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Today is First Smoke day!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

42 degrees and 25mph winds. Smoker in the lee of the house and I have a small windscreen around the bottom just because.


3 pound meatloaf went in at 9am. Smoke Hollow #6 on propane. Temp control is very twitchy. My alarm went off as the smoker temp was showing 210. I thought the wind might have blown it out as I was watching the temp drop. Using a new ET-732 (tested in ice and boiling water and it's dead on). Just had to run out there and fiddle with the temp control again. It came right back up almost like it was lying about being low. Shot up to 250 real quick when I turned it up a little so I turned it down a touch and now I'm watching the temp drop. It's back down around 230. I don't mind fiddling a bit, but this is like every 10 minutes I'm out there having to check this or adjust that. :)


If I keep this running anywhere from 230 to 250 will that meatloaf survive? I'm guessing the wind isn't helping me, but ..... we'll see. Meatloaf first. When that comes out, I have a couple chickens in brine that will be next. Hopefully the higher temp I'll run the chickens at will be easier.


Meatloaf ready to go in:




Can't really see the TBS but it's there. I put the ET-732 transmitter on wood to keep it off the top of the smoker which gets a bit warm.




These guys are next in line. If they go in around 1pm they will have been brined 7 hours. Hopefully that's not too long for 5 pound birds. ALSO, they fit really nicely into 1 gallon freezer bags and a gallon of brine covered both birds.




I'm guessing I'm looking at somewhere between 2 and 4 hours on the meatloaf. Just hoping I can get the temperature swings under control.

post #2 of 29

Every smoker has a bit of a learning curve. On my gas smoker you just have to move the knob such a little amount you almost think you didn't move it at all and it will change the temp 10 degrees. I'm sure the wind is not helping either. Sounds like your off to a good start though.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

I think the wind is playin' hell with me on this one. I just watched the temp drop all the way down to 190 ... I go out there and tickle the gas knob a bit and it runs up to 280. I need to look for something big and heavy to make a better windbreak I think.

post #4 of 29

Looking good...

post #5 of 29




post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Necessity is the mother of invention?  We'll see if this works. Might have to build a smoke shack to encase the smoker :)


Or get me some of that shiny silver insulation I've seen some others use.  Either way, today is first smoke day and I'm pressing onward. :)



post #7 of 29

Looks like you have a good plan working and don't worry about the meatloaf they are very forgiving 

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

That windbreak, as ugly as it is, seems to have done the trick! Temperature varies a bit between 237 and 241 depending on how persistent the wind gusts get. But at least it's not swinging from 190 to 260 any more. It's 44 degrees outside and the winds are up in the 30mph range with higher gusts.  If my smoker wasn't protected from the wind there is absolutely no way I'd be able to pull this off. Maybe I'll make a little smoke shack that looks like an outhouse or something. :) I'm sure my wife would love that.


Anyways, now that the smoker seems to be under control, I want to go read up some on the upcoming chicken smoke. Need to just verify temp to run and IT to take them to.


And you guys were right. I can see this becoming an addiction. :D

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

When you take a meatloaf out of the smoker, do you foil it and rest it? If yes, for how long? It's got a ways to go yet. IT is only at 130 and I'm 3 hours into the smoke.


With the chickens going in after the meatloaf comes out I'll have to make a decision which one we're having for dinner. :) I know the chickens are going to go faster. They're brined and I plan to run the temp around 300 and they're only 5 pound birds. If those finish at dinner time, we're eating at least one of them. If the meatloaf goes long, I may want to wrap it and hold it and serve THAT for dinner instead and just keep the chickens for tomorrow. I'd wrap and rest 'em for a bit but then let them cool down and refrigerate them until tomorrow.



post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

3 hours: Meatloaf IT is 138

Any chance at all it's only gonna take another hour to get to 165?  :)


Maybe I shoulda flattened it out a bit more hahahaha.... sheeesh.... I'm such a n00b.



post #11 of 29

I'd check but i think i smell your wind break burning. HHHHHEHEHEHEHEH

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

You MADE ME LOOK! BAHahahahaha.

This better be a SERIOUS meatloaf. Just hit 140 IT and I'm 3 and a half hours into it.


OOoooopsie. Not 3 and a half... FOUR and a half.  Well now it's 5 hours and IT is 144. I'm afraid I'm going to end up with a dehydrated football instead of a meatloaf! hehehe


Edited by yardbird - 1/6/12 at 11:14am
post #13 of 29

The meatloaf should be fine, if you want it to cook a little faster just wrap it in foil. If your smoking it in a pan just put a foil cover over it.

post #14 of 29

beercheer.gif KEEP ON COOKING !



post #15 of 29

Your Meatloaf should be done. Your only really need a 30 minute rest...JJ

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

I actually smoked it on a pizza pan with holes in it and put a drip pan below. There were no drippings left as liquid in the drip pan. Here's how the mealoaf came out. I haven't sliced it yet, but resting in the foil there's juice.




I have a feeling we may be having meatloaf tonight unless my wife and son want to wait for the chickens to be done. They didn't go in until 4 o'clock. This meatloaf was 3 pounds and took 6 hours and 45 minutes to hit 160 IT. I pulled it, foiled it, wrapped it in towels while I got those chickens on the smoker.  I really do want to slice it though :) It looks awesome and smells great.

post #17 of 29

Looks good you got this on cruise control.

post #18 of 29

I can't wait to see the sliced meat loaf. Let us know how you made the meat loaf. What did you use? Can't wait to see the chicken also.

post #19 of 29

That meatloaf looks beautiful!

post #20 of 29

Nice looking loaf.


A 30 MPH wind with higher gusts would give most smokers a problem.


Good luck and good smoking.

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