temperature control

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by deano camino, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. So I have yet to break out the smoker this year. I was planning on doing so on friday. for the first time this season.  However I had a few questions about temperature control. I have an vertical water smoker.  I have replaced the bottom charcoal pan with  a "vegetable grill basket" of sorts to allow for more airflow and more heat. I was not able to get it over 110* before then. I chose to use lava rock in my water pan as opposed to water itslef to get the temps up higher. Last year I got to around  275 which i believe is way to hot. I am just not sure what the general desired temp it. Should I dispose of the lava rock idea and just go with the water? Should I use less charcoal and use more wood? I only have the factory thermometer, but I do have a laser pointer thermometer I can use.

    Any and all suggestions would be great.

    Thanks again
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Any temp over 225*F is good for hot smoking. 275-300*F is Great for Chicken and shaves about 30 minutes per pound off the cook time for Butts and Brisket. Ribs get done about 1 hour sooner as well. I would say you are golden and get some meat in that smoker...JJ
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Deano.

    JJ's got you covered dead on.  I regularly smoke meats in the 250-275 range.  If you decide you really want to get the temp down in the 225-250 range, you should be able to accomplish that by simply building a smaller coal bed...just start with less charcoal, and through experimenting with the amount of charcoal and your chamber temps, you'll get it dialed in.

    Good luck!


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