Help with new smoker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by tufunuf, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. tufunuf

    tufunuf Newbie

    Hello - I am new to smoking. I recently bought a Brinkman Trailmaster Off-set smoker. I have already sealed the cooking chamber with the high heat gasket that was recommended. I purchased the tuning plates that have the graduated holes in them (small at the fire box end and large at the other end. I seasoned the smoker about three days ago and am needing to smoke a 9 lb butt roast and four racks of baby back ribs on Tuesday. While seasoning the smoker I placed a thermometer probe through a piece of wood on the cooking grate. I was amazed that the reading on the thermometer probe versus the factory installed thermometer was about 100 degrees apart! Can this be right? If so, here is my question. When I smoke the meat on Tuesday, is there any way I can figure out what temperature to run on the factory thermometer in order to maintain about 225 - 250 cooking temperature on the cooking grate? I ask because there is no way that I will be able to have time to purchase and install thermometers near the cooking grid before I need to cook on Tuesday. And I will be using the meat thermometer probe in the butt roast to know when it is done.

    Thanks for any suggestions you might offer.

  2. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    I'll try my hand at helping here, but keep in mind I'm a newbie as well.
    The convection plate helps even temps across the smoker, from the firebox to the exh side, but I've not found any data to see how well it does this yet as I've been looking at one for myself. But doesn't fix the exh height problem on these cheaper units. I'm putting one together myself, so I'm not bashing it, just calling it what it is.
    If you look at the higher end models the exh comes out at cooking grate level, what this does is cause the heat and smoke to roll around in the cooking chamber more, evening out the chambers temp. You can lower the exh to grate level, a 4" alum dryer elbow, or one of the many other numerous mods, or know what the temp difference is and adjust from there. Remember, heat rises so no matter what, it will always be a little hotter on the top than at grate level! But in your instance, you say it's 100deg off, you want 225, so when the top one is at 325 check at grate level and go from there.
    Also, did you check the gauge in boiling water first? Did you move the adjustment when you installed the gauge? This seems to be a common problem from my reading. Also keep in mind, these are cheap gauges that aren't terribly accurate, I'm saving up to replace mine!
    I hope something in this can help you, good luck.
  3. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Go to supermarket and buy an oven thermometer and put it on the grate . It will give you 100per cent temp reading.
    But remember " if you are looking you ain't cookin"
  4. tufunuf

    tufunuf Newbie

    Thanks for the information. I did not check the temp gauge with water, but I can easily do that. I haven't changed anything on the gauge. I will have to try to figure out the temps on both spots (grate and center temp gauge) in order to maintain a constant temperature while smoking.

    I say that because I will need to cook before I am able to get a couple of new gauges installed. Thanks again and good luck with your smoker too.
  5. tufunuf

    tufunuf Newbie

    I started smoking a 9.5 lb pork butt roast and 3 baby back ribs at 8:15 am. It is 12 noon now and the internal temperature on both are around 170! I have been monitoring the temp gauge on the smoker (factory) all day and it has been between 200 - 275 all the time. But, apparently I am doing something wrong. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.

  6. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    You can foil to help speed things up.  You can increase your temps but at this point you'll be guessing without a proper probe.  Try and get a Mav 733 or similar for your next smoke.  Will be much easier.
  7. tufunuf

    tufunuf Newbie

    I don't quite understand about speeding things up. My problem is that the meats are cooking too fast. They are already at 170 degrees with only 3 hrs into the cooking. I am using a maverick remote probe inside the meats, but, unfortunately I don't have a gauge a grate level. It appears to me that the factory gauge (up top) is showing a lower temperature than at grate level for the meat to be that temperature inside at this early point in the smoke. Any thoughts?

  8. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Ah, missed that, then dial down your temps maybe 30F and see how the IT changes.  It's really guessing at this point unless you have a temp probe for your grid.
  9. tufunuf

    tufunuf Newbie

    Ok. Thanks again.

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