How important is temperature

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by vwaldoguy, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. vwaldoguy

    vwaldoguy Smoke Blower

    How important is actual cooking temp? I mean, I see a lot of debate about 225, 240, 275, etc. Is it really that critical? Is 225 in 8 hours the same as 240 in 7 1/2?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For me if I am doing low and slow, I try to keep it between 225 and 250.  I then cook to finish temp not time.
  3. vwaldoguy

    vwaldoguy Smoke Blower

    Yes, I cook to finishing temp also, but just asking, does 15 degrees and half an hour really make a difference in the final product?
  4. I tried a couple smokes at a higher temp and I did not see much difference.  I think there is more room for error in temperature swings at a lower temp.  We are shooting for low and slow aren't we?  Lower temp works for me.
  5. With those temp examples, no not really.    Though if you wanted to talk finesse it would depend on what you are smoking.  Chicken, burgers, etc, anything that doesn't need to be broken down, I would go hot and fast.

    But your ranges are well in the low - low medium.    They will be fine for anything that takes a long time already.   I don't think you will see much difference in tenderness.     The only thing I wonder is in that last bit of cooking on something like a brisket.    People talk about the timing of it, and how a few degrees might make all the difference between tender and moist, and tender and dry.    So at the higher end of your range, that few degrees might have a smaller window than at the low end of your temp range.   So you'd have to be paying more attention.    That's about all I can see with that.
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I don't think 15 degrees makes a difference in time. Sure it might save a few minutes but I don't really notice a time difference until I start increase my temps by 25-50 degrees. As for difference in finished product, it all depends on what it is. I actually prefer some things smoked at 300 and others at 225. It all comes down to personal preference. The idea that "low and slow" is the only way to go seems silly to me. If I smoked a pork butt at 300 or "hot and fast" it still takes 8 hours to cook. That is plenty of time for everything to breakdown and for it to absorb the smoke. 

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