in my wood stove piping will cool better than being buried in the warmer-than-40 degree ground.  And I also understand that the length of piping, and material (conductivity) of the smoking unit will make a difference.  What happened to dwalker sounds to me like the difference between wonderful and "wonderfuller".  Sometimes it's only wonderful.
  12. Thanks guys.  So far I have survived... but I did not let my wife eat any last night.... maybe I'll just keep it to myself anyway.  Good luck with that cold smoking 2salty - I think I will keep it simple for now, based on my limited success.

  13. smokinal

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


  14. Al... sorry the finished product is all I have (and it's post refrigeration).  Still yummy though.


  15. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  16. 1 - worthless is a bit strong, 2 - I posted a photo last night and it is being "reviewed" apparently....
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  17. smokinal

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

    Don't take it too seriously. We have a lot of fun on here & Rap is just pulling your chain a little. We all like to see BBQ pics & there is a saying around here. "No pics, didn't happen!"

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