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New Member From North NJ

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am a new member from north NJ and just purchased the 30" MES using a 5X8 AMPS w/ pitmaster choice pellets. My wife and I work a lot of hours and have a newborn so we are limited to weekend-only use. I have made 2 smokes so far with the 1st being CostCo ribs (pre-rubbed) @ 275F using the 2-1-1 method which came out very firm (no breakdown) but very flavourful and pulled pork (using Meowey's BBQ Rub Plus - http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/50421/rub-for-pulled-pork) @ 225F and the same CostCo ribs (pre-rubbed) at 225F using the 3-2-2 method which came out MUCH MUCH better including tender ribs. The 2nd smoke got rave reviews but it still has room for improvement. I live very close to NYC so we are used to having the best food in the world (yep, I said it). However, BBQ does lack but we do have a few good places here. My goal is to have BBQ similar to those local joints. I would classify our tastes as being mostly ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and maybe a brisket. I can't think of too many other basic staples that we would make aside from maybe chicken wings. I just can't imagine us making something like meatloaf. :) I have a few questions and appreciate any helpful advice/criticism.

 

1) I have followed the AMPS instructions to the word but I have not had good luck. After 10 minutes of burning (40 seconds using a propane torch), I blow out the flame but the pellets stop smoking inside the smoker. Also, 10 minutes uses up a lot of the pellets but I guess that is necessary to keep the smoking process going. What am I doing wrong?

 

2) Aside from cleaning the racks, wiping down the door and the seal, and replacing the aluminium foil on the water pan and the drip tray, is there any other cleaning necessary?

 

3) How do I protect my patio deck from the grease/smoke?

 

4) I have read numerous threads and have never seen anyone suggest using the water pan?

 

5) I have a wireless probe that I confirmed accurate (shocked the hell out of me too) with a reading of 211F with boiling water. However, my smoker appear to read 10-12F LOWER than the probe. Is this a cause of concern or should I just increase the unit's temperature to 10-12F? If so, do I need to determine the temperature delta with each use?

 

6) How in the hell do you run the probe into the smoker? I went down through the vent against the door to clear the racks but it is a pain in the ass as I have to work fast to avoid heat loss and it must come out if I need to remove food.

 

7) Where exactly on the probe is the measurement taken? For example, is the measurement taken at the tip of the probe? 1/2 way?

 

8) The instruction manual doesn't even indicate a vent exists let alone give any explanation as to suggested use. Should I always leave it open?

 

9) What is the best approach to making BBQ if I need to re-heat it? For example, if I want to bring BBQ to a friend, I'd rather not be smoking throughout the night. I realize I can cook it a head of time and then re-heat but I am concerned with quality loss with reheat?

 

10) The pre-rubbed CostCo ribs come out very tasty but I prefer using my own rub. Any suggestions or is this a true trial-n-error?

 

11) Should I stick with the pitmasters choice wood pellets?

post #2 of 11

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a cloudy and cold day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.  

 

I'm sure one of the watt burners will along to help

 

Gary

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagosto View Post
 

Hello, I am a new member from north NJ and just purchased the 30" MES using a 5X8 AMPS w/ pitmaster choice pellets. My wife and I work a lot of hours and have a newborn so we are limited to weekend-only use. I have made 2 smokes so far with the 1st being CostCo ribs (pre-rubbed) @ 275F using the 2-1-1 method which came out very firm (no breakdown) but very flavourful and pulled pork (using Meowey's BBQ Rub Plus - http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/50421/rub-for-pulled-pork) @ 225F and the same CostCo ribs (pre-rubbed) at 225F using the 3-2-2 method which came out MUCH MUCH better including tender ribs. The 2nd smoke got rave reviews but it still has room for improvement. I live very close to NYC so we are used to having the best food in the world (yep, I said it). However, BBQ does lack but we do have a few good places here. My goal is to have BBQ similar to those local joints. I would classify our tastes as being mostly ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and maybe a brisket. I can't think of too many other basic staples that we would make aside from maybe chicken wings. I just can't imagine us making something like meatloaf. :) I have a few questions and appreciate any helpful advice/criticism.

 

1) I have followed the AMPS instructions to the word but I have not had good luck. After 10 minutes of burning (40 seconds using a propane torch), I blow out the flame but the pellets stop smoking inside the smoker. Also, 10 minutes uses up a lot of the pellets but I guess that is necessary to keep the smoking process going. What am I doing wrong? I spend a full 15 min getting it going. I get fire then blow it out. Wait a few min and repeat. I pull the chip loader out 1 in and top vent wide open,

 

2) Aside from cleaning the racks, wiping down the door and the seal, and replacing the aluminium foil on the water pan and the drip tray, is there any other cleaning necessary?

