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My first go with new smoker


Joined Feb 16, 2020
Yesterday was mostly a learning experience although it included some pretty decent ribs. My 9# pork shoulder *finally* turned out pretty good, too.

I smoked both with a mix of 2 parts apple and 1 part mesquite. That turned out to be a good ratio with the mellower apple reining in the sharp flavor of the mesquite just enough for a nice balance. I used the wood chips for about 4 hours on the shoulder and for 2 on the ribs.

My biggest hurdle was temperature, though. Being the first time I've used the MasterBuilt Pro smoker combined with a few newbie errors, things really didn't get stabilized for a while. No matter how carefully adjusted the flame, I was suddenly at either 325° or 150°. I finally hit the 230° mark about 3 hours in. [emoji]128563[/emoji]

The first rack of ribs were tender but could have stayed on a couple hours longer. The second rack, which did get an extra 3 hours, were perfectly done and tasted phenomenal. Literally melt in your mouth. I paid the highest price for my goofs for the shoulder, which took 18 hours.


Smoke Blower
Joined Jan 10, 2020
Sounds like a great first smoke! And thankfully pork butts can be forgiving when it comes to getting to the desired temperature, even if it takes awhile


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
It takes a while to figure out every type of smoker but my gas smoker was the worst, no way to keep 250 or less during the summer and wind/sun really affected it. made some great BBQ but constant tending. Went electric and has been great but 3-4 hours adding wood was tedious also, went pellets and a lot less work, also less smoke flavor, every thing is a trade off imo. good luck and stick with it its a fun hobby

Steve H

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 18, 2018
Congrats on your first Q!


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Jun 11, 2015
Nice first cook. A butt can take as long as 18 hrs.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 13, 2017
Sounds like you are figuring it out. New cookers take some time to learn. I’ve never used a gas one so can’t offer any advice other than patience :)

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