New Smoker- 1st two attempts failed

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Original poster
Aug 6, 2022
Just bought an Oklahome Joe Bandera model to try my hand at smoking. I tried a recipe and technique that I found on the internet for smoking. Turned out tough as boot leather and tasteless. This was a Sirloin steak that I smoked for about 4 hours at 225 deg.

Tried again with a 2 lb rump roast.. smoked for 4 hours at 210 until internal temp reached 155. Lowered smoker temp to 190 for 2 hours. I basted the roast once every hour with the roast sitting in its own juices on a piece of parchment paper. It was really looking tasty... Took it out and let it rest per instructions. Turned out tasteless and tough as boot leather.

What am I doing wrong? I'm wasting money and time.

pit 4 brains

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Dec 16, 2009
Summerville, SC
Well, if you really want beef, then I would suggest a chuck roast instead of rump. There's a plethora of ways to do a "chuckie" on the SMF so do a little searching around. A little SPOG, a foil pan and some stock will get you some good results.
Being new to smoking, I would highly recommend a pork butt (bone-in shoulder) and a foil pan. Butts take a long time to cook but are very forgiving and provide a lot of sandwich meat.
Ribs are a second good choice for newbs as they can be foiled with the 3-2-1 or 2-2-2 method and be forgiving as well.
Whole chickens do well and provide a nice utility meat for serving, sandwiches, burritos, etc..
Don't be afraid of running your smoker temps up into the 250-260 range. Learn about "the stall" when doing whole muscle meats and keep in mind that they will have higher final ITs before being done. Pork butts can go between 190 and 205 degrees before pulling, briskets above 180 and up to 190 (in my experience) before becoming probe tender. Each piece of meat will be different and that is why temp / time per pound is only a guideline.
Keep that upper damper open and go for the Thin Blue Smoke!
Hang in there.


Epic Pitmaster
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★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 14, 2013
OFallon Mo.
Maybe you like your beef well done , and that's fine . My opinion is you're cooking to long and the internal temps are to high for my taste .
For a lean cut of beef .


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 27, 2015
Southwest Minnesota
hi and welcome to the forum! hang in there, good advice given above for you. just keep at it and you'll get it working good for yourself!


Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
Dec 25, 2010
Vine Grove, KY
Rump can be tough when in a smoker.

Use pot roast (poor mans briskit) and keep the temp as close to 225 as you can (dont lower then raise) temp. My Bandera was a learning curve. I got a OKJ Bronco and sold the Bandera. Way better smoker IMHO.



Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 13, 2015
Coatesville, IN
Rump over 155º is getting into the well done arena. Add another 2 hours at 190º and coming out tough probably makes sense. 4 hours for a steak, yup that will be tough. I would take a sirloin cut 2" thick to approximately 130-132º pull and let it rest. The IT will tend to still increase a few degrees. Wait until the IT drops a few degrees then its ready for serving.

For a new person starting to smoke I suggest trying your hand with a pork butt. These things are almost impossible to mess up. You can throw a wide range of temps at them. If interested see the recipe in the sig below.
Last edited:


Smoking Fanatic
May 13, 2019
Look around here for a recipe. You have gotten some good advice above already. You're initial recipes+difficult meats are hard to overcome thru no fault of yours.


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
I do mainly pork, so I'm not going to jump in on the beef question.
I highly recommend a pork butt. Simple and almost impossible to screw up--pork butt is the most forgiving meat out there.

Generously apply some rub to the butt.
Preheat your smoker to 240ish.
Put the butt into the smoker (over a drip pan).
When the butt stalls--at about 160, wrap it in tinfoil or butcher paper, insert your temp probe, and return it to the smoker. Don't worry about smoke from this point on.
When the internal temp hits 205 The butt should be done. Probe test for tenderness.
The bone should pull out clean and the meat should be tender and juicy.

Then you'll have some of the best pulled pork you've ever eaten.

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