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First time smoke failure

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by rockster, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. rockster

    rockster Newbie

    I just bought a 40 in MES and smoked a 13 lb turkey. I set it for 230 degrees. After 4 hrs the bird was toast! It had cooked to 200 degrees! It was very tender but totally over cooked. How could this happen. I would have never thought this possible in such a short time. Please give me some pointers
  2. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    [​IMG]Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything  ........  



  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The likely culprit is using the smoker's thermometer. Smokers have bad reputations for the accuracy of the temp probes. I would suggest investing in a Maverick 732 dual probe thermometer. It lets you monitor the temp on the rack next to the food and one in the food. You will know exactly what temps you are cooking at and the internal temp of what you are smoking. It has a remote with a 300' range so you can monitor what is going on from inside. It has alarms that can be set which can be helpful.

    If your skin was crisp and not rubbery it is a very good indicator that the bird was cooked higher than 230.
  4. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First off [​IMG]to SMF the best site there is for smoking info, with LOTS of folks willing to help. 

    4 hours and an IT of 200 on a 13# bird, I'd have to say your smoker was hotter than 230. I'd bet you were closer to 350. I'll bet your thermo is off. Check it in boiling water and ice water and see what it reads. You have learned a very valuable lesson, NEVER TRUST STOCK thermos. I use and recommend  a maverick 732 thermo it is a duel probe one measures the cooker temp the other the meat. Mine was spot on out of the box. 

    Just for reference I am currently smoking a 14#  turkeys at 250- 275 in my smoker. The one I just finished a couple hours ago took almost 8 hours to get to 165. I always figure 30 min per pound as an estimate when smoking.  
  5. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    No matter what king of smoker you have, new, old, borrowed, doesn't matter you need to check the temp gauge for accuracy. Pull it off insert probe into boiling water and you can tell pretty if it is correct. I check mine several times a year.

  6. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member