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Baby back Disaster!!!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
ok. Bought a masterbuilt 7-1 this weekend. Was used but for 20 buks its OK. Fired her up, and was going to cook me some baby backs. Well it went south from there. At about the 3 hour mark they seemed to be done with the meat therm, but I thought no way they can be done in 3 hours. Guess I was wrong. Cooked for anohter hour and that was all she wrote. Came out black and wayy over cooked. I had a hard time keeping the heat within range. The 7-1 smoker has no way of regulating the incoming air on that bottom. Anyone use this type that can send me some pointers?

I used plain coals kingford with the Minion method etcc to start. I used NO watet pan. I did not even have it in the cooker. Also I replaced the temp gage first thng..So I feel I am getting correct temps etc.. Any help for the next batch lol
post #2 of 16
Sounds like way too much heat to me. And with no water pan absorbing or deflecting the heat you were basically grilling. Try using the water pan filled with water, sand , broth or whatever you want. I used to have one of these years ago. I would fill the water pan with chicken stock and put a large turkey breast on. Go throw horseshoes for about 3 to 4 hours and come back to a very nicely done and juicy turkey breast.
post #3 of 16
yep....the water pan regulates that heat, and adds moisture to keep the meat.....moist.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
yeah it was deff a heat problem. I knew I should have used that pan with SOMETHING in it lol. I will next time. Just with water in it, hard to refill it if I need too. Sand might be the best thing.

Have no idea why I did not use that. The heat would climb to almost 300 and id have to take some of the coals out and play with it. Fought that thing all day.

Guess thats why they cooked so fast then. Directly on the heat with no pan haha.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow you kept it at the nice temp for that long huh. hell i could not get it to stay at the same heat for 4 min much less hours ahah. Ill have to try a dry run and play with it more. Going to try chicken this weekend..see how bad I screw that up!!! .OH BOYYYY
post #6 of 16
The water pan is a must in keeping temps down. With it in the cooker should run a lot cooler. Did you have a good therm to go by on that cook?
post #7 of 16
Ribs are low and slow. 250 temp max. Try following the 3-2-1 method or for baby backs it might be closer to 2-2-1. There is a link on the left side of the page that will give you all the info.
Poultry will take higher temps say 275 to 300. Anything less and you will get rubbery slimy skin.

I used the minion method when I had the 7 in 1 cooker. That is I would light 15 to 20 briquettes and place them in the coal basket. I would then pour unlit coal on the top of that to fill the coal basket. The lit coals would then ignite the other coals over time and give you a long even cook time. It was basically set and forget. Didn't have to mess with it all.
Good luck and let us know how your next effort works out.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
yupp yupp first thing I did. Tested it with the boiling water as well. Popped me a hole just below the grate and screwed her in
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I called myself doing the minion method but with out the pan, I could not get a set and forget lol. I started out with 15 coals in my chimney, and in about 10 min the temp was at almost 300. But again I had NO water pan. Ill try that...tonight to see wher the temps are in 10min with the pan. Also I have no coal basket. I used the pan and i placed a grate on top so the coals could fall through. Worked pretty good. No choking of the fire as you can tell.
post #10 of 16
Water adds very little moisture to the meat, but it is there for a heat sink and to keep temps from rising to far or fast.
post #11 of 16
You say you tested the thermo meter. Then I cann't believe that they ribs cooked that fast without a water pan is one thing but It cannt be that much of a differance. Now my question did you go by the thermo meter on the unit itself for the interior temp or did you use the probe for the smoker temp???
post #12 of 16


Sorry about those ribs....sound like good advice on the water pan.!

I see a lot of post of folks trying out new smokers or new to them anyhow and they try smoking ribs, butts, etc.....sometimes fillin it up to the brim !!!

If I'm going to smoke on a smoker for the first time, I use something like chicken thighs.......cheap and are done in 1 1/2 hrs....I don't have to wait around 3-4 hours to find out if I was sucessful or not....makes sense to me !!! Patience...patience...patience...at least that's how I are doin it !!!

Q Dawg
post #13 of 16
Your not the first one on here to send smoke signals, I'm sure you will figure out the problem and get some good BBQ soon! icon_smile.gif
post #14 of 16
Forget the dry run, we want Qview!icon_smile.gif Try starting with less lit coals, you will be surprised at how hot they burn! Try that minion method again this time light up about five or six coals. It will work fine I bet.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well I tried a dry run few days ago. Just about 10 or so coals, and a pan full of water. temp held right at 150 or so. i think I know what I have to do now. few more coals for heat, and the water pan for sure. I think every smoker is different and one has to find what works for his\her's.

Think I am going to go a step more and fab me some vents for the bottom so I can control the air intake better. As of now I have no way really. THANKS for all the insight. i hope one day to make everyone happy with some Qview!!
post #16 of 16
Howdy all... First time caller...

I too have a Masterbuilt 7 in 1 that I haven't used yet (the green Cabela version) and after reading the forums here I see many of you fine chefs cook up a heap of bacon, ribs and lots of fowl. I'm glad I read about using the water bowl because I couldnt see the use in it. But the reason I delurked is that I want to hang and smoke lengths of sausages and kolbasi in mine. And for some light smoking of fermented and semi dry sausages down the road.

Has anyone any experience with hanging sausages in one of these? I cant see laying them on the grill. My first thought when I built the smoker out of the box was that it is awful short. I was thinking of cutting a piece of a smaller water heater outside skin cylinder to lift the lid higher....

Anyway... Second, I'm also looking to get an electric smoker either the Bradley or the 40" MBE. Could I get some feedback on which would be better for the smoked sausage making please?

Thanks a lot and I will sit back down and listen...

Bob in Ct
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