PDA

View Full Version : Are we cooking at the right temperature?


T-Man
11-10-2014, 11:12 PM
Low and slow ? Franklin's , Sweatmans , Skylight Inn , all considered top notch BBQ , are all cooking cooking above 300 f ...

What do you think?

DetTigersFan
11-10-2014, 11:22 PM
I prefer to cook in the 280-300 range... My WSM likes to run at that temp and I've found that I always get a really clean fire with very little waiting as well.

mikemci
11-10-2014, 11:30 PM
300-325 seems to be the consensus these days even in the competitions. I cook at 275-300 just because that's where my UDS likes to run. I think that is the most important factor. If I tried to run low and slow it would be choking it down and getting dirty smoke. If yours likes to run at 225-250 and you forced it to maintain something higher then you would be having to work at it constantly and that wouldn't be any fun.

Gnarlbecue
11-10-2014, 11:36 PM
When I first started reading this forum, I was surprised by the amount of people who cook "hot & fast". I expected all the veterans here to be almost religiously low and slow.

After experimenting myself, I find almost no benefit to forcing the temperature lower than 250. Usually, my kettle settles in at 260 or so, and it runs better when I let it do what it wants. For me, it seems like 250-300 is the sweet spot for almost everything.

fantomlord
11-11-2014, 01:09 AM
I prefer to cook in the 280-300 range... My WSM likes to run at that temp and I've found that I always get a really clean fire with very little waiting as well.

^^same for me

SmokinM
11-11-2014, 03:08 AM
I've gotten to where I like to cook hot and fast at well. My cooks are usually 275-300.

Pappy Q
11-11-2014, 04:34 AM
There is no "right" temperature.

Mr.OiSat
11-11-2014, 04:50 AM
There is no "right" temperature.

As long as it works for you and the food turns out the way you want it the temperature is "right"

BigBobBQ
11-11-2014, 04:53 AM
my offset likes to cook at 250 so I don't fight her I just adapted and I think my Q is getting better. I use to try to make her run in the 225-230 but it was just too much work.

Gore
11-11-2014, 04:56 AM
There is no "right" temperature.


That is true, but there are a whole lot of "wrong" temperatures. :biggrin1:

BigDaddyssmoke
11-11-2014, 05:45 AM
Aight . Now that we are talking about tempeture , I have a quick question when It comes to smoking wood. I always use Hickory to smoke my Ribs . But Yesterday I purchase some bags of wood chunk mesquite. I'm honest I'm not familiar with this mesquite wood, who can tell me anything about using mesquite . Thanks

Enrico Brandizzi
11-11-2014, 05:52 AM
My WSM runs easily @250F. For bigger cuts (18 pounder brisket) it means almost 22 h. Maybe I should increase to 275F?
Which is YOUR opinion?

Ron_L
11-11-2014, 06:32 AM
There is no "right" temperature.

I agree... What works best for me on my cookers may not be the best temperature for you and your cookers. Every cooker has a temperature where it just likes to run. Figure that out for your cooker and cook at that temperature. Why fight the cooker's natural tendency just because someone's "method" or some famous pitmaster does it differently.

pjtexas1
11-11-2014, 07:02 AM
My WSM runs easily @250F. For bigger cuts (18 pounder brisket) it means almost 22 h. Maybe I should increase to 275F?
Which is YOUR opinion?

I say give it a try but only if it's an easy intake adjustment. No need to shorten your cook a couple hours only to make it a miserable time fighting the cooker.

Frank Mahovlich
11-11-2014, 07:08 AM
My WSM runs easily @250F. For bigger cuts (18 pounder brisket) it means almost 22 h. Maybe I should increase to 275F?
Which is YOUR opinion?

Cooked two 19lb ers last weekend. My WSM 22 runs at right around 280 using the Minion Method after lighting about 15-18 Kingsford Blue briquettes. If I need to run hotter I just light more charcoal to start. Ran my smoker right around 300, and wrapped after 4 hrs. Both briskets were done in 8 hrs, using a full bag of KB. Tender, juicy, & great smoke rings (which I really don't care that much about).

