colder weather cooking on a Trager

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Hey, I need some help. I cook on a Timberline 850 and plan to cook a 17lb brisket for Christmas Day. I have cooked one brisket on my Trager so far and it turned out very good. However, I cooked it when the outside temps were in the 70's - 80's. When I planned to do a brisket for Christmas, I just thought about how good my 1st one had been and not about the temp difference. It will most likely be in the 20's over night and early morning. How will that affect my cook and are there any tricks or techniques that might help me.? I normally cook on a green egg, and am a moderator on the KamadoGuru forum so I understand cooking but not the Trager quite yet.
 

jp9724

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Hey, I need some help. I cook on a Timberline 850 and plan to cook a 17lb brisket for Christmas Day. I have cooked one brisket on my Trager so far and it turned out very good. However, I cooked it when the outside temps were in the 70's - 80's. When I planned to do a brisket for Christmas, I just thought about how good my 1st one had been and not about the temp difference. It will most likely be in the 20's over night and early morning. How will that affect my cook and are there any tricks or techniques that might help me.? I normally cook on a green egg, and am a moderator on the KamadoGuru forum so I understand cooking but not the Trager quite yet.
Ambient temps will play a roll in pellet consumption. That's about all, not even so much with a Timberline. If its 17lb trimmed, I'd start it the night before and wrap when I get up in the morning. You can also turn the temp up a bit after its wrapped if you want it done sooner. But if your only concern is the ambient temps, the timberline has your back. Just make sure you have full hopper when you go to bed and its the first thing you check when you get up in the morning :)

One thing I have done in the past is get the grill HOT - 350F or so for a bit, and then turn the temp back down to your low and slow desired temp, just so is doesnt have to work as hard when you throw 17lbs of cold meat on it when its cold outside.
 

Roastlamb

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I agree on the above, you’ll just notice more pellets being used so keep an eye on that. I have a Pro 575 and it was -17c here in Canada the other day and there wasn’t an issue, it did take longer than usual to ignite but it didn’t have any issues with the colder temperatures.
 
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Keeperovdeflame
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Ambient temps will play a roll in pellet consumption. That's about all, not even so much with a Timberline. If its 17lb trimmed, I'd start it the night before and wrap when I get up in the morning. You can also turn the temp up a bit after its wrapped if you want it done sooner. But if your only concern is the ambient temps, the timberline has your back. Just make sure you have full hopper when you go to bed and its the first thing you check when you get up in the morning :)

One thing I have done in the past is get the grill HOT - 350F or so for a bit, and then turn the temp back down to your low and slow desired temp, just so is doesnt have to work as hard when you throw 17lbs of cold meat on it when its cold outside.
Thank you very much, your post was quite helpful. I am going use the 350 preheating technique. Before I read your post, my wife and I had a chance to talk with a Traeger rep in Cost Co, She said pretty much what you said about the Timberline's ability to manage the cold. She also told me they don't even make an insulation blanket for the Timberline because they feel one is not needed. I love my Egg, but I can feel myself falling in love with the Traeger as well. Again, very much appreciate the expertise and help.

Grace and Peace.
 

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Just got an insulation blanket wife found it by miracle. Was wondering if anyone had any problems with them. Temps will be 50-60 today but windy. Was going to put blanket on as I plan to reverse sear some NY strips for dinner. Worried of ruining my exterior paint in that weather. Is it worth adding the blanket or just move Traeger to front of garage (20-30 min process)?
 

jp9724

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Just got an insulation blanket wife found it by miracle. Was wondering if anyone had any problems with them. Temps will be 50-60 today but windy. Was going to put blanket on as I plan to reverse sear some NY strips for dinner. Worried of ruining my exterior paint in that weather. Is it worth adding the blanket or just move Traeger to front of garage (20-30 min process)?
Paint will be fine, not worth moving. I smoke for long periods in much colder temp than that. It’ll be fine where it is :)
 

nickv

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Good to know. I was more worried if it was too warm out🤔😂🍻
 

RoadRunner18

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Your Timberline 850 is double-walled so it holds in heat better than most single-walled grills. That said, your grill should maintain temperature, but you may use more pellets to do so.
 

StillinICT

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Just fired up my Pro 780. Temp is 30, saw for the first time a message on the display, "cold weather warm up". Just gona roll the dice and see what happens. Smoking a 12LB turkey with the Traeger turkey pellets package. Been in the included brine overnight. Rolling the dice on that as well.
 

Steeleshark2

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Just fired up my Pro 780. Temp is 30, saw for the first time a message on the display, "cold weather warm up". Just gona roll the dice and see what happens. Smoking a 12LB turkey with the Traeger turkey pellets package. Been in the included brine overnight. Rolling the dice on that as well.
I am not far behind. Getting ready to start prep on smoking a turkey meat church style. It is 32 degrees here. I am definitely adding a pan of water to keep moisture in the pit. Good luck!
 

