I originally put this in the wrong forum and was told it'd be alright to put it here where it belonged - thanks!
Figured I'd give the Masterbuilt I got last week some kudos.
I had been tossing around the idea of a smoker for almost a year now, and was debating between the Weber and the Masterbuilt. Obviously I chose the Masterbuilt, but the reasons aren't necessarily that I feel it's a superior product, but for me it came down to:
1. First smoker, how often will I use it?
2. Ease of use.
3. Virtually set it and forget it (just have to add wood as needed).
4. Price, $159 on sale finalized the decision.
Although the smoker I got had great reviews, I was still skeptical due to the occasional bad review, but decided it was time to make the move and start smoking.
So, last Wednesday I went and picked it up, was the last one in stock and grabbed some apple wood chips to go with it as I was planning on doing a pork shoulder as my first attempt. Unpacked it when I got home from work and set it up right away, then it was time for the seasoning process, which went without a hitch... 3 hours 15 minutes at 275 and 45 minutes with a cup of chips at the end.
Stopped and picked up 2 small pork shoulders Friday after work (they only had small ones, 3 and 4 pound).
Got those home and put on the following rub and let them sit in Ziploc bags overnight:
Carolina BBQ Rub
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup paprika
The next morning I took them out of the fridge and got the smoker going, set to 225 and waited about 30 minutes to reach temp. I also decided to use an empty water pan for this cook. Set up the Maverick 732 and put in the meat, internal temp of the meat read 37* at this time, colder than I had expected. After the door was closed I added my initial load of about 1/2 cup of wood chips.
And waited... adding chips when I noticed the smoke going away for the first 3 hours.
During the cook the Masterbuilt read 225 and the Maverick read about 250-260. The difference could be accuracy variances or placement, or a combo of each, but I decided to go with the Masterbuilt temp and see what happened for my first cook.
Smoke was no problem, and temps held solid the whole duration of the cook, varying only a few degrees.
To keep my occupied I made some BBQ sauce to go with it, using this recipe (ended up making 3 batches, it's really good):
NEVER FAIL BARBEQUE SAUCE - COOKS.COM
1 c. catsup
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. white vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Boil for 5 minutes.
Meat went in at 8am sharp, and at 3:30pm it had finally reached an internal temp of 190, my guess at 7 hours was pretty close as the timer had about 30 minutes left on it.
I took the meat out and brought it into the house [it smelled delicious]. It was done as the meat would pull apart just trying to get at the bone. I decided to leave the bones in during the resting period, which I let go for an hour (after trying the few pieces that happened to, umm, fall off).
After an hour in foil I went to work, pulled the bones out easily and started pulling it apart... Was my first time doing this so I'm sure my method was a joke, but I got it done good enough.
Meat had a nice dark bark on it that was simply incredible and the smoke flavor was just right (not overpowering at all). The BBQ recipe I used went with the rub perfectly, we've had it twice already and it's definitely a hit with the entire family of 5.