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Old 11-04-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
mbowker641
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Default Bad decision?

The weather around here has been crappy on the weekends, but the forecast for today looked ok, so I decided to clean out the freezer.

Fired up the smoker at 7 am, the temp outside was 27 degrees and it took an hour to get up to 210. I put on 3 racks of babybacks, two butts and 4 fatties. The problem is I can barely keep the temp at 200. Whenever I add wood/charcoal to the firebox, the temp drops to about 170 and by the time it gets back up over 200, I have to add more wood.

I've never done this in the cold before, so is this the typical experience?, Should I be loading the chimney and adding preburning coals? Is the meat gonna turn out wierd because the temps varied so much?
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Anything you can insulate your smoker with? I think I'd add what would normally be too much wood because it appears it won't be too high for too long anyway. Preheat the wood on your smoker so it ignites faster too.

I wouldn't worry about the meat turning "weird" because of varied temps. Ideally you won't have that but I've also heard of cookers in contests practically allowing fires to go out, waking up and firing them back up and getting calls at the awards ceremony.

Cooking in cold weather is definitely a different animal and takes time to basically re-learn your cooker and how it performs in those kinds of conditions.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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I stopped and got 4 chickens to do and their calling for high winds today! That usually means I'll lose power and be smokin' in the dark.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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If you can get 3-4 hours of smoke in the meat, then let your oven be your friend...just wrap in foil and finish. You'll be OK....
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkick
If you can get 3-4 hours of smoke in the meat, then let your oven be your friend...just wrap in foil and finish. You'll be OK....
I was sort of planning on finishing the butts in the oven. It has warmed up outside a bit and the temp is leveling off at about 210. I think it'll be OK.

Thanks for the quick responses.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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Sounds like you're doing OK now, but adding lit coals will help to bring the temp up short term. I'm not sure what type of cooker you are using, but if you can insulate it or block the wind, that would help, too.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:36 AM   #7
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It is cold today here as well. Should only hit 81.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:53 AM   #8
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On a day like that it is handy to have some lump around.
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:47 PM   #9
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Update- Just took the fatties off and the ribs are almost done too. The probe in the butts says 170, but that seems kinda quick. I'll have to move the probe to be sure.

These are the first fatties I've done and the preliminary results are that I see a long term relationship forming.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:04 PM   #10
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Fatties are the best!!!! Experiment with rubs, coatings, anything......can't screw up a fattie!
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgh1204
It is cold today here as well. Should only hit 81.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:41 AM   #12
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I had similar problems on a windy day a few weeks ago. To make matters worse, it was my second smoke ever. I was going nuts cause I was running through tons of charcoal, and my smoker was not terribly warm. I was letting meats get their smoke in and then foiling and throwing them up real close to my firebox to get done. The brisket however was scaring me. After 10 hours of smoking, it was totally not done. However by this time I was completely smashed, so I said screw it, foiled, threw it closer to the heat, and passed out.

I woke up in the morning with a bit of a hangover, at around 11am, slightly perplexed. I then realized I left the brisket in. I was expecting a a giant chewy brick of beef. brisket was still warm, I still had hope. let it rest for a bit and took a slice. PERFECT.

moral of the story, if the smoker is giving you trouble, get wasted and pass out. everything will turn out JUST fine in the morning.
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:53 PM   #13
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MBOWKER, man you have to move!!!!! 27 what does that even feel like?
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:03 PM   #14
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Yeah, up and down fire is no problem, when I worked in BBQ resturant our overnight fire would die about 4am or so, we would come in at 7am and restoke the fire and take things off by 11 or 12.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ushi
if the smoker is giving you trouble, get wasted and pass out. everything will turn out JUST fine in the morning.
Sounds like Willie B's method at competitions!
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