I am a new forum member. Today. In using my AmeriQue, I have some questions.

Is there any retrofit to get it above 300 degrees to use as a second oven? Probably not, or I would need 220v, right.

If I set the unit at 225 degrees, I notice that it fluctuates at some times about 15, or more degrees up or down. I bought a $350.00 gadget from BBQ Guru to use on my Bradley Smoker, that when I attached it, clipped the alligator clip on the grate, and probed into the meat, kept it no more than 2 degrees up or down from 225 degrees. Had an automatic "hold", just like the AmeriQue. I'm looking for comments, here. By the way, Bradley Smokers are expensive, highly mechanical cheaply built pieces of "junk". The gadget from BBQ Guru is not. It is a "cool" piece of equipment that works, and it replaces all "probes", etc. on the AmeriQue, and "takes over" the temperature control, but very precisely.

I also would like to know the maximum amount of wood chunks that I could use in the AmeriQue. My instructions said 8 oz., but it seems to quit smoking after about an hour. Is this normal? Can I open it up and add more?, or do I need to? I have the Still Smokin Cookbook, but I don't know if the wood chunk requirements are for a smaller unit, or an AmeriQue.

My first "Q" was a 12lb Certified Angus brisket trimmed to 1/4" inch of fat by my butcher with about 6oz. of hickory chunks, per the Cookshack recipe. Turned out really good, and with no foil wrap, or anything. Moist, tender brisket, but lacked a little "smoke" flavor, and no "smoke ring". "Smokin Okie", in his wisdom, resolved the smoke ring situation by adding a couple pieces of regular charcoal to add the smoke ring. The "smoke" flavor, I need your help.

By the way, has anyone heard, besides me, that wood chunks should have no "bark" on them, as it imparts an "off flavor"?

I really need some input and advice from AmeriQue owners.
Original Post
I can offer up a few thoughts on your questions.

I've not heard of any upgrades to get higher temps out of the AQ.

I came from the Bradley side as well. Because of the Bradley's poor insulation, I built a PID controller to stabilize its temp. Because the controller was so precise, it was easy to zero in on the exact temp I wanted. When I got my AQ, I expected the same performance. It wasn't as precise, but my experience has been that it just doesn't matter. A 10-20 degree swing up or down really doesn't impact anything that I cook. Also, as my AQ has gotten more miles on it, the temp is much more stable and within 1-2 degrees of what I have it set at.

I like a lot of smoke flavor, and I have trouble getting as much as I like. I have filled the box up with chunks, but it doesn't seem to add much more flavor then if I just use 2 pieces. I do know that when the initial heavy visible smoke subsides, there is a more clear smoke that follows, and that is really the smoke that many prefer.

Enjoy your AmeriQue, it's a fine unit.

Matt
Well,I'm not an AQ owner,but I'll offer a couple comments,until some show up.

The cookbooks may have have nice reads as to recipes,etc-but you should rely on the readings from the forum ,as to times and temps.

The smoker has not quit smoking,if you loaded your wood chunks to the front of the firebox.

You should not be seeing smoke,as efficient clean smoking is the goal.

You are more likely to oversmoke,than undersmoke.

Start slow with the wood,as you can always add.

Yes,you can add more wood,into the smoke,but it is rare that anyone would.

Yep,Guru's are handy for unregulated stickburners,working in wind,rain,etc-especially if they have no insulation.

Since low/slow cooking seems to find it's optimum temps around 225º,to give the breakdown of collagen and rendering of fat,retrofitting for high temps would seem unusual.

The 300º was on there to help with turkeys,that don't benefit from low/slow on the lean/ dry/tender meat and to tighten the skin a little.

At those temps,you aren't going to be smoking ,anyway-so why not use the house oven.

Is there some reason you would be concerned about minor temp swings,as it has nothing to do with the final product?

As to bark,as long as it has not been sprayed with insecticides,or moldy,most cooks feel it has the same impact on the cook as your sister's height and hair color.

Smokering has no flavor,and is not judged in comps,so we don't worry much about it.

If you want more smoke on the outside of product,you can always add more wood.

Large chunks won't get much interior smoke,anyway.

Hope this helps a little.

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