Originally Posted by roadfix
I like to let the temp settle and wait for the thin blue smoke before adding meat. Also try using wood chunks placed directly on the coals....you'll get immediate smoke.
And for another way to skin the cat...
I add my chips and my food after I dump the charcoal from the chimney in. I'm throttling back the raising temps while the food is in my smoker, already smoking/cooking. My theory is that meat only absorbs smoke until it hits 140F (actually, that part is fact), so I figure the longer it is in there, the more wood flavor it gets inside the meat. For that reason, while a butt may have been sitting on the counter an hour, it's not room temp or even close. That too allows it more time to absorb the smoke. I haven't already lost 20 degrees letting it reach room temp.
Another theory I have on this is I'm not playing with the vents, trying to achieve smoking temps, only to lift the lid off and fiddle getting the food in and the probe wire ran. You can easily lose 20 degrees doing this, but let in enough oxygen that the charcoal will burner hotter while the lid is off, igniting more of the unlit stuff and end up giving you a spike.
I like to leave everything buttoned up by the time I'm dialed in at 225-240 or so.