Need A Little Help ~ DRY BEEF

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 14, 2014
Hello This is my first time posting on this forum. Ive been smoking on a webber grill using the indirect method for years and had very good results. I decided to buy a real smoker this year and bought a Lang 84 Reverse Flow smoker. So Ive been using it almost every day to try and learn the smoker. I made chicken at 350 degrees and the chicken came out crispy with a bite through skin. I made wings at 250 and the skin was not too good. So if I learn anything I need to make chicken at 350 degrees to get that perfect skin. 

My problem that I need help with is I smoke a brisket and it came out very dry and I cook a Tri Tip and it came out dry. The tritip I took it off at 145 degrees and it was close to 150 when I cut it. It was very dry. I made a brisket that I injected with just beef broth and wrap it at 160 degrees and put liquid in the foil and it came off dry. I need to find out what Im doing wrong. 

I know Im learning a new pit but I can't be doing it that wrong. Neither beef was sear. I did have salt in the thin rub and have read salt makes it dry. When I used my webber I used salt and it came out juicy. So Im not sure what is really going on. 

Can anyone help me on what Im doing wrong. The Tritip was cook to the temp Ive done so many times in the past on my grill. All I know is Ill be using my smoker for the Super Bowl and want juicy results by then so please help if you have any advice. I know a tritip is not a smoker meat but I should be able to cook it still without being so dry.
I smoke tri tip 2-3 times a month. So to say it's not a smoker meat is crazy! I like to runt smoker at 265-285 for tri tip and pull at 135 (we like rare, medium rare) foil and rest for 30-45 mins before slicing. Always moist and juicy. I use lots of different ribs, but my go to is Salt, pepper, onion, garlic.

Chicken needs to be smoked ya temps above 325 for good skin.

For brisket there's all kinds of factors involved. Honestly haven't cooked one for a few years. Never injected when one or foiled. Always had good results running the smoker at 265, cook until a toothpick inserts easily into multiple spots.

Are you using just the pits therm or are you running a separate therm you can test to see if your out temps are accurate?
Im using just the temp gauge thats on the smoker. I think its pretty accurate. The smoke holds good temp once you reach the temp you want. Today I had it between 250 and 300. As far as the meat goes we like our beef med well. Today I cook it to rare just to see and it was too rare for us. I would love to have my tri tip  juicy at med well done if I can. My house can't eat rare

Great looking pit!

I would recommend getting a digital therm that you can test like the Mav 732, etc. Or pull the therm off your smoker and test it in boiling water. Should read 212°+/- a few degrees. Also you can have cold and hot spots in a smoker, so having a therm that you can move around will help determine where those may be. Since your therm is static it is only giving you a reading of the pit where it is at. I always place my therm probes within a few inches of what I am smoking. I'd do a boil test on the therms you are using for your meat temps too, just to see how accurate they are.
My pit has two gauges and both read the same. If I would take a guess why my meat was dry based on everything I read is I did not allow my coals to get the pit to the right temp. I had wood on fire and my pit was inconsistent. Im sure it was as high as 300 and as low as 200 in the cooking process. I think next time i need to fire my pit up a hour before and get it to the right temp. My other problem I had this last cook was I had a big wood flavor on my chicken as I did not have the first time I made chicken. So my guess is when I made chicken this last time I had too much wood on fire and was not using hot coals. Sometimes I can't wait to get a bed of coals so I might have to start with a bag of charcoal. My last cook I had a very strong wood flavor compare to when I was cooking with a good bed of coals from wood. So I will be trying again. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.