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New to forum and smoking!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I am new here AND to smoking! I have been grilling for years, but finally am trying smoking. I have a Smoke Hollow LP smoker.

Two questions: I cant get the thing below 250! My LP tank's nozzle and as low as it goes without dying. DO you think my thermometer is wrong? Do you recommend a stand-alone thermometer?

Also, When do I replace the wood? Do I do that when it is ashy?

I have been smoking a 3-lb Boston butt since 11:30 (its not 2). So far so good!!!

Thanks,
Davion
post #2 of 14

Re: New to forum and smoking!

Welcome to SMF Davion!!!

The built in temperature gauges are notorious for being wrong in virtually all brands of smokers. I would definately check it with a known accurate thermo before doing much else. As for adding wood and how much to use you will get a wide range of answers. I am not 100% familiar with the Smoke Hollow, but it is best to use too little than too much while you are learning. If it is similiar to the GOSM a couple chunks every 2-3 hours is usually pretty close while your wanting to add smoke to the cook.

Enjoy the forums and post often!
post #3 of 14

Re: New to forum and smoking!

Welcome Davion. You definately came to the right place. Be sure and sign up for Jeffs 'Smoking Basics ecourse (link on the left side of this page). Can't help you with the LP but someone will be along soon who can. I would suggest you check your thermometer. Put it in boiling water and check the calibration. If it has a nut on the backside then you can adjust it to the proper calibration.

I am new to smoking also but have following the tips here and having really good success. On the wood, try to keep it smoking a light blue smoke, not to heavy. If it quits smoking then add some more. Also, when the internal temp of the meat gets to 140 degrees, they tell me the meat will not take on anymore smoke so you shouldn't have to add any past that point.

Keep us informed on your progress and post some pictures of your smokes :D
post #4 of 14
Welcome to the forum Davion.
post #5 of 14

Re: New to forum and smoking!

Just a slight clarification on adding smoke above 140°. The meat will still take on smoke and smoke flavor, the smoke ring just stops developing at about 140°. The nitrates and nitrites just stop reacting and therefore the smoke ring will stop developing.
post #6 of 14

Re: New to forum and smoking!

Welcome to SMF.
post #7 of 14
Davion, You have found a wealth of knowledge here at SMF. The folks will be able to help you with any smoking question that you have. Chad has given you some good advice about the thermometer that came with your unit. Mine can be off as much as 15-20 degrees. A lot of us use the Maverick ET-73 digital thermometer or a variant of it. Be sure to check out the Thermometer section.
Chad is also correct on the subject of the smoke and meat. It is the smoke ring development that stops once the meat passes through the 140*. As long as there is smoke present in the food chamber, the meat will take on the smoke flavor. Be careful as it is possible to have too much smoke flavor especially on your first smoke. Everyone smoke preference is different and that's just one of the things that you will have to learn as you go along.
post #8 of 14
Davion, You have found a wealth of knowledge here at SMF. The folks will be able to help you with any smoking question that you have. Chad has given you some good advice about the thermometer that came with your unit. Mine can be off as much as 15-20 degrees. A lot of us use the Maverick ET-73 digital thermometer or a variant of it. Be sure to check out the Thermometer section.
Chad is also correct on the subject of the smoke and meat. It is the smoke ring development that stops once the meat passes through the 140*. As long as there is smoke present in the food chamber, the meat will take on the smoke flavor. Be careful as it is possible to have too much smoke flavor especially on your first smoke. Everyone smoke preference is different and that's just one of the things that you will have to learn as you go along.
post #9 of 14
Davion -

Welcome to SMF. Great bunch of folks here and it looks like they got you off to a good start. Good Luck!
post #10 of 14
Hey welcome to the forum.

Now tha tyour temperature questions have been addressed are there any other questions that you have?
post #11 of 14
welcome to SMF. you have found the best smoking meat forum on the web.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome!

BTW - I posted a reply twice on Sunday, but they arent showing... hmm...

ANYWAY, My first smoke was a success! :) I got it up to 170 (did not wrap it and take it to 200, didnt have time) and it was tender as can be. It wasnt fork shredable, but it was close! Very flavorful, extremely good. Used a nice rub and vinegar mop.

Question 1 - Some of you are saying use the same smoke until you no longer see a thin blue smoke. When my tray was 60% ash, 40% charred wood, I opened the door and saw no smoke. Then, after a few seconds, smoke appeared right above my water pan. Is this when I need to change it?

Question 2 - I got my meat up to 160 just fine. I let it cruise to 170, but then had to pull it due to time. THAT is the point I should have wrapped it in foil, stop basting and raise the heat. I need to let it go to 200, then take it off, put it in a towel and let it sit for 1 hr. Is this right?

Thanks guys!

Davion
post #13 of 14
Hi Davion, never got a chance to say hello, so Welcome to the SMF, glad you found us. Great to hear that your first smoke was a sucess!!! Your hooked now! :D

Yes, sounds like this would be the time to add some more wood for smoke, remember ,thin blue smoke coming out of your smoker.

At 170* to 180* you would have taking your butt to the temp for sliced pork, wich is fine if that is what you were after, if you wanted pulled pork you would foil it at about 160*-165*and then take it up to 195*-200* not raising the heat, just low and slow so you give the connective fibers in the meat a chance to break down, then like you said put it in a towel, in a cooler and let it rest for at least an hour, and you should be rewarded with the best pulled pork youv'e ever had!!!

Oh, and don't forget florida Jeff's finishing sauce for pulled pork,

Link http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/showthread.php?t=2529

Good luck on your next smoke and let us know how it goes and remember, we love pictures :D
post #14 of 14
Welcome to the SMF.
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