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masterbuilt sportsman elite propane temp too high

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

hello. pretty new at this so bear with me. i just got this smoker for christmass and am planning on smoking some bacon this week. the problem i am having is i need the internal temp to be 200 and i cant get it below 230 i used a wireless thermometer and another thermometer on the rack to check. i also want to do some beef jerky and need them temp to be down around 160 and dont see it ever getting that low the way it is. oh the outside temp was 26 degrees so doing this in summer would be impossable. any help would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 14
Evening Zarkon, a needle valve will allow you to smoke at a much lower temperature. A search for needle valves on this forum will provide you with a wealth of information.

Some of the Bayou Classic propane regulator assemblies have the needle valve already installed.

I have the 40" Sportsman Elite. Holds a steady temp in warm or cold weather, but the wind will wreak havoc when smoking. Be sure to use a windbreak at the bottom to stop the flame from blowing out, especially while smoking at a lower temperature.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks for the tip. i think you may be right. i tried closing in on the valve right on top of the propane tank and found i could get the temp down to about 190. only problem i saw was that the flame on the burner was barely there and would blow out if i dont use a windbreak like you suggested. it just amazes me that something with absolutely no insulation in 26 degree weather could hold that kind of temp with a flame that low. i am going to look into getting the needle valve today and will be smoking the bacon tomorrow or the next day and will let all know how i made out. thanks again for the info

post #4 of 14
Your welcome. Another thing that helps in the cold weather is filling your water pan with sand or pea gravel and then covering with aluminum foil. This will help keep your temps stable due to it being a thermal mass...also when opening your door, the heated sand will help you recover your temperature faster. When your finished, just throw the foil away and save the sand or gravel for your next smoke.

Be sure to show some pictures of the bacon when finished!
post #5 of 14
The valve on top of the tank is not meant to be used to control gas flow. It is basically an on and off device. The regulator should; have full tank pressure going to it so it can do as the name suggests..........regulate.

Xray is spot on recommending a needle valve.

Lamar
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

well i installed the needle valve and it works like a charm. held the temp at 200 with in a few degrees for as long as i tested it. having a problem with the smoke now. i tried using the pan that came with it, a foil packet and a cast iron frying pan to put the chips in but they seem to smoke far too much and burn up real quick. seems like the wrong kind of smoke also, heavy white. i am trying with the vents on top of where the burner sits under covered and this seems to make the smoke alot more managable but it takes forever to get the smoke going. one thing i would ask is if when adding more chips to the pan do you empty the old chips out or just put more on? also i was reading that if you can see smoke and smell smoke then you are smoking, even if it isnt billowing out of the smoker. is this true or do you need alot of smoke to get the results needed? any way thanks for all the help. will be doing a three pound slab of bacon tomorrow. looking soooo foreward to it.

thanks again.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

sorry forgot to ask one thing. the pork belly i cured still has the skin on it, its what i had read so did it that way. should i trim the skin off before smoking it or wait till it is smoked? once again thanks!

post #8 of 14
If you can smell smoke you are smoking! It doesn't need to billow out like a tire fire.

I use wood chunks in a cast iron pan on top of the original chip tray. Is your cast iron pan on top of the burner? If you are able to raise the cast iron pan away from the burner you could manage the smoke better...some people drill holes in their cast iron and thread bolts, allowing them to adjust to any height that is desired. You can search Masterbuilt propane mods for ideas.

I just set my cast iron pan on top of the original chip tray, works well and smokes well enough for my needs. I don't soak chunks or chips. Chunks last longer and smoke more evenly than chips. My smoke will be on the heavy side for about 10 minutes before producing a thin blue smoke. I just add more chunks directly to the pan, on top of the ash. I remove the ash when I'm finished smoking and when the pan has cooled enough for me to handle.

I do have a huge supply of wood chips, so I'm always burning them up. I just double wrap in aluminum foil, poke some small holes in and place them directly in the cast iron pan.

As for the pork belly, i would remove the skin before smoking, so that more smoke reaches the meat and the smoke is not wasted on something that you will end up cutting off and/or not eating...but that's just me. The wonderful thing about this forum is that there are multiple ways of doing things that all end up with the same result...delicious smoked food that you can enjoy with friends and family!! Once you learn your smoker and try different ways of smoking things, do what is comfortable and easy for you.
post #9 of 14
Now that you have the needle valve figured out, for smoke I'd recommend you look into getting a tube smoker from Todd at Amaze N Smokers. I have been using the tube smokers (AMNTS) in my propane smoker for 5 years now. They work fantastic. Perfect smoke. One thing, they won't work with pit temps above 285, the pellets ignite and burn. Below that though they work great. The new expanding tube works great too. Check them out.



post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

ok was going to smoke my bacon today but seems my memory of the holiday season is some what blurred. i cant remember if i began the bacon cure before the new year or just after. the slabs i have are 1 1/2 inches thick and have firmed up nicely (i think). at that thickness from what i have read it should cure for 3 days for the thickness plus 2 days. that would put me at the right time frame even if it was after the new year. is there any way of telling if it has cured long enough by looking? what happens if it isnt cured long enough? why is it so important to have it cure long enough if you are going to cook it any way? you can take a piece of meat out of the fridge and slow cook it in a smoker and that isnt a problem, why would it be any differant with bacon? i know these questions are probably going to have some rolling their eyes but its things i dont know and havent really seen concrete answers for in my searches. i am sure there will be more questions and i thank you ahead of time for your help and especcially your patience. thanks

post #11 of 14
I can't help you with cure times because I've only ever cured beef jerky and keibasa.

My best advice would be to start a new thread with your bacon and cure times and questions/concerns... Your questions will get overlooked in the Propane sub forum. There are a ton of MES guys here and VERY knowledgable folks here.

As for the reason on why to cure. Food Safety! Cure prevents potentially fatal bacteria from forming in the meat that has been past its use by date (unless frozen) and when cold smoking meat where the internal temperature does not meet the 40-140 degree in 4 hours rule.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks xray for the reply. i will repost this as a new thread and see what i get. i didnt know the 40-140 in four hours rule. i am going to smoke a three poound piece today and hold off on the other six pounds. just in case i screw this up royally i dont ruin it all. this a great site and i really apprectiate all the help. will let you know how i make out.

post #13 of 14
If you are uncertain about the cure time, you could let it in the cure longer. You can't over cure but under-curing is dangerous.

As for telling, cut the meat in the center or at its thickest point. The meat will be pink in the center if the cure has permeated all the way through.

Sorry, didn't see this question in your last post. I use my phone while at work to view SMF....but like I said, bring your concerns outside of Propane Smoker forum to get the answers you need, nobody on here wants to see somebody else get sick due to a food-borne illness.
post #14 of 14

Are going to cold smoke or hot smoke your bacon? The meat will cure at a rate of 1/4" per day. plus many add an additional 2-3 days on top of that. You have (5) 1/4. So that would be 5 days plus 2-3 = 7-8 days. In the future use a sharpie and right on the bag (or whatever contiainer you are curing in) your start date and end date. I also write on the bag the weight of the meat and the amounts of the ingredients added.

 

Heres a recent smoke I did:  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/236348/rubbed-the-belly-its-bacon-time

 

The 40-140 rule only applies to non-cured meats.

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