New electric smoker, couple questions

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ereid74, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. ereid74

    ereid74 Newbie

    hey guys, been reading a lot and learning the basics and I just had a couple rookie questions. My electric smoker seems to get up to temp VERY fast. I have the masterbuilt electric with the cold smoker attachment. Chimney 3/4 open, temp 225 electric thermometer not on bone and roughly in the middle of the meat. I can get temp to 170 in 2 hours and this of course creates tough ribs. I've had more success manually bumping the temp up to smoke them for 4-5 hours. Any insight in this?

    Also, cold smoker is starting to tar up which I know can make meat bitter. What's the best way to clean this? Oven cleaner?

    Thanks in advanced!
  2. Sorry, I was a little confused in the question.    Are you cold or hot smoking these ribs?   If hot smoking, don't worry about the internal temp of the ribs.  I wouldn't even use a probe.   Just set them to the temp you want to cook at.   I like about 130-140 myself.  

    And then let them cook more based on time.   (If foiling, then 3-2-1: 3 Hours plain, 2 hours foiled, 1 hour or less un-foiled with sauce, seems to be about what people do. 

    If un-foiled or naked, I have cooked ribs anywhere from 5-7 hours.    I would start checking at 5, and then by all means use a temp probe partly for temp, but mainly to see if it pokes super easy through the meat.    And then check every so often until the probe or toothpick slides in easily.

    And if this is not what you were asking, then disregard entirely.   [​IMG]

    And I'm not certain about the cleaning.    I just use dish soap and a scrubby if its tough stuck on stuff with my MES30.   But I'm not sure about 'tar' and I don't have the cold smoke attachment, so no idea there.
  3. ereid74

    ereid74 Newbie

    Thanks Cael! What about my chimney? Should I keep it all the way open? Nobody seems to mention this. I am hot smoking. I let the smoker produce the heat and the attachment produce the smoke. I'm going to use I higher tray in the smoker also I think.

    The tar like black residue I think is an electrical smoker issue?
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Can't help with the cold smoker part,the chimney should be wide open,it will prevent stale smoke 
  5. ereid74

    ereid74 Newbie

    I am smoking today and was wondering about the temperature. I have it set to 145 like Cael suggested. 3-2-1 method I am halfway through the 2 hour marked foiled. Do I keep the temp at 145 the entire time? Thanks
  6. vwaldoguy

    vwaldoguy Smoke Blower

    I would think smoking at that low of temp the ribs are going to be tough
  7. ereid74

    ereid74 Newbie

    They did come out slightly tough but still good. I didn't add any juices into the foil when I wrapped them for 2 hours.

    I should set the temp at 220 for the entire duration of 3-2-1 correct?

    I am hot smoking. (Have a webber 30 with a cold smoking attachment. The attachment is used to produce the smoke but I have the main unit produce the heat.

    Seems like I could just have a solid smoke stream to the meat for the first couple hours and that's about it?
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First off, I never put a therm probe in ribs because the meat's too thin. For ribs I never go by IT. I go by total hours smoked and do the bend test to check if they're done. If your ribs are tough then in my opinion you're not smoking them long enough. I don't know of any ribs that can be finished in 2 hours at 225°. I always smoke with the top vent of my MES 30 Gen 1 wide open.

    I don't own the cold smoker so I can't speak to that. I can tell you that, using wood pellets in the AMNPS, I get black residue buildup on the ceiling of the smoker so I wipe that off before or after every smoke. I've read that creosote buildup isn't a problem with electric smokers that use wood chips or pellets. I primarily see a filmy buildup on the insides of the smoker and if it's looking too greasy I wipe it down. I don't ever worry about darkening of the inside surfaces because I've seen many pro cabinet-style smokers that look just like mine.
  9. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.   My notifications don't seem to email to me anymore, so I will look into that.

    I keep my vent/chimney open all the way all the time.    I find that gives good draw and circulation and that is what most MES people have recommended.

    If it was me doing ribs for only 6 hours I would up the temp a little.  Maybe 230-240.     though I don't use foil and that is supposed to make it cook quicker.   Still, it sounds like they could have used another hour or so.

    And as for smoke time, I like to use about half of my planned time. (For short or moderate smoke times)   So if I plan for a 6 hour cook, then I would do 3 hours of smoke.   Plenty of smoke flavor without being too strong.     For really long smoke times like 16-20 hours, I only do about 6-8 hours of smoke.   Usually closer to 6.
  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I fully agree with how you smoke your ribs. I'm still on the fence whether to foil or not to foil. I've smoked both ways. For me, foiling helps cut down on producing heavy bark, which I don't like on ribs.

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