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I'm all pumped up for a brisket...and my SM025 is not.

Temp will not's all over the place

It took an hour to get to 225, then it kept going up, so I turned it down to 200, smoker went down below 200, turned up to 225, smoker goes up to 250

I shut it off, unplugged it, cleaned the temp probe inside. Tried all of this several times with no luck. Not using an extension cord either.

Right now the Cookshack is at 260 and the Maverick is at 250.

The temp held perfectly during my first 3 smokes in this unit.

Now I'm gonna throw the brisket in the oven and hope for the best.
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IF you had to clean the probe and that was the problem. You will need to take into account the warmup mode!!!

The smokers will run wide open for 20 minutes to catch the wood on fire, so everytime you plugged it in or turned it on THIS WILL HAPPEN.

This warmup period applies to the redesigned display units, I think they did it in the middle of the summer???

You gave up awful quick. I could tell you to go read through the owners forum and do some searches and you'll see that what's happening isn't all that unusual.

I will try to help, just bear with me while I try to work through it.

10 degrees over and you threw it in the oven? FYI, your oven has the same type element, have you ever checked it? It will have the same fluctuations (unless it's a high dollar wolf or something).

I hear your frustration, but I don't think you have an issue, at least not from what you stated. Let's see sounds like you only have a couple of cooks under your belt.

This smoker has worked, as advertised for 40+ years, so give us a little time to understand your issue and try to help/explain.

The Cookshack is at 260 and the Maverick is at 250. Is that a problem? 10 degrees off?

I don't think so.

It will NOT hold the exact temp, it will fluctuate a little up or down, but it's just not made to be an exact temp. But 10 degrees is nothing, I personally don't see a problem with 10% (20 degrees) as it will average much smaller over time.

I guarantee the brisket won't care about 10 degrees and every time you open the door, the temp will drop then come up/overshoot/settle down.

10 degrees is "not all over the place" so I'm not sure what the problem is, but I don't see 10 degrees at a problem.

I read a lot of frustation, but not enough details to know what your biggest concern is, but I'm guessing that it didn't hold the EXACT temp.

Are you expecting it to get to the set temp in XX time and never change =/- x degrees from that set temp?

Did it take an hour to get to 225 empty or with a big piece of meat in there?

Did it get to 225? Did it stay there +/- xx degrees?

When you change the temp, it will take a while to settle down. It's also not instantenous, and it doesn't hit 250, say and stop, it will overshoot a little.

You really need to focus on the average temp, over a long period of time.

To me, an issue is setting it at a temp, say 225 and instead it stays at 300 for several hours.

If you're expecting to log the temps say from the minute you turn it on, and have expectations of something specific, let me know. But nowhere has cookshack posted that is how it's designed. It's got it's own quirks and we'll help you understand them.

I don't see a problem, but if after reading what I have, you think you still have one, please be specific.

You may have expectations that aren't matching how it's working.

We'll help sort it out.

it's so hard trying to sort out issues like this via a forum, so we are trying to help.

If you really see a problem I'd suggest call Cookshack Customer Service on Monday. There is a lot of missing information and they'll be happy to help you resolve it.

We're not Cookshack people here, just people who have a lot of experience with them.
Last edited by Former Member
Wow!! Just got my first Okie ass woopin!!

But you are right.

I messed around with the smoker while the brisket was in the oven.

I removed the controller and found everything normal. Reinstalled controller.

Turned it back on, temp went up to 225 in about 15 minutes or so. Kept going to about 260 and then came down to the 225 range. Waited about 15 min and temp held at 225.

So I put the brisket back in. A little while later the temp came back up to 225, after the opening of the door of course. Waited a half hour, temp was 225 and went fishing (caught nothing).

Got back about 5 hours later, smoker is at 225, brisket is at 192 on the Cookshack and 202 on the Maverick.

Brisket was a bit dry, but that was no problem for me, because I am an idiot!
God!! I'm still laughing church hill. I hope you're smarter than me cause I keep getting them.

Glad the smoker performed as expected. Smokin and Tom keep telling us to have a little patience. Guess that's all it took. When it's dry, add a little sauce, and "ged her dun" on the next one.

Besides. I don't believe your brisket was really dry. It was just worn out from going back and forth between the smoker and the oven. Big Grin
Last edited by pags
Back in the day, my 008 just had a knob.
Turn it to the temp (range) desired and wait until the product was done.

Today with the fancy digital displays we get all worked up over the temp swings.. Yup :-)

Think of clocks analog vs digital and how we use to just tell time and not worry so much about the precision of minutes and seconds in our daily life.
You know how something hits your funny bone, and you can't stop laughing. Well, I went to bed about one and a half hours after my post last night. We're laying in bed in the dark, and my wife says, "What's so funny?"

