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Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by smokie bill, Feb 27, 2013.
How accurate is the door thermometer on the MB Dual Fuel smoker?
It's been a mixed bag Dagwood,..I've heard "its useless" to "accurate enough"..I have a Maverick digital that I bought recently, and I'll be relying on that..
hey guys I'm looking for a little help before I purchase a dehydrator. I've ever dried food before or done jerky or anything but I want to get into it. I've been looking around for dehydrators and I'm leaning towards the nesco american harvest FD-37 that I found on this site http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-jerky-and-dried-foods-with-a-dehydrator and i'm curious what you guys think of nesco dehydrators or if you have suggestions of other brands I should consider? Any help would be great before I make a purchase, thanks guys.
I just did the boiling water test on mine (haven't seasoned yet...just put it together last week) along with my new Maverick E-705 and another el cheapo no name thermometer and the door thermometer read 200F in the boiling water (held there for a few minutes).
Both my digitals read 212 and 213, so I think I lucked out. I think Steve is right. Your mileage may vary.
Wife bought me one for Christmas from Bass Pro, 30" propane, and I love it. It is my first smoker but as a retired chef I know the importance of quality built with ample cooking area and this unit provides both. I am currently designing a case for it so I can carry it in the belly storage of our motorhome...hoping it will save on fuel costs from having to drivie back to the house to smoke and reload the freezer. Let me also say that the forums and ideas, recipes and brags are a great tool for all of us!
I feel like I am selling these on here, but truthfully I don't get a kickback!
One of the first mods I did when I bought this very smoker was to add a LP needle valve inline for the supply hose.
Buy this valve, 2 barb fittings and some wormgear clamps from your favorite hardware store, and you are in business. This allows you much more control over the flame than with just the dial on the front. So just using LP, you can turn down the flame much lower, with much smaller increments than you can with the dial. If I make a big adjustment I can use the dial -- minor adjustments I fiddle with the valve. And going real low temps I exclusively use the valve.
Thus I was able to run my smoker easily around 100-110F twice in a row now while smoking some beef snack sticks over the last month. Smoking jerky or snack sticks, the profile is generally a 1 hour "dehydrate" step in the smoker at 100F with no smoke, then ~130F for 3 hours or so, then increasing from there until you hit the desired internal temp of 165F...but the smoker is never supposed to go above 180F.
I can do all that easily with the needle valve, but of course keeping it at 100F doesn't take much fire so it is tricky. Not recommended if you have a lot of wind that day, or you'll need to use something other than LP for heat....but then smoking with a lot of wind is tricky regardless.
My door thermometer read 180 in the boiling water test -- trying to decide what to do about that. I can measure meat temp obviously, but for general "air temp" in the smoker I don't know if I can assume that the thermometer is off by 30 degrees consistently or not...
I like their model 20051311 more.
You can try replacing the thermo with another like model, but I think I've read on amazingribs.com or something that it's generally pointless to battle that. The nature of the spring-loaded thermometer is just not conducive to a relatively high level of accuracy that we are seeking to achieve.
1) I wouldn't assume your thermo is off 30F all the time. The relationship might not always be consistent.
2) If you want a solid air temp system, I'd bite the bullet and invest in the Maverick ET732 or something similar, electronic in variety rather than spring dial.
Mind you I am presently not following my own advice -- I still go by the stock door spring-dial thermo and have several smokes of great results. I have not confirmed the accuracy of it with the boiling water test. BUT I honestly do plan to upgrade my system with a ET732 very soon when my smoking season gets more active this summer.
I do use a Thermoworks instant-read pocket thermo for internal meat temps, and I highly recommend that.
I have the Maverick OT3BBQ that I use for cooker temp, it's inexpensive & pretty accurate, and with a vertical smoker very handy since temps can vary from rack to rack..
So this is a probe you can use to measure the air temp, as opposed to a meat probe? Would a "meat probe" work for air temp if it wasn't touching other surfaces?
You re correct sir....it has a clip you can use to keep it about an inch or so above the surface...
As far as using meat probes go, I've seen people use them by sticking them through a lemon or a potato..I've never done it myself, but I assume it works OK
I have this same smoker & will be using for the 1st time this weekend. I keep reading that the chip pan is no good & get a 10' cast iron pan instead. Would this work just as good? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Char-Broil-Cast-Iron-Smoker-Box-8184804P/100085898#.UXjvasq1Umo
Or just get the cast iron pan with foil on top?
I also read that wrapping the wood chips in foil & poking holes in it would work, any advice/ideas for a new fellow smoker?
In my two years of smoking on and off, I was always dissapointed with so many things I tried for the wood chips. After much research I have come to know the A-MAZE-N-TUBE-SMOKER. I will be giving this a try. The thing I have been trying to get to is having hours and hours of smoke without constantly attending to adding chips. The reviews here for this product and others made by this company are all positive. You might want to consider this as an option instead of various wood chip pans.
What a co-inky-dink! me too, I'm going to give it a go with charcoal first, after I season it of course..
I've had one of those for adding some quick smoke flavor on my grill - my opinion is that it's too tiny to use as your smoker box. It's 8"x5"x1", and feels smaller than that.
What about doing something like this, just place on top of the chip pan that it comes with?
From my experience this Sunday, I'm not sure the foil pack would necessarily work.
We had unexpectedly nice weather so I scrambled to season and get my MasterBuilt out there for a first smoke (I just got it) and I didn't have an old pan and for some stupid reason I didn't want to try the foil solution suggested earlier...so I simply soaked and put my chips in a pie pan on top of the chip pan figuring it would be enough to keep them off the flames and smoldering.
Wrong. I got several flare ups. It didn't ruin what I was doing (chicken and a pork loin) but it was annoying.
Now I'm shopping for a pan.
I just came back home with a 10" cast iron pan. Will try it soon. Seems it might be a lil big since it has to sit a lil to the side, maybe should get a 8" pan. Thinking a pie foil pan might be good for the lid, make some holes & that should hopefully work.