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New to smoking


Joined Nov 15, 2020
I’ve been gifted a new Pit Boss 700fb as my first venture into pellet smokers. I frequented this forum a few times in helping me in my first couple of smokes. I come here looking for a little help or advise.

My first smoke was a thanksgiving turkey breast and turned out quite well according to my family. The second smoke was last nights chicken wings that were quite tasty according to the family again. Today, I managed to complete my first rack of pork ribs, using the 3-2-1 method.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with my experience. However, I’m noticing the cooking times to be quite longer than I’m expecting. Tonight’s 3-2-1 was more like 3-2-2 and probably should have taken another hour to be fully ready. The internal temp was about 180 when I finally pulled them. I was shooting for ~195 but didn’t want to subject my family to waiting any longer. Granted, I’m new to pellet smokers and ribs all together, but I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong. I’m trying to lean along this process.

I’m I wasn’t shooting for”fall-off-the-bone” ribs. But I also wanted to avoid rubbery/chewy ribs. I applied dry rub on top of a generous coat of mustard, smoked for 3 hours the smoker set to 225, tightly wrapped in foil with a generous amount of butter and brown sugar (both on top of and below the ribs) for 2 hours, then uncovered for another 2 hours. An hour before I finally pulled the ribs off (6 hours in) I checked the internal temp and noticed it was at 145. I decided to set temp of smoker to 250 for the final :30 and managed to get the internal temp up to about 180. I attempted the bend test before pulling and while they bent, they didn’t “crack” the bark as I was expecting. I assumed that might have been achieved had I given it more time, not something my four year old was excited about.

As I said, I have been pretty please with all but my times if I should be doing something to help with this, please let me know, my family and I would greatly appreciate it.


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Joined Mar 22, 2008
Welcome to SMF glad you joined us.
Have you double checked the thermometer on the smoker most of the time they are not correct. If you did the 3-2-1 method and they were not fall off the bone when done then I would highly suspect the smoker was not running at 225 degrees


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^^^^^^^^Exactly what Piney said above!


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Feb 25, 2016
I have found it is worth investing in a secondary thermometer. I have the Inkbird WIFI unit. With four probes I can keep an eye on the meat temp and the grill temp also. Can usually get it on sale for $50-$70.


Joined Nov 15, 2020
Thank you all for the replies. I posted that pretty late last night and forgot to mention that I have been using two thermometers during my smokes. The first is a new Traeger remote digital thermometer. This was given to me from my step-father after he purchased it and got fed up trying to learn how to use it. I managed to learn how to use it (not difficult) and have used it on all three smokes. The second thermometer is a Thermopro TP19H instant read pen. At this point I have no reason to think I am experiencing any problems with either thermometers. I’ve tested both with boiling water and they have both checked out in the past.

My concern has more to do with the smoker and or my procedure. The smoker fluctuates in its temperature because it’s a pellet grill, according to my understanding. The temp floats above and below the desired temperature as I would suspect most do, regardless of manufactures and models. Given the amount of time I have sat in front of the smoker enjoying the experiencing and smells, I’d say the smoker spends more time below the desired temperature than above. For the most part, I’ve kept it on the factory set “P” setting of 4 and will be taking the time to slowest dial the setting back to gain better control of the temperature fluctuations.

I’m wondering if I’m not doing the startup procedure correctly. I keep going back to the owners manual and rereading little things I’ve missed in my previous smokes. I suspect I have not done the startup procedure correctly per the manual. With both smoker and hopper lid open, I turned to smoke to initiate the automatic start-up procedure. Once the smoker has expelled the initial smoke, I have closed the lid and then changed the dial to 350. One thing I’ve noticed, yesterday, I only preheated the smoker to 250, then dialed it back to 225 once the the smoker reached 250. I’m wondering if yesterday’s problems stemmed from the fact I didn’t preheat to a higher temperature. However, the first two smokes, I preheated to 350 and still ran into inaccurate smoke times.

Another possible cause is weather related. I live in central California where the temperatures here range between 30’s- 40’s at night and 50’s-60’s in the daytime this time of year. There’s hasn’t been a lot of wind that might have effected the smoker temperature.

Thank you again to all that have commented.

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