coves smokehouse air flow

4 Essential Benefits Coves have on the Smokehouse Air Flow

The air flow, or more specifically the breakpoint, is the most important feature in any smokehouse or dehydrator.

This one feature alone is what cooks product in the oven — and is ultimately responsible for product yields, consistency, and color, as well as cook time.

If you want to improve product yields, consistency, or color, it all starts with being able to improve and control the breakpoint. The more control you have to set the location and duration of the breakpoint in any one specific spot in the oven, the greater your yields and consistency. The opposite is also true: the inability to control the location and duration of the breakpoint in an oven will always result in less than optimal yields and consistency.

It seems to reason then that the design of the oven cabinet should help strengthen and improve the breakpoint.

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chain driven dampers

3 Reasons to Avoid Chain Driven Dampers in a Smokehouse

Chain driven dampers were the industry standard for decades when it came to “controlling” the breakpoint in an industrial smokehouse or dehydrator.

If you have an older oven, or one manufactured in Europe, chances are the dampers are driven and kept at a 90 degree angle from each other using chains and sprockets.

While this design was revolutionary in the industry when it was first introduced, new technology and updated designs have made chain driven dampers a thing of the past — and a very ineffective way of controlling the breakpoint in an oven.

In order to understand why chain driven dampers should be avoided in a smokehouse or dehydrator, it’s beneficial to know what the breakpoint is and how it’s controlled.

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load smokehouse trucks for best airflow

How to Load Smokehouse Trucks for the Best Airflow

The way trucks are loaded into a smokehouse or dehydrator greatly affects the creation and strength of the breakpoint — and can have a negative impact on the consistency of the product.

Anytime you add an object, like a smokehouse truck, into the flow of air, you change the way that airstream moves. It will either break apart or diminish if it’s hitting a wall, or it will flow around the object into a new path.

Overload product onto a truck and you’ll create a wall that prevents air from moving across the product. Under load product or trucks in the oven, and air will flow to the place of least resistance.

This is why it’s critically important to know the best ways to load trucks into a smokehouse or dehydrator.

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airflow calculations

4 Oven Airflow Calculations You Need to Know

Airflow is the most important feature of any industrial smokehouse or dehydrator.

It’s the airflow that is ultimately responsible for creating the breakpoint that in turn cooks product in the oven. The better the airflow, the stronger the breakpoint, and the more consistently product will cook — resulting in better yields, better coloring, and better texture.

The airflow is critically important to any cooking process, which means it’s critically important to be aware of any variations in airflow that may affect the creation of the breakpoint and result in inconsistent cooking.

But how do you do that? How do you know if the air is moving optimally in an oven? How can you determine if something is wrong with an oven and affecting the airflow?

The answer is simple.
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smokehouse breakpoint

5 Design Components You Need to Improve the Smokehouse Breakpoint

The smokehouse breakpoint is the most important aspect of any industrial oven.

This one feature is directly responsible for cooking your product, coloring your product, and either increasing or decreasing your product yields, depending on the strength and velocity of the breakpoint.

A strong breakpoint — one that makes it all the way across the cart to heat all product on that level — should be the main focus when investing in a smokehouse, as it results in a more consistent product, as each piece of product is receiving the same amount of airflow.

But how do you know if a smokehouse will have a strong breakpoint?

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oven airflow better product

3 Ways Oven Airflow Makes Your Product Better

Oven airflow plays a crucial role in producing a better, more consistent cooked product.

The breakpoint air stream, formed where the high- and low-velocity airflows collide, is ultimately what cooks your product — replacing the cold area around your product with the hot air that will cook it.

It goes without saying, then, that the oven airflow has the ability to either over-cook or under-cook your product, depending where it’s located on your smokehouse truck. The closer your product is to the breakpoint, the more it gets cooked — producing a darker color, greater yield loss, and making your product drier.

The reverse is also true: the further from the breakpoint, the longer your product takes to cook — producing a lighter color, less yield loss, and not drying your product as much. The longer cook time is what causes the product closer to the breakpoint to over-cook.

We explained the science behind all this in our ultimate guide to the oven breakpoint.

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2 Features You Need in a Smokehouse Truck to Improve Airflow

The smokehouse truck plays a crucial role in the strength and health of an oven’s airflow.

As we’ve mentioned before, the airflow, or more specifically the breakpoint, is the most important feature in any smokehouse or dehydrator. It cooks product in the oven, and is responsible for yields, color, and consistency.

Better airflow equals better product.

It stands to reason then that you’d want to invest in equipment — be it a smokehouse or a smokehouse truck — that helps optimize the airflow in the oven.

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4 Best Features that Make Oven Airflow Better

Oven airflow plays a crucial role in making your cooked or smoked product better.

The ability to control oven airflow has been tied to increased product consistency, more consistent product coloring, and improved product yields (meaning less weight loss). When you can control exactly where the oven breakpoint will occur, and create multiple breakpoints in the oven, you eliminate hot and cold spots on the rack and your product cooks more consistently.

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