That's it. I make sure for the next use I get the temp up for a bit before I add food.

 

3) How do I protect my patio deck from the grease/smoke? Put something under it.

 

4) I have read numerous threads and have never seen anyone suggest using the water pan?

Most people use sand or gravel in the water pan wrapped with foil. Water boils at 212° @ sea level. That doesn't help you get to 225° or so.

 

5) I have a wireless probe that I confirmed accurate (shocked the hell out of me too) with a reading of 211F with boiling water. However, my smoker appear to read 10-12F LOWER than the probe. Is this a cause of concern or should I just increase the unit's temperature to 10-12F? If so, do I need to determine the temperature delta with each use? I always go by a proven reading. You can build a graph of what temp you set and what it really is.

 

6) How in the hell do you run the probe into the smoker? I went down through the vent against the door to clear the racks but it is a pain in the ass as I have to work fast to avoid heat loss and it must come out if I need to remove food. Run it down the top vent before you turn on the smoker

 

7) Where exactly on the probe is the measurement taken? For example, is the measurement taken at the tip of the probe? 1/2 way? The very tip.

 

8) The instruction manual doesn't even indicate a vent exists let alone give any explanation as to suggested use. Should I always leave it open? Top vent wide open all the time.

 

9) What is the best approach to making BBQ if I need to re-heat it? For example, if I want to bring BBQ to a friend, I'd rather not be smoking throughout the night. I realize I can cook it a head of time and then re-heat but I am concerned with quality loss with reheat? Vacuum seal and heat in the bag in hot water.

 

10) The pre-rubbed CostCo ribs come out very tasty but I prefer using my own rub. Any suggestions or is this a true trial-n-error? Trial and error because your taste and mine are not the same. Use the search bar for ideas.

 

11) Should I stick with the pitmasters choice wood pellets? Try a bunch. I use different for different foods

Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
Happy smoken.
David

post #4 of 11

Looks like you got your questions answered

 

Gary

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sagosto View Post
 

Hello, I am a new member from north NJ and just purchased the 30" MES using a 5X8 AMPS w/ pitmaster choice pellets. My wife and I work a lot of hours and have a newborn so we are limited to weekend-only use. I have made 2 smokes so far with the 1st being CostCo ribs (pre-rubbed) @ 275F using the 2-1-1 method which came out very firm (no breakdown) but very flavourful and pulled pork (using Meowey's BBQ Rub Plus - http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/50421/rub-for-pulled-pork) @ 225F and the same CostCo ribs (pre-rubbed) at 225F using the 3-2-2 method which came out MUCH MUCH better including tender ribs. The 2nd smoke got rave reviews but it still has room for improvement. I live very close to NYC so we are used to having the best food in the world (yep, I said it). However, BBQ does lack but we do have a few good places here. My goal is to have BBQ similar to those local joints. I would classify our tastes as being mostly ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and maybe a brisket. I can't think of too many other basic staples that we would make aside from maybe chicken wings. I just can't imagine us making something like meatloaf. :) I have a few questions and appreciate any helpful advice/criticism.

 

1) I have followed the AMPS instructions to the word but I have not had good luck. After 10 minutes of burning (40 seconds using a propane torch), I blow out the flame but the pellets stop smoking inside the smoker. Also, 10 minutes uses up a lot of the pellets but I guess that is necessary to keep the smoking process going. What am I doing wrong? I spend a full 15 min getting it going. I get fire then blow it out. Wait a few min and repeat. I pull the chip loader out 1 in and top vent wide open,

 

You spend 15 minutes? Wouldn't the majority of the chips/pellets be burnt at that point? For 15 minutes to lapse, you must repeat multiple times, correct? Do you ever have the smoke go out? I kept the chip loader completely in so I will try that and perhaps a repeat or two of the light/blow out cycle.

 

2) Aside from cleaning the racks, wiping down the door and the seal, and replacing the aluminium foil on the water pan and the drip tray, is there any other cleaning necessary?

That's it. I make sure for the next use I get the temp up for a bit before I add food.

 

Excellent. After 2 uses, it is nasty in there. But, it does smell delightful.

 

3) How do I protect my patio deck from the grease/smoke? Put something under it.

 

Well yes. :) I was looking for something creative other than a garbage bag. I didn't see too many people talking about this which I thought was odd.

 

4) I have read numerous threads and have never seen anyone suggest using the water pan?

Most people use sand or gravel in the water pan wrapped with foil. Water boils at 212° @ sea level. That doesn't help you get to 225° or so.

 

What is the purpose of the sand gravel? What is the purpose of the 212F @ sea level comment?

