Ok, so last night I finally got around to firing up my Smoky Mountain smoker and giving this a shot. I had 3 things I wanted to smoke and while I don't know if it was wise to do it that way or not, that's what I did. I had a large steelhead fillet that I cut in half, patted dry, seasoned with some cajun spices, and let sit in the fridge overnight. Then, I had a piece of elk loin (about 2 lbs) that I covered in yellow mustard and cajun seasoning, let it sit in the fridge overnight and then wrapped it in a bacon weave. Lastly, I did a pizza fatty (just a Bob Evans original chub, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni then wrapped in bacon).
I fired up my "new to me" Smokey Mountain propane smoker and got the water pan lined with foil and filled up with water and filled the wood chip box with a good handful of Webers Hickory wood chips (not soaked). While the smoker got up to temp and started smoking I lined the racks with foil, sprayed them down with Pam and put the meat on them. Once the smoker reached about 250 and the smoke was rolling pretty good (?) I added the racks.
I put the elk loin on the bottom, the steelie fillets next, and the fattie up top. I didn't really think that the the temp difference would matter in that small of a space, but with hindsight, I'm pretty sure it did.
I put the meat on at 730 and watched the temperature gauge on the door. I had to play with a it a little to keep around 250 but not much. I had to re-fill the water pan once, and I added some more hickory chips part way through (these ones were soaked, just to see if there was much of a difference in smoke output, which I didn't really notice a difference).
I used my thermometer about 2 hours in and the steelie fillets were right at 140 and looked "done" to a rookie, so I took them out. Then I stuck the thermo in the elk loin and it came back at 160! I really wasn't expecting that to be that far along and I yanked it out as I only wanted it to reach 140 as well. I then put it in the fattie and it wasn't even at 130 yet.
Here are some pics of the smoker when I first put everything in and what the fish and elk looked like when I took them out. The fattie took forever and was still only at like 160 when I pulled it at 11 (because I was ready for bed), and I'd moved it to the bottom of the smoker for the last hour it was in there as that appears to be the hotspot. So I don't know what the deal is with that...
Questions I have:
There doesn't appear to be much of a smoke ring on the elk loin, but maybe the bacon locks it out some?
The fish tasted good, but wasn't very smoky either for that matter. Maybe I need to up the amount of smoke? (One thing I found out is that the lid for my smoker box is missing. I guess I can try a foil packet of wood chips to see if that helps?)
How good / bad of an idea is it to smoke multiple meats like this at the same time?
What other tips / advice can you guys offer?
This was my VERY FIRST attempt at smoking anything so even though it didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped, it is still very tasty and quite edible, which was goal #1! Goal #2 was just learning about my smoker and how it functions. So, I've met both goals already, just looking for ways to improve!