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Greetings All,

I've owned an FEC-100 before, moved on and sold that for two Gateway Drum smokers, sold one (kept the other), and just got a new PG500! I was pretty impressed with my first cook but was curious on your thoughts with the drastic temp swings.

Long story short, the swings may not matter too much, as I said above... I was pretty impressed with the final product. I intentionally didn't wrap in an effort to get more smoke and a firm bark... I achieved both!

I used Cookshack hickory pellets, initially set LHt/HHt to 10/50 but bumped it up to 15/50 after I got a flame-out about one hour into my cook. Are these temp swings (see attached graph, approx. 198 -280) normal for the LHt/HHt settings I used?

I've tried LHt/HHt set to 15/30, but don't seem to get as much visible smoke and there is still a pretty noticeable temp swing (set @ 225 and ranging from 208-250).

The ambient temperature for both was approx. 78 degrees.

FYI... the smoker was set to 200 but my temp probe (and meat) was placed in Zone 3.

First Brisket Cook [Zone 3) Temp set @ 200Brisket #1Brisket #2Brisket #3Brisket #4Brisket #5Brisket #6Brisket #7Brisket #8Brisket #9


Images (10)
  • Brisket #1
  • Brisket #2
  • Brisket #3
  • Brisket #4
  • Brisket #5
  • Brisket #6
  • Brisket #7
  • Brisket #8
  • Brisket #9
  • First Brisket Cook (Zone 3) Temp set @ 200
Original Post

Man!  That brisket looks great!  As far as the temp swings, I've only had my PG500 for about 4 months, but I think that looks normal.  From what I know, the controller on the PG500 is not meant to hold the temp really close to set temp, but will basically average out to the set temp.  I think you get more smoke that way.  Either way, I've been extremely happy with mine.

Interesting idea to see a pan of liquid over most of the zone 1 area to dampen the heat generated there and to add a little moisture to the area.  I will have to give that a try when smoking something big next time.  My usual LLH/HHT settings on my 4-1/2 year old PG500 are 30/70 which works for most smokes/grilles.  In the winter I sometimes bump those up to 35/75 or 35/80 depending on outside temp. I live in the Pacific Northwest so winter temps are not that cold.  If I want high temps for pizza or similar, I will temporarily bump the HHT up to around 100 to really get things roaring in the fire pot.

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