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Redi-Smoke: Can't get a crust on the meat.

bigallen

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Managed to drive off with my old man's Redi-Smoke when cleaning his garage (seems to be how most people get theirs).

This is the single speed, plug and go model.  I have done ribs and a butt a few times.  The problem is that I can't seem to get a crust on the meat.  It cooks and there is a smoke line but the outside if grey, soft and wet-looking.  It tastes find but doesn't look nice at all.  I typically throw it on the grill for a couple minutes so it look more appetizing for the guests.  I'm not putting any water in.  Just dry wood on the bottom with the meats in the middle and top.  Usually I leave the top on tight but wondered if I left it cracked open would some air flow put a nice crust on it.

Any ideas?

Big Allen
 

bmudd14474

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What temp are you cooking at? Also have you checked the thermometers to make sure they are correct?
 

bigallen

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bmudd14474:  I only have one temp on this Redi-Smok.  You either plug it in or unplug.  There is no temp gauge on this model.  The thermometers appear correct when used for other purposes.
 

bmudd14474

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bmudd14474:  I only have one temp on this Redi-Smok.  You either plug it in or unplug.  There is no temp gauge on this model.  The thermometers appear correct when used for other purposes.
What temp does it get up to when cooking?
 

daveomak

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 Usually I leave the top on tight but wondered if I left it cracked open would some air flow put a nice crust on it.

Air flow is very important... without it, you could be steaming the meat.....
 

bigallen

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So I ran a test yesterday. (Note: this is the model that only has one temp setting.  It is either plugged in or unplugged.  There is no high, med, low). I set the smoker up with no meat in it.  Only chips.  After 20 minutes I was at 255 degrees with the lid on tight.  I opened the top and the inside of the lid was very wet (dew on grass would be the best description).  I then cracked the lid about a half inch and 10 minutes later was at 260.  It never got hotter than that...
 

daveomak

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Well, the temp is OK...  Sounds as if there is an air flow problem....   I would try cutting a coat hanger in 3-4" lengths...   3 each pieces...  and fold in a "V" and place over the top edge of the smoke chamber, equally around the rim, and put the lid back on...   That should give you about 3/32" opening around the top edge for a bit of air flow....  Looking at pictures on the web, I didn't notice anywhere air could enter at the bottom, but I'm guessing there is an opening somewhere....

Making that modification, should help with the bark on the meat...

Next mod would be to get some sort of plug and play temp controller so you will be able to adjust the temps... 
 

bigallen

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Thanks.  i will give that a try this weekend.  There is no vent in the bottom.  It is a sealed system.
 

daveomak

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Old Smokey now makes a heating element that is adjustable for temp...  amazon" style="max-width:120px">
About the "no air inlet"....   If you have a step drill, think about drilling 3 each 3/8" holes around the bottom edge of the side walls to allow for air flow...  they can then be made larger if needed...   or closed up with wooden plugs or fridge magnets..

From the description on W-M..

With the Old Smokey Electric Smoker, no water is needed - the sealed lid of this electric smoker captures the meats juices that add a great taste- Flat-top design provides constant, even basting for more flavorful food- Comes with two cooking racks, drip pan, smoking chips and carrying handles- Made of corrosion-resistant aluminized steel with an electric heating element and adjustable heat control- Dimensions: 16'' D x 29'' H- Material Type: Aluminized steel- Watts: 1,250- Power Supply: Electric- Volts: 120- Closure Type: Lid closure- Made in the USA- Easy to assemble- Adjustable heat control- Two cooking racks SKU: ODSM004
 

Lobopack

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According to the instructions manual it says to crack the lid just a little for the last hour of smoking to get crust.
 
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