John S.

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It was 38 this morning, yup.”cold weather warm up”, trying Tri Tip as a brisket for Christmas .... 225 to 150 then wrap to 200 spritz along the way...
 
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StillinICT

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Roger that. I've got the moisture department covered. Dark beer in the tube. Beer and turkey stock in the pan. About 40 now.
 

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It was 22 f when I started my Timberline at about 2 am, I got the cold weather warm up message as well. It took a little longer to ignite and come to temp. I brought it to 165 and then moved it up to 350 for about 20 minutes before I put the meat in and dialed it back to 225. Off and running by 2:45 am. got up at 7:00 and topped the pellets off. I hit the stall at 146 and stayed there. I had the goal of wrapping in pink paper when I hit 165, but I decided to wrap where I was at 146. About and hour and half later I was at 160 and I think coming out of the stall. Brisket looked truly beautiful when I wrapped it. I seldom use a water pan, but put one in just cause someone brought up the point cold air is dryer. All looks well, expecting a great result. I used a combination of Jack Daniels steak rub, which is basically a Texas combination of coarse ground pepper, kosher salt, garlic, and onion, along with some additional smoked paprika.
Truly beautiful Christmas morning when I got out of bed. Nothing much better than pretty sky, a hot cup of dark roast coffee, and the smell of woodsmoke and rendering brisket fat. Merry Christmas all.
Grace and Peace
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Well, friends my optimism was short lived. When my IT got to 166 I thought I was above the stall. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Cooking at 225 at 1pm I was again stuck at 166. I raised the cooking temp to 250 and after a few hours at 166 and again raised the cooking temp to 270 an hour later . As I write this it is 5:12 pm and cooking at 270 for a few hours I am still only at 171. My guests had to eat a dinner of only sides and left at 4:30 pm. I would count this Christmas dinner cook as a total fail. If I count the hours since I got the meat on at 2:45am, I have been cooking this originally 17lb Prime brisket, probably 15lbs trimmed for 14 hours now. First at 225 then at 250 and now at 270. I am still at 171In the flat. I thought maybe the Traeger probe was giving me a screwy reading but using my super accurate thermapen in the same spot on the flat as well as several other spots, I come up with the same reading or within a degree or two. The outside temp when I started was 22 f but it is only 55 outside now. I have no idea why it is taking so long. I originally planned on a 11 to 12 hour cook with an hour rest and dinner at 3 or 4. Did I do something wrong. I thought I knew how to cook. Ps. I wrapped it in two over lapped in the middle sheets of pink butcher paper when it stalled at 146 IT. It is still wrapped. Go figure. Really disappointed. At 5:30 I just hit 173. 14 1/2 hours.
 
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Timmmer

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We have a 575 and cooked a brisket overnight last night into today. It got down to -10 overnight (f) and the high today was 12 degrees. I put it in at 11pm at 185 degrees. Meat temp was 169 degrees at 5:30 this morning. I wrapped it and turned it up to 225 at that point. It was moving along but it stalled around 11am and didn't seem to want to heat above the low 190's. Around 12:30 I kicked it up to 250 and we pulled it out at 2:30 at 205 degrees.
 
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Timmy

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In my experience you started to late. Shoulda started at 9:00 or 10:00pm the night before.
 

RemE

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Bummer!!! This happened on my first brisket, then I found Matt Pittman's Meat Church recipe, "Weekday Brisket" and changed my life. Put in at 6p day before, much more control of finish time. I shoot for two hours before meal time to have it wrapped up in the cooler. Traeger's WiFire control is perfect for these long cooks. The perfect final touch is to add a Wi-Fi thermometer like a Fireboard 2, then you can track the stall in their app and alter temps as needed to finish on time!

No more hungry friends eating sides of shame.
 

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mikeytee

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I picked up a welding blanket at Northern Tool, 4' x 6' and draped it over my 575. Put my 10# brisket on and fired it up. Got to 210 and I put a smoke tube in with it. Hit between 152 and 167 (incosistent temp across the brisket) at 3 a.m. when I woke up from my nap. It was 19 F degrees outside with about 5 mph wind, and I watched my temperature before I fell asleep in my magic recliner and the temp. was holding steady within 7 degrees or so. I pulled it off and brought it in at 3 a.m.,wrapped in foil and put it in the oven at 200 degrees until about 9 this morning. Turned off the oven and left it until about noon. It was so tender you could hardly pick it up to cut it. It was delicious. By the way, I filled the hopper plum full before I started and the pellets dropped about 2 1/2 inches between 5 p.m and 3 a.m. That was less temperature fluctuation and pellet consumption by the way than I was getting before I used the blanket on another cook when it was around 28 F. and it heated up way faster too. Bottom line I think the blanket at 39 dollars was a good investment.
 

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