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mattdean1003 04-28-2013 12:47 AM

Offset smoker is "Grilling" my food
I can't figure out what's going wrong here guys. I'll post pictures of my smoker asap, but it's the Old Country Pits "Ranch Hand" that you can get at Academy Sports for 299. Big, steel welded offset smoker. Anyhow, the grate is expanded metal and on both long cooks I've done on it, temps well under 300 (225 to 275 varying), the bottom of the meat has been completely brittle and dry while the rest of the meat was fine. On my UDS, I've never had that problem. Meat is on the smokestack end of the cook chamber, which is mounted at grate level. Smoker does have deflector welded in it.

Don't get me wrong, the food is great, but that's about a pound and a half of meat I end up having to throw away because you literally have to break it apart. I cooked a pork butt earlier and foiled it at the 10 hour mark, then just stuck it in the oven to rest, and I peeled the entire bottom layer off the meat (which was the fat cap, but fat cap was beyond cooked away)

J'ville Grill 04-28-2013 12:50 AM

Where and how are you measuring our pit temps?

mattdean1003 04-28-2013 12:53 AM

Measuring temp by 2 thermometers that I put in the smoker, both Old Country Pits. One is mounted in center of lid where there was a predrilled hole, the other is mounted on the right hand side about grate level. The top therm usually reads about 25 degrees lower than the bottom therm, which is nearest the firebox.

BBQ Bandit 04-28-2013 06:51 AM

Sounds like a hotspot. A small offset will have a significant hotspot - requiring a larger baffle between the firebox and smoke chamber.
Even on my big Lang... will run very hot - because the firebox is partially notched into the smoke chamber.
The first foot nearest to the firebox... is my chicken chamber.

Suggest running a biscuit test and verify your temperature range shown in this thread.

J-Rod 04-28-2013 09:30 AM

Try a "temp zone test". Buy some pork sausages and place them in various areas of your cook chamber and smoke away. The different ways they cook will give a good indication of the warmer and cooler areas, then you can choose accordingly when cooking different meats.

Bludawg 04-28-2013 09:52 AM

I remember an Aaron Franklin Video where he was cooking a brisket on that same pit. He mentioned that there was a Hot spot on the stack end.
A quick fix is to use the rack from an oven broiler pan under the grate slide it end to end until you find the stack ends temp drop and equalizes across the grate Start it at the stack end and slowly move it toward the FB. Small moves make big changes this is where a few Cans of whomp biscuits come in handy. The factory located thermo port is in the wrong place on that pit as well it is to high to do you any good. KNOW the Temp at GRATE LEVEL that is where your cooking at.

grantw 04-28-2013 10:06 AM

i have a pellet grill that does the same thing, you have to tame the fire way back and go with the grate temp, you can just use white bread placed all over the grill as a test too. the end my fire box is on is cold and the opposite end is nuclear. if you dont have a decent digital oven temp, then just grab some el cheapos that go right inside the pit. also i find you have to turn the meat as you go as well

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