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First time using a smoker, is this right?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by camalama, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. camalama

    camalama Newbie

    My wonderful wife got me an entry level, weekend warrior style smoker for my birthday. It's the Masterbuilt 20070910, the vertical electric smoker. I preseasoned it and did the break in right away. This weekend I made up some ribs and went to work. I set the smoker to 6 hrs 30 min and let it preheat for 30 min. I took one of my fish fryer thermometer and stuck it in the vent on top. I found that the digital display ran about 20* cooler than the thermometer so I split the difference setting the digital at 220*. So on top of that I purchased a Taylor meat thermometer to watch the meat temp. It too seems to be running high. In 2 hours it told me the meat was almost done. I just stuck the probe between two bones. My guess is it's touching a bone or isn't centered. Any ideas? I've been sitting at 225* + on the fish thermo and 210 + on the digital for 4 hours and the meat probe says 178. I just don't believe it. I'm hoping the come out ok. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Cameron Denison
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF glad you decided to join us. Ribs is one of the few things that is smoked by time and looks instead of temp. Its just to hard to try to get the probe located in a decent place. As far as the thermometers you can test them boil some water and using gloves insert just the last inch or inch and a half into the water and it should read very close to 212. Have fun and happy smoking
  3. mrsb

    mrsb Smoking Fanatic

    So what ended up happening?  Leave them in? TAke em out?Got any pics? Thats one of the best things about this plate give us follow up on your smokes and the more great advice you can get!  Happy Smokes!
  4. camalama

    camalama Newbie

    They turned out great. Left them on for the full 6 hours. Sorry, no pics, I didn't even think about it. I was a little disappointed in the appearance. I thought there would be more of a crust on the meat but it was more oily than crusty. I think this is the difference in combustion and electric. May step the heat up just a hair on the next ones. Thanks for the info. I was much more confident after getting the reassurance from here!

  5. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Next time take some pics, we love us some qview here on smf. Next time you do ribs, try using the 3, 2, 1 method for spareribs, which means 3 hours on the smoker, take off and wrap in foil put some apple juice or whatever, some kind of liquid, about 1/4 cup or so, put back on smoker for 2 more hours, take off, remove from the foil, and put back on the smoker for another hour to firm up. You would use the same for babybacks, except the times are 2, 2, 1. Be sure to spritz the ribs every 1/2 or so with something, I use apple juice mixed with bourbon, I change that sometimes, rootbeer, or Dr pepper work great also. You should aim for a temp in the 220-230* area. as far as more of a crust, how much rub did you use ? As far as sauce, add that at the last 1/2 hour. Good Luck
  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Next time set your MES to around 250. I have no trouble getting my ribs to have a little bark. You will not get the hard bark from a mes that you get from a stick or coal burner .

     The water pan in the mes besides acting as a heat sync creates alot of steam. this produces very moist smoked meat but it does cut down on the formation of a hard crusty bark.
  7. camalama

    camalama Newbie

    Norther Greenhorn,

    I will make sure to take pics next time. I'll also try the 3-2-1 method. I kept the 220-230* range. Never opened th door once I put them in. As for rub, I used the Memphis Dust  rub from Meathead's site. I used at least 2 tbs, if not more on each side with a mustard/oil base to hold on to the rub. I may leave that out next time. No sauce. It was on the table as a condiment.


    I think you're right. If I set the MES to 250 I think I'll get better results. I'll keep experimenting with the temps.

    Thanks to everyone for the tips.

    Cameron Denison