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First Smoke Ever

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Prepared to start my first smoke tomorrow morning. Never smoked anything or even seen it done. I love good Q so figured I'd dive in. Bought a digital masterbuilt electric smoker with remote (20071011). Think I got a great deal on it (179$).  Just seasoned two 8lb pork shoulders using mustard with a dinosaur foreplay cajun rub.  Seasoned the smoker using hickory wood chips (they didn't seem to last very long).  Still not sure what temp set to and what internal to look for. Got a lot to learn but should be interesting :)

post #2 of 7

Can't wait to hear you brag about how good this turns out!

post #3 of 7

You hippie freak, I'll show you how the experienced guys do it

 

 

Oh and welcome to the board!  You should sign in at the Roll Call to introduce yourself.

post #4 of 7

I also have the same smoker, Take the weight of the largest of your roast, and multiply 1 hour for every 1/2 pound and you should be close, depending on how long of a stall you have.  Most folks, when they have detected the stall, wrap the roasts in Tin Foil to finish cooking it.  A temperature of 225 to 250 degrees is good.

post #5 of 7

Howdee, and Welcome.

 

MES are notorious for having miscalibrated  thermometers. Please if you did not during your test flight, smoke in, check your temperatures with a good thermometer. When I did mine, it was only 5 to 10 degrees off, I have heard some whose temps are 30 to 50 degrees off, (I also learned my home oven was 10 degrees off LOL).

 

So to save frustration and a good piece of meat make sure and check it.

 

Temperature, Hot and fast (which usually means 250 to 275 to a MES owner), or low and slow about 220? The difference obviously is time on station.

 

The Texas Crutch this a method of approximating the stall temperature (All meat temps will be IT's), its a way to force it thru the stall faster. It does work, with some slight degradation to the bark due to the steaming of the meat.

 

The sweet spot for smoke is 100 to 140 IT, everything before and after still adds flavor although at a diminished capacity. Its you first smoke, I highly recommend you use half the smoke you intend to use. You will never hear someone say "The meat sux's, I can't eat it, it has too little smoke". You can and will heard the opposite.

 

The type of wood plays a huge part in the amount you can use. Butts/picnics and briskets can handle all woods but the hard smokes like hickory, mesquite, possibly pecan or oak should not be applied with a heavy hand.

 

I am sure others will show and give you some of their ideas also see there isn't any single one perfect way to do it. There is the new ways, the old ways, my ways, your ways and they are all right if they work for us. Its all about you learning your smoker and bending it to your will. Making it do it right your way. Everyone here will differ but everyone here will respect others views.

 

A very smart man told me that its all about patience. He was so right, I'll add its about a stress free, kicked back, enjoyment of sitting and enjoying the day, the night, the moment, the beer, the company, the peace and quiet. Nothing happens fast in smoking, just think logically.

 

Oh to prevent chastation, to be chastised, (LOL.. spellcheck says that word should be castration, I guess that would work too), take pictures. We call it Q-View. Everyone enjoys sharing in your achievements.

 

When ya get a chance in forums drop by the "Roll Call" section and introduce yourself, so you can get the secret password and handshake.

 

Is that a mouthful or what?

 

Just remember to relax and enjoy the smoke. Good luck on your maiden voyage.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice!Using hickory so I'll try not to over do the smoke. Do I use the vent to regulate the smoke amount or just not add chips as often?

 

I checked the built in meat thermometer by testing with a hot dog - my trusty portable probe matched its reading within 1 degree so I trust the meat probe. Thing is the main probe in the box reads about 25 deg lower than the built in meat probe (with meat probe right next to it). So a setpoint of 275 deg is really running the box around 300.

 

More pics tomorrow :)

post #7 of 7

Nearly everyone here will disagree with me. They run the MES like a fireburner. That's with the exhaust fully open and regulate the temp/smoke with the smokebox vent.

I understand their thinking and don't fault it. I have smoked with an electric also for a lot of years and never had an open vent. I believe MES even says to close it, But I disagree with that also. You want to regulate the smoke to use less electricity to maintain by keeping the box hotter, also to use less chips. If you throw it wide open you will burn chips so quickly, its why most here have an aux smoke generator. Including me I might add. But I can get almost twice what must folks say they get out of the smoke. Simply because I regulate the vent. They put it there for a reason.

 

My smokers in the past worked perfectly fine without a vent, they heated up smoked the chips and when it ran out of oxygen was about when it was out of chips smoldering. But its wasn't really made for butts and brisquits.

 

You can try both ways while you do this cook and see what you think. Gage it yourself. Its all about you cooking how you like. There are folks here who would never move the vent from full open. I respect that and know after trying their way that it works also. You have a long smoke here, take an hour or two or three and see what you can do with the vent and the smoke. You can't hurt it, its still hot and cooking as long as you don't open the door to check....LOL

 

See what you like. 

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