 

5) I have a wireless probe that I confirmed accurate (shocked the hell out of me too) with a reading of 211F with boiling water. However, my smoker appear to read 10-12F LOWER than the probe. Is this a cause of concern or should I just increase the unit's temperature to 10-12F? If so, do I need to determine the temperature delta with each use? I always go by a proven reading. You can build a graph of what temp you set and what it really is.

 

I guess I need a new probe because I can't track temp of inside unit and the meat. I can get another probe (or the maverick which has multiple probes) or use the probe to set the initial temperature of the unit (e.g. I had to set the unit 10-12F higher to compensate for the unit's temperature being off) but that assumes it will always be 10-12F off throughout the process and it is annoying to always confirm the unit temp before inserting into meat.

 

 

6) How in the hell do you run the probe into the smoker? I went down through the vent against the door to clear the racks but it is a pain in the ass as I have to work fast to avoid heat loss and it must come out if I need to remove food. Run it down the top vent before you turn on the smoker

 

That's what I do but it is a pain in the ass when i went to check the meat such as ribs.

 

7) Where exactly on the probe is the measurement taken? For example, is the measurement taken at the tip of the probe? 1/2 way? The very tip.

 

8) The instruction manual doesn't even indicate a vent exists let alone give any explanation as to suggested use. Should I always leave it open? Top vent wide open all the time.

 

9) What is the best approach to making BBQ if I need to re-heat it? For example, if I want to bring BBQ to a friend, I'd rather not be smoking throughout the night. I realize I can cook it a head of time and then re-heat but I am concerned with quality loss with reheat? Vacuum seal and heat in the bag in hot water.

 

Wow. Really? Any particular brand that you can suggest?

 

10) The pre-rubbed CostCo ribs come out very tasty but I prefer using my own rub. Any suggestions or is this a true trial-n-error? Trial and error because your taste and mine are not the same. Use the search bar for ideas.

 

11) Should I stick with the pitmasters choice wood pellets? Try a bunch. I use different for different foods

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themule69 View Post
 

Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
Happy smoken.
David

 

Thank you sir.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagosto View Post
 

 

Thank you sir.

thumb1.gif

Happy smoken.

David

post #7 of 11
For an answer to reheating bbq.

I do agree with the food saver but just until you get one you can do this:

It depends on what you reheating. For ribs I'll put the whole rack uncut in the deep catering tray and maybe a 1/2 cup of water and cover in heavy duty aluminum foil and put the oven on 350 for a half hour then lower the heat to 200 until you are ready to eat.

Pulled pork, and pepper stout beef (excellent recipe takes a long time but is awesome. its a must try) same concept but instead of water use more of your sauce and reheat it slow. Both of these meathods are a moist heat. If you don't add some kind of liquid you run the risk of drying it out.

If your going to make fatties, I suggest you make them the day of bc they tend to be dry when reheated. I prefer not to do them to transport bc they get to dry when reheated no matter what.

Chicken is different bc of skin. Reheat in oven at a higher temp like 350 and put in a single layer on a tray if they are pieces. (chicken is difficult to master on a smoker but practice makes perfect,don't get discouraged) I haven't tried reheating a whole one.

Hope this helps and have a happy new year!!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by appwsmsmkr1 View Post

For an answer to reheating bbq.

I do agree with the food saver but just until you get one you can do this:

It depends on what you reheating. For ribs I'll put the whole rack uncut in the deep catering tray and maybe a 1/2 cup of water and cover in heavy duty aluminum foil and put the oven on 350 for a half hour then lower the heat to 200 until you are ready to eat.

Pulled pork, and pepper stout beef (excellent recipe takes a long time but is awesome. its a must try) same concept but instead of water use more of your sauce and reheat it slow. Both of these meathods are a moist heat. If you don't add some kind of liquid you run the risk of drying it out.

If your going to make fatties, I suggest you make them the day of bc they tend to be dry when reheated. I prefer not to do them to transport bc they get to dry when reheated no matter what.

Chicken is different bc of skin. Reheat in oven at a higher temp like 350 and put in a single layer on a tray if they are pieces. (chicken is difficult to master on a smoker but practice makes perfect,don't get discouraged) I haven't tried reheating a whole one.

Hope this helps and have a happy new year!!

 

I don't mind investing in a food saver (is that a brand?) but at first read, it felt like "overkill"? I assumed a moist reheat was possible. How much better is the food saver method?

post #9 of 11

Got anything in that smoker today

 

Gary

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Wife made home made gravy and meatballs. As much as I love BBQ, I *LOVE* my wife's gravy. :) I did pick up a 12LBS Boston Butt for $1.69lbs today. I hope it freezes well.

post #11 of 11

Sounds like a good price 

 

Gary

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