Pellets Will lower temps (225°F) provide smokier flavor?

Parrothead1809

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I’ve only done 3 cooks on my Pro 780 and used the Signature blend so far. Everything was cooked at 275°F per the recipes. This weekend I’m going to have a larger BBQ and want the meats (probably St. Louis Ribs) to have a smokier flavor. I’ve read some good reviews on the Traeger Pecan pellets and was also thinking of dropping the cooking temp (at least prior to wrapping) to 225. I know changing two variables isn’t the proper way to experiment, but am open to sugggestions on which will provide better results.
-PH
 

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Hickory pellets are more aggressive than pecan pellets. Start there. As a general rule, the lower the temperature, the less efficient the burn and thus you should get more smoke than higher temps. Enough smoke for you personally, time will tell. Good luck Traegering!
 
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Parrothead1809

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So maybe go with hickory and drop my cooking temp to 250? I also have the Traeger “Gormet Blend” from Costco, which are a Maple, Hickory & Cherry blend.

-PH
 

TheGrumpyGriller

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If you don't have one, get a smoke tube or Amazn pellet tray and put add either the same or different flavor pellets. That will add a good amount of smoke flavor at any temp, but especially at the higher ones since the Traeger burns efficiently.
 

JPSBBQ

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So maybe go with hickory and drop my cooking temp to 250? I also have the Traeger “Gormet Blend” from Costco, which are a Maple, Hickory & Cherry blend.

-PH
I personally like hickory and cherry mix but if you are looking for maximum smoke flavor, I would go all Hickory. Also maybe drop down to 225 for the pre wrap portion of the cook. This will prolong the time in the smoke.
 
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Parrothead1809

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I personally like hickory and cherry mix but if you are looking for maximum smoke flavor, I would go all Hickory. Also maybe drop down to 225 for the pre wrap portion of the cook. This will prolong the time in the smoke.
This is probably what I’ll do. 225°F w/Gourmet Blend. Then I’ll adjust from here.

Also, I’ll be cheating and once wrapped probably moving the ribs to the kitchen oven to free up the smoker for some apps (wings!) I’m assuming that once wrapped the ribs wouldn’t take in any additional smoke flavor anyway.

-PH
 

JPSBBQ

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This is probably what I’ll do. 225°F w/Gourmet Blend. Then I’ll adjust from here.

Also, I’ll be cheating and once wrapped probably moving the ribs to the kitchen oven to free up the smoker for some apps (wings!) I’m assuming that once wrapped the ribs wouldn’t take in any additional smoke flavor anyway.

-PH
Yeah, I would play around a few cooks before I went down the smoke tube route. It’s always there if you aren’t satisfied with the smoke profile. As stated above, that will add more smoke. I don’t need it personally, but many prefer the extra smoke. Good luck.
 

Murphy's Law

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I have always heard that 225 and below is the "sweet spot" for producing more smoke for the reason JPSBBQ mentioned above (efficiency). Honestly, I have always just taken that as fact and never really dug into it too much. I think that number comes from the older Traeger's that had a "smoke setting" on the dial and somebody said it was the same as cooking at 225.
 

JPSBBQ

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I have always heard that 225 and below is the "sweet spot" for producing more smoke for the reason JPSBBQ mentioned above (efficiency). Honestly, I have always just taken that as fact and never really dug into it too much. I think that number comes from the older Traeger's that had a "smoke setting" on the dial and somebody said it was the same as cooking at 225.
Yes. Once the PID technology took hold the burns got more efficient and reduced smoke profile. The older models probably produce better smoke but less temperature control.
 

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The trend in the industry is leaning towards a hybrid. They have realized that temperature variation leads to better BBQ. Counter to what they have pursued in the past and what many still pursue. A less efficient burn will improve the smoke profile but the key is controlling the fluctuation to some degree. It sounds like an artful dance to me. Many of the new controllers are working off a mean temperature I believe. The temperature swings are often intentionally baked in the cake.
 

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I’ve only done 3 cooks on my Pro 780 and used the Signature blend so far. Everything was cooked at 275°F per the recipes. This weekend I’m going to have a larger BBQ and want the meats (probably St. Louis Ribs) to have a smokier flavor. I’ve read some good reviews on the Traeger Pecan pellets and was also thinking of dropping the cooking temp (at least prior to wrapping) to 225. I know changing two variables isn’t the proper way to experiment, but am open to sugggestions on which will provide better results.
-PH
IF you want smoke flavor, try cooking at 180 for an hour then raising the temp to regular cooking temp in the recipe. If that doesn't work, you need a smoke tube and use a blend of pellets and real wood chips. Hickory (real hickory) pellets work great. give Bear Mountain a try.
 
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Parrothead1809

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IF you want smoke flavor, try cooking at 180 for an hour then raising the temp to regular cooking temp in the recipe. If that doesn't work, you need a smoke tube and use a blend of pellets and real wood chips. Hickory (real hickory) pellets work great. give Bear Mountain a try.
Did this tonight with a pork tenderloin. See my post
in thread 'What's cooking today? Pics are necessary!'
https://www.traegerforum.com/threads/whats-cooking-today-pics-are-necessary.3207/post-37781

-PH
 

RayClem

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Lowering temperature does two specific things. One is that the pellets burn less efficiently at a lower temperature, producing more smoke. The second is that lowering the temperature means that the cook will take longer. That means the protein will be in the smoke for a longer period of time. If you use the "Texas crutch" to shorten cooking times by wrapping your protein in foil or butcher wrap, that will also reduce the smoke flavor by blocking access to the smoke.

Thus, the final flavor of the meat will depend type of pellets used, cook temperature, cook time and method of cooking. There are lots of variables to explore that should allow you to get a result that works for you, your family and guests.
 

JPSBBQ

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Lowering temperature does two specific things. One is that the pellets burn less efficiently at a lower temperature, producing more smoke. The second is that lowering the temperature means that the cook will take longer. That means the protein will be in the smoke for a longer period of time. If you use the "Texas crutch" to shorten cooking times by wrapping your protein in foil or butcher wrap, that will also reduce the smoke flavor by blocking access to the smoke.

Thus, the final flavor of the meat will depend type of pellets used, cook temperature, cook time and method of cooking. There are lots of variables to explore that should allow you to get a result that works for you, your family and guests.
Truth.
I will add it is most important at the beginning of the cook as the smoke reacts best with cold moist meat. Your return diminishes as the cook progresses. Doesn’t actually stop, but diminishes. Spritzing will also help develop bark and smoke profile. It’s not just for the prevention of drying, it’s a multitasker. If you choose that route.
 
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