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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 04-25-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
JiveTurkey
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Default Bullet Smoker Temp Question

Quick question, in a bullet type smoker with dual grates and a dome lid, think UDS or WSM, will the top or bottom grate be at a hotter temp? I'm getting 25* hotter temps at the top grate but thought the bottom grate which is closer to the heat would be hotter.

If this has been answered somewhere point me to the thread but I did a search and can't find my answer. Thanks Brethren!
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Unread 04-25-2010, 05:06 PM   #2
Frank Grimes
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the bottom grate on my WSM is cooler than the top. Even though it is closer to the heat source, the water pan acts as a shield for the bottom grate and keeps it cooler.
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Unread 04-25-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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I don't know what the deal is with my cooker but I'm about 'this close' to throwing it on the sidewalk with a free sign. BTW it's a UDS. It's consistent with temps but I can't get a read on what my actual temps are in the darn thing.

I checked both thermos yesterday in boiling water, both solid at 212, but today on the smoker I'm getting a 25* difference even when both probes are within 2" of each other. I'm using a Maverick ET-7 and a Spicewine. The ET is in a wood block on the grate and the Spicewine (w 4 in ch probe) is in from the side.

What is getting me p*ssed is that both good working thermos are giving different temps even when they're right next to each other.

I think it's time to start doing my homework on a WSM.
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Unread 04-25-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
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You won't go wrong with a WSM. You'll have differences in temps at each grate and the lid but they will be pretty consistant from cook to cook. When my lid says 245-250 the top grate is about 235 and bottom grate is about 225.
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Unread 04-25-2010, 08:44 PM   #5
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Jive Turkey I get hotter temps horizontally between the edge of the rack and the center of the rack on both levels of my WSM, and vertically between my dome, and both racks. That is because the heat flows up the sides, around the water pan to the top of the dome, and then back down into the smoke chamber. Once you understand the temp fluctuations, you can adapt your cook accordingly.

Don't get frustrated, man, trust those thermometers and figure out the differences...
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Unread 04-25-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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Even in an oven you are going to get temperature variations depending on where in the oven you are measuring. I wouldn't get so hung up on 25 degree variations, all smokers have their little idiosyncrasies and you just have to play along.
I'd just stick to one temp monitor, pop open a cold one, prop your feet up and keep a log. If you think you need to boost or reduce your temps, then do it on your next cook. There are still lots of BBQ guys out there that monitor their temps by placing the palm of their hand on the smoking chamber.
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Unread 04-25-2010, 09:45 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody. What I'll do it just watch only the spicewine since I already drilled the hole in the side! Reading both is driving me nuts. You shoulda seen me last week when I had a Weber thermo down the lid and getting crazy temps. Boil tested the weber and it was 15* low. Piece of junk.

Thanks again folks, I do appreciate it.
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