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First smoke on MB 30 propane 2 door (newbie post)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

Just did my first smoke over the weekend. My name is Mark, and i just got a Masterbuilt 30 inch 2 door unit from Kohl's (30% off coupons work!).

 

I read a lot of posts on these forums before the purchase and today decided it was time to create an account.

 

I did one "mod" and got an 8 inch cast iron pan for the wood, but i had some difficulty getting any smoke out of it at 225. All i did was place it on top of the stock pan so i think it wasnt getting hot enough as it was too far from the flame. Any ideas? I dont have the resources to mount carriage bolts through it but i thought about hammering down the 3 little openings in the stock pan so the cast iron could sit flat on the bottom.

 

Also, regarding a heat sink instead of water. I bought a concrete paver brick from home depot for 39 cents. it seems a little porous. any thoughts on if there are chemicals that can leech into the food? I know i would wrap it in foil. http://www.homedepot.com/p/7-3-4-in-x-2-1-4-in-x-3-3-4-in-Concrete-Brick-25100130/100350234

 

Any thoughts on using ceramic briquettes instead? my local ace hardware had a bag for $9.99. Do people just normally fill the water pan with the briquettes/brick and then put a foil pan for drippings on the bottom rack? I saw one post where they put the briquettes in the stock pan and just put the wood on top of that. that would mean every time i'd have to dump out the briquettes and clean the ash out and put them back in?

 

Also, i see a lot of posts about a needle valve but a lot of differing opinions. Some people mention the pre-made solutions from Bayou classics, some mention getting the NPT parts and building one that comes out from under the smoker. I had a hard time getting the smoker to stay around 225 so it seems like this thing is necessary. I took really detailed notes of the temperatures and they fluctuated from 208-260 for the first hour or two.

 

Anyway, my food came out really tasty anyway, so here's some pictures for you! I smoked a 3.25lb corned beef, rinsed, dried and wetted with a 50/50 blend of yellow and dijon mustard, then a dry mixture of peppercorns, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder,  thyme, paprika. Smoked for 4 hours then cooked to 195 degrees, refrigerated overnight and then sliced for sandwiches. Steamed the meat over a pot of boiling water to warm up the slices.

 

Thanks for all your help!

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Here's a chart of my BBQ temperature (as measured by a maverick on the middle rack above the food) and the food temp. I added trendlines for some pizzazz. Should i be concerned about these kinds of temperature fluctuations? Average temp over the whole smoke 7 hours and 40 minutes was 236.9 degrees.

 

post #3 of 4

I see the temps were all over the place. Was it because you kept trying to adjust it? Were you opening the door a lot?

 

It's normal for the temps to fluctuate some. With a gas smoker a very little adjustment will result in a significant temp change. 236 avg. temp is just about perfect.

 

You need to start it up & see where the temp goes after 10 minutes or so. If it needs to go up or down make a very small adjustment with the flame. Open the door & look at the flame so you can see it get a little bigger or smaller. Then leave it alone for another 10 minutes or so. At some point it will settle in at the temp your looking for. After a few smokes you will be able to start it up & look at the flame & know your close to what you want.

 

I use lava rock in my Smoke Vault, with water on top of it.

 

By the way the pastrami looks delicious!!!

 

Al

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Al, thanks for your reply!

 

I only opened the door to make adjustments when i thought it was getting too hot. i saw it climbing and climbing over the course of 20 minutes or so so i turned the flame down. then the smoke went out so i turned it back up a smidge and the smoke came back but then it started getting too hot. it was a bit of a vicous cycle for a while but i get your point about making small adjustments and watching the actual flame as opposed to just the position on the dial.

 

The last two hours or so starting at 2pm it seemed like it was running too cold so i turned it up a bit which pumped it to 260 and then settled back down in the 240 range.

 

So for your lava rocks you put them in the water pan and then pour water into the rocks or do you put a separate pan over the rocks? i suppose this makes sense so that you dont have to clean the lava rocks?

 

Mark

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