Do you bring your smoker up to temp before adding meat?

I typically get my Amerique up to temp before adding meat, but I am starting to wonder if there is any good reason for that. Perhaps it is just some habit from when I cooked with a different smoker. If anything it makes things more awkward since I am attempting to insert a thermometer in a hot cooker and my eyes are fighting the smoke. Do you typically add your meat to a cold Cookshack?
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I've never preheated my Amerique, and I know CS doesn't recommend it (but doesn't recommend against it either). I cook most things (except fish) at 225, and the heating time is only about 15 - 20 minutes, with minimal overshoot. I do try to put most things in at close to room temp, though.
I usually preheat both my Smo45 and o66. I simply don't like the preset startup mode these go into. I usually smoke at 225 to 250 degrees. I have seen both of them over 300 degrees during that first start up phase. I want to get as much smoke on what I am doing as I can before the IT hits 140 degrees.
quote:
Originally posted by BobMc:
I typically get my Amerique up to temp before adding meat, but I am starting to wonder if there is any good reason for that. Perhaps it is just some habit from when I cooked with a different smoker. If anything it makes things more awkward since I am attempting to insert a thermometer in a hot cooker and my eyes are fighting the smoke. Do you typically add your meat to a cold Cookshack?


Yes, I only preheat my FEC for comps, otherwise I throw it in a cold smoker, no matter which model I'm using.
I think the practice of preheating goes back to baking 101. For dough or products with leavening agents you want the oven to be preheated and stable so that the food cooks evenly and starts cooking immediately. Imagine putting a cake or cookies in a cold oven. So perhaps we always heard from our mothers to preheat the oven.

For me, I don't do much cleaning of my smoker. I think for piece of mind I just like it getting up to temp of whatever I am cooking just to kill off any bad things that might be growing. I cook chicken at 375 at least twice a week so I know that high temp probably does the trick.

By the way, I have been using frog mats for just about everything I cook now. No need to clean the grills. I just remove the mat and wash it up in the sink. I will scrape down the grills though. Wish I would have been doing this all along. Nothing sticks permanently to those things.

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