Author Topic: First smoke, temprature going crazy?  (Read 296 times)

Ducksoup

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« on: September 09, 2017, 11:09:31 AM »
So I got my little guy delivered, and I was going through the process of doing the seasoning based on the instructions given. 2 blocks of wood (Provided) and set the temp to 250 for 3-4 hours. I'm using the Maverick temperature probe.

Well I start her out, and it reached 250 no problem....Then 275....Then 300. So I dial it back and it looks like the power light was off, so the heating element is off. After turning it down to 225, it continues to climb....305....309. It bounces around 307 and 309 for about 15 minutes, then it starts to go down to 297, then 295. I'm still watching it now, but I'm a bit scared to do my first smoke out of fear that it's going to go crazy again.

Is it possible one of the blocks caught fire and that caused the temp to rise? I didn't want to open the unit, I'm wondering if there is another way to tell if you have combustion. Is it possible something else is causing the problem?

Any tips or feedback? *I'll update as I continue*

old sarge

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1861
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 11:23:53 AM »
The blocks could have caught fire, but not necessarily.   During the seasoning I would not worry about temp. Just let it go.  The box is empty; nothing to absorb the heat. The test will come when you do your first smoke.  Maybe some ribs at 225 and just let it go and do it's thing for 4 or 5 hours, swings and all.
David from Arizona
SI 3D
CS 066 (retired to my son's home)
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
US Army 70 - 95

Ducksoup

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 11:27:44 AM »
Thanks. Yeah there was a bunch of smoke coming out the top when it was hot. It's currently at 259 and the smoke has calmed down.

If it did catch fire, does that ruin the seasoning process of the grill? Will it season in a burnt flavor or anything? (Stupid question I know. I'm new to this)

SconnieQ

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1646
  • Model #1 since Jan 2015
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 01:16:59 PM »
Heat swings are totally normal. Don't bother to monitor the box temp during the seasoning process. Just let it run on 250 and don't worry about it. Three major things will create large temperature swings during the seasoning process. 1) An empty box. There is nothing in there to absorb the heat. 2) It's not seasoned yet. 3) Wood catching fire.

As your box becomes more seasoned, the heat swings will become less dramatic. Don't worry too much about what's going on with the smoke. Just let it run. If you've been fussing with the controller a lot, set it back to 250, and let it run a couple extra hours. It won't hurt it.

Keep in mind, temperature swings are totally normal with the analog controller, like the #1, or the non-D models. The temperature might swing as much as 20-30 degrees in either direction during a cook. That is no problem for BBQ at all (think about the temperature swings traditional BBQ has which are much larger, when loading new wood, opening the lid, etc). The controller is a rheostat and functions the same way as the oven in your kitchen, which heats to a temperature above your set temperature, then turns off until it reaches a temperature below your set temperature, then turns on again. You would drive yourself nuts if you monitored the temperature in your kitchen oven, yet it works fine for delicate cakes, etc.

I don't monitor the box temp in my #1 anymore. I monitored enough times to feel confident it averaged out to my set temp. Unless something seems wrong, I probably won't bother. You can monitor the box temp during your first several smokes, just to see that it approximately averages out. But don't panic and be messing with the dial because it goes up to 300, or below your set temp. Just leave it where it is. That's not going to be a big problem over the course of the smoke. Pork butt is a great first smoke to break it in. It's a long smoke, and pretty easy and forgiving as far as finished meat temperature range.

Don't worry about your wood catching fire during seasoning. It will be fine. If you find your wood appears to be combusting, you can take measures such as creating a "foil boat", or purchasing good quality wood (double filets) that has proper moisture content from someone like smokinlicious.com. I wouldn't worry about it too much right off the bat. Just get some meat in there and see how it tastes.

It's rare that smokes come out bad, no matter what you do the first time. Once you do a few smokes, you can fine tune things to your taste. Things like set temperatures, desired meat temperatures, quality of wood, species of wood, wood amount, seasonings, rubs, marinades, brines.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 01:29:35 PM by SconnieQ »
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
Anova WiFi Precision Cooker (sous vide)

old sarge

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1861
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 01:23:25 PM »
IF the wood caught fire, it did not ruin the seasoning process.  And Kari nailed it:  pork butt is a great first smoke.  A long one but a very rewarding one.
David from Arizona
SI 3D
CS 066 (retired to my son's home)
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
US Army 70 - 95

Ducksoup

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 04:08:40 PM »
Awesome, thanks so much guys for the feedback.

I've got my first batch of food happening tomorrow. (Some salmon I caught) so we'll see how it goes!

LarryD

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
  • #2 - Garland, TX
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 04:22:03 PM »
I'm still watching it now, but I'm a bit scared to do my first smoke out of fear that it's going to go crazy again.

Don't sweat it...  the only thing going crazy is you and only because you're monitoring it and shouldn't be.  :)  Seriously, do yourself a favor and never measure the box temp ever again unless you have a bonafide reason to troubleshoot.  As Kari explained, this is perfectly normal with a rheostat and causes no problems at all with the BBQ that you'll make.
------------------------------
See where the Smokin-It Forum Members are located: https://goo.gl/iFgTi1

old sarge

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1861
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 08:31:45 PM »
Ducksoup - When you get the chance stop by the Introduction section and tell us just a little bit about yourself and maybe a first name.   
David from Arizona
SI 3D
CS 066 (retired to my son's home)
Lodge Sportsman Grill
Weber kettle
Ducane Meridian 42 inch Grill
US Army 70 - 95

SuperDave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2553
  • Officially Retired
    • View Profile
Re: First smoke, temprature going crazy?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 11:35:28 AM »
Do another dry run with no wood and see how crazy the temps get.  If you are running on analog, my unit has 40 degree temp overruns  above dial set temp. 

Model 4, Harrisville, Utah