I got discouraged, but I'm back!

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Sep 8, 2006
Casa Grande, AZ
I covered my smoker and I went away for a couple months, but I'm back for another try. I smoked a few items and all of them were terrible! I did ribs and you would think you were chewing on a salt lick and I followed someones recipe for the rub here. I smoked a shoulder and my thermometer was off and it got dry. I purchased Willies snack stix mix from PS Seasonings and followed the directions to the tee and they were like gnawing on cactus they were so dry and the collegen cases were slipping off.. Threw out 40# plus of meat.

I got REAL discouraged!

But, I'm going to give it another go. I may have to break down and purchase Jeff's rub recipe. Unfortunately, Social Insecurity doesn't pay too much so it might be a bit before I can do that. I'm just having a heck of a time finding a rub we like. (My wife is real picky)..

What rubs have you folks used that are posted freely here that work? I'm not asking for your secret recipe, but just something that isn't too sweet with brown sugar or too salty..
Glad you have decided to give it another go AZ. I think we all have been there before and turned out some inedible Q, I know when I first started I sure did.
As far as finding a rub that you like.....that's a tough one, most rubs are a balance of sweet and spicey and if you like niether flavors that kinda limits your choices for rub recipes. But it could be as simple as salt & pepper, maybe a little garlic powder and other spices that you and your wife have found that you like.
Remember, it's all about balance, if one flavor, ie...salty-sugary-spicey, stands out way more than the others it usually doesn't work. Also whatever you decide to try.....taste it on your fingertip before you put it on your meat.....if you don't like it then there's no reason to think that you will after it's cooked.
I'm sure others will chime in with some simple rubs......but taste it first!!! And again, glad to see you climbed back on the horse!!!
All of us have faced disappointments in our smoking adventures. I am glad you decided to give it another try. Remember there is a wealth of knowledge here from some very nice and helpful folks. Don't be afraid to ask questions before your attempts. It may be helpful to let us know what kind of smoker you intend to do each recipe on and the cut of meat or other items you intend to smoke. A good thermometer is a great help also. Good luck and keep us posted.

For a store bought rub I have used McCormick's Grill Mates Pork Rub and it really is pretty good. Not sweet and not quite spicy enough for my taste but the family says it's about right for them. (Buncha weeny ol' girls)
Long before all of these smokin forums began and long before all of these rubs cropped up, I would coat my meat (beef, pork, goat, road kill) with either mustard or Worcestershire Sauce. I would then season with black pepper, granulated garlic, and paprika, in that order. I still do that a lot and it makes for some pretty good eating.
Redneck...it's also a good idea to cut your batch size down,especially when tryin something new..so you don't end up throwing out 40 # meat as you said..wouldn't take long to get dicouraged doin that
i am glad you made it back.... dont give up

where do you buy your meat? i use to buy it in Food City... i love that place. they are usually very cheap.

as for rubs i like... heres what i do

i use to buy cheap chicken (food city always has those specials for .29lb) and experiment... you end up eating alot of chicken but i would rather throw away a leg & thigh than a rib or sausages

you could also try a fattie, they are cheap... start with a simple rub of S&P adding a little brown sugar,garlic powder,onion powder maybe some Tony C's

i have also used just Tony C's and a little bit of sugar for my rub...a little bit of sweet, a little bit spicy...

if you need some more help, please ask... we can help you..lol

wish i still live down in AZ, i would come over and help you...i use to live in Maricopa by the feed lot..
Glad you're not giving up yet. As much fun as it is to 'fill-er-up" and start smoking, it's best to start small until you get the kinks out of it. :)
Hello AZ-

Ya know .... You don't have to use a fancy rub or sauce. You can use what you normally like to use when cooking for the family and just add a little apple juice spray once in a while.

Most important thing is to watch your temperatures! Low and Slow. If you don't have a good themomter don't try it until you do. We don't want you to get discouraged again.
and your walmart in Casa Grande is pretty good... they will have a good digital one there.... if not Phoenix is not too far away and there are lots of goodies to be had there
You mention Food City. I get my pork shoulder there. Most of the time it's .99/lb and has a very small bone in it. It's GREAT for sausage. I make TONS of sausage with them. Those are the shoulders I used that turned out dry because I had a bad thermometer. I smoked them until they were 190' and they were still very tough after something like 11 hours. I had to put them in the oven the next day to get them to pull apart. The ribs I used had a salty rub on it. The rub called for salt and I used kosher salt. It wasn't specific. I don't know what happened with the slim jims. I'm using a GOSM gasser and real low temps are hard to reach even when you have the door cracked and the burner at the lowest possible setting.

Additionally, Food City is the ONLY place in town where I can get pork liver for boudin. Have you ever been to the meat shop in Maricopa? He'll sell pig bellies for bacon at 1.99/lb. I haven't been there yet.

Walmart in Casa Grande has some decent products but most made in China. I like the kitchen shop in Tanger Mall. I'm like a kid in a candy store down there. Drives my wife nuts.

Anyway, I see someone here is in Florence. Another local Zonie..Cool. Maybe share sources for stuff or go in on some meat...

Thanks everyone for the advice. I need to be like a mad scientist and try different formulas until I find one I like. The wife is picky though so it's going to be tough.
You bet. I could always use some help finding a good source for food or fuel. You aware of Berry Bros. Firewood?? http://www.bbfw.com/ It's a good source for cooking woods, but kinda hard to get to if you don't like driving in all that city traffic.
Az_Redneck;47270 said:
Additionally, Food City is the ONLY place in town where I can get pork liver for boudin. Have you ever been to the meat shop in Maricopa? He'll sell pig bellies for bacon at 1.99/lb. I haven't been there yet.


if you are talking about the old mercantile(sp) in Maricopa, well i havent had the best of luck with their meat...

if you go down the same road that Napa is on, down where the feedlot use to be(or is)...anyways, there is a meat shop right on the corner of the road, they butcher it there and sell it there for cheap

i dont know how Basha's is in Maricopa for meat i just know they were always reasonable
I get all the free pecan wood I want from the orchard off of HWY 279 outside of Coolidge.. Friendly fellow and says if it's on the ground, you can take it home. He just burns it for firewood..

I just need a way to chunk it up..I have to cut it by hand so I don't get too much at one time. I'll have to check out the place in Phoenix for the other types of wood I use. I usually buy from Sportsmans Warehouse and it's something like $3 for a 5# bag..
teacup13;47563 said:
Does the name Farabees Meats sound familiar on Murphy Road? They're the ones that will sell pork belly meat for $1.99/lb.. There is another place close by (The Pork Shop in Queen Creek) and they want $2.99/lb (thieves..lol)

There used to be a fantastic slaughterhouse (is that an oxymoron?) in Mesa called Stones but it went out of business several years ago. The PETA folks drove it out because they were slaughtering animals in a residential/commercial area since builders came in and built everything up. Used to be just a back country road..
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