First Try, What went Wrong?

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Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Jun 9, 2007
Hi, I'm a new member.

My first try smoking with a new Masterbuilt electric wasn't exactly a success. The new smoker was seasoned with vegtable oil for four horus at 225. Doing some ribs I used a modified store bought rub, removed the membrane and proceeded to use the 3-2-1 and 200 degrees. After the second hour they looked fine with a redish brown color. Somewhere in the third hour the redish brown turned more black. I think this is where we got into trouble and that maybe this was creosote.

In the end,the meat was nice and tender. It didn't fall off the bone but was cut off easily leaving a clean bone. There was allot of black though. I used hickory that was not soaked - just dry. Maybe it was catching on fire in the box?

Well, I guess Rome wasn't built in a day. Any ideas on where it went wrong are apreciated Thanks in advance, I'm glad to be a new member here.

Sounds to me that your wood caught of fire and the black is the sooty remnants from the fire. I always soak the wood, if you forget and are strap for time put the wood and water in a plastic or glass bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes. This speeds up the soaking process.
Curtis -

They do turn a bit black from the sugars carmelizing. Did they taste good? Did you wrap them in foil for the 2?

Should look something like this:
I agree with Deb on that, did your rub have a lot of sugar?
Was there a lot of smoke and what color was it?
...and most of all ... did they taste good?

If not don't give up ... it gets better!
Ohhhhhh. Those look guuuuud.

You guys are fast!! Thanks for the help.

I don't think it was carmelizing because I used dry rub only and don't think there was much if any sugar in there. There was allot of black, kind of crusty stuff. Asside from that, the meat tasted good. very very smoky taste though. Not exactly Corky's or Jack Stack.

I think that the hickory must have caught on fire and messed it up. I didn't soak the chunks before using them.

Slould I put the hickory chunks in a bucket of water overnight?
Will it effect future missions if the ash box area is blackened. This ir really hard to clean on the Masterbuilt.

Too much smoke, less is better in many cases. You do not need smoke through out the cook and if you have white, gray or black smoke cooking from the pit you are making bad smoke, the smoke from the pit should be blue and transparent.

I must also add the question of your thermometer's calibration. Were you using the device supplied by the manufacturer or did you have a "second opinion"?
Too much smoke. Back off on the smoke and you'll be fine. Also, I sometimes use wet chips/chunks but most of the time, I use dry. The only thing wet does is to delay the smoke. I find that dry wood, added at the proper time, is better. Remember .... THIN blue smoke ..... that's the ticket. And that's only necessary until the internal temp of the meat hits the 140* mark. After that, you can use charcoal, gas, electricity, oven or whatever. Additional wood is certainly OK but the main smoking flavor has already been imparted. i.e. the smoke ring has formed. Good Luck! It's all good Mama!
Well at least it was edible! How much smoke is part of the learning process. Youshould just barely be able to see the smoke (unless you have something dark as a background).

Wet or dry chips has always been debated. I used to soak my chips all the time and now I don't and it doesn't seen to matter except I get smoke faster. Keep your spray bttle handy if the fire or smoke gets out of hand spray it a bit and it'll calm down.

Hang in there Curtis every smoke gets better!
Thanks for the help everyone and it's a pleasure to meet all of you.

The problem must have been too much smoke. Maybe there was even a small fire in there bringing the temp up for a while. A second thermometer sounds good. Keeping a closer eye on it (temp and smoke color) and having the fire department ready is a real good idea.

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