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First disaster - Page 2

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I got a thermometer today. My normal voodoo and tea leaves obviously don't work on a smoker that large. I fired it up and let it run for about an hour. At first there was a 103 degree difference between the two ends. Somebody else here had a similar finding. The firebox end was 270, the stack end was 167.

This was with a very small fire that was almost out. I dumped some new brickettes and wood on it to bring the temp up. I started playing with the grate opening and stack cover. I was able to stablelize the temp to about 50 degrees between the ends. I can also raise the temp a few degrees throwing a hickory chunk on it. I did not expect the chunks to raise the temp like it did.

The "a" in ideal is between about 220-225. I played around long enough to be able to raise or lower the temp using the grate and stack. I have had some ribs and butt going for nearly two hours. The temp has been steady bewteen about 210-225.

Best part about the thermometer is that it is wireless. I am typing this and working on a new baked bean recipe.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
220 appears to have done OK on the ribs but I think another 45-60 min would have done them better. 220 I don't think got my butt where I wanted it. So I am trying a contol experiment. I put the already mostly cooked butt wrapped in foil in the oven at 200 for three hours. The meat temp was only 157 at the end of 3 hours.

I turned the oven up to 240 and now the meat temp is 163. So I will keep watching it for now.

I forgot to mention earlier that I pulled the grease pan up pretty high to act as a baffle. This and adjusting wind flow worked well on reducing that 100 degree difference bewtween the ends.

So until I get/make some better mods, I think I need to have ribs in the mid point and butt closer to the fire.

Speaking of mods, I saw a set of ceramic plates in Wal-Mart that ran the length of the smoker. The plates were in an upside V shape. They also have a set of screws that are legs on the corners. So this could also be a baffle. Has anybody used one of these yet?


Well, the butt just hit 170 in the oven. It took just right around 90 minutes after turning up the heat to 240. My next task will be to get the smoker running around 240 and try it again. I think with the same size fire and moving my butt from the stack end to the firebox end, I will get it. With the same size fire, I think the firebox end will actually be a little closer to the 250 mark.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, 240, put me right where I want to be on the butt. Considering all the time it had in the racks before going into the oven, it tastes like it was all smoke. I was expecting as some of the inner fat started oozing out, I might get an oven roasted taste. I was pleasantly surprised that did not happen but that got me to thinkin. (Hit the deck) I normally give all the fat to the dogs as a treat. After I pulled it, I put it all on a 1/2 cake sheet mixed in some of my rub. Poured my sauce on it, threw all the fat on top and wrapped in foil and threw back on to the heat (170).

I'm really hoping this does not turn out to be cafeteria BBQ.

Now I am playing with my slaw recipe. Normally I buy the fresh express kit. I love it but I figure if I am going to start going to some comps, I really need to make my own. Anybody got any hints on that one? We like the sweet taste like and not the apple cider vinegar ones.
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
I think I am on my way to finding my large smoker mojo. I know it is not large compared to some of the other smokers I have seen in this forum. It is large to me though.

I just ate my first pulled pork sandwich from it. And I am in pork nirvanna. I know I had to wimp out and use the oven so I could learn what my smoker was telling me by way of my thermometer. That was an odd way to learn it of course but I have always been a little on the Far Side.

I made a new cole slaw to go with it. It was OK and I like it but I don't like it enough to remember the recipe. Rather than use buns, I decided to use Texas Toast. I made a garlic butter sauce to go on 'em and slapped 'em on the griddle until they were the perfect golden brown on both sides. I will remember the recipe for that but melted butter an garlic is pretty hard to forget.

When I put it together I thought it looked good enough to be a picture and to use as my signature. But I finished it before I found my camera. So, I had to make another while I was looking for my camera. I finished that one before I found my camera. Maybe I should have actually put the sandwich down.

I have found my camera now but I can't eat another sandwich. If I made a sandwich just to take a picture of it, I am afraid I would have to say a few Hail Mary's at the "Our Lady of Sacred Smoke" and I'm Baptist. I may have to baptise a few ribs in some sauce later as a dessert.

Thanks to those that posted with some tips and links while I am cutting my teeth with this smoker. I have been able to pick up a good bit of info in the last few days. I look forward to learning more from the people here.
post #25 of 25
Great post PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
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