Smoking a shoulder in COLD weather

Discussion in 'Pork' started by surfer_e, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. surfer_e

    surfer_e Fire Starter

    I live in florida. So I can smoke pretty much all year around without any problem. This Christmas I will be going up to Illinois to visit my wife's family. Last summer they all had a visit and I made them some pulled pork and they really liked it. So they want me to cook it for Christmas dinner. Is this going to be a problem? Is the winter temps going to effect a two shoulder smoke?

    I will be smoking on a Brinkman electric.

    Will I be able to smoke two shoulders in the month of December in Illinois?

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Depends on if you can smoke with a good wind block in place but you might also want to consider smoking them ahead of time and vacuum sealing and taking bags up with you.
    PP not only freezes really well but is arguably better reheated but tastes (at the very least) just as good as the day it was smoked and shredded.
  3. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    If it really gets cold and you have "falling type weather" sit a big wastub upside down over the top of it. If you really want to get fancy and total insulated dunk a 55 gallon barrell down over the top works wonders. Few bricks along the bottom edge of the barrell so it can draw air in there. Needs handles and a few holes in top to let the rainwater fall on through. Keep the cooker housed inside the barrell when it aint being used. Will last forever. I got that set up for mine but it dont get cold enough to use it and I am too smart to cook in nasty weather. I live in God's Country..Texas of course.

  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It could be a real problem especially with the electric unit. As already mentioned a wind break will be a must. A welding blanket or movers blanket wrapped around it works good too.
    I use the charcoal brinkman and if I have problems keeping the temps up I'll give it a few hours in the smoker, then take it inside to finish in the oven.
  5. psychobrew

    psychobrew Smoke Blower

    Unless your electric smoker is insulated, you will probably have trouble in the cold (and risk burning the unit out), expecially with the amount of food you want to smoke. I think there are some insulation blankets you can buy, but I've never used one.

    How many watts is your heating element?
  6. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welding blankets or insulation jackets for hot water heaters seem to hold in heat very well for small electric smokers. Anything you can use to unsulate the bare metal to the elements will do you some good; even an old blanket (that you may never want to see again).

    But to answer your direct question, yes you will need to do something different to keep from....wait for it....wait for your family the cold shoulder for Christmas (I couldn't help it....sorry)
  7. psychobrew

    psychobrew Smoke Blower

    You could always smoke the shoulder before going to Illinois. Just Vac seal and keep it on ice durring the trip (make sure it's cooled down before leaving though).
  8. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    The insulation jackets for water heaters work fine on vertical smokers. You'll just need to make some cuts to customize it and allow access to the doors. They don't cost much and can be reused. I live in Florida and have never had to use one, but I have read all the books I can get my hands on related to BBQ and visited many sites and I have that tip more then once.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Just keep in mind your BBQ reputation with the Fam will rest on how this special occasion turns out. lol, just kidding, I know you have enough pressure. [​IMG]
  9. I smoke all winter here in the snowbelt of N.E. Ohio (best time of year to smoke stuff IMHO) - I have a propane GOSM and all I need is a panel to stop the wind.

    An electric on the other hand I have heard is more difficult to get to and keep temp. Welders blanket would be my choice for heat retention.

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