Disappointed and need help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by puds123, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone.  This week I purchased a Cajun Injector electric smoker.  Very excited I unpacked and set it up and did my 2 hour season smoke.  Wednesday, I got home from work eager to throw something into the smoker.  I had a small pork boneless rib roast - about 1.5lb, so I seasoned it with paprika, salt, pepper, garlic and brown sugar while I heated up the smoker.  Water in the tray and I used Sugar maple wood chunks.  When it was up to temp, I put the pork in, inserted the probe thermometer, shut the door and crossed my fingers.  I set the temp for 225.  I checked the wood chunks every so often and topped up when there was no smoke coming out of the top.  3 hrs later and when the inside temp registered at 145 degrees, I pulled the pork out.  The result wasn't a pulled pork texture, but more of a pork steak (probably the piece of meat I used) but it was wet and I didn't like the texture, so I let it sit for an hour or so and the texture improved, but the smoke flavour was WAY too much.  After tasting a little piece you were left with the smoke taste for an hour later.  Not pleasurable at all.

    So I figured that the chips were maybe too strong or that the damper on the back should have been open more or that the piece of meat that I used wasn't suitable.

    Thursday, I purchased a piece of Pork shoulder.  Nice marbling about 2.5lb.  Put a rub on it.  Heated up the smoker.  Used apple juice in the water dish.  Used hickory wood chips this time.  Put the meat in at 225 as per the recipe.  Topped up the chips when there was no smoke coming out of the top and opened up the damper fully.  Left it in for 4.5 hours. Got an inside temp to 145.  I removed it and let it rest for little while under foil for 4 hours and then I tried to pull it.  Nope......the outside was tough the inside was moist, but rubbery.  Again the smoke flavour was way too much.  I tried a tiny piece this morning before work and now 3 hours later I can still taste it.

    What am I doing wrong OR do I just not like smoked pork!!!  :)

    I would appreciate any advise.

  2. if you are looking for a pulled pork texture, you are pulling the meat way too early. Get the internal temp up around 190.

    You should not trust the temp gauge on your smoker either. They are notoriously inaccurate. Get a decent probe thermometer or a oven thermometer (make sure they are accurate by testing them in some boiling water - look for something around 212 degrees).

    As for the smoke flavor, you only want a thin blue smoke coming out of the smoker, not a billowing white smoke. Some times you will not be able to see the smoke unless you look really hard. If you can smell the smoke, you are good. I have a Masterbuilt electric smoker and it is VERY easy to put too many chips / chunks in the smoke pan.

    I'm sure others will be along soon to add more tips
  3. smokin vegas

    smokin vegas Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Cajun injection smoker and I  love it.  First time I used it I too put the tray of water in and it turned out rubber and totally YUCK!!!  With the cajun smoker you do not need the pan of water.  If you want pull a part pork I would smoke pork for 12 hours add small amount of water during the last 2-4 hours maybe.  You can set the Cajun for up to 12 hours. 

    This is my last post (yesterday) using the Cajun for pork butt roast if you have any questions about the Cajun contact me.  I have been using one for over a year.   I have made pastrami from turkey and beef in it .  Also smoked turkeys and veggies in it and they turn out great. 

    In the Cajun smoker I found I only need to add a tablespoon of hickory chips every hour.  I had plenty smoke.  One time I added too many wood chipd and you should have seen the thing huff and puff!!  Looked like a cartoon.


    Be careful with the meat thermometer it breaks easily.  Be very careful when cleaning it.  Edges of sides the part that holds the trays are sharp cut myself the first time when I was cleaning it.  Awesome orange clean from the dollar stre is AWESOME you just spray it on and all the baked residue melts.  When I buy another smoker I want a Masterbuilt.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    puds, morning...  What type of wood are you using ???? and how much ????

    Using chips, 1/4 cup at a time is adequate and should last 1/2 - 1 hour...   If using chunks, 1 chunk and it should last 2 hrs or so.... 

    In either case, don't add more wood until the smoke is gone...

    Some woods are really powerful and very little should be used.... using mild wood with a little mesquite,(5 %) for instance, would give a good smoke.... 

    Thin blue smoke is what you should be generating.....   Dave

  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    All this is great advice ^^^  You can put clean sand in your water pan so that it will still act as a heat sync but won't add the moisture.

     You may also try smoking till internal temp of 165 (on good thermometer) Wrap in heavy foil w/ a little apple juice and cook to 200 degrees internal.
  6. I used hickory chips last night.  1/4 cup to start and then added a handful at a time through the chute when I couldn't see smoke.  The smoke I was getting was thin white smoke, but it was night time so it could have been blue!!!  It smelt smokey enough!!

    So what you are saying is that I should smoke it for longer to get the pulled pork texture, but won't that give me more of a smoke flavour?  Even the sugar maple chunks that I used the first time seemed really strong.

