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Low Temps: Not so Easy

BuddhaQBuddhaQ Posts: 1
edited 3:29AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all,

I tried to smoke some salmon tonight and I'm afraid it did not go well. I just couldn't seem to get the temp down below 300. The recipe on called for 190 degrees and steady smoke. How is this done?




  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    BQ...Temps that low are very hard to maintain without a stoker. You can try adding a pan of ice between the coals and your cook to cool the smoke a bit before it gets to the fish. And don't make a huge fire. ;)
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    What didn't you like about your cook?

    On the forum unless it is stated different the temperature is the dome temperature. Other non egg recipes are temperature at the food level.

    The grate temperature on an egg is about 20° to 35° below the dome level for the first hour or two. After 3 or so hours the difference is somewhere around 20° lower than the dome.

    As LC said above don't have a big fire.

    First off make sure your dome thermometer is calibrated.

    Load you lump level (in a large) to an inch or so above the fire pit air holes. Light the lump in 1 or maybe 2 places.

    As your temperature increases close down the lower vent to about 1/8" open about the thickness of a dime but not more than a nickel.

    Put the DFMT on with the slider closed and the petals about 1/4 open.

    Your stable dome temperature should be about 220° to 250°. The grid temperature with 225° would be about 190° to 200°.

    10 to 20 degrees above the recipe temperature probably won't make any noticeable difference in the cook.

    Make sure your flavor wood is in the burning lump when cooking at these low temperatures.

    Lower cooking temperatures can be maintained by regulating the amount of lump in the egg and how far away from the lump the food is.

    If you want dome temperatures below 200°, grate temperatures below 185° or so, get a large food can or a 5# coffee can. Cut top and bottom out of the can and put some large air holes in the side of the can. Light the lump. You may need to open the bottom vent more but try to keep the DFMT with about the same settings as stated above.

    Another heating option is to use a BBQ chimney starter as the device to hold the lump in the egg. Be aware any wooden handle may be damaged being left in the egg. You will need to test how much lump to use and vent settings. Chimney starter are efficient burners of lump.

    I have maintained low temperatures using the above methods excluding the chimney starter which I haven't tried.

    Of course a Powered Vent System (PVS) will control low temperatures when cooking. The PVS will cost apx $200.

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Check out the recipe section of my website. I have an article on smoking cheese at 80-90 degrees and salmon at 180-200 degrees and beef jerky at 150 degrees.

    Good luck!
    The Naked Whiz
  • EddieMacEddieMac Posts: 423
    When you're doing a smoke job like that, it's best to go with a low amount of lump in the box....That's not a long smoking lump...less fire...lower temperature.....

  • OttawaEggOttawaEgg Posts: 283
    I did some smoked salmon a couple weeks ago.

    What I did:

    Only lit in 2 spots (9 and 3 oclock);
    When temp got close to 200, I shut the vents down. Then, right away, I put some wood in (alder in this case), put in plate setter (legs up) and grill, and put salmon on.

    Temp dropped to about 150, and took hours to get back up to 200 - but lots of smoke. By the time the temp was at 200 (like I said, a few hours) - it was done.

    Oh, and it was delicious! :cheer:
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