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Newbie on my first beefstick run

franklin3

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Joined Jul 3, 2010
This is my smoker.

Gas fired Masterbuilt.  In a rainstorm!

A coworker has a relative that works in a winery and he had given me a bag of shavings made from old wine barrels.  Real clean large grain sawdust from red wine soaked barrels.  The stuff has the most wonderful aroma so thats what I used.  I have had good results on pork shoulders, briskit and ribs using this stuff so in it went, pre soaked at the two hour mark.

I had the worst time ever keeping the temp setting low enough but not to low.  

Then it got to hot.  Then to cold.  I had to keep checking it every 20-30 minutes and

I also smoked these without using the water pan?  I don't know why I always use it for smoking anything else?  For some reason I just didn't use it.  I never had this much trouble before and the only thing I did differently was NOT USING THE WATER PAN!  maybe thats what gave me the fits with temp control?  

I wa shooting for 160 degrees following the directions I got with the kit and I overshot it and think I got closer to 170.  Smoked them for a total of about eight hours gradually raising the temp from 130-145-160-200  not on purpose, I never intended to get the temp up to 200 it just got away from me.

They came out looking like this!
 

franklin3

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Joined Jul 3, 2010
To my taste they were to dry.  I like the flavor and all that's required to overcome the dryness is to drink more cold beer!

Still...................I wanted more!

I called my local butcher who does my cutting and wrapping for all the meaty things I kill that I need professionally processed.  I do my own wild pigs and deer and turkey and fish and well everything else I bring to him.  Cutting and wrapping a 1000lb steer is to far beyond my garage smoker capabilities and grinding 200lbs of beef would take me a month and he can do it in an hour.  Anyway I digress.  So I called him to ask how he processes his beef sticks and he told me he never smokes them he coos them in his oven?  He makes great beef sticks, great jerky and has been in the custom butchering business his whole life so I can't just dismiss his opinion, but no smoke?

So I decided to cook up batch number two today using the oven in our kitchen.   The wife gave me the green light as tonights dinner did not require the use of either of the ovens.  I started them at the lowest oven setting of 170 with the door propped open for one hour then closed the door and waited for my IT thermometer to ring out that my sticks had reached 160 degrees.  I also stuck a pan of water on the bottom shelf and set the oven on convection heat.  After \hour number two I decided to get the water pan out of the oven.  It appeared that the sticks would never dry out if I left the water in.  It took another two hours cooking time and while I waited I jumped on here to read up some more.  I just knew that I would find threads about beef sticks and sure enough I read one that said to pull themat 147-150 degrees IT.  I had just checked them and they were at 147 so I let them go for another fifteen minutes and pulled them out.

They look almost raw no color and no savory red wine flavor either.  As far as taste goes they taste as good as any beef stick I have had but I think they're ugly! 

So I got a more moist product from the oven but lack the color and smoky flavor I need from the smoker.

I got one batch left!

Tomorow I will put them in the smoker with the water pan this time and also pull them out at 150 degrees and see if that works better for me.

Stay tuned.

right now I gotta get back to reading what you all have been smoking up.

I love this site!
 

SmokinAl

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I like your perseverance, Looking forward to seeing how that last batch turns out.
 

SWFLsmkr1

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Nice sticks.

Looks like you are on the way.

And yes its always good to get the green light from the wife before using the house items.
 

mballi3011

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I like your sticks and the umbrella is just too cool. That whole Mother Nature thing is pretty cool too.
 

Bearcarver

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Franklin,

The ones you pictured look Great!

That's the way to do it---Keep trying different things, and taking real good notes, until you got what you like the best.

Then you got a winner!

I like the one your doing next, but I like to take mine to 160 IT, just to be safe.

Also, it is my opinion that the length of time dries beef sticks out more than the temp.

If mine were to dry out, I would adjust my raising of smoker temps to get to the final IT in less time.

