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Inaugural Smoke

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I did my first smoke ever (do you call it a smoke?).  My wife and kids gave me a Master Forge smoker for Christmas and I've been chomping at the bit to fire it up.  I had a recipe and some tips from a friend to start with, and some folks on this forum, SmokinAl, ChefJimmy and others, helped me get through the day.  I made a bunch of mistakesicon_confused.gif, but I had a blast running the smoker all day and I ended up with some pretty good 'cue anyway.  I smoked a pork shoulder, two pork butts and two chickens.  I used my friend's dry rub recipe on all the meat the night before, got the meat out early in the morning and started smoking about an hour later.  The target temp I had was 195.  I was using a 2:1 mix of hickory/mesquite in chunks and chips to generate the smoke.  All seemed to be going well, but the chickens (which of course were on the top shelfhead-wall.gif) just were not coming up to temp.  I learned here that I should shoot for around 175, the chickens were stuck at 159.  At a forum member's suggestion I increased the heat to 225.  Still couldn't finish the chickens.  After 7 hours in the smoker I pulled them out and stuck them in the oven for an hour at 350.  Well, I may not have cooked them perfectly, but those chickens came out down-right tasty and they looked just like the pics I've seen here. 

We had chicken for dinner and I let the pork continue to smoke.  Later in the day the outdoor temp dropped and it seemed like the smoker had a hard time maintaining much over 200 degrees.  I closed the firebox dampers about 80% and that seemed to help a little.  I was shooting for meat temp of 195 and just couldn't get there, so after 12 hours in the smoker I put the pork in the oven 45 minutes at 350 to finish it off.  That worked and I finally got the temp to 195.  After letting it sit for about a half hour I pulled it all and got a nice big bowl of pork.  Very tasty and very tender.

Much thanks to the members here who helped me.  I'm going to take the online course here before I do my next smoke.



Getting started.....




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The pulled chicken

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Pork butts and shoulder

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The pulled pork.  I like spice so I left some of the black crust in there.

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post #2 of 9

Congrats on your first smoke it looks good to me.

Very nice bark on the PP, your off to a great start  drool.gificon14.gif

post #3 of 9

Looks like everything came out great. Congrats on a great smoke. I would love a plate of that 


One thing I noticed - you have the chickens on top of meat which is usually a no no because of possible contamination - they should go on the bottom next time 

post #4 of 9

Even with all the problems you encountered you sure ended up with some great looking Q!


Congrats!  thumb1.gif

post #5 of 9

You did well, great first smoke it looks great,you must be proud

post #6 of 9

Could I have a lb. of that bark please?


Looks great!  Congrats on the first smoke!

post #7 of 9

Badabing , I am surprized someone didn't tell you to have the Chicken on the BOTTOM to decrease cross contamination? That is a BIG no-noicon_eek.gif


Chicken is dedicated to harboring things that like other stuff (icon_question.gif easy answer).


165*f is good for Chicken , without drying it out, and still be done. You might enjoy trying BeerCan Chicken. This is an easy and fun method of either grilling or smoking Chicken. Your friends will be envious...drool.gif


Have fun and...

post #8 of 9

Looks like you did a fine job.   I have the same smoker and I am happy with it.  You may want to get some flat fireplace gasket for the doors, it will help to hold a little more heat in.  I found some at a fireplace store that was self-stick for around 40 cents a foot.  I  am going to wrap the whole unit with insulation in the spring, I will post how I do it, when I do it.  If the temp drops below 30 I have a hard time holding the temps over 205. If I open the door it takes a long time for the temps to recover in the cold.  I really have to watch the weather to plan what days I can smoke in the winter.  Anyways, welcome aboard and happy smoking.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.  We ate the chicken for dinner last night, then had the pulled pig in sandwiches for lunch.  It really is good.  I don't think I'll be putting Smithfield's out of business any time soon, but I was very happy with how it turned out.  Mrs. badabing wants me to smoke a turkey, so I think that will be the next project (in a month or so).

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