Cold weather techniques

Smoking and grilling methods, techniques and Q&A
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YukonJasper
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Cold weather techniques

Post by YukonJasper »

As a newbie, can anyone share advice on what I can expect from cold temperature cooks on a pellet grill? Specifically a Pit Boss 700.
I assume pellet consumption will be higher as the unit struggles to maintain temperatures inside. Does a blanket help? Should I set a higher temperature to compensate? Should I allow more time for the cook as a result? Should I use hotter burning woods?

All these questions.
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Smokin Mike
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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by Smokin Mike »

I don't own a pellet cooker or have even run one but I do know how they work.

On a normal day you should be able to set the temperature and the pellet feed controller will do whatever it takes to maintain the desired temperature. So yes, on colder days it will consume more fuel. With that being said, if you're cooking in sub freezing temperatures and the unit is struggling to keep up then a blanket or some type of insulation would help to keep the cooker temperature on set-point. Also, keeping the cooker out of the wind helps a lot. A makeshift tarp or plywood shelter has gotten me back in control several times during cold weather cooks.

It really helps if you have a wireless temperature monitor so you can sit in the house and keeps tabs on what's happening outdoors. Most of them have alarms that can be set to alert you if the temperature strays too far off target. Some have dual probes where you can monitor pit temperature in addition to meat temperature. I use a Smoke™ Remote BBQ Alarm Thermometer but there's other brands that work as well.

I've never seen a different style of pellet claim to be hotter burning than another but I guess anything is possible.

Hopefully someone with pellet grill experience can pop in and help shed some additional insight on your concerns.
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Bckyrdbbq
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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by Bckyrdbbq »

I live in Washington state, I own a rectec 340...I have 0 problems all year long smoking. You can change the feed rate if need be. It sits on my back deck under cover but smokes in the elements. I don't think it uses more in the winter at all. Almost more efficient if I had to guess. No blankets involved in this post.
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Glenn
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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by Glenn »

I also don't have a pellet pooper, but my OK Joe benefits from a welding blanket in the winter weather. I've had it perform fine at under 20 degrees with this:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1

Yes, it used more fuel, but I got my Q in the middle of Jan/Feb! :lol:
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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by SVonhof »

No pellet pooper for me (yet), but my UDS has needed a blanket on cold days. I got a welding blanket from Harbor Freight and had to figure out how to get it to stay on the UDS with a Weber lid without blocking the intakes. Some rope and some finagling (sp?) and I had it.

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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by 1MoreFord »

Within reason the controller will handle things. IE you shouldn't need to set a higher temp setting. Afterall if it won't hold one temp why would you think it would hold a higher temp? Just like HVAC equipment. ;) A purpose built blanket or welding blanket will certainly help.

For those with WSM's and UDS's you can get a drum that will fit over them that will work both as a wind shield and "kind of" insulation. 55G drum for the smaller WSM's and 85G drums for the large WSM and regular UDS. Cut both ends out of the drum and sit the drum on some bricks or the like to raise it off the ground for drafting air. Makes a world of difference.
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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by SVonhof »

1MoreFord wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:10 amFor those with WSM's and UDS's you can get a drum that will fit over them that will work both as a wind shield and "kind of" insulation. 55G drum for the smaller WSM's and 85G drums for the large WSM and regular UDS. Cut both ends out of the drum and sit the drum on some bricks or the like to raise it off the ground for drafting air. Makes a world of difference.
Double wall insulation (basically). Not sealed as that would be difficult, but the same kind of idea.
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Re: Cold weather techniques

Post by jeepdad »

I picked up a welding blanket at Harbor Freight and it works well on my WSM in the winter..
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