Hope that helps,

Bear
 

chef willie

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really nice looking first batch...no pic of the second batch I take it. Am interested to see the results of the 3rd batch. Ever try sand in your water pan?
 

franklin3

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I will take some pics this afternoon of the second batch so you can all see how they came out.  I thought the time was running long like you say BC but I was maybe overly concerned about the temps and the long smoking time just happened.  I think this afternoon I will take batch number two and after taking a picture I will put them in the smoker under heavy smoke and try and keep the temp as low as I can to get an hour or so of hard smoke and see if that improves the appearance of them.   And sand in the water pan?  It would definately absorb a lot of heat and still keep things dry.  Good tip I think I'll do that instead of water.  While batch two is finishing offf with smoke I will put batch three in the oven to start drying and by the time batch two is ready to come out of the smoker batch three will be ready to go in.

I brought a bag of bartch one to work and invited some coworkers over to try them.  It's a large construction site and the path to my trailer is overgrown and  muddy it resembles a muddy trail pounded by footsoldiers on a long winter  march.  They only had one each and both agreed that they have good flavor and smokiness but too dry.  It's to early in the day to have a cold beer (only because were all working) but they didn't ask for a grab for a second stick!  Dang thats the kiss of death to a smoker!  Well if all else fails as a last resort I will chop them up andthrow them in my wifes next batch of beans.

Thanks for all the encouragement and as cheif Dan George said;  'I will endeavor to persevere."
 

uncle_lar

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I smoke mine in my GOSM  for about 4-5 hours trying to keep the temp below 150*

then I finishe them off in my slow roast oven til they hit 152* 160* if i have used any pork but most of the

time they are just beef and venison.
 

franklin3

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I am enjoying some from batch one here at work while Ialternate doing work stuff and reading posts here.  This is a toughlife I live but somebody has to do it.

Finishing them off in the oven would be a good way to keep the temp monitored and controled also easier to check IT's.

I have high hopes for my final batch #3 this afternoon. I may have to abandon the workplace early and get home to start smoking.
 

SmokinAl

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This is really a great thread franklin, thanks for sharing your experience with us.
 

SWFLsmkr1

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I will take some pics this afternoon of the second batch so you can all see how they came out.  I thought the time was running long like you say BC but I was maybe overly concerned about the temps and the long smoking time just happened.  I think this afternoon I will take batch number two and after taking a picture I will put them in the smoker under heavy smoke and try and keep the temp as low as I can to get an hour or so of hard smoke and see if that improves the appearance of them.   And sand in the water pan?  It would definately absorb a lot of heat and still keep things dry.  Good tip I think I'll do that instead of water.  While batch two is finishing offf with smoke I will put batch three in the oven to start drying and by the time batch two is ready to come out of the smoker batch three will be ready to go in.

I brought a bag of bartch one to work and invited some coworkers over to try them.  It's a large construction site and the path to my trailer is overgrown and  muddy it resembles a muddy trail pounded by footsoldiers on a long winter  march.  They only had one each and both agreed that they have good flavor and smokiness but too dry.  It's to early in the day to have a cold beer (only because were all working) but they didn't ask for a grab for a second stick!  Dang thats the kiss of death to a smoker!  Well if all else fails as a last resort I will chop them up andthrow them in my wifes next batch of beans.

Thanks for all the encouragement and as cheif Dan George said;  'I will endeavor to persevere."

And then we declared war on the union. 
 

franklin3

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Joined Jul 3, 2010
And we all know what happened to them after that.

I'm home, the housekeeprs have already been and gone the wife is headed out to the grocery store and the kids and grandkids are on the way over.  It's friday again.

Time to take some pictures and get to work.
 

franklin3

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Joined Jul 3, 2010
This is how batch #2 came out of the oven yesterday.  They dont look to appetizing to me.  So I stuck them into the smoker, stuck a brick into my water pan opened the draft all the way and turned it up to 180 and I'm pouring the smoke to them. 

Batch #3 is drying in the oven for the next hour or so while #2 finishes.
 

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