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FIRST TIME SMOKIN!!!! ----------- Master Forge Vertical Charcoal Smoker

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm ready...been wanting to do this for a long time and just got a beginner smoker from the wife for my bday!

 

Put the smoker together and pretty simple...

 

Have a few questions:  

 

(1)  Planning on doing a pork butt for my first smoke as it seems the easiest?

 

(2)  How much water do you put in the tray?  Don't know anything about that???

 

(3)  I've got my chimney for coals, coal cubes to light easy, lump charcoal and some pecan wood chips --- am I ready?

 

 

We're getting it going this Friday PM and then having it on Sat...

 

Based on avg temp with NO mods to this smoker, it looks like 10-12 hours, right?

 

Also, what's the typical?

 

I've read some that have NO mods and only carry avg of 180 of heat....but some say it's fine.  Some say it needs mods to control more...figured it was just best to do my first smoke as is and see how it goes...

 

 

Any and all feedback appreciated!

 

Let's go smokin!

post #2 of 4

I just did my first one last Saturday, here's my experience (using the Masterbuilt 20070910).

 

1. I hear pork butts seem to be more forgiving.

2. I opted to not use any water.

3. I used a mix of mostly apple with some alder, but whatever you like - sounds like you're prepared!

 

180 seems really low, but are you slicing or pulling? You'll want it to get to 190 or more for pulled pork (at that's this rookie's opinion), but the time would depend a lot on temp and the size of the meat.

 

Check it at 190, depending on the particular cut it may need more it may not.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Smoke went really well (@ least the meat and it's flavor which is the most important, right?)

 

Rocked the chimney and got it started and butt went on about 11:30pm on Friday night.

 

We got is staying @ 230-240, but by the time I went to bed about 12:30...it was down to 200 and staying there...I was fine with that, so I just let it go.  My original plan was to set an alarm about 3 or 4am and check it, however I thought...let's just see what it does overnight (temp was down to about 45 overnight)...

 

Got up @ 6:45am and it was all the way down to 120.

 

I think pulled the bottom off to get to the coals...a bit red, but that ash that it just sits in I think caused it to smolder and go out (I think???)

 

So I tried to just re-start the coals again and better without the chimney...threw down some starter cubes in another pile of new lump coal and went back to bed...however, only for a few mins as I was worried it would take.

 

I was right...it did not.

 

So I had to throw on all clothes again and just start over with a new chimney...only took about 20 mins to get going.

 

Worked perfect as soon as I put the coals from the chimney in...it started blazing quickly...so much that it got hotter than it ever did the night before...maybe now because it was a bit warmer and sun coming up (got up to 72-73 here in Charlotte on Sat)...but it went to 250 within 10 mins....then got to 275 in about another 10-15...eventually leveling off @ 300.  So I obviously have some issues with the temperatures.

 

I then cooked it till about 9:15am and checked the center in all angles with a thermometer and it was perfect...my buddy said it needed to be 180-190 in the center and then pull it off to set.

 

After setting the flavor was amazing!  It's already gone too...an 8lb butt!  Went to neighbors...gave some to other neighbors...ate on pork for about 2.5 days and now GONE!  

 

I think it gave more of a smoky flavor as I put those new coals on in the morning...it was putting out some serious smoke and smells once I got it fired back up...

 

But I'm thinking I shouldn't have to go through all that...

 

Any ideas?

post #4 of 4
Having just done my 1st smoke today on some spare ribs and fighting the temp issues myself even after doing some mods, i would say look into mods for your smoker. Reason being is no one likes getting up at all hours of the night. If you can run at 230 average temp you'll be golden. Also if doing the overnight run again look into a welders blanket to cut on the loss of heat due...the word alludes me but i hope you know what i mean. Also the thing that saved me with the temp issues was a maverick et723 dual probe thermometer it monitors heat at the cooking grate and had a meat probe. You can set you min and max values for both and it will go off alerting you to any issues. That really helped me dial in the best settings for my smoke hollow. Hope this helps!
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