or Connect
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Supplies & Equipment › Electric Smokers › Poor results. What am I doing wrong?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Poor results. What am I doing wrong?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

After watching the gentleman on the QVC network demonstrate the Masterbuilt smoker showing how he easily puled a leg off of a smoked chicken which was very tender and juicy and watching him take two forks and shred a pork roast with no effort at all - I rushed out and bought 30" Model.

 

I read the directions on the Masterbuilt website of using 230 temperature for four hours for smoking a large chicken breast.  I only cooked it for three hours

.instead of four, had the side vent slightly open, and smoked at 230 degrees but it was definitely not tender and it was very dry.  Tasty from the smoke, yes, but definitely not tender and definitely very dry...no juice at all remained. 

 

Also, their instructions for cleaning the inside of the smoker is simply to wipe it down with a damp cloth.  The inside of my smoker has a heavy greasy and smoky film which will not come off with a damp cloth.  

 

Does anyone else have these problems?  What am I doing wrong?  And how do I correct the problems?   Any idea on how to clean the inside?  I can use "Mean Green" or "409" but I would probably have to spend an awful lot of time rinsing over and over to make sure any meat would not smell of those cleaners.  Besides, I am reluctant at this point to smoke anything not knowing if the inside will get the same greasy and smoky film again.

 

Any help will be appreciated a whole big bunch!

post #2 of 11

I wouldn't use a harsh chemical cleaner to clean the smoker, what that build up is called in smoking terms is "seasoning". Just leave it be, some people line the bottom with foil as thats where most of the grease will collect, that way they can just remove the foil and most of the cleaning is done.

 

As far as cooking, the first thing to check would be that the smoker is working accurately, place an accurate (boil test) thermometer inside and then turn on the smoker, when the smoker turns off because it is up to temp, check the internal thermometer. if they match your good to go, if not then you now know how far off it is.

 

As per the bird being dry did you check the internal temps of the chicken prior to removing it? Chicken needs to be cooked to 165 degrees, it sounds like you cooked yours well past that. Don't rely on a certain temp to cook a certain amount of meat in a certain amount of time. Use it as a guide but don't rely on it like baking. Meats all cook differently. Next time start taking some internal meat temps about 1/2 way in the cook to see where you are temp wise, and adjust the length of the cook depending on the Internal Temp. I often pull my meat right before it hits 165 and let it carry over cook wrapped in foil while resting on the counter or a cooler.

post #3 of 11
Vents need to be all the way open also
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieinGa View Post
 

After watching the gentleman on the QVC network demonstrate the Masterbuilt smoker showing how he easily puled a leg off of a smoked chicken which was very tender and juicy and watching him take two forks and shred a pork roast with no effort at all - I rushed out and bought 30" Model. Which model? Analog Electric? Digital Electric, black with square controller on top? Digital Electric with black box and stainless door with window and small pyramid shaped controller on top? Same as this but with the controller up front and vent on the left side? Or a Propane Masterbuilt?

 

I read the directions on the Masterbuilt website of using 230 temperature for four hours for smoking a large chicken breast.Many things can be smoked by time alone but most require you get to a specific Internal Temperature (IT). Chicken Breast should be cooked to an IT of no more than 165°F. I only cooked it for three hours

.instead of four,At 230 that was probably still too long and dried it out. had the side vent slightly open, Always keep the vent 100% open for best heat convection and smoke turnover. and smoked at 230 degrees but it was definitely not tender and it was very dry.  Tasty from the smoke, yes, but definitely not tender and definitely very dry...no juice at all remained. 

 

Also, their instructions for cleaning the inside of the smoker is simply to wipe it down with a damp cloth.  The inside of my smoker has a heavy greasy and smoky film which will not come off with a damp cloth. This Film is called Seasoning and is desirable. It imparts a lot of flavor. Your MES is not a Pretty, Better Homes and Garden, Oven that needs to be sparkling clean.(My Mom was a clean oven nut...:biggrin:) Place Foil on anything that will be Dripped on, like the grease and water pan and if digital the chip tray housing. You clean the Grates after each smoke, replace the Foil every couple of smokes unless excessively greasy. And use an all natural cleaner like Simple Green to clean the walls once a season then follow the procedure for Re-Seasoning. You may wish to clean more often BUT...You will need to re-season after each cleaning.

 

Does anyone else have these problems?  What am I doing wrong? If you are a complete Newbie, take the Free 5-Day eCourse use our Search Bar to look up your smoker for other's experiences and modifications. Then Read, Read, Read. The Manual is pretty worthless. If you have questions fell free to post them under the appropriate forum, Chicken, Pork, Electric Smokers, etc. And how do I correct the problems? Your next goal is to get a good Thermometer. Most of us use the Dual Probe Maverick et-732 or 733. These measure for an accurate temp at the grate the meat is on and monitors the IT of the meat so you don't overcook and dry it out. The best price and Customer Service can be found here... http://www.amazenproducts.com/Default.asp   Any idea on how to clean the inside?  I can use "Mean Green" or "409" but I would probably have to spend an awful lot of time rinsing over and over to make sure any meat would not smell of those cleaners.  Besides, I am reluctant at this point to smoke anything not knowing if the inside will get the same greasy and smoky film again. It Will and Should always be there.

 

There are thousands of Hints , Ideas and Recipes here for every type of smoker built. Once you have the Basics down there is a whole world of delicious foods we can guide you through.If you did get one of the Electric MES smokers then I will sent an invite to join our Group which has tons of info on the various models..JJ

 

Any help will be appreciated a whole big bunch!

post #5 of 11

Howdee, personally I never worry about a clean smoker. Its like trying to get rid of the wrinkles around your eyes, its a badge of honor we all wear, we worked hard to get them! Clean the racks but unless you screwed up cleaning the box I find total superfluous. Now as to your smoking chicken questions.

