Green as Grass

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Original poster
Jan 7, 2014
Just joined the site. 

I received a smoker for Christmas from my wife after asking for one for about four years.  My father and best friend both do quite a bit of meat smoking.

I am an avid hunter and fisherman, so most of what I'll be smoking will be wild fowl, venison and fish.  But will probably do a bit with pork and chicken also.

I have a Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite.  I just seasoned it and am about to attempt a couple pieces of venison I have been marinating the last few days.

I have absolutely no clue what I am doing.  The directions that came with the smoker were pretty poor.  Don't know if I am supposed to add water, how long to cook things, on what temperature etc.  So I am just gonna fly in blind and figure it out as I go.  Hopefully I won't set the place on fire.

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.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]
Whether or not to use the water pan is one of fierce debate on this forum, (mostly because it really doesn't matter either way but folks still like to split hairs to see who's right) In any case, the water pan adds two things; a bit of humidity to the cooking chamber, and it acts as a "heat sink" which helps keep the cooking temp stable inside the smoker.

I used to use a water pan, but then switched the pea gravel method (fill the water pan with clean pea gravel and cover it with foil) because I got tired of agonizing about the water drying up and having to refill the pan, and also the mess of cleaning out the pan afterwards is a pain. That said, I have a propane smoker and when propane burns it gives off a lot of water vapor, so humidity is never an issue in my smoker so you may need to consider that if you're using electric.

For venison, set your smoker to about 230 degrees. As for how long, cook to a certain temp of your food, not time. Do a little research on the forum and find out what temp venison cookers like to finish at.

Holler with any other questions.
Welcome to the forum Swamp. 

You ve come to the best place for great information on smoking and many other types of cooking! Many friendly people here that love to help. Also make the search button your best friend. There are over a million post in this forum. That powerful information on a vast array of subjects right at your fingertips.
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