New to the forum and smoking meat.
My brother and I built a smoker 28" wide, 32" deep and 48" tall inside measurements. We installed a Bradley smoker engine, 1750 watt heater and wired in a PID controller with thermowell for the probe to the center of the smoker.
Yesterday we added various meats including a 2 1/2 lb beef roast and a 6 lb pork roast. We set the controller at 250° with a 5° swing over and under. We put a temperature probe in the roast and a water pan in the back of the smoker.
Here is our problem. The meat after 9 hours was really dryed out and the temperature had only reached 174°.
I suspect for one thing we should have had our water pan right above the heater. In 9 hours it had only dropped a quart or so and did not add much moisture. Also after searching more I found a site that has a meat smoking calculator and it recommended wrapping the meat in foil for last 50% of the time. Obviously my brother and I just dived in head first and and now need to get more information before trying again.
For and electric smoker this size how much water should it lose per hour estimated to keep the meat from excessive dryness?
Does the moisture help shorten the cooking time? (9 hours and 174° seems too long)
We ran the smoker engine for the entire 9 hours. Is this too long and a waste of pucks?
Should we wrap the meat in foil in the last 50% of cooking time or is lack of moisture our only problem?
I know this is a lot of questions to ask at once. Any help you can give will be appreciated.