 

Smoking chicken is so easy and so rewarding. I did thighs yesterday, I normally do a whole chicken once a week in the winter.  Let me show you a couple a links. I suggest the nekkid chicken to start.

 

Smoked Chicken w/ Q-View

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152772/basic-brined-smoked-chicken

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/153699/national-finals-and-smoked-chicken

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/156212/nekkid-chicken-foamheart

 

Now what I think you really need is Jeff's 5-day E-Course, its great, it help new smokers with the basics and it help remind the seasoned old smokers sometimes something they forgot. Best part is the help it will give. BTW did I mention that it is free? It will really help you I think. Sign up and take the time to get your smoking legs firmly planted underneath you and itv will make a huge difference in your meals.

 

Will /PM you on the smokers abilities.

 

 

Sorry Chef, I didn't see you.

post #6 of 11

Hi Maggie.

 

Good advice given by the guys.  I can only repeat what they've said.  Don't wash that seasoning off the interior surface of your rig...that's gonna help add to the flavor of your food.  The only things I ever cleaned in my MES were the grates, and occasionally the window.  The factory temp probes in those MES's have a reputation for being not very accurate...a good dual probe thermometer like the Maverick ET-732 is an invaluable accessory for your smoker.  That way you can not only accurately monitor you cooking temps, but also your meat's internal temp (IT).  Cook most meats to an internal temp rather than a pre-planned time frame (ribs can be a bit of an exception).  As mentioned already, the correct poultry IT target is 165*.  

 

Also, looks like this was you first post here...Welcome!  When you have a chance, you might stop over in the Roll Call forum to introduce yourself, allow members to get to know a little about you, and to give you a proper SMF welcome.

 

Good luck and Happy Smoking!

 

Red

post #7 of 11

Brine it baby brine it!

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

You have given me the MOST HELP POSSIBLE and I, indeed, do truly thank you!

 

My smoker is the Masterbuilt 30" vertical smoker.  I was delighted to hear the greasy smoky film is supposed to be there all the time.  That info helps ease my mind tremendously!  I am a Libra, sign of the scales, and I want everything to be balanced - and clean!  From now on I will not worry about the inside not being clean.

 

I will say that the one time I have used the smoker with a very large chicken breast I did open the door and check the temperature after two hours.  It was at 160 degrees and very tender when the temp probe went into it but it did not have the nice brown crust I thought it should have had.  Looking back, and with your advice, I should have taken it out at that point but the Masterbuilt info said FOUR hours and, of course, I was looking for a nice presentation of a smoky finish.  I will not make that mistake again.

 

I am learning so much from this forum and I will keep learning.

 

Again, thank you for easing my mind on several issues!

post #9 of 11

Here is a Brine and Rub that is a Favorite with members of my Family. I like Apple and/or Hickory with Chicken or Turkey. We determine doneness by measuring the Internal Temp (IT) in the thickest part of the Breast and Thigh, 165* and 175*F respectively. For a One Step Smoke with Crispy Skin the birds have to be smoked at a temp of 300-325°F. You can figure about 15 minutes per pound to reach the desired IT. Electric smokers usually only go to 275°F. With these you will be smoking at the most common temp range of 225-275°F. You can figure on about 25 minutes per pound cook time + or - 5 minutes depending what part of the range you choose. Usually the skin will not crisp so if the skin is not Crisp enough when the IT is 145*F in the Breast, put the Bird in a 425*F Oven to finish cooking to 165* and Crisp the Skin...JJ

 

 

Families Favorite Brine

 

1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Paprika

2T Gran. Garlic

2T Gran. Onion

2T Dry Thyme

2T Black Pepper

1C Vinegar (Any)

1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover Chix

 

1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

 

Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...

 

Bubba Chix Rub

 

1/2C Raw Sugar

2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)

1T Cayenne

1T Gran. Garlic

1T Gran. Onion

1tsp Black Pepper

1tsp Wht Pepper

1tsp Allspice

1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme

 

Mix well. You can put directly on the skin or mix with Butter, Oil or Bacon Grease and rub on and under the Skin.

Reduce Cayenne to 1teaspoon if less heat is desired.

 

post #10 of 11

you won't get a nice crispy brown skin from an electric smoker. a good tip if you want crispy nice skin, is to remove it from the smoker around the 150 - 155 degree mark and toss it on a hot grill to crisp up the skin and cook it the last 15-10 degrees.

post #11 of 11

You still have not stated whether your smoker is an electric or not .If it is the newer generation digital electric Masterbuilt you have to realize that the temperature control is usually wrong . It can be off by 50 degrees on the high side or 50 to the low .Get yourself a Maverick et-732 remote therm. Monitor smoker temp and food temp by running probes through Wide Open Vent

I have the New generation digital Masterbuilt but usually cook on a Chargriller Acorn Kamado . yesterday I fired up the masterbuilt it was about 20 degrees F. out .It was set for 275 and true temp inside went up to and stayed at 313 degrees f. That is how it always works ,always way past set temp and that is with a new controller installed . If I want 230 degrees I set control at 190  . What I'm saying is IF yours is the same Masterbuilt you are probably cooking at too high a temp . Masterbuilt smokers are good but they do have their flaws .You will not get the flavor you would get from cooking on coals and wood and you will not get the crispy cooks that you can get with charcoal. If you have the digital electric look at the masterbuilt cold smoker attachment. Basspro has them at the best price. Gives you a lot of versatility with your smoke time and what kind of wood and even broken up charcoal you can use .Also no hassle 6 hour smoke time . Good luck .

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Electric Smokers
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Supplies & Equipment › Electric Smokers › Poor results. What am I doing wrong?