    And no water or juice in the smoker til the last 2 hours or so......haven't heard of that one before, but it could explain the wet texture.  Trial and error I suppose.  I am at work now and I can still taste and smell the smoke!!
  7. whiskeyfoot

    whiskeyfoot Fire Starter

    Sure sounds like too much smoke maybe?  Are the chips fresh and mildew free?  I've had friends store chips outside here in Florida and once they get wet even ONCE and not dried out quickly they'll give a funky smell/smoke.  Maybe try a chip-free run next time and only concentrate on getting your meat done the way you like it, and once you have that part down start experimenting with chips?  Just throwing ideas out there, as I'm a newbie too!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Center cut Pork Loin, like your first smoke, is Supposed to be Smoked to 145*F to be Juicy, slightly Pink and steak Firm...Anything else is tough, dry and tasteless. You made a Perfect Roast! Too bad you didn't care for it. How are you use to having Pork Roast and Pork Chops?

    Pork Shoulder on the other hand is best cooked a long time and if Pulling is your goal, it won't even budge before 195* and 205*F with a 1 hour rest is even better! At the 145*F you pulled it at, it is edible but will require some serious Jaw Muscles to chew it. To get it to pull estimate 2 hours per pound plus a 1 hour rest, wrapped in foil, once you hit 205*F...I see you only have 2 posts have you taken the Free 5-Day eCourse? Have you read any of the 8900 posts on making Pulled Pork? You have a great smoker but need to slow down and do your Homework. Read then ask questions on anything you don't understand. There are many people here who will spend as much time as you like helping you make the best Smoked Meat you ever had...Here is some reading for you...JJ

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  9. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You can try only using wood for the first 2 or 3 hours then just let it cook. The wet texture wasn't from the water pan but because the meat hadn't cooked long enough.
  10. this is good advice. If you dont want a heavy smoke flavor, dont smoke it as long. Smoke for the first couple hours only. You can then let it finish in the smoker (no smoke) or in an oven.

    Remember, taste is subjective. Find what works for you
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I forgot to mention, there are many Woods and yes the amount of time you have smoke flowing affects intensity. Mesquite is the strongest then in descending order Hickory, Maple, Fruit Woods ( Apple, Cherry, Etc. ), Pecan, Alder, and Oak is fairly mild. Try something different and try adding Smoke wood for only 1 or 2 hours then just let the meat finish cooking at 225*F without generating smoke. There is a lot to learn and we all started out disappointed. You may want to take a Shower after Smoking because it will stick with you. Three hours after eating you still taste Smoke...That is not supposed to be a bad thing...JJ
  12. LOL  I did shower and brushed my teeth!!!

    I am going to try again on Saturday with a mild wood chip as you suggested above.  I will have all day to play with it.  Hopefully I will be able to serve it for dinner rather than have it packaged up in the fridge with the others ready to feed the dog!!

    I have done a lot of research before I purchased the unit - most of it seems to conflict itself!!  Where do I find this e-course thingy?

  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The eCourse is very good, I have been smoking over Twenty years and I learned a few things from it, and a TON of things hanging out here!...JJ
  14. Well, I will perservere and hopefully will end up with something that I can feed to my boyfriend and family on Saturday without going for takeout!!  It is frustrating as I know I can cook - I do a mean beef tenderloin on the bbq that will melt in your mouth, but this has defeated me!!  I will not be beaten!!  LOL  Thanks for the tips.  I will let you know how it turns out on Saturday.
  15. badbob

    badbob Smoke Blower

    Nothing beats a failure but a try!
  16. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    The meat will tell you when it is done, and every piece is different.  I have had whole butts ready in 9 hours and the next one, same size, take 13. Just go low, and go slow. 
    Nicely said JJ. 
  17. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And, this is the purpose and the beauty of this forum; you can get help and information usually within a few hours, and every question you ask and every answer you get not only helps you but helps everyone else reading it too, new or old-hand alike!  And, we eliminate the lack of honest help prevalent in other forums; we are concerned to help you all we can and perpetuate the 'paying it forward'; as you gain experience you will help others in the same way with honesty, concern and caring and this will continue to grow and help more and more!  Thank you for your questions and allowing us to help you; as you are also helping many others!  Don't ever hesitate to ask questions; we're here to help!
    bigfish98 likes this.
  18. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Thank You Pops! That is why I find myself reading this for hours everyday, so I can keep learning from everyone here!
  19. I like you am new to smoking meat.  I have had some very bad smokes.  Last weekend I cooked, what everyone told me was excellent pulled pork.  I followed meowey "Basic Pulled Pork Smoke" post under the pork sticky.  Make sure you leave plenty of time for the rest.  I rested mine for three hours and it was still very hot.  Hope this helps.  John

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