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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-24-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
grilling24x7
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Default Do you really notice a difference in small temperature changes?

I'm talking about smoking on a WSM, let's say baby back ribs, and all temperature readings are dome readings.

Let's say 225 degrees or 260 degrees?

I feel like when I do them at 260 degrees I get them done in about 4 hours and I feel like I have good control of the smoke. When I hover near 225 I can take up to 6 hours and I start to drop temperature easier and I feel like I can lose control of the smoke. When I say lose control I mean having temperature drops, extended unexpected time additions, bending the ribs and not seeing any type of tear when I surely expect them to be done, etc.

The big kicker is that at least in my opinion I can't tell the difference between smoking ribs at 225 or 260. Seems to me that the two temperatures are just too close to each other to make a MAJOR difference.

Anyone have any strong feelings about a 25-30 degree difference in smoking temperatures when the temps are still well within the range of smoking temps?

Just curious - some good holiday discussion!

John
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Unread 12-24-2011, 08:12 AM   #2
nrok2118
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A lot of people are moving away from the "magic 225" number, you can get just as good results with higher temps. Personally Im more of a 250-275 guy, and theres plenty others cooking 275-325+ getting good results from hot and fast
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Unread 12-24-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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Every cooker was a temp where it just seems to settle in. It sounds like your WSM like 260. Why fight it.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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Personally, not a bit.

As long as I'm in a range (225-325) or so....all that varies is cook time.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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I think that if you are more confident using the 260 temp, then you are going to make better Q.

Having confidence plays a big part in doing a good job.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 09:49 AM   #6
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I use to do ribs at 225 but now I am always at 250 with no difference in the end product.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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If they tastin good, then you cookin em good.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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I always try to stay between 240* and 270* grate temp, and am usually very satified with what I cook.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 11:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrok2118 View Post
A lot of people are moving away from the "magic 225" number, you can get just as good results with higher temps. Personally Im more of a 250-275 guy, and theres plenty others cooking 275-325+ getting good results from hot and fast
1. Pretty much anything under 300 is low n slow.

2. Never has been anything magic about 225. Matter of fact many of us lear early on bad things can happen down in that range.

3. Dome temperature (using an external mounted therm) isn't surface cooking temperature, FYI. Usually, in a dome, the temperature you're showing is higher than the actual cook temperature. This is only bad though if you're holding that dome around 220 to 230, because you're probably trying to cook closer to 210.

4. Best results are usually had in the cooking temperature range that your smoker wants to cook. Both of my offset smokers seem to hit a sweet spot around 255.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #10
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I'm like Ron_L. My WSM's like to settle in around 275, and that is what I cook at. Fewer "temp" incidents that way!
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Unread 12-24-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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I get good ribs even at 350F on the kettle.
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Unread 12-24-2011, 01:00 PM   #12
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I have 4 WSM's and they all settle in and cruise at different temps (though nothing drastic) depending on whether or not I am using water in the pan. When running dry they cruise around 325-350 for 4-5 hours then drop down to 275-300 for another 2-3 hours or so before running out of fuel and falling off to nada. If using water they settle in at 225-250 for 4-6 hours then ramp up to 275-300 as the water evaporates...it's all good!
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Unread 12-24-2011, 01:16 PM   #13
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If you are at 225 at the dome on a WSM, your top grate will be about 15 degrees cooler, and the bottom grate will be another 10-degrees cooler, for a total difference of 25-degrees dome to bottom gate.

That puts your bottom grate at 200-degrees. That would be harder to hold steady, IMO, and could possibly give you some smoke management issues.

I aim for 250 to 275 on my WSM at the dome. That gets me in the 225-235 or 250- 260 range down where the meat is.

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Unread 12-24-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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Any of you feel rub ingredients are affected by the temp difference. Do some herbs, spices, sugars taste differently when smoked at 225 opposed to 300?
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Unread 12-24-2011, 01:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jemezspring View Post
Any of you feel rub ingredients are affected by the temp difference. Do some herbs, spices, sugars taste differently when smoked at 225 opposed to 300?
Absolutely!!!

For example, sugars burn at/over 270.
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