I started out cooking low & slow religiously. Now I am cooking typically between 280 - 300. I am using less fuel, less cooking time, and getting just as many, if not more, compliments on my food.

aquablue22
11-11-2014, 07:27 AM
I like to run at about 285 to 300 degrees for everything these days, the Weber settles in really well at those temps and will chug along for hours with just a little feeding.

thirdeye
11-11-2014, 07:28 AM
At times, thermometers are the best of things... or the worst of things.

If you learn how to cook without a thermometer, either on the pit or to temp the meat,.... you actually learn more about fire control, and you learn to watch the meat, listen to it, poke it, reposition it, when to baste it, etc. The best thing is.... you can usually cook average to above average BBQ all the time, and you are at ease on most any cooker. The worst thing is.... this takes a long time to master.

If you learn to cook using thermometers you try to mirror the techniques you read about or see used on TV. This leads to sometimes unnecessarily fretting because you can't hold a 225 for 4 hours, or maybe you overshoot a 275 and get freaked out if the pit is 280. Some people will even start doubting their cooker because it does not behave exactly like someone else's does. The best thing is, when everything is dialed in and working right... you can turn out very consistent BBQ. Worst thing is... if a therm fails, some cooks panic.

Until 10 or 12 years ago when I bought my first BGE, I never cooked on a pit that had a thermometer, and the only time I would use a meat thermometer (the old stick-and-stay kind) was when cooking a prime rib. That said, I got hooked on cable thermometers and the instant read ones from Thermoworks and use thermometers to make my cooking a more relaxed and pleasant experience.

NickTheGreat
11-11-2014, 07:45 AM
I prefer to cook in the 280-300 range... My WSM likes to run at that temp and I've found that I always get a really clean fire with very little waiting as well.

Same here. I figure, why fight it? :wink:

DaveAlvarado
11-11-2014, 07:57 AM
My WSM runs easily @250F. For bigger cuts (18 pounder brisket) it means almost 22 h. Maybe I should increase to 275F?
Which is YOUR opinion?

I've cooked briskets that big in less time than that on my WSM. Are you sure your temp reading is right? Are you using a Maverick or something at least an inch or two away from the meat, and not out at the edge where it catches the hot air coming around the water bowl?

I switched to hot & fast cooks on my WSM and I won't go back. I run an empty water bowl so I'm not wasting fuel boiling water. Makes it easier to get those temps up. I target 300F but anything in the 275F-325F range is fine by me.

TexasRT
11-11-2014, 08:34 AM
Aight . Now that we are talking about tempeture , I have a quick question when It comes to smoking wood. I always use Hickory to smoke my Ribs . But Yesterday I purchase some bags of wood chunk mesquite. I'm honest I'm not familiar with this mesquite wood, who can tell me anything about using mesquite . Thanks

Mesquite is great if used right, it has a very strong flavor and burns pretty hot.
A little goes a long way for flavor. Just my .02

Bludawg
11-11-2014, 08:39 AM
I don't cook in the L ooser & S econd category, 300+ BABY go fast or go home !!

qnbiker
11-11-2014, 08:52 AM
250-275 because that's where my WSM likes to be. Hours unattended pouring out thin blue smoke.

aawa
11-11-2014, 08:56 AM
It all depends on my timelines.

I typically will cook hot and fast 300+ (sometimes getting over 350+) However is cooking space is at a premium due to the size of the cook or when the food needs to get done, I'll do low and slow starting early in the evening, and then catch a 2-3 hour nap while my roommate keeps an eye on the smoker and lets me know if something is going on.

