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My temperature just disappeared.

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    My temperature just disappeared.

    Hello from England. Yesterday i was trying to slow roast a large piece of sirloin (strip loin in the US i guess). Early afternoon, I set up the SNS in two zone configuration, lit and initially let the temperature (at the grill on a probe to my Thermo Works smoke thermometer) run up to 300 degrees. Then i closed the ports down and put the meat on the cool side at around 220F. All seemed well and steady, however its worth remembering its windy on my terrace and the temperature is 39 depress out. Unexpected orders came in (on the domestic channel) to collect a child from a sporting event, which i then did, which took around an hour). I was rather worried - I never like departing the cooking but needs must. When i returned i found the meat (centre probe) at around 90F and the temperature at the grill at 208F. Ok no worries… so i start nudging the ports and a slight refill of the water trough. The temperature then descends to around 175F and basically never recovers. My sirloin takes another hour before the centre is at 120F, domestically its tricky because the spuds are done and the guests are hungry. I have the ports top and bottom wide open and the temperature is dropping, fast. I’m saved by firing up my old Aussie gas grill and finishing the meat there at full bore. But i had hoped to do this on the hot side of the SNS, but with the ports open it never recovered. What am i missing? I had cleaned the SNS Kamado out of all ash before cooking, so make sure air channels are all open etc. I’m suspecting my charcoal. I wanted to use briquettes and had bought some cheap ones in slight panic i might run out. Was this a schoolboy error? I have included a picture of my set up when doing a piece of brisket in the summer - so you can see the set up. Thoughts / opinions very welcome…!
    Attached Files

    Bummer your cook didn't go the way you expected. I'm just offering company for your misery because there are people far more qualified to troubleshoot and explain this than me.


      Don't run up the temp, then choke things down.

      You don't say what your vent settings where, but in general you want to set the vents so that the temp slowly comes up to your target temp. If it overshoots a bit, that's fine, but don't let it rocket up or panic and shut things down. I start with the bottom vents at 1/4 or so.

      The basic formula is to light a small fire in one side, pour in the unlit coals next to it. Close and let the temp come up for 20-30 mins. Place food on. When making adjustments, make small ones and let it take effect for 15 mins or so.

      Measure your temps farther from the meat. The grate probe is too close to it and the presence of a large hunk of meat will affect what the probe gets.

      Finally, that looks to be a kamado which will react more slowly to temp changes.


        Hard to diagnose exactly what happened but a couple of thoughts I had

        1) water refill probably worked against you

        2) with the SNS kamado if my temps are diving I start by going wide open on the bottom slider revealing the entire perforated slider. If that doesn’t work I start opening the perforated slider. I might open the top vent a little bit, but it exhausts a lot of heat that I want to hold onto. *especially in the SNS config compared to traditional kamado config*

        3) often, I keep my lower vent open and the temp is still sluggish to rise. I take the poker they sent with it and move the lit charcoal around to get the ash out from between the pieces and it comes roaring back. if the charcoal you got produces a lot of ash this might’ve had an effect.

        that dome looks pretty clean and the dirtier it gets the more you’ll have it figured out


        • smokin fool
          smokin fool commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree with the water, if I don't have time to boil water I get the tap water as hot as I can

        Thanks for the thoughts - rickgregory - you make an good point in that in previous long cooks i have let the temperature come up slowly and I have established an eye ball amount the top and bottom vents need to be at to get the temperature at the grill to sit at 225 to 250F… when i did this point end of brisket (in my picture) in June the temperature was solid at that range for nearly 12 hours.

        jhapka - thanks yes things started going wrong when i did a fairly significant water top up. I now think i should have used hot / nearly boiling water and been less heavy handed.

        Also my cheap briquettes throw a load of ash. I’m not using them again and i will keep a poker handy.

        Thanks for the feedback…


          On thing I find about smoking roasts is to rotate the meat every 40 mins or so.
          personally I prefer lump charcoal over briquettes..
          this is a funny sport, next time using the same techniques it may turn out perfect.



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