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New Smoker from Wyoming

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello all -

Just plugged in my new Masterbuilt 30" Electric, and am pre-seasoning it (to taste, lol) per instruction manual. Got the smoker sitting right next to my trusty old Weber.

Tried slow-cooking on the Weber through the years with some success with ribs, but it's too hard to maintain constant low temp on it. (I followed an old Weber recipie for ribs years ago and think I invented rib jerky!).

I retired not too long ago, now working part time, and finally have the chance to sit back on my porch and S-L-O-W cook some good food! I'm excited to start with something easy tomorrow. Will a few game hens smoke okay?

Looking forward to joining the community of smokers and maybe asking for a little help once in a while.

Smoke on!
post #2 of 21
Welcome aboard, glad to have you here. Game hens will smoke just fine.smile.gif
post #3 of 21
Welcome to the world of smoke. Great place and Great people here
post #4 of 21
Welcome to the SMF from Oregon! You'll realy enjoy all the good stuff from this forum, and the great people.

Game hens (and all the other small game birds, quail, chuckur, patridge etc.) smoke well but they are really delicate. It's very easy for the leg and wing tips to burn quickly. Put some foil around them and go low and slow and you will have wonderful meal! Use mild woods like the fruit woods or alder. And enjoy everyday of your retirement!

Happy smokin'
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, BigBear. Just how low and slow should I go with the game hens? I was thinking of setting to 225* and using my remote thermometer to gauge doneness, perhaps in 3 - 4 hours. Can I get smoke from my Masterbuilt below 225?
post #6 of 21
Welcome to the forum, happy to have you here.
post #7 of 21
Welcome aboard.

That is the only thing I smoked that didn't come out outstanding, kinda dry. Maybe it was something I did.

As far as getting smoke, as soon as the element starts heating you will get smoke. Hope this helps.
post #8 of 21
Welcome to the site. About those game hens never smoked myself. Would guess a good brine and injection would help the dryness
post #9 of 21
Welcome to the smf.....................
post #10 of 21


I ditto ShooterRick!
Congrats on the retirement! Happy smokes!!
post #11 of 21
Welcome SITW. Game hens make great smokes. Hope you try the brining technique.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Proud "Father" of Smoked Game Hen

Here's my very first offspring from the Masterbuilt 30". I took your suggestions and brined for about 4 hours with kosher salt, worcestershire sauce and a little sugar.

At 225*, the dang thing took 6 hours to reach 170 in the breast meat!!! Maybe it was the late dinner hour, but it tasted really good and moist, perhaps thanks to brining and me putting hot water in the tray(?). It was a little salty to my taste, but had a nice, smoky flavor, but with no smoke ring.

The skin did not come out crisp, and was a little rubbery. Any ideas on why that might be?

And why would it take 6 hours to cook? I know that low and slow is the way to go, but 6 hours for a little critter like that???
post #13 of 21
Looks good nice first smoke on the new smoker PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

After you brine rinse well this will remove most of the salt. The low and slow is great for the meat but not so good for the skin. You can always throw it on a hot grill for a couple minutes to crisp up the skin. Six hours does seem a bit long but you never know. Are you using a thermometer at grate level or just going by the thermometer on the smoker? The thermos on the smokers are usually wrong and often way wrong mines off about 50*
post #14 of 21
six hours is a bit long it seems. welcome. kick off yer shoes and stay a while.
post #15 of 21
Totally agree! Checked thermos on my smoker and grill, both were off about 50*. Don't trust the originals - junk!!!
post #16 of 21
Smokin- sorry I didn't see your response to my post and get you an answer earlier. My guess at the long cooking time is your thermometer could be way off. Check it out in boiling water or some other method. These little birds should only take a couple of hours.

The skin could be related to the heat as well. Also, did you coat them with EVOO?
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for your support and suggestions for this newbie!

I used a Weber-branded, remote thermometer with the probe in the breast meat. Waited until it hit 168, which took those 6 long hours. Maybe this bird is made of a lot of insulation and a little meat biggrin.gif

Based on past experience with the thermometer, a reading of 168 is about 170*. I had recently checked its accuracy. In boiling water, the thermometer reads around 204, but then again, I live at 6200' so that boiling point should be about right.

How do I best check the accuracy of the Masterbuilt's thermostat/thermometer reading? Place an oven thermometer on a middle rack?
post #18 of 21
Welcome to the best smokin' site this side of Mars, SMF that is.
post #19 of 21
Hey Smokinthewind,

I think what you need is an oven thermometer that you can set on the grate to gauge what your air temp is inside the grill. Using the probe thermometer in your meat is absolutely the best thing to do. But if you do not know what the exact temp is inside the smoker, it is very hit or miss when your food will be done. The built in thermometer in most smokers is very inaccurate and an oven thermometer is a cheap and accurate alternative.

Hope this helps. Good Luck!
post #20 of 21
Spam reported go away qrst353
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