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New smoker in DFW, TX

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Greetings SMF! Tom from TX here.while I have been cooking and BBQ'ing all my life I am new to smoking, especially with an electric. My wife got me an MES 30" Analog for Xmas. Right away I seasoned the smoker and then I ran out and got some chips and an 8 lb. brisket on the first nice day and fired it up. Right away I noticed I was having a hard time holding temp around 225 and making TBS. Temps were swinging between 200 and 260 and the smoke box was just turning the hickory chips to coal and I had to keep moving them around to keep them smoking. After 11 hours in the smoker the brisket was at 195 IT on my pen thermometer and I pulled it out and let it rest for 30 min. The brisket looked great but was a little dry but very flavorful. The bark was a little soft as I had Apple juice in the water pan. All in all I considered it a success.

Being an engineer I set out to fix what I considered to be my big issues, temperature regulation and smoke generation. I got a PID controller from Auber Instruments and a Maverick ET-732 to address the temp issue and I then broke out the drill and plasma cutter and fabbed up some adjustable vents. One at the right side bottom by the smoke box and one on the top near the left side. Each vent consisted of three 1/2" holes that could be adjusted. I also drilled about a dozen 1/8" holes in the bottom and sides of the smoke box. A test run showed the PID controller could control temp to within +/- 1 deg. from set and I was getting good smoke with both vents wide open after warmup with some white ash where before I had none. Confident now I decided to smoke a large chicken at 275. Even with 33 deg temps outside, the temps held steady and smoke was good. After about 4 hours the chicken was at 172 IT and off it came. Success! The chicken was tender and juicy and the smoke flavor from the mesquite chips was awesome.

I think with just a few more minor tweaks I will have a finely tuned smoking machine. I have since purchased an AMNPS and some different pellets and I am looking forward to cold smoking some cheese soon. I am so glad I found SMF. There is a ton of knowledge and experience here and the recipes....I cannot wait to try some. Thanks a ton.

Tom
post #2 of 5
Tom,
Welcome, from southern Ohio, to the best forum on the internet if you are looking to learn how to BBQ/smoke/brine/cure/inject. Well you get the picture if you can do it to something you put on a plate to eat then someone here has probably done it then smoked it.

Use the search bar at the top of the page and you will be led to the answer to most every question you can think of. If you don't find the answer there then just post it and someone will chime in with their opinion on the subject.

Always remember the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask!!
Keep Smokin!!!
Wolf
post #3 of 5

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

 

Gary

post #4 of 5

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 #5 of 5

Like smoker builds, I'll be watching

 

Gary

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