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new masterbuilt owner

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
First hello, my name is Bill and I'm new to the smoking family and the site. I somehow missed this site, but read a lot of reviews on smokers and decided to go with the '07 model masterbuilt in black with the door latch and vent. I feel I've learned more on this site in a couple of hours than I did in my research though. I'm looking forward to learning more!

After reading some of the masterbuilt posts, I am now sure I had the chip box installed wrong. I kept thinking it wasn't in right before using it for the first time Sunday to do ribs, and I'm half glad it was wrong. I put the lower deflector on the burner, and succeeded in only drying out my wood chips. I did get some flavor out of the steam that came off the chips, but after reading the posts, if the box would have been installed correctly a full tube of chips would have ruined my first attempt. I just went outside and heated it up for 10 minutes with the box installed correctly added a smalll ammount of chips had more smoke than I got with the same pan of chips for 5 hours Sunday.

I also just ordered a digital meat thermometer and am looking forward to trying the whole thing over again this weekend. For my first attempt, the pork spare and baby back ribs were good, but nothing spectacular. I know it will take some learning, but I'm hoping this site will help with the learning curve. I'm a huge beef rib fan and I can get beef ribs at the butcher, but nobody makes them locally. That's ok, because I rarely find ribs I like locally anyway. Any recomendations for beef ribs in the smoker, from times, rubs, woods, or others would be welcome, particularly if you have experience with a masterbuilt or similar smoker.

I signed up for the e-course today, but I know almost nothing about smoking other than my favorite local bbq that smoked meats closed and I guess that means I need to figure this out because I don't want to live without it!!
post #2 of 11
Welcome to SMF
Sounds like you have the tray thing figured out!
Suggest you do a search on the beef ribs and pick out something you would like to try....forget the temp probe on ribs and go by looks and feel...things like flesh pullback and bone exposure...wrapping and spraying...the 321 method...read more than one post and put together what sounds good and jump in...

for my 2cts use only about 1/3 hickory and 2/3 apple chips as the Masterbuilt can get real smoky inside...leave the top vent open...Don't use much water...1/4 to 1/2" in the pan will do....Hey if at first you don't succeed jump right back in...Lots of fun in trying different things
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Re: new masterbuilt owner


It sounds like you are the source for some of the great upgrades I got in the 07 masterbuilt. I read a lot of reviews before buying and the custom upgrades I saw you document on this site were the main compaints I saw about the unit in pre-07 form. It's good to see that they learn from those that successfully use their product. I'll look forward from learning from your old posts, asking a question or two of my own along the way, and putting in my own two cents when I figure out a little more.

post #4 of 11

Re: new masterbuilt owner

I have not done beef ribs in my masterbuilt yet.....however I do have some that will get done later this week or maybe weekend.....shall see.

from the cookshack recipe book, they say cook 4 hours at 180, then hold at 140 for another hour. then remove, rest 30 mins, wrap and refrigerate. Reheat later 1 hour at 200. Hickory is reccomended.

personally I'd probably cook them about 5 hours around 180 myself using hickory.....but it will all be touch and feel for the first go round.

as for a rub.....here is what I use, it is actually from alton brown from food tv and it's awsome.

8 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs kosher salt
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp jalapeno powder (and this you may have to make yourself)
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
1/2 tsp rubbed thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder

as to making the jalapeno powder....I halve jalapeno's, deseed them, then put them on a dehydrator around 140 degrees or so until dry, then pulverise into powder using a coffee grinder (one we have for spices only). keep in mind dehydrate the jalapeno, if you smoke it you get chipotle instead which is a tad different....see my results on chipotle's in the veggie section under the thread of smoking jalapeno's..... :-)
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Re: new masterbuilt owner

thanks smoked, I'll have to give that a try.
post #6 of 11


I just purchased a Masterbuilt 40" stainless steel version a week ago. I used it for the first time yesterday, second time is still in there.

