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My first smoke and 1st attempt at Qview

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
As some of you may know I'm a newbie who is wanting to learn as much as I can about good BBQ. I just purchased a new 20" Wichita model Yoder Smoker. Finished seasoning it Wednesday and at the last minute decided to go ahead and smoke something yesterday. After spending the morning looking at several members posts about Chuck Roasts I decided I would give that a try. Went down to the local grocer and picked up 2 chucks that were about 3.5 lbs each. below is a picture of the 2 seasoned and ready for the smoker.

The one on the left was seasoned with Montreal Steak season and the one on the right was seasoned with Grill Mates steak rub.

Next is a picture of my new smoker with the "chuckies" inside.

The roasts were in the smoker for 6.5 hrs before they were taken out to wrap in foil. I'm not sure my, supposedly instant read thermometer was working properly. Will have to check, by doing the boiling water test. but here is what one looked like just before placing them in foil to finish.

After an 1.5 hours I pulled them from the smoker to be pulled. Like I said earlier I didn't trust the thermometer so I'm not sure about what the internal temperature was. But here is a picture of one that I sliced to show the smoke ring. Sorry for the quality of the photo, I must have flinched during the shoot.

This final picture is of the finished product. I have a ton of questions about thermometers, maintaining temps, etc. that I'll save for a future post. I would like someone to critique what I did so I can learn for the next time. Don't have time for that now.

post #2 of 18
What temp did your thermometer say when you pulled them?
They look done to me, but the big question is how did they taste?
Everything looks good to me! Great smoke ring! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #3 of 18
WELL DONE!!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 18
If that's the first thing you ever smoked, I see great things in your future. Makes me want to grab a loaf of french bread and a cold beer.
post #5 of 18
Beautiful pit, beautiful food. If you didnt tell us, I wouldn't have known you werent a pro. Great job!
post #6 of 18
that looks like it turned out really good.

Whats your questions about thermo's?
post #7 of 18
looks like things went well
post #8 of 18
Nice job on your first smoke! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #9 of 18
Thadda Babe Coacher!!!

Nice looking Q-view there!!!
post #10 of 18
OOhhhhh.... chuckies... looking good!
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Flyfishdeep and Thunderdome,

I'm not sure what the temp was when I pulled them. I was trying to get to 165 before I foiled them. Like I said earlier I got a late start and when I used my thermometer it said the temp was around 145. That was after 6 hrs. I left them on for another 30-45 min and there was no change. So I foiled them anyway, added more lump coal to the smoker, got the temp in the smoker to around 255 and put them back in for about 1.5 hours. When I took them out of the foil, parts of them pull easily other parts were a little tougher. All in all not too bad. I know I needed to give them more time but everyone hungry and it was getting late.
My kids and wife said they really liked it. Made a little horseradish sauce as a condiment. Made some pretty good sandwiches. Froze the leftovers for another day.
What I thought was an instant read thermometer was taking almost a full minute or more to reach the max. temp. I assumed it would be faster than that. Anyway I see now I need to invest in a meat probe to use so I can monitor the temp without having to open the smoker and check.
Anybody have recommendations on a good meat probe?
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Help with Heat control

As I posted earlier I had some questions about the method I used when smoking the 2 Chuck Roasts pictured in this thread.

First of all I think I solved my thermometer problem. If I'm going to do this right I realized after reading several posts that I needed to invest in a good meat probe. So, today I ordered a Maverick ET #73 dual probe meat/smoker thermometer. I found one for under $40 including shipping. Hope that was a good price.

I realized during the smoke I have a lot to learn about heat management. So here's what I did and I would appreciate any input that will help me learn.
To put this in perspective so everyone knows what I'm starting with; I own a 20 in offset Yoder Smoker. It also contains a heat management plate. Being a newbie I've done a lot of reading and decided to try the Minion method. Not sure If I started with enough fuel, but here is what I did. I started with Charcoal because I had 20lb bag (Wal-Mart brand) that I needed to use up before I went to the lump charcoal I was given as part of my purchase (new smoker). I place 2 chimneys of unlit charcoal into the firebox and placed 1 chimney of lit charcoal on top. I do not have a charcoal basket. Waited until smoker temp got to about 240 then placed 1 split of hickory on top. Put the meat in and waited. The smoker temp. rose to about 250 and held for about 1.5 hours. I started another chimney of charcoal and added that as temp now dropped to just below 240. The temp would get to about 248 hold for awhile and then start dropping. I know I should have kept a journal and paid closer attention times but hope fully you can still help. Basically I was adding a chimney full of lit charcoal about every 30-45 min. I went through that 20lbs and also used about 8-10 lbs of lump charcoal. Also I was adding splits directly on the coals to keep the smoke going until I foiled the roasts after about 6.5 hrs. I probably used 4-5 splits through the smoke. Also, should I have warm the splits in the firebox before placing them on the coals. I ask this because as you veterans are probably guessing, I would get that heavy whitish smoke that would last about 10-15 min. before the smoke would take on the more desirable blue color. Any help with attaining that TBS using an offset would be greatly appreciated. I guess I should mention that I kept the firebox intake about 2/3 open. Sometimes I would open it all the way to help with the new splits. The exhaust was basically left wide open.

Does the amount of charcoal/lump seem excessive for an 8-8.5 hour smoke?
Like I said this has become a new passion for me and would like to learn from you experts. I have a thick skin and won't be offended. You learn just as much from failing as you do from be successful.

Please help this newbie.
post #13 of 18
Looks great. I gotta give you points for your 1st smoke and qview. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifpoints.gif
post #14 of 18
I'd say that's one great smoke! If you didn't tell someone, they wouldn't know it's your first.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #15 of 18
Coacher.. my smoker is pretty much identical to yours.

I do have a propane log starter though, I noticed yours didnt have one.

IMO I think these are very helpful to maintain an even temp, I use mine to start the logs I throw in there, and then once the first logs burn down to charcoal, I turn the propane down so that it is just enough to keep the fire going. On mine I always have a fire going.

I havent tried using just charcoal on mine, I use pecan and hickory splits, sometimes apple if I can get my hands on some. Every once in awhile Ill throw in some lump. Something that may help is if you create a burn barrel... Pretty much just a barrel to pre-burn your splits in, and then transfer the coals over to the smoker. This will help you find the TBS you are looking for.

One word of advice, Start the fire with 3 or 4 splits and let them burn down to coals, usually about an hour... your temps will get up 300 or better, then it will fall off slowly, when it gets to 250 throw the meat on the smoker then tend the fire with smaller splits or lump to maintain, usually every 30-45 minutes. Starting with splits will greatly reduce your consumption of charcoal and lump.

You are on the right track with running the exhaust wide open, leave it there every time, and using the intake to regulate the fire. The more you use it the more you will learn the details of what it takes to maintain temps. Occasional temp swings are to be expected, and usually no big deal, you just dont want any extended temp swings.

And yeah your gonna love the ET-73, no more open door to check the temp! doing a long brisket smoke its pretty much mandatory you keep the door closed as much as possible, I crack mine open just enough to spritz and try to get it done as quick as I can.

That smoke ring looks A-Ok, your off to an awesome start!
post #16 of 18
Welcome to the forum. The meat looked great. You also have great taste in smokers. I'm up in Wichita on business from time to time and a guy I know in Wichita has a Yoder and it's one hell of a smoker.
post #17 of 18
Looks Really Good To me!

post #18 of 18
Looks good. Have patience grasshopper. You are well on your way.
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