First time smoke - temperature management question

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by germanjp, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Ok - i am 15 minutes into my first smoke (2# pork tenderloin). I'm having trouble keeping the temperature at the 220-225* mark, it keeps wanting to get up to around 285*, even with the actual burner off. I have a Masterbuilt with two doors, so i have the bottom door at the coal pan ajar slightly, which seems to be doing the trick, but obviously that is not a good long-term solution.

    Anyone have any good tips on how i can manage the temperature? Did i maybe just use too many briquets? Thanks for any help...
     
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like too many briquettes to start with
     
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pork tenders go quick and benefit from higher heat, nice bark, let it go for today and play with different charcoal loads another day until you learn what is needed for the desired temp. Just remember don't let the IT get above 145°F if you want juicy pork. Use Chicken Quarters to play with...JJ
     
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    also opening the door is going to let more air to the coals and therefor it's going to fire up even hotter eventually... I would close ALL the vents and doors and wait at least 30 minutes and see if temps start to come down... out of curiosity... what are you measuring temps with ?
     
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    wait.. I'm confused.. at one point you say you turned the burner off ? then you say you have charcoal... I don't understand ...
     
  6. Yeah, sorry - i left the burner on til i had a good batch of coals going, then turned off the burner and added my chips. I have it pretty regular now at 210* with the door shut. I'm using the built-in thermometer on the door here for the chamber temperature.

    75 minutes in, i checked the internal temperature, and i'm at 125.6*. Typing this all out now, i realize that NOT using the burner basically takes away virtually any ability to regulate things, but i was worried that even on a low setting, it would be too hot. But, i guess that get resolved with less charcoal, huh?

    Thanks for the reponses, guys - I do appreciate the input very much.
     
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I missed that...If this is a Gasser with a Chip Pan, you have too much Wood Chips or Chunks in there and they are burning adding to the heat. I agree, shutting it down chokes out the fire in the pan. However, if you can just remove the wood in the pan safely and open everything up, let it cool, and start fresh with the Propane set as usual but 1-2 Chunks or a small handful of Chips...JJ

    Update...It is my understanding that is meant to be used with Charcoal or Propane. Does the manual say to use both?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  8. Masterbuilt manual basically just gave separate instructions for either charcoal or wood smoking.
     
  9. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    is it a dual fuel smoker. (propane or charcoal) ? please give more info about the smoker... as far as temp gauge goes.. in the near future get yourself a Probe thermometer (ET732 or 733 are well like around here)... the manufacturers gauges in the door are notoriously known to be well off ...
     
  10. Just a temperature gauge on the outside, with a metal probe that sticks through the door into the chamber. Now at 130* internal, not sure how much more it will go up after i pull it off and wrap it up...
     
  11. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    140` is USDA approved for done... that is a lil on the rare side... 145-150 ish works for me....
     
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    First time I ever heard about someone using both fuels at the same time...Kind of some creative thinking, lighting the Charcoal with the Propane.[​IMG]  

    You will find you need to learn how much Charcoal to use for a given temp and it does take practice. Always add Lit Coals to your fire as needed. Close down Air to cool down the fire and open the damper to build some higher heat. The top vent is best left 100% open to keep fresh smoke on the meat, don't want nasty Creosote or stale smoke. On the other hand, Propane is the next best to Electric for easy temp control. If you want better heat control and low temps, you will need to do a Needle Valve Mod. You will also need to set up a wind break. At low temps, a Fart can blow a Gasser out....JJ

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/128297/needle-valve-mod-using-bayou-classic-regulator
     
  13. Well, at least i did something right, even if i totally backed into it. :)

    Yeah, working with the vents has definitely been the trickiest part of it all, but i'll get there, and definitely will check out that needle-valve mod link you sent and look into a probe thermometer like JD07 suggested - thanks both for those tips.

    Pulling it off in a few, can't wait to see how it turned out.
     

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