Temperature Variance

Discussion in 'Pork' started by foozer, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. foozer

    foozer Meat Mopper

    I usually set my Maverick wireless thermometer to let me know when the cooking chamber temperature has moved 25 degrees above or below my ideal cooking temp. I am thinking this is too much variance. How much temperature variance in the cooking chamber do you allow when smoking pork? [​IMG]
  2. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pork is very forgiving. I like to maintain 225 when I smoke. Before I automated my baffle control, I would hit spikes of 250-260 for medium periods of time with little to no loss in quality. Beef, however is another story, but personally don't think 15-20 degrees either way will hurt anything. Perhaps the experts can confirm or deny my estimations.
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    one thing..........how LONG do these swings sit at the extremes?
    if its just a spike.........it quote unquote SHOULD not make a difference

    mine don't last long......cause i on em....babysit, just a bit........when i catch em........i make adjustments.........tho you have to remember i use a ecb gourmet smoker.............i either pull the body off of the fire part and set aside for just a bit......maybe more coals around at this time to calm it down.........or i just remover the lid for a bit.........now i do this, cause i have been messing with THIS smoker for 10 years......so i know what i can get away with........

    basically what i am saying.......baby sit it......make MINOR adjustments....and watch...........

    dude take a deep breath.....but to answer your original question.......how LONG are these spikes

    sorry.....got carried away

  4. deer meat

    deer meat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    When I am smokin I shoot for 230°. I try to keep that to a +/- 10° tolerance. This is probably not necessary but I deal in precision tolerances everyday and I can't seem to help myself from trying to hold a perfect 230° [​IMG]
  5. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you are fine with the 25 degree swing on the pork. Less is better, but 25 won't kill you. Heck if you check your oven, you just might find that it swings nearly that much.

    Some of it also depends on what your target temp is. If you have the target of 250, then the 225 to 275 works well. If the target is 225 then the 200 to 250 might not work well since the 200 is quite low for cooking and if you stay down low too long you are adding a heck of a lot on to the cook time.......and probably dehydrating more than cooking. [​IMG]

    I agree with what Geek said, that is fine for pork, but a brisket will be less forgiving.

    Out of curiosity, how much of a temp swing do you usually see when you are cooking?
  6. foozer

    foozer Meat Mopper

    Thank you everyone.
    I think a lot of it is as Walking said. I need to babysit it more. Get right on it when the temp starts moving.
    I did an overnight pork butt smoke this past weekend. I put it on Saturday night about 10:00PM trying to keep the temp at 225. On Sunday at 4:00 PM it was at 160. I wrapped it in foil and put it back on until 6:00. It was then at 172. Since it was getting close to dinner time I put it in the oven at 260. By 7:30 it reached 200 and I wrapped in in towels and in a cooler for an hour. It came out great but took much longer than I anticipated. I would guess it to be about an 8 lb butt. I had set my wireles therm to sound the alarm when the temp would get below 200 and above 250 (this would allow me to nap inbetween refuels). I think that 200 is too low. By the time I put more coals in the fire box and get the temp back up it may take 20 to 30 minutes. I think I need to either watch it closer or get a Stump's gravity feed smoker. Wouldn't that be nice. Also it was quite windy this past weekend and I am sure that didn't help.
    Here is a picture of the finished product with finishing sauce in the mustard bottle in the background. Turned out great just took much longer than i anticipated. [​IMG]
  7. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Since I'm not sellin' my control setup (yet....), I'll still recommend the competition. If you don't want to babysit, check into the BBQGuru. It's a control system that monitors the temperature and makes corrections using a fan.

    Some items are quite reasonable (some are very expensive). Personally, I don't like the idea of blowing out my smoke with a fan just to make a temperature adjustment, but I've heard many good comments about his product. Maybe I'm totally off base about blowing out the smoke, but I'm retentive about replicating the natural process; just without the sleepless nights!
  8. foozer

    foozer Meat Mopper

    Thanks Geek,

    I will look into that. It could come in handy for those over-nighters.
  9. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Get a Stumps........they are great!!! [​IMG]


    They don't blow out the smoke, but I could see where you could get that idea. As long as your cooker holds the heat pretty well, the fan should not have to run a whole lot and even then, unless you are trying to really drive your cook temps up, the fan will just cycle to maintain the temp. Should not be continous fan running unless your smoker really loses the heat fast.
  10. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yea, probably where I got the idea was the basic fan cycle that is maintained every so many seconds, but I suppose if you did the math....and I'm sure they have....the overall air flow volume would equal that of a partially open damper. In all the google searches that I've done, I've not heard any complaints, so they must be doing something right....dang it!
  11. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah, and I went to the Brooksville, FL contest (FBA) on Saturday and spent 30 minutes or so with the guy who ended up winning GC.........and he was using one..........Like you said, they must be doing something right. LOL

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