I smoked a whole chicken yesterday, first brining for two hours, then letting it set with my rubs on it for a bit. I used a probe, running the wire to the remote digital display through the top vent hole. It cooked quicker than I thought, having set the temp originally to 235, then dropping it down to 225 after seeing the meat temp at 165. It was about a 5 pound bird, took just over 2 hours. I'll go with lower temp all the way next time. A built in thermal probe would definately be an added bonus to this smoker.

I used a mix of apple, peacan and hicory woods for the smoke, it came out very good, but no wow factor involved. I actually like my rotisserie chicken better, different flavor, but I like the crispy skin a little better.

I thoght I'd test the rest/ not to rest theory... although a very strong believer in it. As soon as I took it out, I cut off one side of the breast meat, and one leg/thigh piece. It was very juicy and flavorful... but not quite as flavorful as the same rubs and brine, but cooked on the rotisserie. It did though, have the full flavor of the smoke.

I'd sealed the remaining chicken in a foil lined paper bag for 30 minutes. And, then cut the other side of the breast and leg/thigh combo. I think the first thing I'd noticed is that I actually had to pull off the leg and thigh both times. With my rotisserie chicken, it will just simply fall off if I look at it hard enough. This could just be a matter of doneness though, like ribs, you cook them long enough and anyone can get them falling off the bone. The moisture content seemed to be the same after resting, but the smoke flavor increased at least two fold. I expected maybe a little juicer meat, but was actually pleasantly surprised to find how much the smoke flavor had increased. The mix of different woods tasted really good.

The spices I put on the rotisserie chicken and the smoked chicken were the same, except I mix up some soft sage butter and spoon it under the skin when cooking on the spit. I thought that process might make for soggier skin in the smoker. Odd thing is though, the spices on this skin was too hot for my better half, whereas she never had that problem with the rotisserie. It's almost like the rub sat on the skin in the smoker, but when cooked with higher heat, more was absorbed into the meat.

I've got 3 racks of baby back ribs in there now, cooking at 225. I expect about 4 hours. They're also brined, in apple juice, water, brown sugar, salt, pecan seasoning, and a little bit of Emeril's. I'm again using apple, pecan, and hickory chips for the smoke. I usally sear my ribs on one charcoal grill before putting them in the Chargriller with the side fire box for smoking 4 hours, but this time I did not. If they need some searing at all, I'll try it after, and just fire up my gas grill. If they really need it, if I notice enough of a difference from my traditional old faithful method, then I'll go back to searing prior to putting them in this smoker as well.

I put some bbq sauce (I love Sweet Baby Rays) on one of the racks when I put them in the smoker, in about an hour, I'll go mop a second one, and I'll keep one dry... just to do a comparison on my first attempt with this smoker. I'll also cut some of the ribs off right away and try them, and then again after the ribs rest in the foil and paper bag about a half hour. All new toys needs through testing. Nice to have the probe for chicken, roasts, etc... but I hate to open this and let out all that heat to test for doneness on the ribs. I'm sure though after once or twice, I'll know exactly how long and at what temp... baby back ribs are very forgiving, and hard to mess up no matter what you do.

Anyway, almost beer thiry here, y'all have fun!!
post #7 of 11
Welcome to the forums, and congratulations on the great new smoker! Smoking meat, like anything else, takes time and practice. However, in this group I have found a great deal of knowledge and expertise that can sure speed the process for you. I've been smoking for decades, and I learn something here nearly every day. I just hope I can end up giving some percentage back.

Don't forget to take and post pictures of your smokes!
post #8 of 11
Welcome to the SMF, and congrats on the newMES. Just about every smokee tweaks his smoker to get it right. Did that sound right?
post #9 of 11
Welcome & congrats on the MES. I use one & love it. Too bad about the local bbq place shutting down, but you will be able to create smoked food as good, or better than they did. Plus you won't be shutting your doors, just opening them to put in more food & some wood chips......
post #10 of 11
Congrats on the new smoker, I love mine.
post #11 of 11
Congrats on your MES, I have an MES 40" SS and love it, I have a little trouble with the temps in the winter times but I Love mine.U did not go wrong, I would show Q-Views but Internet Explorer giving me fits. Anyway welcome to SMF, Smart move, Great people and very informative.PDT_Armataz_01_29.gif
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