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Need some help New to smoking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just bought an electric smoker and I'm all new with this.  Can anyone give me some tips on smoking with it? I have a Turkey breast and I need to know how to prep it and smoke it.  I smoked a pork loin a week or so ago and it came out kinda tough could any one tell me ay what temp to cook that too.  I put a dry rub on it the night before and smoked at 350

post #2 of 9

Welcome to the forum,


In general, 350° would be good for poultry, more like 225° for pork and beef.


As you are new to smoking, take time and take notes of what you do, use, smoke color and density and your results.


Regarding your breast, look up a poultry rub that sounds good to you here on the forum.  Apply it and smoke at 325°-350° to an internal temp of 165°, take notes of your results.  The next one you do, try brining it and repeat the procedure, take notes and compare.  Make your adjustments slowly as you will be learning throughout.  Before long you will be posting your recipes.


Most importantly, have fun and enjoy,



post #3 of 9
welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 1,000,000 posts describing it! Yea that’s right over 1,000,000!

The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but don’t hesitate to start threads and ask also!

We have an ”Articles” section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

The pork loin should have been smoked at a lower temp like 225-250 to an internal temp (IT) of 145*. Loins aren't like a butt or shoulder, they are very lean and don't have the fat content to go to a high temp.
post #4 of 9

Nice to meet ya Dabebee there will be a 'gaggle of Gurus' (Tm)  hovering around here soon to introduce you and help you on your way to great food and probably a lot of fun.


Think of a stove in the kitchen. A gas stove heats water quickly were an electric takes its time. It’s the same with the smoker. Electric is a more precise temp. but it has to really work to recover lost heat. A charcoal or gas recovers fast but it fluctuates.


This means with an electric it is very important that you leave the door closed. I read somewhere it takes 15 mins. to recover from opening the door although I doubt that long it does take time. lets say 10 mins. when you expect a 12 hour smoke and open the door once an hour that's a 2 hour adder. Whereas with a fireburner you have to tend the fire, which means you are allowing the moisture to dispensate.


Electric, keep the door shut, doesn't require the moisture like moping, spritzing, injections. In over 30 years of being around electrics I can't remember a smoke ring. Push/pull, I can live without the smoke ring, and I can sleep all night not needing to tend the fire. Suggest you either remove the water pan, I use mine for a drip pan. Or some foil line it and fill it with sand, in regards to the heat loss, they use it as a heat sink.


Now we move to the disputed subject of vent position.


If you throw it full open, it will dry your food some, which is desired with brine or cured smoking. But..... if smoke a normal piece of meat/fish/fowl I use the vent to regulate the smoke. When full open you are working the heater maintaining temp., you are burning excessive chips/pellets to smoke. When the vent is regulated or partly closed depending upon the adjustment, it is better using the smoke while more easily holding your temperature.


If you invest in a good aux. smoke generator and not use chips, it is fine either way you decide. If you want to use chips as designed, you need to regulate it. Your call, you must decide how you want to run your smoker. I have done both ways, I have even smoked for years in a totally closed smoker which when done right does fine. It’s about mastering what you want to do.


IT (internal Temp) this is how everything is gauged. I assume you know about it since you have smoked before. If you have a good remote response thermometer and you are smoking, you can go to bed. It will tell you when the food is done.


Lastly, if using chips, I think the general consensus is don't soak them. The only reason I can see for soaking them is allow the food to preheat before it starts smoking. Why? Because from what I have seen here somewhere, maybe Jeff E-Message or a book.... Well from 100 to 140, food is really susceptible to smoke, above and below it has diminished effects. 100 to 149 is when the food is the happiest, other than that you are just pouring the smoke to it. Its all your call. Some like a lot of smoke.



Let’s see.... Slow recovery keep the door closed, smoke sweet spot 100 to 140, no smoke ring, no moisture needed, learn what you want for your vent adjustment. Add a RF thermometer and sleep all night. It’s really easy to use.


I always forget something and surely someone will come along and give you their opposite opinions. That's smoking, its mastering how you want to do it.


For a while I suggest you take notes, that way it’s easier to learn a new smoker and different techniques. Have patience, it’s had to mess up as you already know.


Most of all just enjoy the smoke! A day when you smoke is always a beautiful day.


BTW chicken is great to get a good run thru with....


Me I'd go bare and bald and see just what the smoke tastes like the first time, maybe alittle salt and pepper. It will establish a good base line for your future endeavors. Most electrics will not go too high, if you want crisp skin you'll probably need a grill or the oven, low and slow for tender.... 220 to 250. At 275+ you'll see a crisper skin but your meat might be tuff. Any meat is that way. Turkey breast is dry, cover it with some bacon maybe. This is only my opinion and everyone's is different when it comes to smoking... its what makes it so much fun!


Good luck.

post #5 of 9

texas.gifHello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   



post #6 of 9
welcome1.gif To the forum , brother! Mr T and Foamheart got you covered. A good meat thermometer will be your best friend in smoking. It's not the only thing , but it's important .
....and with poultry , you always gotta cook to temp. With other meats , you cook til tender.
This is absolutely the best place to look for advice on smoking meat. You will do well here. Good luck. grilling_smilie.gif
post #7 of 9

Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions Post it
and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is because their
are so many different ways to make great Q We all have our own taste.

I think they have you covered on the smoking temps.

Happy smoken.


post #8 of 9

Welcome Dabebee! We're happy to have you here, and I bet you're going to love this place.

post #9 of 9

welcome1.gifto SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! 


We love to see pictures of what you are cooking (or what we call q-views here at SMF).  To "upload the q-views" just follow the directions here and it will be easier. If you are using a cell phone, an IPad or a kindle, go to the main SMF page and click the Mobile button. Will make the uploads a bit faster too.


If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums and some guidelines of how to interact within the forums. Off site links are not allowed here at SMF per TulsaJeff. Not that you have done anything wrong....just a little bit of FYI for new members!


If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!



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