Masterbuilt Pro Dual Fuel Smoker - First Smoke - Lots of Mistakes - Need advice

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by northcountyguy, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Had my first smoke ever on my new Masterbilt Pro Dual Fuel Smoker. Pork ribs, preseasoned from Costco.

    I read almost all posts regarding this smoker, but I still made tons of mistakes. I hope some can learn from my stupidity.

    Here are my mistakes:
    1. After seasoning it and preheating it, I tried to put in the water pan (mostly filled with apple juice) after it was 250 degrees. I ended up spilling a bunch of water (and apple juice) on the hickory chips and dousing the flame. I then had to restart it.
    2. Big problem. The remote thermometer temp was WAY different than the one on the front of the smoker. Even on medium, the remote therm was showing over 400 degrees, while the one on the front of the smoke was 150. I had no idea what the real temperature.
    3. As recommended, I put tin foil on the chip tray so that there would be no flare ups. Well. the flame burnt right through the tin foil and had a ton of flare up.
    4. I used the recipe that came with the smoker for the ribs. 3 hours smoked then 1- 1 1/2 hours wrapped in tin foil. But because I had no idea what the real temperature was, I believe I overcooked it.
    The results were still pretty good. They all got eaten and my kids loved the bacon flavor. For me, they were too dry, but still not bad on my first try with so many mistakes.

    So, what do I do differently with the thermometer?

    I'm moving towards getting an Igrill soon, but still, what did I do wrong?


  2. I too am a newbie (4 smokes thus far) on the same smoker. I think the thermometers on these smokers are hit or miss, mostly miss. I bought a Maverick ET-73, but unfortunately during my smoke this weekend I think I may have shorted the probe for the smoker. It still read temp, just much higher than usual and sure enough when I checked it the probe was touching the grate. Hoping that had something to do with it, but not counting on it. Anyway, I'm not sure what you can do about the thermometer issue other than calibrating your remote one if possible or checking its accuracy in boiling water. Someone with more wisdom can probably help you with that. 

    One issue I can address is the chip pan. I foiled mine heavily for the first three uses and it worked ok, but I finally decided to take the advice of many in the forums and just buy an 8' cast iron skillet. This is the way to go my friend - easy clean up, no flare ups, and I think I actually had more consistent smoke but that could just be me. They run about $10 at Wal Mart, but it's worth it trust me. Just set it on top of the existing chip pan and you're good to go. Good luck!
  3. Welcome to the fun of trial and error and trial some more. I have the same smoker and two real easy steps will make your experiences amazingly easier. The first is to invest in a good remote thermometer. I also have the Maverick ET-73 and it works extremely well and is easy to use. The included thermometer is worthless and cannot be trusted. The iGrill looks good as well.

    The next thing that is a must is to get a cast iron skillet for your wood. I use a 10" model purchased from Walmart for about $14. This will help you control your wood for smoking. I also recommend that you use wood chunks instead of chips. They keep a smooth smolder to provide good smoke and keep the temp spikes from flare ups to a minimum.

    Try these first and you should see a smoother experience.
  4. thatcho

    thatcho Meat Mopper

    Same boat as you guys. Going on five smokes in early morn. Sounds like a cast iron pan solves quite a bit. Do u recommend getting a smoke tube from amazen products?

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