Temperature Swings - Why Should I Care?
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Temperature Swings - Why Should I Care?
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Thread: Temperature Swings - Why Should I Care?

  1. #1

    Temperature Swings - Why Should I Care?

    I see a ton of discussions on various Q boards about temperature swings of up to 100 degrees F in pellet grills. My Camp Chef Woodwind SG runs around 30 degree swings max. Im new to the pellet grill arena and have only had mine for a year. So far, I have never given the temp swings any thought at all. The only thing Ive paid attention to is the internal temperature of the meat Im smoking. Setting my smoker to the HIGH SMOKE (220) mark, I put the meat in, plug in the remote INK BIRD probes and wait until I get to the desired temperature recommended for that particular cook.

    A lot of you fret about having temp swings of less than 5 degrees and buy PID units to make it so. I do have a PID unit for my Bradley smoker and have used it successfully for about 10 years now. But the real benefit for me on the Bradley is the ability to program different temps for different time cycles, not temperature control +/- 1 degree. My smokes prior to using the PID were just as good; they just required more time and interaction by me to manually adjust the temps at pre-ordained times.

    So far, on my pellet grill, my cooks have reached the required/desired meat temperature in the suggested time frame shown in the recipes. So, why should I care what the temperature swings are in my pellet grill?

    Bob Hicks, from Morman Mecca
    I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
    Free men don't ask permission to bear arms. - Glen Aldrich

  2. #2
    Great post! It's been a while since we've talked about this on here.

    Some guys really freak out over temp swings and, as you elude to, under normal circumstances it's not a problem!. Temp swings, within reason, are perfectly normal AND expected! The temp dropping below a set threshold is what triggers the controller to feed more pellets. Temp swings of 5 or less are NOTHING! You can't expect any better than that!

    If people only knew the kind of temp swings they get in a typical home oven, they'd be surprised, maybe even horrified. Its just that our pellet burners are telling us the actual average pit temp, whereas our home ovens are not, so we simply don't see the temp swings.

    PID controllers are superior to regular controllers because they "learn" what the normal temp swing timings are for your grill and anticipate them, giving a better overall steady temperature.


    Now, if your grill is having temp swings of 100 then that IS a bit bothersome, indeed, and should be addressed.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NorCal Smoker's Avatar
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    See BP’s sticky on obsessing on pit temps.

    Obsessing over pit temps?

    As Tent said, 5 degrees no big deal. 100 degrees, something is not right,
    MAK 2 Star #500
    Weber Genesis Gasser
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  4. #4
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    30 temp swings are basically a yawner but if they are approaching 100, something is not right and should be addressed.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal Smoker View Post
    See BPs sticky on obsessing on pit temps.

    Obsessing over pit temps?

    As Tent said, 5 degrees no big deal. 100 degrees, something is not right,
    Thank you Sir, for that link. I also read the link Big Papa offered in the link you provided. What I have learned from all this discussion and discussions on other 'Q' sites is this - the answer to my question about why should I care about temperature swings is this: I shouldn't. The swings on my grill are normal for this equipment. They are of no real consequence and can be totally ignored. And i shall!

    Bob Hicks, from Morman Mecca
    I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
    Free men don't ask permission to bear arms. - Glen Aldrich

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    ... 100 temp swings ??? That's not right!
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

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