What is the lowest temperature at which meat can be smoked? Find out how to grill pork, ribs, brisket and more.
Grilling smoking is all about slow, low cooking, and monitoring a consistent cooking temperature over several hours is the key factor in achieving perfectly smoked meat.
what probably there. You find that you have to constantly adjust the embers and vents of your smoker to try to maintain the 107°C(225°F) you recommend for good smoking of meat.
But sometimes factors like wind can make your grill struggle to maintain a high temperature of nearly 225°F. Whether it’s the weather, your coals, or maybe even a leak in your smoker, you may find it difficult to achieve the heat levels you see recommended online.
I’ve seen the question “Can you smoke meat at 150°F?” a lot, so I wanted to lend a hand and give two cents.
In short, the answer is no, you can’t.
Many people argue that as long as the internal temperature of the meat is the temperature you want, there’s nothing to worry about, but that’s not true.
Let me tell you why.
We need the meat to stay above 60°C( 140°F ) for as long as possible during the cooking process. While smoking is a low and slow method, leaving meat below this temperature for several hours(unless refrigerated or frozen) is simply not safe. Roasting at 150°F doesn’t get us to this point almost enough.
Meat, in particular, is at high risk of disease at temperatures below 140 °F( source ). If we try to smoke meat at 150°F, we just let the meat spoil for too long.
I’m sure there are many people who will argue against this, but when it comes to food(and especially meat) safety, don’t mess around. I would play it safe and allow your smokers to cook to the correct target temperatures.
I understand that factors like wind can wreak havoc on the internal temperature of your smoker. To combat this I would try using a few different approaches to try and increase that smoking temperature…
Use extra charcoal
You can use extra charcoal right at the start to help the smoker start smoking at a temperature that will get the meat above the 140°F threshold as quickly as possible.
Using a charcoal fireplace is a great way to heat charcoal quickly and easily. Best of all, they are easy to look at and easy to use. Check out our guide to the best charcoal fireplaces here.
Once you’ve passed that mark and are safely out of the danger zone, you can mostly the coals a bit and cook at a much more comfortable low and slow temperature.
Open your smoking vents as wide as possible.
Oxygen is as much fuel for your grill as embers, so try to feed your flames as best you can by opening the vents on your smoker(aka damper).
Your smoker should have at least two sets of dampers. One IS called the inlet muffler, which is usually located near the bottom of the smokehouse and where the air enters the smoker. The other is called the exhaust vent, which should be on the top of your smoker and is where the air escapes.
Having these flaps fully open ensures that the maximum possible amount of air is delivered to your smoker.
You can read my full guide to regulating the temperature with your smoking vents here.
The problem with this is that if supposed wind is wreaking havoc on your indoor temperature, using the vents might not have the maximum effect.
Which brings me to my next point.
Find a sheltered area(or get a windbreak)
I always try to set up my smoker so that it is in a spot in my garden that is well protected from the elements, especially the wind. For me this is in addition to a wall on my patio and helps keep the grill(and myself!) well protected from the elements.
However, I know that this is not always possible, in which case I recommend getting a windbreak to facilitate grilling and grilling in the rain or wind. These are portable artificial structures that YOU can place between your smokers and the direction of the weather to protect them. Luckily, they are quite cheap and can be easily bought online.
Get automatic smoking control
Finally, if you’re having a hard time getting the most out of your grill’s vents, I recommend getting an automatic controller. These are small machines that are hooked up to intake and exhaust vents and the controller measures the temperature to decide how to adjust the vents according to the desired temperature. If the temperature is too low, open the vents. If that is too high, they will close easily.
One of the nice things about the best models is that over time they actually learn how your smoker reacts to changes in ventilation settings and weather conditions, meaning they become more effective over time.
If you don’t have one, check out my guide to the best automatic smoker controls .