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Old 06-25-2019, 05:55 AM   #1
Swine Spectator
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Join Date: 06-04-12
Location: Northern Virginia
Name/Nickname : David
Default Warmers and Food Safety

My Shirley has a 3 shelf warmer mounted above the insulated firebox. During a normal cook, it registers about 140-150° from the radiant heat below. I have used it to temporarily hold food that just came off of the smoker, but I am concerned that it is not hot enough to warm sides or hold meat for longer periods safely.

I can bring the temp up to 180-190° by opening the damper, but this diverts heat from the reverse flow.

I understand that with the uninsulated firebox the warmer runs 200-220°. This seems safer, but I would rather have the insulated FB.

So here are my questions:
1. Am I correct that 150° is too tow to warm and hold food for any length of time?
2. I also have the charcoal pan for cooking in my warner. Would it make sense to take a few coals/embers and put them in the warmer's charcoal pan to bring the temp up? Has anyone done this?
3. Is 200-220° a good target temp for the warmer?


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Old 06-25-2019, 06:03 AM   #2
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Location: Kansas City

I wont be much help with your other questions but I can either open the firebox baffle a tad on mine, or just exhaust out the warmer in combination or instead of the main chamber stack, and easily get above 150* without making it any more difficult to maintain whatever temp I want to cook at in the main chamber.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:23 AM   #3
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Location: South Bend, IN
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150* is fine in most cases to hold warm food, your target temperature is a minimum of 140* internal so it boils down to how much your in and out of the warmer with the door open and you'll find that hot food placed in the warmer will easily run + 140* for the first two hours.

I found just adding gaskets to the warmer door's on my insulated pit's buy's you another 10-20* average temperature without either damper open for more heat.

I like to run in the 160* range for holding food and that's right where my big Shirley pit runs with the insulated firebox. I run temp probes in 4 zones in the warmer when it's being used to monitor what's going on in there when I plan to have it maxed out for capacity.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:46 AM   #4
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200 is cooking not warming. No harm in cracking the fb to warmer damper a little. You might also take out the ash pan from the warmer.

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Old 06-25-2019, 08:55 AM   #5
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You could hold cooked food at 140-150 for quite a while, because presumably it will be a lot hotter than that when you put it in.

You would not want to warm something that is cold at that temp because it would take way too long to get above 140, if ever.
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