Hi all. Just curious - I would be greatly interested in seeing a chart of cabinet tempature taken every 10 minutes or so. Has anyone done this? How steady is your target tempature held? How much variation? What was the outside ambient temperature when this was done?
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I haven't done a chart, but my SM066 holds the set temp to within +/- 2 - 3 degrees pretty much independent of outside temp 32F - 90F.
Thank you! That is welcome news. I am considering purchasing a CS unit. Your response helps push me closer to the purchase. For what it is worth, I ran my current electric smoker for the other day from 9AM to 12:30 PM. The temps are all over the place. This is one of the main reasons I am thinking of replacing it. The target temp was set to 250 degrees.
Thanks again! Very helpful.
I should have mentioned that there is a definite overshoot on startup because of the controller programming that heats on high for the first 20 minutes or so. But once it stabilizes, it is rock solid. I can't say enough good about CS electric smokers. Set it and forget it.
Set it and forget it - that is a goal!
The temps where taken with nothing in the smoker. I also did a test at 225 degrees. A little less swing in the temp. However, on one reading it hit 204. I recognize this was not a rigerous test as I recorded the tempatures at random intervals.
The only othe issue is spending the $'s and having a smallish cabinet. However, it is mainly for my wife and I so capacity is about right. I do wish the cabinet was, say, 2 inches wider. Yeah, but I have read numous post of people saying the same thing and happy with the unit anyway. SO - I think I'll order one up!
Thank you again for your response.
Also - yes, I am aware of the 20 minute warm up when you turn the unit on. Makes sense to me!
If your existing electric smoker has an analog controller, you will get temp swings in the 15 to 25 degree range. In the long run those swings average out to your set temp. But it is concerning to many who see the swings. The average house furnace does much the same. If you set the temp to 75 degrees, the temp measured at the register is much hotter than that and it runs till the room reaches pretty much what you desire. Then it sits down till the room temp dips to a certain level and the furnace cycles back on. Primitive but effective. A digital or PID holds things much tighter and there is less owner worry. Regarding cost: Pay once, Cry once. Check with Stuart and see if they have a refurbed unit in a larger size and also check the warranty.
The few times that I looked at the temperature swings in my various Cookshack smokers I found that the swing was much less when the smoker had a load in it.
But over the years I've learned it is all about the taste and not the temperature swing.
The answer provided by oldsarge is right on....
The current smoker is digital. I certainly agree with "it is all about the taste." One option is to just keep what I have and set the target temp a little higher. I did note the average temp was 241 for the readings I took with a target of 250. I'd have to do a few cooks at, say, 10 degrees high and see how that goes. It's not that the smoker has failed to produce good food. It has. But - the current smoker has blue tooth. That failed after 6 months. It was nice while it worked but I do not really have a need for it. There is some plastic on the outside around that temp control. That has cracked. It has a tube you can use to insert additional wood chips during the cook. A nice feature but the flanges (correct word?) on the tube that are used to secure it when inserted have bent. I had cut them off. Some smoke now escapes from the tube. Not much mind you but enough. Time is taking it's toll on the unit.
By the way, the current unit is 11 years old. Lot's of use.
I have been using the Cookshack smokers for a good 20 years now. I live in Idaho and have used them when I had to chip ice off of the front door just to open it. I have used them when the temps were over 100 degrees. I have used them when the wind was blowing both hot and cold. Once these units come up to temp they are very stable. The other thing about these smokers is they use very little wood. 4 to 6 oz of wood will give you all the smoke you will want. I have done 4 whole packer briskets with 6 to 8 oz of wood in my 066.