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Maintaining Smoke + Q-View

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Did my first smoke today on my new Masterbuilt Propane smoker!  I am supposed to be studying for my final exams I have coming up tomorrow through Wednesday devil.gif But, I did some bone-in split chicken breasts that didn't take all day. I just couldn't wait until the end of the week to try it out!


Anyway, the chicken tasted great, but I had a hard time maintaining smoke for the duration and it was only a 2.5hr smoke. I was targeting a 240 smoking temp, but it ran closer to 250 most of the time.  I took advice I have read on here and placed a cast iron skillet on top of the factory chip pan.  Initially I double wrapped a few handfuls of apple chips in foil, poked a few holes and placed that in the cast iron skillet.  That burned up quickly so I put another handful of loose chips in the skillet and covered the whole skillet with foil and poked some holes. I had to re-stock the skillet one more time after that. Maybe I just wasn't using enough chips? Or should I use chunks next time?


Regardless, I considered it a successful first attempt and thoroughly enjoyed the end-product. Next time I will crank the temp up toward the end to give the skin a nice crisp.


I soaked the chicken in a brine (1/2 gal water, 1/2c kosher salt, 2/3c br. sugar) for 24hrs, then used 1/2 stick melted butter and 2TBS jeffs rub on the chicken before cooking. Basted at 135 and 150 meat temp with a mixture of 1/2c Jeffs BBQ, 1/4 can beer and 1tsp honey.  Rivaled the local hot-spot in Ames, IA Hickory Park Restaurant! 




post #2 of 15

  The finished chicken looks good!   As for the chips, if you start with about a handfull at a time, you will need to add more about every 30-45 minutes. That's where the Amazen pellet smoker comes in! Be sure to check it out.




post #3 of 15
Looks great!

It looks like you have the two door Masterbuilt? I have the same one. I used chips the first time and ever since I only use chunks and never have a problem with lack of smoke. I don't use any foil with regards to the wood or pan. I also just use a 9 inch cake pan instead of cast iron and it works great. 3 chunks will get me 2-3 hours of smoke at around 230-235.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick help. I have done some reading about the Amezen pellet smoker, I'll see how other options work then decide if I should get one. I'm trying to mind the budget but there are so many fun toys out there.


It is the two door Masterbuilt.  Thanks for the tip on chunks. I will pick some of those up and give that a try next time.

post #5 of 15

Using larger chunks should help with your smoke. Also as mentioned above the A-Maze-N smoker products will help. I use the 18" and 12" AMNTS in my gas smoker and love them.

post #6 of 15
Chicken looks great! Like the others have said already, I prefer chunks to chips for less refilling.

post #7 of 15

Cyclone , welcome and glad you came to SMF for your info. Your Chicken liiks great and the advise recieved was good. However  , I have one bit of advice to you...


Get to them books and study for your exams...then  relax...icon_eek.gif  roflmao.gif.


Have fun , god luck on the Finals , and as always ...

post #8 of 15

What everybody else said.  Chunks are the way to go!  Good luck!! Oh, your chicken looks great!!  42.gif

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

One more question, when re-fueling with wood chips/chunks should I leave the ashes of the burned wood in the pan or remove those at each refill?


I am getting ready to smoke a brisket and pork shoulder for pulled pork! Party is Saturday evening but I think I will smoke it tonight/tomorrow and reheat for the gathering.

post #10 of 15
I always dump any leftover or ashes. I don't want the ashes floating up and sticking to the meat.

Good luck and take pictures and post some Q-view! :)
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

10-4. Will keep you posted with some Q-view!

post #12 of 15
That is some great looking chicken! How did your finals go?
post #13 of 15

The chicken looks great!


Chunks will definitely keep your smoke going longer.  I no longer use chips in anything.


You should also consider an AMAZE-N-SMOKER invented by one of our members - Todd Johnson.


I own one of the dust burners but he now has a tube smoker and pellet smokers that work well with any smoker, though I only use mine with my electric smoker.


Good luck,



post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by Dumbwhiteperson View Post

I always dump any leftover or ashes. I don't want the ashes floating up and sticking to the meat.

Good luck and take pictures and post some Q-view! :)

I agree.  Always dump ashes.  I dump mine 2 or 3 times during each smoke.  Don't forget to post Q-views!!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Finals went well, thanks for asking!


The shoulder and brisket were put on the smoker last night at 11pm with Chef Jimmy J's Au Jus.  Surprisingly, once I got the temp set I have been able to hold it between 220-230 with no adjustments.  Hickory chunks have been working great!  After being on for 8.5 hours now, the internal temp of the shoulder (7lbs) is 133*.  Does that seem ok? According the 1.5 hours/lb guideline the shoulder should be done in around 10.5 hours but that is clearly not going to happen.  My guess is because it is in with a 10 lb brisket and pan of au jus with veggies that are taking a lot of the heat.  Good think the food isn't needed until Saturday and I am home all day today!   


I will get some q-view next time I open it up. It was too dark last night when I put it on to get any pics.

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