Author Topic: How much is too much temperature swing  (Read 212 times)

mtjarrett

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How much is too much temperature swing
« on: December 31, 2022, 01:06:40 PM »
Hi y'all.

I've read all the suggestions to not worry about temperature in an analog smoker but also there is the notice that temperature swings could be +/- 25 degrees (ie a 50 degree swing from high to low). I'm getting twice that in my brand new model 2.

While trying to dial in how to get the best smoke this morning (sans meat *thankfully* as was suggested by old sarge), my temperature went up to 266 and then down to 168 before the light switched back on. I had my temperature probe set next to the SI probe (what is the proper name for that) see the pic. The other day I had similar swing when set on a higher temperature (257 - 183). The wood does not seem to be catching on fire. It's just blackened on the bottom.

UPDATE: the temperature with meat in there (same setting) got down to 159. I was not around when it hit the high. But essentially at this setting it has ranged from 159-266.

I'm really hoping I just got a bad piece of electronics. My buddy had told me to get a Smokin Tex like he has and I decided against his advice and got the Model 2 based on online research. You can imagine the smirk on his face right now.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 03:17:51 PM by mtjarrett »
Michael - South Texas Borderlands
Analog Model 2

old sarge

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2022, 05:46:46 PM »
Michael -  What are you setting the smoker temp at? Tonight, when it is good and dark, run your smoker at 225 with the wood box off and look at the calrod heating element.  It should be a uniform bright color with no grey or black areas. If it is you are good; if not take a photo (no flash) and post it here.  Have you tested you auxiliary probe for accuracy? I>E Boiling water?  Also, take a photo of the probe in boiling water and include the reading in the same photo and post it here. Let's see if we can figure this out.
David from Arizona
US Army 70 - 95
SI 3D & Big Red Controller
CS 066
Lodge Sportsman Grill
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Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
LEM MaxVac 1088A
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Lonzinomaker

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2022, 07:47:59 PM »
Both my #3 and #1 had large swings at first but after several smokes they now have about a +/- 25 deg. 
And the swings are greater when heating initially until the meat warms up. You also need a good sized piece of meat to act as a heat sink to stabilize the cycles.

When I first got my #3, I checked the swings with it empty and wasn't happy with the +/- 50 deg swing.  Then I cooked my first 9# butt and only got the 25 deg swings.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 11:03:33 AM by Lonzinomaker »
Dave
Smokin-It #3 main smoker.
1400 Smokin Tex (same size as #2) for Snowbird time.
Smokin-It #1 for camping trips.
Big Chief with mailbox mod for cheese smoking
Blackstone 22in griddle with Bakerstone pizza oven
Spokane, WA

old sarge

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2022, 09:04:12 PM »
What Dave said!
David from Arizona
US Army 70 - 95
SI 3D & Big Red Controller
CS 066
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber Kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
LEM MaxVac 1088A
LEM Big Bite #8 Grinder
Chef's Choice 665 and Rival Slicers
Old Hickory Knives
InstantPot Duo80 Plus

swthorpe

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2023, 09:48:56 AM »
I agree that the temp swing decreases with meat in the smoker and over time as the meat cooks.   The first smoke cycle starts with a cold smoker, so it makes sense to me that the temp swing would be larger in the beginning (and especially if the wood catches on fire).   With my #2 analog, I typically see a +/- 25-degree swing from the set temp, so at 225, it is not unusual for me to see temps in the range of 200 to 250 degrees.   

I have a small temp probe for the box temp on the Thermoworks SMOKE, and I position it above the rack, so it sits a bit higher away from the rack surface.
Steve from Delaware
Smokin-It #2

mtjarrett

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2023, 04:32:38 PM »
Oops. I guess I forgot to request to be notified when people responded to this post. So I am just now seeing these suggestions.

Old Sarge, I'll try to get those photos tonight.

Thanks again everyone.
Michael - South Texas Borderlands
Analog Model 2

mtjarrett

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2023, 05:14:51 PM »
Did the check-out in the garage.

Heating element and temperature gauge seem to be working fine. I'm at sea level.

The temperature on the original check was 1/2 way between 200 and 225. So about 212 I guess. Which means that the temperature swings were more or less even (i.e. +/- 55 degrees).
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 05:18:17 PM by mtjarrett »
Michael - South Texas Borderlands
Analog Model 2

Lonzinomaker

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2023, 07:48:36 PM »
I'm a home brewer and tight temp control is a requirement to get a good mash extraction for beer.  But after using my #3 for 2 years, I decided I didn't need tight temp control for great smoked food. So I decided against adding a PID to my smokers.
Dave
Smokin-It #3 main smoker.
1400 Smokin Tex (same size as #2) for Snowbird time.
Smokin-It #1 for camping trips.
Big Chief with mailbox mod for cheese smoking
Blackstone 22in griddle with Bakerstone pizza oven
Spokane, WA

old sarge

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Re: How much is too much temperature swing
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2023, 10:28:30 PM »
Michael - Thanks for taking the time and photos.  A 55 degree swing does indeed sound excessive. Look for a PM from me.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 10:32:40 PM by old sarge »
David from Arizona
US Army 70 - 95
SI 3D & Big Red Controller
CS 066
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber Kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
LEM MaxVac 1088A
LEM Big Bite #8 Grinder
Chef's Choice 665 and Rival Slicers
Old Hickory Knives
InstantPot Duo80 Plus