I don't know but those were great opening and closing lines. And what with the brisket traveling so many miles between cookers and the fishing comment. Funny post.

Thanks. I needed that.
Last year I put a Taylor remote in my electric kitchen oven and set the temp to 250.
Temps established a consistant pattern.
Rise to 280, then fall to 220 in 7 minutes.
Then rise to 280 in 2 minutes when the element came on.
Then fall to 220 again in 7 minutes.
Then repeated the cycle faithfully many more times until I got bored of watching it.

So, that is a +30 to a -30 for a total of 60 degree temp swing every 9 minutes.

The oven cooks just fine. The baked goods and the meat do not care about the swings.

Just my "Tidbit" for today. Smiler

Good information. I was sure my kitchen oven had swings as it cycled on and off, but its therm doesn't show that. Only shows the constant setting. Ours has two readings just like the Cookshack Elite, but once the oven temp reaches the setting temp, it just shows the setting temp on both readings. So it's swinging away while we think it's constant.

If we stop to think, all thermostats work that way. It's either on or off. It's either heating or cooling down. Vice versa for A/C and refrigeration.
Last edited by pags
Seen lots of good advice on this forum. Took a few cooks to stop tracking the cooker temp swings. Briskets took the longest to get the way I like them. Still learning and improving. Here is what helped:

1) Find a good brisket
2) Trim it down
3) Season it up
4) Choose the wood type and amount
5) Use a temp probe to know when to start checking for doneness.
6) Remove when done and foil to set for a time before serving.
7) Slice against the grain
8) Store leftovers -- if there are any...

Search around the forum and other bbq forums for ideas for each of the steps; and do it the way you like it. Oh, and take good notes -- critical for improving or reproducing what you like.

I think the cooker continues to get better each cook as it gets seasoned.
Originally posted by smokin church hill:
Wow!! Just got my first Okie ass woopin!!

But you are right.

Nah, THAT'S not a A.W....

Remember this is the kinder, gentler, forum...

You took it in fun, and good, because it was meant that way.

We'll get you there.

Oh, and of course I'm right.

Don't forget Rule 10:
10. If in your research you come across two different opinions take the one offered by Smokin' Okie - he is never wrong! He could have led Dante through hell.

Now I think I'll have to go cook some brisket tonight just to prove I remember how. Maybe I'll post pics
I am so glad I found this post! I just unpacked my Cookshack Elite and plugged it in to start the seasoning process. I was alarmed when the temp was up to 238* when I set it for 200*. I unplugged it, resigned to yet another piece of electrical equipment that didn't like me! It didn't help that the smoker tripped all of the outlets I had tried. Even the ones with a 20 amp breaker. I really do take this electrical thing personally. It is now happily seasoning away, having been restarted and the temp. coming down to the proper temp. Patience my dear girl, patience.
I don't know about all the outlets tripping, but sometimes GFI circuits will trip. The temperature swings are normal, especially for an empty smoker. The temp swings will reduce when it gets more seasoned and there's meat in the smoker acting as a heat sync. It will also stay on for the initial 20 minutes or so in an effort to get the wood smoking so it may start out high then settle down. Some swings are normal, don't let it freak you out.
I honestly think this topic (the 20 minute warm up in the cooker software) should be made a sticky. I went through exactly the same thing, as I didnt know it was wired that way.

At the very minimum we ought to be able to say in the manual something to the effect of " when starting the smoker, it will typically take 30 minutes of continuous power to the unit for the temperature to normalize. The temp will often go over your set point in this period as the smoker lights the wood, and then fall back to normal. Adding large cuts of meat to the smoker may increase this time. Please do not turn off the smoker and turn it back on, as this only starts this cycle over again." Or you could say, in short, set the smoker, wait one hour, then check. If its not in a normal swing of + - 10 degrees by that point, then panic Smiler
I'd be very happy with a switch. Flip up for 350*, down for 250*, and unplug for off. It would work perfectly, require no thought, but it wouldn't be digital and "cool". In the world we live in, digital and cool beats KISS engineering every time to the public's wallet. Next gen smokers will come with internet connectivity and a built in mp3 player. Maybe even an OnStar system that connects directly to Smokin' when you're having a rib emergency........Oh well. Frowner
Tri Tip is a wonderful cut of meat, very bold flavor and tender. People have described the flavor as bold as "rib eye" but fortunately it's cheaper. Unfortunately, it's hard to find except out here on the west. The Virtual Webber does a good job of explaining it. It is also called "bottom sirloin roast" or "triangle roast". Sometimes "Colette steak" I believe.

I've heard Trader Joe's carries it back east. Go over and see if they have it. If so, buy it. Get on the internet and Google "Santa Maria Tri Tip". I'll post later. Typically, grilled. I smoked then finished on the grill. Delicious.

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