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Hot Springs Arkansas Newbie


Joined Jan 1, 2017
I am really new to the bar b q scene. I have recently acquired a used Master Forge propane smoker that had a damaged Handle which I managed to repair with a little amateur welding. Outside of the handle, it is an almost new unit. I had a lot of problems at first acquiring inside temp. the guage only showed me getting a 200 degree maximum. two trips to the feed store, a new high pressure regulator, hose and an accurate temp guage. what the unit showed to be 200 was actually 260. 
As the only experience I have had with smoking is a wasted lifetime of tobacco use, (I am presently 2 years 2 months tobacco free), and other herbal substances from an earlier questionable youth, this is a new embarkation for me. 
Therefore, when I ask that really dumb question that everyone else knows, please be patient with me.
a little more about me, I am a recently retired vocational instructor in Pharmacy 
Technology, Certified Nursing assistant. I also spent 25 years as an LPN in different aspects of nursing, long term care, ICU, pediatrics. I did a time of Travel nursing where I was able to spend some time in different areas of the country and managed to try some different cuisines. I love food, especially smoked meats and veggies. 
I am now going to start out with some whole chickens, spare ribs and a pork roast. I am actually a little apprehensive about doing it all at once, but typically, I like to go.....wait for it.....whole hog!!


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to SMF!

Unless you are feeding an army, I think I would just start out with the chickens.

They are pretty easy to smoke.

Do you have a good meat thermometer?

They are essential in getting the meat done to the right temp.

What kind of pork roast do you have?

A pork loin may take 5 hours & a pork butt may take 20 hours to cook.

The ribs & chicken will take anywhere from 4 - 6 hours to smoke depending on their size & type.

It's OK to cook them all at once, but depending on what you have you wouldn't start them all at once.



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 7, 2015
Welcome to the group!  I agree 100% with SmokinAl!  Also, this is a great group of folks who don't bash you for asking dumb questions.  Glad you joined us!



Joined Jan 1, 2017
Thanks for the help guys. I actually was cooking for a small army, family). It went well and I learned a couple of things.
1. Don't trust the thermometer on the smoker, it's purely there for looks. I did get as digital for meat temp, but I relied way too much on the dial built in. I believe my temps were a little high which meant I cooked too long, too high. So next purchase will be a thermometer dedicated to the smoker. As I am now solely dependent upon SSI, it will have to be a budget model.
2. Wood chips burn up way too quick. I need thicker chunks.

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
  Good morning and welcome to the forum from a nice sunny day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great            people with tons of information on just about everything.

        BTW   I love Hot Springs

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