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Joe-

I noticed the same during my "seasoning" run with my 55. Talked to Tony at Cookshack, he told me to take a two hour charting of the internal temps. Turns out the temp swings average out pretty well over time. According to Tony, the first heating cycle in particular may go sky high trying to reach temp. Also, from what I have read throughout the postings, it appears a full load of food (or at least partial) will temper the swings somewhat.

I recommend the two hour charting, as it allows a good excuse for a bourbon and a cigar. I have convinced Mrs.KCAL that monthly monitoring is necessary to avoid nullifying the warranty. Wink
If you monitor your home oven, you'll notice the same swings in temperature. You preheat the oven, the elements seek to keep that temperature. It drove me crazy the first time I monitored the Cookshack, but I think it's something I just took for granted in my home oven. I wouldn't worry about it unless you see a huge swing, over 75 degrees, or the smoker doesn't compensate by dropping. It's a good thing to monitor. Keeping records helps a lot.
Peggy
My smokette consistently runs cold, adjusting for temperature swings with the dial set at 250, it probably averages about 225, set a 225 it probably averages 200. Mad

I just did a ham and monitored it relatively close over the 12 hour cook. I had an digital probe in the oven and stemmed oven thermometer in the smoke hole they were as close has you could see.

At an average temperature of 225 with swings of plus or minus 30 degrees it takes pretty much forever to get to an internal temperature of 190. Personally, I think something in my Smokette is defective, but I don't know if it is the setting dial pot, or the actual thermostat in the oven, but this problem does limit my enjoyment of my CS. I suppose I should call customer service, but I normally forget until I have something in the smoker. Confused

On the other hand with the digital controls on my old restaurant 105 once it comes to temperature and evens out it probably holds within plus or minus 5-10 degrees, during the whole cook and hold cycle.
Excellent advice...and thank you. I haven't had a chance to fire it up since the seasoning, so I am curious to see how it behaves over the next couple of tries. That's good advice on keeping the log. I'll definitely try that.

Seems like it is a better thing to run a bit on the high side as opposed to the low side like Rendezvous' machine...sorry to hear about your troubles with your smokette. I'd be curious to hear what CS has to say about that when you do get around to calling...
quote:
Originally posted by RendezvousQ:

I suppose I should call customer service, but I normally forget until I have something in the smoker. Confused


Yes you should, if it's normally running cold. Extension cords or anthing connect to it?

For those with questions, do a search on "fluctuations" (53 hits) and see what has been said, or "temp swings" (119 hits). There should be some info in there to help understand that it's normal.
I finally got around to contacting CS customer service. They gave me a 3 hour check the temperature every 10 minutes test to run. I haven't had time to run the test yet. However, I was also able to remove my extension cord and move to a new circuit. Personally, I think that the old circuit I was using was also wired into my refer and my freezer. (Its an old house and the previous owner's Irish work crew was always accompanied by a fifth.)

Anyway, I did have time to just run up the CS in its new home and we reached a generally watched internal oven temperature of about 270 before it began to fall. That is about 30 degrees higher than I have ever noticed before.

Alleluia! Smiler
I really don't think that the extension cord is the whole issue. I think the house wiring which I never thought about, before contacting CS may have been more of the problem. However, I am going to check it out once I finish the real test (which I just started) I will run it again with the other variables and see what happens. The extension cord was a industrial grade 12/3, less than 50 feet, will carry better amperage than anything in my old house.

I did notice however at times that the CS seemed to run closer to temp than at others, that may have had to do with other things running on the same circuit. That circuit could be 1928 vintage and it is all hidden in the wall. If some or all of what I was running on was # 14 wire that could have a more significant impact than the cord. I'm now running off a new # 12 wire circuit that was put in with the new service entrance last year.

CLH and everyone else, your rebuke and scorn is greatly appreciated.

217 degrees after 30 minutes Smiler
Here are the results of the Smokette temperature experiment as sent to Tony in CS customer service: Smiler

Tony,

Here are the results from my recently completed 3 hour test of my empty Smokette 009, as you suggested. Measurements were made with a Taylor 1470 digital thermometer/timer with the metal part of the probe just completely in the smoke hole and hanging free. Smokette temperature dial was set at 250 degrees. I also set a NSF fry thermometer in the smoke hole, I did not record those temperatures, because it doesn't have the readability, but I would guess it might have measured somewhat hotter than the Taylor, but the temperature swings were generally very consistent.

