HEY FELLOW SMOKERS!!!!
Just got first smoker for Father's Day (the family finally got the hint after a few years) - a Master Forge propane smoker. I know it's not the best in the world but seems quite worthy for a beginner. Had my first semi-successful smoke session the other day, a 8-9 pound pork butt. I used an amazing dry rub from a recipe book I was also given and the seasoning was fantastic. Came out pretty good!!! But, I know it can do better!
Have a couple of questions, and from the looks of it I came to the right place.
I was having a bit of a hard time keeping the temp under 300 degrees. I was going by the built in external temperature guage, I know these are suspect and I'll be purchasing a more accurate thermometer tomorrow to use for my next smoke tomorrow. But, it seemed like when I turned the gas way down (almost all the way) the temp would drop but then my wood chips didn't seem to be smoking all that much. When I went up to 300, I know the temp's a bit high but that would produce smoke.
I went through a 180 cu. in. bag of Apple wood chips (Frontier Brand). Tried some wood soaked, some dry. But it appeared to burn through each "load" rather quickly. After about an hour or so each load of wood would be completely black and smokeless, so kept adding more. Is that normal?? Do you need to keep adding wood every hour or so?
Also, the MF smoker has air vents at the bottom on each side. I kept them both open about half way, but not sure what they're for exactly. The chimney opening at the top was slightly open too. Any guidance on why/how to use these vents?
My pork butt hit about 190 degrees about 2 hours earlier than it probably should have, probably because I was using too much heat. But again, it seemed like the only way to get a good amount of smoke flowing from the box.
I can't wait to try again this weekend. Not sure what it will be yet, but probably salmon, trout, or even some jerky. Next stop - fattie-ville (followed by a triple bypass).
BC from Colorado