Brew n Que
11-11-2014, 09:11 AM
For me, it depends on how much meat I have on the pit. If I am only doing a brisket or two, my pit likes to sit at around 250-275, so that is what I cook at. If I have a pit full of meat, I will typically kick the temp up to 300ish, and the meat takes about as long as doing less meat at a lower temp. Even though Franklin cooks at 320ish, his briskets still take 18 hours just because of the shear amount of meat he has on the pit. You basically get a "bubble" of cooler humid air around the meat as moisture evaporates. If the pit is loaded up, the bubble is a lot bigger and keeps the meat cooler. So essentially, some of the famous places are cooking "hot and slow".

AlwaysSmokey
11-11-2014, 09:37 AM
Even though Franklin cooks at 320ish, his briskets still take 18 hours just because of the shear amount of meat he has on the pit. You basically get a "bubble" of cooler humid air around the meat as moisture evaporates. If the pit is loaded up, the bubble is a lot bigger and keeps the meat cooler. So essentially, some of the famous places are cooking "hot and slow".

exactly :thumb:

SmittyJonz
11-11-2014, 09:41 AM
http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u645/bobjones79/6CABCDD0-2DEE-45AB-A815-D919B9722ADE_zpsxsf975ge.jpg (http://s1326.photobucket.com/user/bobjones79/media/6CABCDD0-2DEE-45AB-A815-D919B9722ADE_zpsxsf975ge.jpg.html)

jham0077
11-11-2014, 09:49 AM
I'm new to all of this, so, time gets me. I tried my last ribs around 275, I got a little antsy because supper time was nearing and ended up pulling them early. They were a little chewier than I wanted. So 300-325 suits me best for ribs or butts. Nobody likes brisket like I do so I don't get to cook one too often. Any other special cut I do, I always look here for advice first.

T-Man
11-11-2014, 10:02 AM
My Spicewine loves to chug along at 250.

mikerooooose
11-11-2014, 10:04 AM
I think above 300 is pushing it and haven't had good experiences when I let it go above that. 250 usually works best for me for the first 6 - 8 hours anyway. If I wrap, then I'll crank it up a little more.

Franklin might be up over 300, but remember he has 100 briskets on his smoker at a time and he has a crowd waiting. :p

Bamabuzzard
11-11-2014, 10:09 AM
300-325 seems to be the consensus these days even in the competitions. I cook at 275-300 just because that's where my UDS likes to run. I think that is the most important factor. If I tried to run low and slow it would be choking it down and getting dirty smoke. If yours likes to run at 225-250 and you forced it to maintain something higher then you would be having to work at it constantly and that wouldn't be any fun.

This! My unit absolutely loves 250-265 so naturally I've started cooking everything at these temps and it works like a charm.

Bamabuzzard
11-11-2014, 10:17 AM
At times, thermometers are the best of things... or the worst of things.

If you learn how to cook without a thermometer, either on the pit or to temp the meat,.... you actually learn more about fire control, and you learn to watch the meat, listen to it, poke it, reposition it, when to baste it, etc. The best thing is.... you can usually cook average to above average BBQ all the time, and you are at ease on most any cooker. The worst thing is.... this takes a long time to master.

If you learn to cook using thermometers you try to mirror the techniques you read about or see used on TV. This leads to sometimes unnecessarily fretting because you can't hold a 225 for 4 hours, or maybe you overshoot a 275 and get freaked out if the pit is 280. Some people will even start doubting their cooker because it does not behave exactly like someone else's does. The best thing is, when everything is dialed in and working right... you can turn out very consistent BBQ. Worst thing is... if a therm fails, some cooks panic.

Until 10 or 12 years ago when I bought my first BGE, I never cooked on a pit that had a thermometer, and the only time I would use a meat thermometer (the old stick-and-stay kind) was when cooking a prime rib. That said, I got hooked on cable thermometers and the instant read ones from Thermoworks and use thermometers to make my cooking a more relaxed and pleasant experience.

This explains why my wife keeps getting pregnant. :becky:

aks801
11-11-2014, 05:43 PM
At least we have made progress from what used to be "conventional wisdom", i.e. that it HAS to be low 'n slow.