Upon the recommendation of GLH in the Owner's forum, I checked the accuracy of both thermometers is my electric tea pot. As both heated, I observed the temperature rise of both thermometers. The Taylor generally lagged slightly behind the fry thermometer, but that may have at to do with the probes position in the pot. Water boiled temperature with the Taylor measured 210 degrees, the fry about 218, which is consistent with the above results. Elevation here is about 60 feet above sea level so the Taylor read 2 degrees low, the fry 6 degrees hot. Not all that bad considering the price of each.

Time 0, outside temp 54, probe temp 54; 10 = 96; 20 = 180; 30 = 217; 40 = 253; 50 = 264; 1 hour = 226; 1:10 = 215; 1:20 = 257; 1:30 = 260, outside temp 57; 1:40 = 219; 1:50 = 224; 2 hours = 266; 2:10 = 246; 2:20 = 213; 2:30 = 237; 2:40 = 267; 2:50 = 231; 3 hours = 219, outside temp 65.

Highest temperature recorded = 267, lowest temperature recorded after reaching initial set point = 213, Average temperature beginning with first reading at 250 or above = 240 degrees, Standard deviation for 15 samples 20 degrees.

That mean temperature of 240 degrees I can live with, but I would much prefer that it was higher than lower than the set point. As in our original discussion with the Smokette set at 225, like most of the people prefer and directions generally state, it is going to take a very, very, long time to get to an internal temperature of 190 for pulled pork, especially with a recorded general swing on the low side of 35 degrees below the set point. In this Smokette, I might as well have an on/off switch rather than a dial. This of course is without any load of anything. Since I have a 105 from an old restaurant and it runs great on that old circuit and cord and it holds really well around the set and hold temperatures, these results can't hardly be compared in any fashion, which is part of the reason I bought the Smokette in the first place, to test recipes and somewhat times.

I will try the and see what the extension cord and the other circuit does with these results sometime in the future. Cool

Thanks again,
I certainly ain't no temp readin' expert,but I have cooked a bit.

I'd suggest gettin' another Taylor probe,if you have to experiment.

Put the probe through a tennis ball sized hunk o' foil and place it on the rack closest to your temp probe,with the tip not touching metal.

Shove as much wood o' choice ,as the box will hold.

Set the dial at 235º and close it up,turn it on.

Go in the house and get the three,seven lb bonein butts, that you picked up today.

Put more rub on them than you think makes sense,and a heavy coat of Turbinado sugar.

Mash them as flat as you can mash them,and set back in the refrigerator.

Prep the family dinner and go ahead and eat,if you wish.

Clean up the kitchen and take the butts out to the cooker.

Probably be about 8 PM?

Don't waste time lookin' at the therm.

Find a way to get the butts on three racks.

Bottom one, could be fat side down.

You could put the other therm probe, in the smallest butt.

Now you could hire a neighbor kid to sit in a lawn chair and check the temps every hour and record them on a yellow pad.

Watch some TV and go to sleep.

About 9 AM go out and look at the therm readin'.

If it is about 190º,open the door and twist the bone.

If it don't twist,use your instatherm to check temps in several places.

If it isn't ready,close it back up for at least an hour.

Try again.

Should be ready.

If you fall asleep in the lawn chair and it goes to 200º,probably won't hurt it too much.

Get the yellow pad from the neighbor kid,ignore it, and throw it away.

Foil and cooler the butts a few hrs,until ready to pull and eat.

Just my $0.02 worth,and we all know how that can fare. Wink
Yep,the 105 s are great cookers.

One suggestion on getting good butts.

Anytime the market is running a loss leader on pork steaks,country style ribs,etc ,they are typically getting 65 lb cases of butt 2 packs in from their central warehouse.

These can often beat Sam's prices.

Our market mngrs are happy to sell them in two paks,marked as what the specials are,because they don't have to trim,cut,and repackage.

Just a thought.

I bought my last couple cases for $0.79/lb ,on a two lbs for price of one country ribs.

Sam's case price was about $1.40/lb.
I didn't realize that they cut pork steaks and and country ribs from bone in butts. My closest supermarket is always running ten pound packs, of something, I will have to see what they can do for me, without cutting it up. Really the only place I have found bone in butts in this neck of the woods, is in the Super Wally Worlds. There is none within driving distance to me. I went to Sam's yesterday,and they had nothing, Costco's like $1.37 but they didn't look that good. The local wholesale grocery, they used be URM (Someone bought them out and they have a new name, that haven't made a point to remember.) had some good ones at $1.20 something, they were boneless too. For some reason I think that the bone adds just that little something to make it just a little better. Cool
This area of Seattle is very culturally diverse, to be politically correct. So they may be going to any number of ethnic places that have no problem with pork. More than my preference for bone in, it could well be a country thing, I have very little regard for injected meat.

To get back on the topic subject, CS is sending me a new thermostat. Smiler It should be here next Thursday. Razzer

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