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I was getting a little fed up with recipes that said to set the cookshack dial at 200-225 ... or anywhere around there. There was next to no way of knowing how to time anything (the Cookshack recipes lie) in order to plan a meal within a decent time frame.The saying, "It's done, when it's done" is fine, but I'd like to know when to put it in and take it out -- at least within an or so one way or the other -- not having to tell guests that it will maybe be another 4-6 hours (or more) before dinner! Last weekend I put a 6lb (approx) seasoned pork pinic shoulder in my model 50 and cranked it up as far as the knob would turn. Nine hours later (a very realistic time frame) it was reading 190 to 197 (measured in different locations in the meat with a Temprite thermometer). I used one Kingsford charcoal briquette and about 3/4 oz. of hickory. The meat was the best ever cooked in my smoker and it was the fastest time, too. There was a nice smoke-ring, a lightly crisp bark as well as the most moist, tender white meat I've ever had from this unit! Why can't the factory tell everyone this in the beginning ... could it be because there are no decent tolerances in the thermostata/heat elements? Whatever it is, I say crank it up and use a good thermometer if you really want to "git 'er done!
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Could be EVERY piece of meat is DIFFERENT, your NOT doing a meatloaf,!! Should have read the POST for "NEW OWNERS", LOTS of helpfull info there .. More than one post says to NOT use times in the "BOOK" !! Sounds like you NEED to use the FORUM more. Factory CAN'T tell what your doing. You NEED to learn your smoker and how it works, they ALL are a little different in some way. If all else fails START early, you can ALWAY'S foil, wrap and cooler 'till dinner time ..

Just MY .002

P.S. NO harm intended, just tired of folks blameing the smoker when it does what it supposed to do ..

ABSOLUTELY, if you think CS is lying to you and the information they sent out with it isn't helpful, pick up the toll free phone and call them. They LOVE feedback, and new owners give some of the best.

Well, gotta disagree with the Title "forget the factory dial readings" sounding like you're pretty happy with what people advise there and here in general.

Best rule is to come to the forum, if you don't like the advice here, sorry it's the best we've got.

If you throw out the concept of 225 for x hours and instead just turn it on high and let her rip, then you're proving the point of "it's done when it's done" as you'll have zero percentage of predicting when it's done.

That comment is meant for those that say..."well I cooked it 2 hours a lb and it's still not done."

It's a recipe, not a scientific rule. The times, temps, guidelines are just that. A ball park to get you started.

And KEEP A NOTEBOOK for your methods, your temps, your times.

"lie" is a pretty strong word in my household and certainly doesn't fit here.

The best way of knowing is to use the smoker enough so that you know your own times and temps for what you're cooking.

I could tell you when I do briskets, it takes me exactly 1 hour a pound and I always pull early, but when you do it and it doesn't come out the same way, does that make me a liar?

BBQ is more art than science. The ONLY best method is what works for you. If it takes you 2.234 hours per pound to get what you like, then you'll know for your next party.

Keep notes and for the next party, you'll be done ahead of time. Oh, and we also suggest, don't do a new cut of meat for a party if you haven't done it before, can't always predict the time exactly.
Gosh, I was trying to keep it friendly, but some of my recent posts, my wording hasn't been the best. Heck after 6351 posts there should be one or two that I get right.

No, it's just that I want to keep it OUR forum and FRIENDLY for all of us. We DO want to keep this the best forum and keep it from getting like some of the OTHERS.

Food and Fun, yup, that's us.

Now get out there and USE that search engine Eeker
SmokinOkie said it best now and again when I was a nube, "you're not baking a cake". Once I understood that--and the fact that cooking BBQ is more art than science--my BBQ cooking took off.

My method-of-choice to have the food waiting for the guests and not the other way around is to cook early. I'll put a pork butt or picnic in the night before and cook it low and slow. I can adjust the temp to get it done within 6-7 hours of the dinner bell. The rest time in a hot cooler only improves the outcome.

Enjoy the process as well as the outcome (and trust more in the info found in this forum than in the book).
I too was not happy with the cooking times in my Smokette, I finally contacted Customer Service, they had me to some tests. They sent me a new thermostat. I installed it did some more tests, really didn't see that much difference, I also did a little modification to the thermostat mounting. With a load a meat it seems to work much better. All that information you can find by doing a forum search.

But the point of when it is done, its done, makes a whole lot of difference if you are doing a rare prime rib, versus a butt or brisket that once it reaches 190-200 can be held, chilled, frozen, reheated any number of ways with virtually no loss in quality. With the prime rib you are also dealing with about a 100 degree difference between the CS set temperature and the pull temperature. When you are running within 10-20 of the pull temperature there are going to be a whole lot of variables that are going to effect the cooking time, part of it is the CS, part the meat(s), part the operator and what he expects, the list goes on and on.

The nice thing about a Cookshack if you just open her up and let her rip, it is still virtually impossible to ruin, or even significantly foul up your results. Try to get that consistently with some other smoker. Roll Eyes

That is why the vast majority of us will never waste our money on any other brand, from a 008 up to a SM 350 or a FEC 750.
Originally posted by GLH:
Welcome to the forum, Cowboy Q. I hope you enjoy your time spent here.

I have used my 008 in the summer heat (105 here today), pouring rain in November in the 40's, and in a sleet storm in January. I haven't noticed any difference at all in the times.

Same results with me also, even if I do have a S.T.

Johnny Q,
It all comes from doing it over and over again. I have cooked cuts of meat that look the same as the last one I bought but, they are from a different animal. They are all different.You will have to cook each one and monitor the temps. and be patient.When it hits that internal temp. you are going for,it's done. I have had brisket that was the same size as ones I have cooked before and it might take 2 hours longer to cook or it might be done in a shorter time.
I always try to smoke everything ahead of time and then you won't be as rushed when the friends come over to enjoy your delicious smoked meats. You can smoke and hold and everything an it will taste great. Smiler
Eeker Whoa! I meant not to step on any toes here, I was actually attempting to rejoice and say that I have finally figured it out. Certainly, something got lost in the translation.
In my defense, I am fully aware that the times/temps are merely guidlines. I raised (what I feel is) a valid question regarding the possibly of notable differences from one thermostat/heating element to another ... RendezvousQ's response is a testimony to this thought and, as far as I am concerned, it has now been laid to rest.
Upon re-reading my original post, I can see how my use of "lie" could be construed as inappropriate -- I sincerely apologize for my futile attempt at "tongue-in-cheek". I will try to refrain from using this sort of dry humor in the future. There was no accusatory finger deliberately pointed.
I have contacted Cookshack with questions in the past and they are very helpful -- never said they were not. I have also found some great info in these forums -- thank you very much!
I just used my smoker a couple of weeks ago. I loaded it four slabs of beef ribs and three slabs of pork spareribs. I "let it rip" (I like that description!). Everything was perfectly done in five hours -- a time I actually predicted due to my newfound method of ignoring the temp settings on the dial. I was even able to use my charcoal smoker to cook forty-plus chicken thighs and had everything timed to be done within twenty minutes of each other. My guests were fed in a timely manner and there were no leftovers. One guest is even going to buy a Cookshack oven because the ribs were so "unbelievable"! I gave him the web address.
I am truly happy with my model 50 and am not bashing Cookshack -- as my original post seems to indicate!
Thanks for reading.
PS Hey, mcnkc ... you got a problem with meatloaf? Razzer JUST KIDDING! HONEST! Big Grin

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