Yes, I know opening the smoker is a no-no, but today I had to. I am experimenting with wrapping 2 butts in butcher paper, and, when it was clear on my temperature probes the butts had reached 165* and the stall had begun, I opened the smoker long enough to get the butts out to wrap them. I closed the door, wrapped the butts, and opened the door again to put the butts back in the smoker. Previously, the smoker was holding the set temperature of 225*, but after I did the above, the temperature got up to 206* and didn't budge after about 45 minutes. I thought about turning the smoker off and then on again, but instead elected to finish the butts in the oven since they were past absorbing smoke and were wrapped. Any ideas on what happened, and what to do next time I have to open the door for some reason? TIA for any help.
Michael - if you are saying the smoker probe (not the embedded meat probe) never got back above 206, then there is definitely something wrong, as long as you confirmed the set temp didn't change and your time setting didn't expire (I'm not sure the SM025 does this like my SM066). I guess if it were me, I'd do a test run, without product, to try to duplicate the problem. Then call CS to ask for help.
That is very odd. The first time I did a butt, I opened the door each time smoke died out to add more wood (monster mistake). I used 12 ounces of wood total and ruined the meat. But the Amerique always returned to within a couple of degrees of my set temp. I would give the folks as CookShack a call and ask to speak to a tech.
Depending upon the age of your smoker, your element might be going bad. I would check the element in the dark. Set the temp to 225 or 250 or whatever; it should have a pretty uniform glow when heating with no dull or dead spots. No need to run it for more than a few minutes.
You can also check with a loaf pan full of damp sand to simulate a moist hunk of meat and see if your experience was just an odd one off occurrence or if it repeats itself, or is getting worse.
Hope this helps!
Any chance when you put the butts back in one them had the probe stuck on it or in it. I've done this with my SM066 and a rack of ribs and it sure makes things not read as they should.
Dakotasmoke: Thanks for your reply. The more I think about it, the more I believe what you describe is exactly what happened. I had both butts on the same shelf and the probe was just above the shelf. I feel certain that when I returned the wrapped butts to the smoker, I somehow interfered with the probe. I think you found the cause of my problem. Thank you!
Oldsarge and Jay1924: Thanks for your responses. I think Dakotasmoke found my problem, but I will do the tests you suggest to be sure. I appreciate your help.
I hadn't thought about that. Did CookShack move the probe? Mine is at the bottom just above the woodbox so pretty near impossible to impale meat on it. I know on the smokin-it smokers, the probe was moved up high and a lot of folks did manage to skewer the meat until they learned to be a little more careful.
As I don't have the SM025 I'm not sure where the probe is. I know I was successful to skewer that rack of ribs on the probe in my SM066 though, it's about in the middle of the back of smoker. Took me a bit to figure out what I had done. Just a thought I had.
I thought about dakotasmoke's scenario, but I thought the cooker would have continued heating at max if the probe were buried in cold(er) meat, trying to reach the set temp, but michaelstano didn't mention if that happened.
JAY1924, that's exactly what mine was doing and couldn't figure out until later in the cook until I went to flip the ribs over and found the one stuck on the probe. The smoker keeps showing the lower meat temp and doesn't climb much at all and not the actual oven temp which is higher. If you had an separate oven temp monitor going you would know but I didn't. michaelstano indicated he finished his butts in the house oven since they were wrapped so may have solved the problem without knowing it. I would certainly try something else as a short test as suggested to be sure.
Thanks to all for the replies. I've had had a CookShack smoker since 2007, and every time I've had an issue, this forum has been a great help.