I pulled out an old cookbook the other day. It was published over 30 years ago and includes the following gem:

"The most common mistake made by over-eager beginners is trying to cook too hot and too fast. The name of the game is cook "low" and cook slow: try and maintain a temperature of around 175 degrees for long periods of time - even a small brisket can take 10 hours. Remember, if your pit gets hotter than 212 degrees you literally boil the juices out of the food".

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!

smoke ninja
11-11-2014, 06:07 PM
I invented hot & slow. it works great for brisket

THoey1963
11-11-2014, 06:10 PM
I fought so hard to be right at 225* for a long time. Fiddling with the burners and cracking the lid. Yes, that was on my gasser before I had my WSM.

I found this site and a month or two later, I got my WSM. I learned to let the smoker run where it likes instead of fighting it to a temp it doesn't. Mine loves to run around 275* and can run +/- 25 degrees of that all night long if needed. Why fight it? She's happy, I'm happy, and the food turns out great...

Pitmaster T
11-11-2014, 06:21 PM
Popdaddy is glad He could help

landarc
11-11-2014, 06:29 PM
I always start my cooker at ambient air temperature, from there, it ramps up. Sometimes as high as 350F, until the meat is cooked. I don't give it much attention unless I am in a hurry. If I have allotted (procrastinated) to where I have less than 7 hours to serving, I go hot right away.

TXLX
11-11-2014, 08:05 PM
Better to have a hot & clean fire than low and dirty. Mine seems to settle around 290 for 3-4 hours then starts dropping. I just open the intake a bit and let it keep the temperature it likes.

thirdeye
11-11-2014, 08:23 PM
At least we have made progress from what used to be "conventional wisdom", i.e. that it HAS to be low 'n slow.

I pulled out an old cookbook the other day. It was published over 30 years ago and includes the following gem:

"The most common mistake made by over-eager beginners is trying to cook too hot and too fast. The name of the game is cook "low" and cook slow: try and maintain a temperature of around 175 degrees for long periods of time - even a small brisket can take 10 hours. Remember, if your pit gets hotter than 212 degrees you literally boil the juices out of the food".

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!

A Smokey Hale book??

1buckie
11-11-2014, 09:17 PM
At times, thermometers are the best of things... or the worst of things.

If you learn how to cook without a thermometer, either on the pit or to temp the meat,.... you actually learn more about fire control, and you learn to watch the meat, listen to it, poke it, reposition it, when to baste it, etc. The best thing is.... you can usually cook average to above average BBQ all the time, and you are at ease on most any cooker. The worst thing is.... this takes a long time to master.

If you learn to cook using thermometers you try to mirror the techniques you read about or see used on TV. This leads to sometimes unnecessarily fretting because you can't hold a 225 for 4 hours, or maybe you overshoot a 275 and get freaked out if the pit is 280. Some people will even start doubting their cooker because it does not behave exactly like someone else's does. The best thing is, when everything is dialed in and working right... you can turn out very consistent BBQ. Worst thing is... if a therm fails, some cooks panic.

Until 10 or 12 years ago when I bought my first BGE, I never cooked on a pit that had a thermometer, and the only time I would use a meat thermometer (the old stick-and-stay kind) was when cooking a prime rib. That said, I got hooked on cable thermometers and the instant read ones from Thermoworks and use thermometers to make my cooking a more relaxed and pleasant experience.


Many years with no therm.....except for turkeys.....always used one on turkeys......

Nowadays, those little grate therms always go on......so you folks know what temp I'm cookin' at......:wink:

bosco500
11-11-2014, 09:36 PM
The main reason I like low and slow is because I can put a couple briskets on at 10pm and get a good nights sleep. To awaken to a beautiful smell that needs to go in the oven until it hits 200. Works great for me :mrgreen:

Hoss
11-11-2014, 11:16 PM
I insist on cooking at 237.8 F anything else is NOT acceptable!:twitch: :wink: