Originally posted by Ray M: I purchased the still smoking book and it recommends preheating before you put the food in. Is this a good idea ? I would think you will lose all the heat when you put the food in.
Do NOT go with the times from the book. It's fairly old and a few things have changed. The recipes are good, but the times are off.
Pre-heating isn't mandatory. It heats up quick enough, that unless it calls it for a specific recipe I wouldn't mess with it.
If you preheat won't you actually get less smoke? If the oven is preheated it will reach temp pretty quickly after you put the food in, and then the element will cycle on and off to keep the temp. I have found that I get much more smoke when the element is on...so if you start cold the element is on for a while till it reaches temp and I find I get a lot of smoke very quickly. I am a newbie here, so perhaps I am incorrect in my observation..but that is what I have noticed.
As Tom says, keep in mind that the perfect smoke is the clear stuff, that white/gray smoke at the beginning is just burning off the impurities of the smoke. If you haven't cooked on a stick burner, you might not have heard this.
That's why you don't want to get your wood wet, it smolders, and doesn't smoke clear
Originally posted by florida texan: If you preheat won't you actually get less smoke? If the oven is preheated it will reach temp pretty quickly after you put the food in, and then the element will cycle on and off to keep the temp. I have found that I get much more smoke when the element is on...
I have found this to be the case also. With the digital controller - it starts short cycling somewhere around 40 -50 degrees from setpoint. I get more initial smoke on start up when the controller is on constant. This may not apply to the older models w/o digital controllers.
That said - I haven't found much need for preheating. I usually ignore "preheat instructions" in recipes I find.
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