Times vs. Temperatures

Date Posted:15 May 2016 

Times vs. Temperatures main image

In Chris Bollins' last blog post he talked about the most common question he's asked: “how long do I cook this for?" In this post Chris shares more about this low and slow BBQ specialty technique.

Chris Bollins: When talking low 'n' slow style BBQ, cooking times are basically irrelevant. For example, you may cook two of the same branded briskets on the same smoker and end up with two different cook times. This is why I encourage people to focus entirely on temperatures, both the ambient temperature inside of your smoker and the internal temperature of your meat. 99% of the time people come to me saying their attempts have failed because they became impatient, ignored the internal temperature of the meat and decided they were too hungry to wait any longer. Low 'n' slow BBQ is all about patience.

If you are only just beginning your low 'n' slow journey, I cannot stress enough the importance of a good and accurate meat thermometer over any other purchase. There is a huge misconception with beginners that the better the smoker you have, the better the results. Whether you are using a $40 Weber you picked up in a road side collection or a $10k trailer offset smoker, you can achieve the same results if you follow the simple rules of temperatures (paired with good quality meat and fuel of course).

An i-Grill Meat Thermometer is one of the best investments you can make when starting out, studying the graphs of internal meat temperatures during your cook will teach you how the meat reacts during the different stages of smoking including the “stall” and how you can speed up the rise of the internal temperature by wrapping.


Everyone has their own opinions and preferences for what temperature they run their smoker at and what internal temperature they prefer their meats to be. When we started BBQ Mafia Low and Slow Brisbane, we would religiously cook at 225f stressing out if it peaked over 250f. This quickly evolved and we now cook comfortably between 275f and 300f. This is what works for us and our smoker, and could change for you depending on your set up. As for internal temperatures of meats, that is entirely dependent on you and how you prefer to eat certain things.

If you are unsure what temperatures you should run your smoker at or what internal temperatures you should be bringing your meat to for the desired result, please feel free to drop us an email or DM us on Instagram. We are only too happy to help!