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Frustrated and confused - Page 2

post #21 of 28

I agree with KnifeBld's comments.

Half fill your bowl with sand, Then make a half bowl out of it covered with foil to catch the drippings.  Do what you can to seal that bad boy up.  Errant drafts and leaks in a smoker makes keeping constant temperatures a real challenge.  You are more likely to keep a hobby if it is less of a fuss to do it.  Possibly an upgraded smoker may be in your future.  With the end of summer sales going on, now would be the ideal time to buy.  Invest in a Maverick ET-733, it will probably be the one consistent tool you use as you change your smoker over the years.  Consider purchasing the 6 foot probes for it; it will give you more options on how you run your wires.

post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by knifebld View Post
 

Hey Hannah I love my WSM, but my brother bought the Master Chef Vertical Smoker from Canadian Tire, and I taught him how to use it...after playing around a little with it, here are a few comments;

 

1) It is a good little smoker and your meals should turn out as good as any $500 smoker...it just requires a little more tending too!

2) Make sure that water pan stays full and initially fill it with warm/hot water...like you mentioned...it's a bitch to heat up (if you don't like the water, try sand instead)

3) Keep feeding the coals...it has a very small chamber so long smokes will be a pain

4) Keep it away from any wind; it has an open bottom...and I found that any wind would make temps fluxuate by a lot!

5) Buy a temperature probe to monitor your chamber temps; most factory built thermometers that come with smokers are off a little...but the Master Chef is by far the worst I have seen.

 

If you love smoking and really get into it as a hobby, you will want to change smokers very soon, but my brother turned out amazing whole chickens, ribs, and pork butts on this little guy that tasted very good...just needs a little more attention. :)

 

Hope this helps!


Fantastic tips, thank you!!

 

I think I will try the sand. I've got some kicking around here and it's worth a try.

 

I missed a really good WSM sale and now I'm looking at the Master Chef thinking I could still get by with it until a sale comes along again or I stumble across a used one. I might be out $70, but I'd still have a smoker in the meantime. And I'm already thinking of the next thing to smoke. Drool.

 

Also, I thought it was just me about the small coal chamber. It was choked up with ash towards the end after about 4 hours. If I were to do a pork butt, that ash might become a problem. Any tips on overcoming that?

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokecurl View Post
 


Fantastic tips, thank you!!

 

I think I will try the sand. I've got some kicking around here and it's worth a try.

 

I missed a really good WSM sale and now I'm looking at the Master Chef thinking I could still get by with it until a sale comes along again or I stumble across a used one. I might be out $70, but I'd still have a smoker in the meantime. And I'm already thinking of the next thing to smoke. Drool.

 

Also, I thought it was just me about the small coal chamber. It was choked up with ash towards the end after about 4 hours. If I were to do a pork butt, that ash might become a problem. Any tips on overcoming that?

 

Man I forgot about the ash build-up!!! This is a major PITA!

 

When I was teaching my brother on a longer smoker...we did a real fast empty and reload...we prepped a full chimney, he had a tin pail ready, and we basically emptied out the ash and topped up with fresh coals in under two minutes!

 

Don't really have a choice if you are doing long smokes...but you should not have to deal with this if you are smoking whole chicken or ribs...but once you get past 5 or 6 hours...you might have to empty. :(

 

Cheers!

post #24 of 28

I agree with what Knifebld said.

 

You can get good results from nearly anything, as long as you work with it, and become familiar with that particular unit's quirks.

I've seen folks get amazing (and tasty!) results from rigs you would swear should be condemned as a safety hazard and general nuisance.

It's all about knowing how to work with what you've got.

 

Nice work on the bird, enjoy the process and the rewards.

post #25 of 28

chicken is not like pork or beef, so you can raise the temp on the inside to 300 degrees. and smoke for a couple of hours with the same results.remember internal temps is 165 for safe eating, but i like 170-175 just to be safe.

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 

Looks like an adventure still turned out great Chicken. I just wanted to add a bit of info. Bones in meat are actually terrible conductors. Countless times in my Restaurants I have customers order their steak Medium and send it back to be cooked more because the meat against the bone was too Rare or even Raw. If the bone was a good conductor the meat by the bone would be Well done, not raw. The same situation can be seen in Chicken. The meat in the legs are done and juicy at 165°F but cut the thigh open and it will still be bloody against the bone...JJ

 

Hi JJ - you may be interested in this article on the comparative heat transfer rates within various meats. It suggests that in chickens the leg bone can be quite a good conductor of heat - mainly because of its geometry. It looks as if the different animal bones do appear to conduct heat at different rates though.

 

http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/tothebone.html

post #27 of 28

Lots of conflicting info on this.

 

The bone is definitely not a great conductor, but.....

 

Some people say the red against a chicken bone "CAN" be a sign of a younger bird?

 

Considering the very young age at which our birds are slaughtered, it could or may not be a factor?

 

And again, it could be because the bone is a piss poor conductor?

 

Go figger?

 

175 at the thigh will settle all that, in my experience?

 

Good luck and good smoking.

post #28 of 28

I stand corrected on that point.

I first came across this article a few months ago and it made fascinating reading (or is that just me being a very sad individual :45:). For anyone who is interested in expanding their knowledge a little more about the science of the slab of meat cooking in your smoker then this is a good one to add to your reading list.

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