Newbie could use some advice...

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Jan 11, 2014
Okay, I am pretty new to the whole smokinh game...but am already in love! I have a Master Forge 2 door cabinet style propane smoker (that I see a lot of on here). I have used it twice before and am using it again now. I have been very happy with my results each time. But I still feel like I could do better.

I definitely don't feel it is getting up to a high enough temperature. I read some great posts on here and have a few ideas. I already placed a probe in the cabinet and now realize the cheap analog door thermometer pretty much sucks! I may also try the door seals as well. And maybe a regulator at the tank. Is it pretty well agreed upon that these are all good ideas?

I guess my biggest complaint is that I don't seem to get any bark on the outside of the meat. My brother in law has almost the same smoker and smoked some pork shoulder last week and it had this amazing bark on the outside. I am smoking one now...and nothing! Granted, its not done yet....but I don't see it happening either. I don't foil it. I usually spray/mop a nit early on but don't for the last half for sure. Any ideas?

Your lack of bark could is probably because of your rub but also has to do with temperature as well. Ask your brother in law for his rub recipe and see what you get. These trials and errors are what make smoking food fun. I agree with the mods door seals and  adjustable regulator. You want to be able to control your smoker and to be able to repeat certain processes.
Make it as simple as you can.

Rub the meat.

Bring the smoker up to temp.

Set the meat in and let it go.

Do nothing other than maintain temp and smoke.

Since most folks have a sauce to accompany the meat, I wouldn't get too wrapped up in treating the outside of a roast with mops or sprays.  Besides, if you're mopping it early, you're likely washing off the sugar that produces the bark anyway.

I can't comment on the mods...  I have a Smoke Vault and let it go as it is. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.