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smokin stang

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Nov 15, 2006
Paducah, Kentucky
Hey guys,
My name is Dave and I am new to the forum. I am attempting to learn how to smoke meat for the first time. Let me share my first experience with you and hopefully you can provide some feedback on what happened. Bought a smokey hollow propane smoker from Gander Mountain this last weekend. Followed procedure for seasoning smoker, brined 4 half chickens in kosher salt and water. I washed them then placed Jeff's naked rib rub on them. I also smoked some pork ribs and just coated them down with Jeff's naked rib rub. The smoker is a 38 inch one. I placed two slabs of ribs on the top shelf, one slab on the self under these two, two chicken halves on the shelf below these and two more chicken halves on the next shelf below these. Filled water pan full of water as well as the smoker box full of soaked hickory chips. Placed all the meat on at 4:00 pm, tried to maintain smoker temp around 220-225. Tank ran out of propane and temp dropped to about 170. Raised the temp back up to 220 the best I could. Remember, this was my first time. The temp spiked to no higher than 240 and did not stay there very long. I decided to check the temp of the ribs and chicken at 7:30 pm. The temperature showed around 180 and 190 respectively for the ribs and chicken halves. Both chicken halves and ribs were charred black but pretty good minus the char. Both were tender and moist under the char. My question is why were they so charred? Did I coat them too thick with Jeff's naked rib rub, what the smoke too heavy or was the temperature guage not working properly or whas it a combination of events. Please help the rookie out with your comments.

Welcome to SMF Dave! I won't be a real lot of help, being Im fairly new myself, but I can say that sugar does brown quite a bit and is probably one reason why there was what you call "char" on the meat. For the ribs that is fine. When I did ribs, the bark was pretty dense, but the meat was very tasty and tender. I'm sure others will chime in with more info!!
Did the ribs and chicken taste real peppery and almost bitter? You might have got too much smoke on them and ended up with creosote forming on your meat. You donâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t need heavy smoke for smoking. Thin and blue! Did you wrap your ribs in foil? I think you overcooked your chicken! What method did you use to do your rib? 3-2-1? Can you give us more info? did you vent your smoke? :?:
The ribs did not taste peppery or bitter in my opinion. I did not wrap the ribs in foil. I just turned them over after 1 hour. The smoker was vented open and then closed in order for me to raise the temp.
Welcome to SMF Dave!!! Glad you found us, post often and have fun!

It sure does sound like you got alot going considering being kinda new to smoking and having a new cooker and all. IMHO, I would slow down a little, smoke a chicken or two or maybe a couple racks of ribs and get things figured out a little better maybe. Maybe even try a pork butt. Also, that's pretty fast cooking in that amount of time to get those temps especially since you lost fire for a period. Where you monitoring smoker temp. with a built in thermo. Are you sure your meat thermometers are reasonably accurate?

Slow down, pick a project, get it posted in the right section of the forum and there are all kinds of top notch guys here to get you smokin like a pro in no time. Just my .02 cents---keep the change. Also, to get alot of info coming your way why not sign up for Jeff's 5-day eCourse??? Lot's of good info to help get ya off on the right foot.
Dave, Welcome to SMF. If at all possible, see if you can calibrate the thermometer that is in the door. I use a Maverick ET-73 thermometer- it allows you to monitor the chamber temps and the internal temp of an item that you're smoking. I have a door thermometer, but it's not very reliable.

In any rub recipes that calls for sugar, I prefer to use turbinated sugar as it tolerates the heat better. You can find it on the baking aisle, look for "Sugar in the Raw".
Think the problem was with the thermometer. The door thermometer was the one I was going by with it showing 225. Drilled a hole in the back of the gas smoker and placed the taylor digital probe in it and it showed 290 degrees. Should the temp at the door be the same as the temp at the top when everything equalizes?

Dave, welcome to the forum! I gotta agree with Chad, slow it down a bit. Nail one thing at a time. Was the food on the top shelf less charred than that on the bottom? In the immortal words of cajunsmoker, "slow and low". It does seem fast for all of that food to have been done in 3.5 hours. I smoke baby backs for 6-7 by themselves, yard bird about 4 hours (4lb bird). Temp fluctuations will kill ya too. Keep an eye on the chamber temp as much as possible for your first few smokes, 'till you know your smoker. DO get a digital therm with a long probe cord so that you can stick into your meat, put meat in smoker, and monitor the internal temp of your meat without having to open your smoker to take temps. This will help maintain good, even heat in the chamber. Good luck, enjoy!
Welcome to SMF.
Good choice on getting a new thermometer. This should be the first thing they tell you in the owners manual of these smokers. Something like; NOTE: OUR THERMOMETER IS JUNK! PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY A QUALITY DIGITAL. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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