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It's On!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone-

I put my first piece of meat in my smoker this morning! It's a six-pound pork shoulder that I rubbed last night. I'm expecting it to take about 9 hours or so. I'm using a propane smoker and apple wood.

A couple of questions:

How long should it take for the smoker to come up to temperature? Should I crank up the flame level to get it there fast or let it come up naturally from a lower level? It's been on for about a half an hour and I'm only at 150. I did let the pork sit on the counter for about an hour before I put it in the smoker.

I poured hot water into the water well when I started. There seems to be a lot of steam coming out of the top vents. Is that good/bad?

I plan on adding some pork ribs in a few hours. Are there any tips/techniques that I need to be aware of while the pork shoulder is still in there?

Thanks for the help, and I will try to get some pictures!

post #2 of 12


mirrors-I would turn up your heat to get it up to temp. I would shoot for between 225 and 240.Once you get up to temp just make minor adjustments. When you put your ribs in I recommend using the 3-2-1 method. Use a probe with the butt and the ribs. I would also put a drip pan beneath each if you can.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Drip Pan


The drip pan is built in, so I guess I am OK there. I've cranked up the gas med-high, but I am not getting any movement on the thermometer. Any suggestions?
post #4 of 12
If you are using the stock thermometer that could be your issue. Mine was never accurate.

On my smoker the only use for the thermometer is to look pretty. I have plans to replace it one of these days, but just not quite there yet.

If you have another thermometer take a potato stick the probe through the potato so that you have the end of the probe sticking out of the potato and put it on the middle rack to monitor temps.
post #5 of 12
Definaly crank it up get it to temp and start smoking. What kind og smoker do you have. I have a gosm gasser and it gets to temp in a couple of minutes. I have never seen a built in drip pan so I cann't help you there but crank it up.
post #6 of 12


I agree with one of the previous posts-is your thermometer reliable? Typically the stock ones aren't. But in my experience the read high. If that's the case you are way low. Do you have smoke yet? If you have to crank it up to high to get smoke and some temps. You can always open the door to get your temps down quickly. What kind of smoker are you using? And are you using any additional thermometers? If possible use another. I use one for smoker temps and one for meat temp. In the case of adding the ribs I would be using a third.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 


I think it was the thermometer. I had an older therm that I use for turkeys, and when I put that it in it went to 300 degrees. I opened the door and cooled it off. I think I am closer to temp now, based on the second therm.

I read the posts about the included therms, but I didn't consider that mine might be way off too. Live and learn.

How often should you be adding wood chips? The original pile has charred and is glowing red in small patches. Do you wait until all of it burns out, or do you add a half cup or so every so often?

post #8 of 12
When adding the smoke chips, you want to be sure you have thin blue smoke and not puffy white smoke billowing out of your rig. When first adding new chips you'll initially have the puffy white smoke as it burns but will turn to thin blue.
post #9 of 12


Glad you got those temps figured out. One thing I'd recommend-don't know if its possible mid-smoke go with chunks and lump charcoal. They last longer than chips. If not just watch for that thin blue smoke (tbs). Another thing, many times when the smoke stops all you have to do is shake the pan so the wood, be it chips, chunks, or lump can make contact with the pan. Ash is kind of an enemy with smoke formation.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Working on it

When I was shopping for the wood chips, I saw the lumps of hardwood and wondered it I should be using that instead. I guess I could return the other bags of chips in favor of the lump.

I've got the temps settled down now pretty well. Now its just a matter of keeping the pan filled and smoke going.
post #11 of 12
Sounds like you got it under control Mirror, the first couple of smokes are a challenge for everyone...hang in there and enjoy!!
post #12 of 12
Can't wait to see the finished result!
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