I've done two 8lb butts over the last few days, was surprised that they took about 18 hours, starting at 225, then bumping to 235, 245,meat finally got to 195, turned out great. I do not have a probalem with a 18hr cook time, but here is my question.

I have the Q set for 225, been smoking about 1.5 hours at 225, no probe, as I'm going chicken quarters, inserted Thermogen and a Thermogen wire unit into the vent holes, just so see what the temp read, and BOTH came out at 165 or so. While I was taking the temp at the top of the unit, is there that much of a temp spread?

I plan to get a few potatoes later today, and insert both the Q probe and the Thermogen in them on different height racks.

I'd hate to think that I have a defective heating element or thermostat.

Original Post
It sounds to me that you might have a bad temp probe in the CS. Do you check today with the other probes and see what happens. If it is cooking lower than what the unit shows it is at, call Cookshack tomorrow and they will get you fixed right up.
Jay- By any chance are you using an extension cord with your cooker? If so make sure that it's a fairly heavy guage cord so you have any loss in voltage.

couple of things - 1. grip the plug and if it is hot, then there may be a current issue. Small size wire impedes the current flow (resistance and current create heat, same as the heating element) and reduces the effeciency of the heating element - 2. Buy a can of biscuits and place them on the corners of the racks, look for differences in doneness based on suggested cooking times and temps.
I appreciate the suggestions. Unit is plug directly into wall. I could have the outlet checked for flow, will consider that after talking with CS tomorrow.

Here is how my potato test came out today. I put in two medium Idaho potato, each with a probe, one with CS probe,other with wired Thermogen probe. One place on low rack, other placed on upper rack, probe not touching any racks. Also placed a slab of Baby Backs on second rack from the bottom. Not sure of weight, forgot to weigh.

Set probe for 200, started a tad hot at 235. 3 hours later later both probes within a few degrees of each other at 174. Turned the temp up to 250, 40 minutes later, potatoes at 177. Upped the temp to 260, about 40 minutes later, potatoes at 188, decided to take out ribs, hope for the best.

Ribs pretty good, have wrapped in foil, will eat tomorrow, dang potatoes never did get above 190, almost hard as rock.

I definitely have some issue going on, not sure what. Could my wall outlet really be that screwed up to cause issues?
Hope I can get it fixed locally with a good tech and help from CS, I hate to think that I have to box this up and get one sent. Should be an easy issue to trouble shoot.

Thanks again.
The fact that potatoes were increasing in temp,makes me wonder about the probes,again.

Call service ,today,and let them sort it out.
Well, Tony asked me to run some time lines with CS probe and my Thermogen. Looks like the unit is working OK.
He mentioned that if I was smoking meat taken right from the fridge along with putting into a cold CS smoker, cooktimes could be much longer, but comments which I did not factor in.

Will do some more smoking over next few day, see how it goes, but based on tech support, my unit is good to go. Seems I have to get better acquainted with my meat and smoker.

Thanks again.
Longer OK. But 18 hrs. for an 8 lb. butt seems long, cold or room temperature. Keep an eye on your unit and make sure everything is working properly like you suggest.Hope all works out well for you. I know, "it's done when it's done."
Originally posted by Pags:
Longer OK. But 18 hrs. for an 8 lb. butt seems long, cold or room temperature.

Well, not for the electric CS's. For some reason (I believe it's the construction and it's ability to hold the humidity so high) CS owners have reported average times closer to 2 hours per pd.

That's why... stop me if you've heard this one:

It's done when it's done

The best thing to do is take great notes for your smoker and your experience. When you cross an oddity, just ask us, and we help where we can.

Good info here for new owners.
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
Originally posted by Pags:
Longer OK. But 18 hrs. for an 8 lb. butt seems long, cold or room temperature.

Well, not for the electric CS's. For some reason (I believe it's the construction and it's ability to hold the humidity so high) CS owners have reported average times closer to 2 hours per pd.

These posts reporting long cook times have bothered me for years. I can't help thinking something is wrong somewhere. Both my 008 and Amerique are dead reliable in cook times. I frequently cook 4 butts at a time(30-32# total) in the 008 and they go in at 10pm, and are out by 8am cooking at 225*. The Amerique does the same thing with a similar load.

Four ~16# briskets last weekend cooked for 14 hours in the Amerique, some of it at 200*, but most of the time at 250*.

My meat usually shows a temp of ~38* when I put it in the smoker. If I thought I was going to have to wait 18 hours plus for every load, as much as I like my CS smokers for all their other qualities, I'd still be looking for a different smoker/system.
I like my Cookshack but wouldn't be delighted with an 18 hr.8 lb. butt. It would be a problem if one time the butt took 18 hrs., and next time it took 12 hrs. That's why I suggested JCCohen should keep an eye on the next few smokes.

