Brand new to the smoking business - my girlfriend just bought me this Masterbuilt vertical smoker for Christmas, and I loved it initially, and then totally hacked my my first slab of ribs. Thankfully, I found this forum and it saved me - thanks to all of you! My first set of ribs was totally overdone and made me realize that my thermometer was truly a P.O.S. and that I was totally clueless. Next I smoked a whole turkey and then I pulled it a little too soon but there was still a lot of good meat.
Finally,the third time I absolutely perfectly a cooked a gorgeous pork shoulder. I wanted to slab the whole thing between two pieces of bread it was the best thing I ever tasted! The tin foil in the pan totally saved me and now I have a cast iron pan to try out this weekend after I make some modifications to the unit (wheels to attach, a grate for the top, and some sealing and swapping of materials.
I have a few questions to ask and wondered if anyone could help:
1) I notice this unit is not sealed too well with smoke coming out of the doors and basically anywhere it can - Does anyone seal around the gaps like where handles are, or the thermometer, in addition to around the door? if so, what have you used?
2) I am in the market for a more accurate thermometer (even though i think i figured out my P.O.S. thermometer now), and have seen some previous recommendations that are helpful. My question is does anyone know of any good thermometers that sync with a smartphone and send alarms when temps get too high?
3) When ramping down the smoker after the shoulder I tried my hand at a batch of almonds and gouda. The gouda did real well although I left it alone a bit too long, but the almonds were not ideal. The smoke flavor was great but I think the almonds were still a bit too raw and not that oily deliciousness I was hoping for. Has anyone had success with nuts/almonds and what temps/time did you use?
Thanks for the help everyone, I have truly learned that so much of this is trial by error.