I'm now a smoker (the good kind!) and I'm addicted!!!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by cashman, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. cashman

    cashman Newbie


    Just got first smoker for Father's Day (the family finally got the hint after a few years) - a Master Forge propane smoker.  I know it's not the best in the world but seems quite worthy for a beginner.  Had my first semi-successful smoke session the other day, a 8-9 pound pork butt.  I used an amazing dry rub from a recipe book I was also given and the seasoning was fantastic.  Came out pretty good!!!  But, I know it can do better!

    Have a couple of questions, and from the looks of it I came to the right place.

    I was having a bit of a hard time keeping the temp under 300 degrees.  I was going by the built in external temperature guage, I know these are suspect and I'll be purchasing a more accurate thermometer tomorrow to use for my next smoke tomorrow.  But, it seemed like when I turned the gas way down (almost all the way) the temp would drop but then my wood chips didn't seem to be smoking all that much.  When I went up to 300, I know the temp's a bit high but that would produce smoke. 

    I went through a 180 cu. in. bag of Apple wood chips (Frontier Brand).  Tried some wood soaked, some dry.  But it appeared to burn through each "load" rather quickly.  After about an hour or so each load of wood would be completely black and smokeless, so kept adding more.  Is that normal??  Do you need to keep adding wood every hour or so?

    Also, the MF smoker has air vents at the bottom on each side.  I kept them both open about half way, but not sure what they're for exactly.  The chimney opening at the top was slightly open too.  Any guidance on why/how to use these vents?

    My pork butt hit about 190 degrees about 2 hours earlier than it probably should have, probably because I was using too much heat.  But again, it seemed like the only way to get a good amount of smoke flowing from the box. 

    I can't wait to try again this weekend.  Not sure what it will be yet, but probably salmon, trout, or even some jerky.  Next stop - fattie-ville (followed by a triple bypass). 


    BC from Colorado
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    If you have a smoker and if you are learning how to smoke you are a smoker. So welcome to the best smoking website that there is. You'll love it here for there are alot of good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking meat. Now there is alot to learn and alot of really good recipe and methods that are now at your finger tips.

    So Welcome To Your New Addiction
  3. Welcome to SMF cashman!! This is a Smoking addiction you won't get rid of.......it will be the best rewarding addiction you can have.
  4. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF cashman, I do not have the smoker you do but I am sure someone will be along that can help you
  5. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Welcome cashman...

    Congrats of the gift. You know they were thinking that giving you that gift meant lots of great Q for them. Smart family you have there.

    Also, I don't have a propane smoker so I can't help with specifics... but I read the part about "only way to get a good amount of smoke flowing from the box". I learned from others here that thin, almost clear, but with a blue tint is the smoke you are looking for. They say sometimes, even if you can't see it but can smell it. You're in good shape.

    Just my two cents worth. Maybe it's different with propane?

    Best of luck. Don't forget to post your q-view.
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF glad you decided to join us. Congrats on the new smoker. Propane smokers are usually very good at keeping nice stable temps. Never trust the door mounted thermo unless you have checked it. Did you have the water pan filled? You don't want heavy white billowing smoke that can lead to creosote. You want a thin blue smoke (TBS) or no smoke and just the smell of the wood. Keep the top vent wide open you don't want to keep the smoke in as that too can lead to creosote and stale smoke. If your temps are brought back down to around 225 I think you'll find your chips won't catch on fire and will last longer. You may also want to check into getting chunks instead of chips they seem to last a lot longer
  7. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview. [​IMG]  I need to check my math but that seems like a heck of a lot of wood for a smoke.
  8. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Welcome aboard and congrats on the new smoker!  As you've already found I'm sure, there is a ton of great information on here that'll get you going real quick!

    As already mentioned, forget about your door thermo, not sure there are any that are even close.  You can pick up some nice probe thermo's from Lowes (Taylor's) or even one from or two from Wally World would do for now.  It'd be nice to have one to monitor your smoker internal temp and at least one to stick in your butt (pork butt) to monitor the internal temps. 

    For a propane smoker, I'd recommend using chunks.  You can mix the chips you have with your chunks.  I can usually get 2.5 to 3 hours a pan with the chunks.  And as already mentioned, you necessarily have to see smoke billowing out of your box.  

    The vents....keep your top one open and the lower vents you can tweak to help adjust and tune your temp.  There is some more specific information located here at SMF.  Try a search, I don't have a link handy.

    Hope that helps you out a little.  And by all means, DO NOT forget, if there is no Qview...it NEVER happened!!  [​IMG]
  9. etcher1

    etcher1 Master of the Pit

    Welcome [​IMG]to the [b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b]SMF[/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b] forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.

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