Smoke in the winter

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by ryanje, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    Hey All,

    Is it possible to smoke succesfully when it is 20 outside? I am currently trying to smoke a 2.5 pound prok shoulder. Its been on at 225 for 4.5 hours now and is only at 145 degrees. This is my second attempt at this and it seems at this rate it could take 8-9 hours for a 2.5 pound butt.

    How is that when I have two thermometers that verify the temp at 225-250?
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I smoke all the time when it is below zero and have not had a problem. Just keep the door shut and keep the temp around 225-250 and you will be fine.
  3. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    Does it make sense then that after almost 5 hours of cooking a 2.5 lb pork butt it is still at about 150?

    I am confused.
  4. smokin dad

    smokin dad Fire Starter

    Should take about 4 hrs for that size roast are you sure the temp is really 225 did you verify your thermometer is accurate?
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    where are you thermometers located?
    You can and people do cook in the cold all the time but it does take longer. I think the grate temp might be 225-250 but inches up near the smoker shell it could be a lot less.
  6. denver dave

    denver dave Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I smoke all year round out here in Denver. In the winter, I add around 45 min to the cooking times especially if the wind is blowing. Set your temp and be patient. Patience is a virtue when smoking. Set your temps and let her smoke.
  7. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    winter smokes was one of the reasons I bought the GOSM, I could sit on the couch, and not worry about temps as it did its work. Worked pretty well for a propane smoker.

    Ive since sold the GOSM and gone back to charcoal.
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Does seem like a long time, but you may be in a stall. Try using Playbox sand in your water pan instead of water during the cold months.
  9. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter


    I have verified accuracy of my digital probe in boiling water. I placed the probe through a piece of wood and located it right next to the meat. That said 225-240, also the thermometer on the door which I calibrated said 225-240. This is the level the meat was on. It smoked for 6 hours and only got to about 155!! it was about 20 degrees all day.

    A 2.5 lb pork butt. This is my second attempt, I tried to cook a 3.5 lb one and it got to about 145 after 7 hours!

    I cant understand what is happening! I am very discouraged.

    Any help would be hugely appreciated!!!
  10. I have always been under the rule of its done when its done. Just keep smookin and after the internal temp reaches what you want - check to make sure it really is. (if it reads 180 and looks like a hockey puck, then maybe the probe is a bit off). All meats are different - they dont all come from the same pig, or cow or whatever. Who knows the genetic makeup and how it affects smoke time. I have had the same size butt go in 4 hours or 9 hours.

    Relax, it's just meat....take your time (and allow time if you're cooking for an event or guests) Every smoke is a learning process whenther you've done 3 or 3000.

  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not aying that we get really low temps here in north Florida but we do get some here and I have smoked in some 30° maybe 40° nights and it just takes alittle longer thats all. Now you might want to think about investing in a welders blanket to drape over your smoker during thou.
  12. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    I guess what doesnt make sense is that I am having no trouble getting my temp up at all.

    At the rate it was going it could have taken 9-10 hours for a 2.5lb butt!?!?!

    Can this be possible?

    Maybe there is some issue that I am not understanding. I know all the smoke comes out of the doors when they are closed, almost nothing comes out of the top stack. Could it be because of this, Its quite windy.

    I guess it just seems if my temp readings are 225-250 it should be cooking but its not.
  13. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I did some chickens here today and it was only 10 with windchills of -8 so it can be done. It sounds like wherever your probe is located is getting to temp, I'd put the meat next to the probe if it's not. My only thoughts are maybe you are losing heat too fast at the part of the smoker the meat is trying to cook on so while the probe says 225-250 the meat is cooking at a lower temp. Good luck.
  14. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    hey i remember that song,,,,, no wait that was smoke on the water!!!!
  15. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    And fire in the sky! [​IMG]
  16. kulok

    kulok Fire Starter

    i just got in to this .so it has been cold every time i smoke so far.
  17. bobbyd

    bobbyd Newbie

    you may be getting to much air if smoke is coming out your doors try closing off the intake alittle and create a draw on you fire this should help with the low temp at the same time ive just started smoking but ive had a wood stove for along time and this otta help
  18. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    THANKS everyone for your help!!
  19. grillin_all_day

    grillin_all_day Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Don't get discouraged and keep smokin! I've smoked on plenty of days this winter when it's been below 20* and every smoke has been different. Like others have said, it will be done when its done. I've had some butts that have been done in as little as 6 hours, and some that have taken 13 hours.
    Question though, was the butt bone in or out? If it had the bone, was your probe away from the bone? Also, is it possible that you had your probe in a piece of fat? I did a brisket and not knowingly put the probe right in some fat which threw my temps off by a good 9*. I also did a butt over the fall and didn't realize that the bone ran all the way through the butt, so when I stuck my probe in, it ran right by the bone throwing my temps off.
  20. ryanje

    ryanje Fire Starter

    Thanks! It was bone in, not touching. Maybe a fat pocket though. I may have figured it out.. Well see on the next smoke.

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