If the longer cooks for butt are indeed moisture related, then would it make any sense to open the door once or twice to let out some moisture. Or is it a case of "damned if you do" and "damned if you don't".
Well,I agree with Todd -on the years before my boys got my old 009.

One,the bigger load,the better it cooked.

I find most cookers find a temp where they like to cook.

I chart my cookers,and regulate my therms.

Mine liked to cook at an accurate 235º,when only one,or two butts.

More,it cooked a little lower.

Back on learn our cooker,verify our other equipment,take good notes,and pay attention to the changes.

As fast Eddy would say,sometimes heat is our friend.

I don't know of a published rule that says we can't cook at an accurate temp of 250º-if needed.

Make the cooker cook to our schedule.

I often ,would run mine for hrs at 180º,kick it to 225º to ride through the plateau,and turn it to it's max-about 255º,until I'd check the butts at around 192º.

That said,there are fine pork cooks that say the longer it rides in the plateau,the more fat it renders,and the better it breaks down collagen.

Just a couple of thoughts.
As we've discussed, the times, while they may not be accurate for us, appear to be accurate for them. There are just enough variables to make it next to impossible to figure out the differences.

Hince my point of each user keeping their own notes, that match their methods and their smoker.
Tom and Smokin--

Your experience once again shows. If the smoker works well and is consistent, then it's done when it's done. Learn our own smokers and maybe make some minor adjustments like Tom suggests. Otherwise, enjoy our smokes.
America's Test kitchen did a thing last year where they were searching for the best method to give tender meat. They ended up saying that a cooking temp as close to the desired doneness temp provided the best results, going so far as to cook a chicken in a dutch oven for 22-24 hours IIRC.

The things we'll do for love.

Around here in the summer, I can put a butt out on my deck and make Sun Que in less time than that. Smiler
Now,I ain't real sure I'd waste a whole day rasslin' no yardbird.

I'd probably stop at Sam's and get one to go. Roll Eyes

Now, about them farm raised pork butts/shoulders,that may work.

An old friend of Smokin' and mine,up around Ft Wayne,In, was a researching fool.

He found some good,and not so good stuff,but he wrote it all down.[Just like Smokin' tells us, all the time]

Stogie liked a good cigar,and fine tequila,and good chile peppers,amongst his other derilictions.

Now,that don't make him a bad person. Big Grin

He allowed that you could cook a good farm butt ,around 12 lbs,with all its internal fat,around 200* cooker temp,for up to 36 hrs,and it would never boil off its liquid,and get dry.

Now,I've run some for long times-sometimes on purpose.

In my declining years,I ain't sure I'm up to wallerin' no hawg all that long-but it do work.

Just my $0.02 about Smokin' always remindin' us-"its done,when its done".
I really, really appreciate all the comments, suggestions and feedback.
I have a brisket going in tonight, and will keep good notes, have notebook already started.
I have an 8lb butt waiting in the wings, it will be in next.

I don't mind the wait, I just don't want the CS unit not to be working up to par. If 2hrs per pound appx is the cook time, fine with me.

I have confidence that if I do have an issue, it will be taken care of.

I do plan to have an electrician check the line and if necessary, I'll have the outlet put on it's on circuit.

Thanks very much again, you guys are OK
Forgot to mention the times @ 250deg in my 009...10-12hours on the buts to get to 195 and I use the 3-2-1/2 hour method on my baby back ribs and throw them on the grill for about 10mins for the glaze or sauce. Turn out perfect every time!
Well, I think I had a really good smoke on this round of learning.

Started about a 10-12 rubbed brisket last night at 9. Temp set for 225, probe 195, 2oz of Hickory.
4:30 am, Display is reading 227, probe 153
12:30 PM, Display is reading 224, probe 178
5:00 PM, Display is reading 224, probe 188
Bump temp to 250, 6:10, probe goes into hold mode at 195.
Double wrap in foil, plan to freeze 1/2, eat 1/2 tomorrow.
Total smoke time, about 21 hours, very pleased with results.

Thanks guys.

Tomorrow, two PB's, about 20lbs total


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I have cooked 9.5 lb pork butts several times, and they usually take about 24-26 hours in my smokette when set to 225. I did one last weekend and decided to see if I could do it in less time - put it in at 6:30 AM at 225 - turned it up to 250 at around 5 and pulled it out at 7:30 - temp was only 185 but it pulled pretty good and tasted great.

I agree with those that say "It's done when it's done." I may try a higher temp next time, but knowing what works for your equipment is what's important.

I have several recipe books that say you can grill a whole spatchcocked chicken at high temperature for only 15 minutes per side. On my grill I've never been able to do one that quick that wasn't burnt on the outside and raw on the inside.

Recipes and forums are great sources of information, but in the end you've got to do what works for you, then write it down or remember it so you can repeat it.
Last edited by dwayne

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