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Cook time and temp directly proportional?

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  • fkrall
    Club Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 170
    • Northern NJ

    Cook time and temp directly proportional?

    I cook to temp not time, but I'm trying to help my wife plan the rest of the meal. Broadly speaking, may I assume temps and cook times are directly proportional, i.e., (to keep the math simple) that 400 degrees will cook a roast twice as fast as 200 degrees? Recognizing that life's not that predictable, is there a fudge factor I should build in?
  • jecucolo
    Club Member
    • Nov 2015
    • 1268
    • Schertz Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker
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    I have not thought of that relationship before. Most meats are cooked at a specific temperature for a reason. But if a brisket is cooked at 300 instead of 225 it reduces the time significantly. It might be reduce time by 50%. If you double the temperature in an oven I don’t think a casserole would cook through and you would get burnt edges. I’m sure someone like Troutman would might have an opinion.


    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 13313
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        Pizza insert
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        lots of probes.

      I have never tried that experiment, but to me, thickness, (or more accurately - thinness) is what determines cooking time. Meathead sez that at 225°, it will take ~ two hours to bring a 4 inch thick prime rib to med rare. I don't know if it will cook twice as fast at 450°, but it will cook a lot faster, but will be less enjoyable...

      Planning serving time for something you want to eat hot off the grill can be problematic because each hunk o' meat is different and is ready when it's ready.

      Yur best bet is to describe what you are cookin' and in what cooker and at what temp and ask here. Take notes of each cook so you can refer to them for future cooks too.


      • IowaGirl
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 675
        • Northeast Iowa, USA

        I can't help you with the exact details about your problem, but what I do want to contribute is that twice the temp (400F vs 200F) is not twice the heat energy. It's just two times the temp reading.

        Also cooking isn't just about raising the temperature of the item you want to cook. The heat energy you are adding to your food will also be used to change the phase of materials from solid to liquid or liquid to gas, and drive chemical reactions such as denaturing proteins.

        And the efficiency of heat transfer will also affect the cook time -- the shape of the food, its color, etc.

        All these issues mean your roast will cook faster at 400 versus 200, but not twice as fast.
        Last edited by IowaGirl; December 21, 2019, 08:33 AM.


        • LA Pork Butt
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 5582
          • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

          I really don’t think you’re gonna be able to find a ratio that can predict times very accurately-especially if you’re going to vary it over different cuts of meat. However, I do know that a typical crockpot cooks at 200° in low mode and 300° in high. As a starting point you might compare high and low cook times on crockpot recipes.


          • fkrall
            Club Member
            • Jan 2017
            • 170
            • Northern NJ

            Many thanks for the quick and helpful replies. At this point in my life, I should have remembered that life is just not that simple! I do keep notes of every cook, but I don't have very many for $25/pound prime rib! I'll depend on experience, throw in a fudge factor, and pray for absolution if necessary.


            • Alabama Smoke
              Alabama Smoke commented
              Editing a comment
              I have this problem almost every time my wife and I share responsibilities for the cook, such as holiday family get togethers.

              For another thing family is always late. Ddifferent ones by different amounts of time, and they are usually bringing side items!

              When possible, I smoke items for such events that do well in a faux cambro. A large piece of meat, cooked to say 200 or 205 degrees, can usually rest for several hours without harm, and often gets better with time. Start early, then wait

            • LA Pork Butt
              LA Pork Butt commented
              Editing a comment
              Alabama Smoke I am with you on the cooking something that can be held in the cambro.

            • IowaGirl
              IowaGirl commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree w Alabama Smoke -- I'm learning to cook the meat so it finishes a little ahead of time and then I hold it in a "keep warm" oven or an insulated cooler. Finish the meat, if that's needed, right before service with a sear or quick crisp-up. I did that last night with a ham -- it was done, oh, about 5 p.m., and I let it rest at a low, but safe temp until we were ready to eat about 6.
          • tbob4
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 2511
            • Chico, CA
            • BBQ's
              California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
              California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
              Santa Maria Grill
              Vision Grill

              Sierra Nevada IPA


            I wrote on another post earlier in the week my finding on a Prime Rib I cooked last week. I cook normally somewhere around 225 - and a little lower on a stick burner. It typically takes about 4 hours (including the pre or post sear). I ran out of time to do the 4 hour cook and went well above 300 in my Vision grill. It was actually done in less than two hours. What I did not anticipate was the carryover cook. At the lower temp there is very little carryover temp rise but at the higher temperature, it kept cooking after the pull (wrapped in foil for an hour) and was way overdone. So my advice is to pull at at least 5 degrees lower than you normally would if you plan on holding the meat for awhile. You might also ditch a pre or post sear. It will likely be overkill (pun intended). You will likely be able to find recipe time and temps for the over with recipes on the internet. Don't necessarily rely on them but they may give you a guide. Due to my results, I didn't take photos. I was too busy pouting and stomping my feet to remember my camera.


            • ScottyC13
              Club Member
              • Jul 2019
              • 571
              • Boston Area
              • Name: Scott, Chemical Engineer

                Weber Genesis
                Weber Spirit Special Addition, with Griddle and Grillgrates (just got)
                Thermoworks Smoke (2)
                Thermoworks Thermapen (2)
                Thermoworks IR (1)
                Maverick IR (1)
                Penzey's Spice rack with loads of spices

                Cooking, wine, guitar, golf, beach, board games, travel, herb gardening

                Want to get into BBQ and Smoking.

              In terms of heat transfer equations, temperature is in absolute units, like Kelvin or Rankin. So 400F is not twice 200F. 400F is ~ 860R, 200F is 660R.

              This article gets the thermo correct.



              • fkrall
                fkrall commented
                Editing a comment
                I'd forgotten about that article; I'll re-read it. Thanks.



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