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Lot's of trial and error on the MB560 gravity

FoxmanNC

Newbie
26
34
Joined Dec 10, 2020
So, I am very new to the smoking game member with a statement. We purchased a Masterbuilt 560 and I think we will absolutely love it. I smoked a pork loin, a spatchcock chicken, and a couple of steaks.

My chicken was way too smokey. Wondering if I should have flipped it over at any point? I was adding apple wood to the ash bin every 30 minutes. Way too much. Should have removed the skin, it is tough. The meat is tender and good, but very smokey. Smoked at 250.

Tried to reverse sear the steaks. I must not have gotten our iron skillet hot enough to sear. Didn't trust my thermometer when it was on the grill and ended up with steaks that were a tad overcooked and without the benefit of really being seared. Mine was good, my wife didn't like hers. Smoked at 225 but they got done in a hurry, which is why I didn't trust the thermometer.

Our boys plan to be home for Christmas and are requesting some smoked steaks. Im going to have to trust the thermometer and follow some recipes. Crossing my fingers. Any suggestions?

Pork loin has a good flavor. We did a mustard binder with a homemade rub that is tasty. Of the 3 smokes, it turned out the best. I did greatly underestimate how long a 7lb loin would take at 225. I figured it would take several hours. It was less than 2.

Anyway, trial and error rolls on.
 

xray

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,737
2,377
Joined Mar 11, 2015
Hey Fox and welcome!

I got a 560 a few months ago and am loving it too! You will really enjoy it as you become more comfortable with it. What thermometer don’t you trust? The one that comes with the unit or do you have a stand alone one?

As for the chicken, flipping it won’t change the amount of smoke it receives so you’ll have to reduce the smoke by adding less wood to your ash bin. I just scatter a few wood chunks throughout the hopper and mix them in with the charcoal. But that is all personal preference, you may find something perfect but others might find it too smokey. Find what works best for you and your family.

Also the chicken won’t really have crispy skin when it’s smoked at 250. You won’t start seeing crispy skin until the temp is north of 350. Personally, it’s never crispy enough for my liking so I usually don’t eat it. Smoke that chicken at a higher temperature for more crispier skin, also at the high temperatures, it will get done faster and that means less time in the smoke, so that may work out better for you.

When reverse searing a steak, make sure to give it a good 15-20 minute rest after smoking and before you sear it. That will stop the edges from overcooking and ending up with that band of grey meat around the center. The reverse sear method works great for thicker cuts of meat. Any steak under 1.5” you’re better off just grilling/cooking them as you normally would.

Here’s some thick filets I did on the 560.

 

unclebubbas bbq

Smoking Fanatic
331
75
Joined Jun 26, 2013
Depending on what you are cooking (chicken & ribs) you only want to add 2 chunks of wood, tennis ball size to your smoker for the entire smoke. For a pork butt or brisket 2 to 4 pieces.
When cooking chicken, hotter is better for crispy skin 275-300. If you poke holes in your skin it will also help with bite through. Don't ever remove the skin before smoking even if it is rubbery, it gives the chicken flavor and has fat that adds to keeping it juicy
 

FoxmanNC

Newbie
26
34
Joined Dec 10, 2020
Thanks guys! This is great advice. The reason I doubted the thermometer is because of how fast the pork loin and the steaks cooked, but as it turned out, they were accurate.

Context - I bought my 560 from someone who had only lit it once and never used it due to a family emergency. When I got it home, the supplied meat thermometer was missing. I ordered a 4 pack from Amazon that works with the 560 that plugs into it and it appears they are pretty accurate. Since then, I have ordered a thermoworks Thermapen classic, but it hasn't come in yet.

xray xray , yeah my steaks were not greater than 1 1/2", so, for my boys I will be in the market for some 2" ribeyes or NY Strips.

unclebubbas bbq unclebubbas bbq 2 chunks!.... yeah, I am going to have to restrain myself a lot. I have no idea why I was so bent on putting wood in every 30 minutes. It's a learning process. Thanks again yall
 

FowlAntics

Newbie
12
13
Joined Dec 22, 2020
I've worked and worked on my chicken game and now I have it pretty well figured out so I'll throw in my 2 cents for crispy chicken skin. These are the are steps I always do and am never let down:

1. Dry brine chicken for about 12 hours, then wipe away excess salt and dry thoroughly with towel.

2. Reach fingers and hand under skin and pull away from the meat all over ‐ breast and legs.

3. Put a tiny bit of baking powder in your rub and apply with an olive oil binder to the skin and under the skin.

4. Cook at 375 to 400

If you do all that you're sure to have awesome crispy chicken skin.
 

xray

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,737
2,377
Joined Mar 11, 2015
Sounds like you’re good to go Fox!
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,498
3,766
Joined Jun 13, 2017
Lots of good advice you got!! The whole manly more is better thing is something you have to conquer for smoking :)
 

whistlepig

Smoking Fanatic
518
152
Joined Dec 23, 2011
So, I am very new to the smoking game member with a statement. We purchased a Masterbuilt 560 and I think we will absolutely love it. I smoked a pork loin, a spatchcock chicken, and a couple of steaks.

My chicken was way too smokey. Wondering if I should have flipped it over at any point? I was adding apple wood to the ash bin every 30 minutes. Way too much. Should have removed the skin, it is tough. The meat is tender and good, but very smokey. Smoked at 250.

Tried to reverse sear the steaks. I must not have gotten our iron skillet hot enough to sear. Didn't trust my thermometer when it was on the grill and ended up with steaks that were a tad overcooked and without the benefit of really being seared. Mine was good, my wife didn't like hers. Smoked at 225 but they got done in a hurry, which is why I didn't trust the thermometer.

Our boys plan to be home for Christmas and are requesting some smoked steaks. Im going to have to trust the thermometer and follow some recipes. Crossing my fingers. Any suggestions?

Pork loin has a good flavor. We did a mustard binder with a homemade rub that is tasty. Of the 3 smokes, it turned out the best. I did greatly underestimate how long a 7lb loin would take at 225. I figured it would take several hours. It was less than 2.

Anyway, trial and error rolls on.
Assuming you are using wood chunks and not chips I add the settlings from a bag/box of wood chunks to the ash pan, a 3"x 3" chunk at the bottom of the hopper and then every 6" in the hopper a 3" x 3" chunk for long smokes. For shorts smokes (steaks, burgers, wings, etc.) I throw one 3" x 3" wood chunk in the ash pan. Although my 560 heats up quickly it takes a while to keep the heat stable. After it reaches the desired temp I will let it run another 30-40 minutes before adding the food. I get more consistent results that way. Even searing I will let it run at sear temp for 30-40 minutes before adding the food.

I bought my 560 early this spring and love it!
 

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