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Old 10-10-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: 01-04-10
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Default How much temperature fluctuation is okay?

I've been smoking a roast on my OTS today for the first time (usually use my WSM). The temp has stayed between 234 and 254. Is that an acceptable range of fluctuation or does it have to stay plus or minus 2 or 3 degrees?
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
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yes - acceptable
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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yep no problem their.....

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Old 10-10-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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btcg and Phesant are correct. If you're concerned about the temp fluctuations an automatic draft control device might be of interest to you.
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #5
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I could lock it in tighter by sitting right on top of it, but by just leaving it alone it will stay within 20 degrees. If that won't adversely affect the meat, then I am A-ok with that.

But out of curiosity, what is the accepted temperature fluctuation when smoking?
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:16 PM   #6
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For competition Q, you probably need to keep a tight reign on your temperature. But when I smoke meats for 8 to 10 hours in the yard for my friends, we generally drink and tell stories while the meat is smoking, which means that temperatures fluctuate. The biggest fluctuations seem to happen in the first hour or two, when the coals are getting settled in for the long haul. Then it levels out. No big deal, the meat still tastes good.

If you are competing for prize money, then get anal with your temps. But, if you just want a good dinner with friends and family, don't let a rouge temperature spike ruin your day. IMHO, home cooking should be as fun to make as it is good to eat.

Food that takes a matter of minutes to cook is not forgiving. Timing and temperature is critical. BBQ is pretty forgiving, since it takes such a long time to cook. If it takes 8 hours to cook, you aren't likely to ruin it if the temperature spikes for 20 minutes.

I aim for perfection, but cut myself some slack when it comes to BBQ.

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