Low meat temperature

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Original poster
Dec 15, 2021
I just bought a a Masterbuilt electric smoker. I have tried a 2 1/2 lb brisket flat and a 3 lb chuck roast. Both times the smoker temp was 225-230 but the meat temp never approached that. Yesterday the chuck roast reached 157 in 3 1/2 hours but never went over 157 in 5 1/2 hours. I wrapped it and put it back on for an hour and an hour in a cooler. Tasted great but was chewy.
Why won’t the meat temperature rise?
Smoking food takes WAAAAY longer than many expect. Blew my mind at first and had many long nights. A few things do help though: rest meat at room temp before going into smoker, be sure the meat is dry and not wet, do NOT look/open the smoker when running, also bump to 275F to speed things up. 157F IT is also classic stall temps and very common to see temps not move at all or even fall for a few hours. All normal but wrapping is common to mitigate. 3-4lb chuck would take me around 8hrs @ 275F.
Yesterday the chuck roast reached 157 in 3 1/2 hours but never went over 157 in 5 1/2 hours.
Last chuck I did took 11 hours on a Weber kettle . Cook temp was around 300 .
When I do them in the MES 30 , I use a rack in a foil pan . Smoker temp is 260 .
At the stall I add some beef broth and wrap .
If you add liquid , Pre-HEAT it first . Don't add cold liquid to it because it will drops the temp .
Like said above , takes a lot longer than you think .
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also bump to 275F to speed things up.
YES! 275 is a great temp - I do all my big meat cooks at 275. no more 12+ hour or overnight cooks.

I would get a independent thermometer to check temp inside smoker,
Always a good idea to know what the actual cook temps are. I used a WSM stock thermometer once...then found it was 80 degrees off. never again.
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Make sure you do the boil test on your thermometers. I learned that the hard way a while back. At sea level when you put the probe in boiling water It will read 212 degrees. If not, you know how far off it is.
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I have a Big Chief electric smoker. No temperature control unless you get creative with cardboard shields on the vents. I could get it to 200+° in the milder temps.
After ~3 hours of smoke I moved meat to the oven in a roaster pan and finished at 300° to 350° (depending on my mood.)

Got a pellet grill last year. Only a partial electric unit, but the forced air sure speeds up the cook.
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Below is a Chuckie I did using 240° Smoker Temp:
Preheat to 240°
8:30 AM. Put Chuckie in Smoker
12:30 PM Chuckie at 152° IT.
2:25 PM Chuckie at 165° IT---Double Wrapped in Foil.
3:45 PM. Chuckie @205° IT.

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