Hi guys (and gals),
My name is Eddie and I'm sad. Let me to tell you a little story. A few years back a buddy of mine got a Traeger pellet smoker as a Christmas gift. Prior to this, we loved to get together on the weekends and BBQ our hearts out. They were good times, and we were happy. So we were perplexed by this odd smoking machine. No gas? No coals? Just plug it into the wall and dump in pellets? What is this sorcery? Intrepidly, we embarked forth and smoked all kinds of random meats, and it was glorious.
GLORIOUS, I TELL YOU! I had never tasted anything this good. We smoked everything, all the time. It didn't even have to be protein-based. We reached peak insanity when we smoked a mac and cheese casserole (it was amazing). I was so happy that my buddy had gotten a smoker, but I'll admit there was envy in my heart. I wanted one of my own. I would have gotten one but I lived in a condo with a tiny, nearly non-existent backyard with neighbors in every conceivable direction. It simply wasn't an option.
Time passed and eventually fortune smiled on us. Due to a new job, we were able to move into a large, single family home with a spacious backyard. We moved in Jan 1st, 2016, and seven days prior, on December 25th, I opened up an extremely large gift from my wife on Christmas morning. The look on my face surely rivaled the unbridled joy of a hundred children on that same morning. I had just unwrapped http://www.amazon.com/Camp-Chef-PG24-Controls-Stainless/dp/B00DVELGT6 ! That's the Camp Chef PG24 Pellet Grill (in case the forums eat my link). I couldn't believe it! My own smoker! I had arrived at last! I CAN SMOKE THE WORLD!
Except I can't. Here's where the story takes a tragic turn. When my first smoke was done and the results were on my plate there was something very wrong. It was dry. Worse than dry, it had almost no smoke flavor. It had a ring, and it looked done, but it tasted awful. Like overcooked unseasoned pot roast. I knew this was not supposed to be and so I kept on trying.
I took to the internet. I read, I tried to follow instructions. I did the same types of things we did over at my buddy's house, but nothing works. The food just isn't that good. Sometimes it's too dry, sometimes it's too raw. Sometimes it's so disgustingly fatty that it makes me sick to my stomach. Sometimes it's so tough that it hurts my teeth. It always looks good, but it never passes a taste test. I use the same Traeger pellets that he uses. I consult him nearly every time I smoke. I use digital probes and pay careful attention to the internal times, and it never turns out right. I even thought to blame my model of smoker, except that it gets great reviews and legions of other people seem to use it with no problem. I have no idea what could possibly be going wrong but after 5 months of frustration and disappointment I'm nearly ready to throw in the towel and accept that I'm not fated to smoke. The smoker is about to be advertised for sale on craigslist.
That's where the sad story ends. Maybe. I'm here now with one last desperate hope that maybe someone else has experienced this problem and can give me some tips. Maybe I need to only use certain cuts of meat on this smoker? Maybe I need to adjust something about how I cook? Maybe I should superstitiously face north? I'm completely out of ideas. At my buddy's house I could smoke spinach and hot dogs and they'd taste amazing. The 10 pound brisket I smoked yesterday makes me want to cry, it's so bad.
And so here I am. Asking for any kind of help that you kind folks can offer. Please save my smoker.
Thanks for reading,