Generally, a charcoal smoker is a lot more difficult to use when controlling temperature compared to an electric smoker. Even if you’re using the best charcoal smoker, you will still find temperature control more stressful.
If you are cooking with charcoal smoker, temperature control could be the most vital skills to master. It is very easy to overcook your meat if you fail to maintain the right temperature. But you could fare better if you can understand how the whole temperature control stuff works.
How to control temperature in a charcoal smoker
If you have an electric smoker like there could be one of the best type of electric smokers including Masterbuilt or Bradley electric smoker, you may find it pretty straightforward to control the temperature. But with a charcoal smoker, you need to be more vigilant.
You need to keep it steady
To be able to successfully smoke meat, a steady smoking temperature is important. Most types of smoked food require a heating temperature of 225°F – 275°F. so, your task it to try and maintain this range for the entire smoking time.
Adjust the intake dampers
The best charcoal smokers have adjustable intake dampers. The problem is, knowing when to adjust the damper. Understand how fast the temperature is rising. If it rises faster, you are most likely going to adjust frequently.
Understand that other factors can affect the temperature
Weather, meat cut, and the type of smoker all have their respective contributions to the actual temperature levels. Generally, it will take time for your smoker to reach the desired temperature level in a cold humid condition. Cold weather prevents the smoker from retaining heat for longer period. This means you need to add woodchips more frequently.
But if you want to minimize your work on the charcoal smoker, you can always buy an automatic thermometer to help with temperature control.