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

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Original poster
Oct 31, 2016
Pulled a Redi-Smok out of the old man's garage a year ago and need some help.  If it a one speed, plug and play version.  I've done ribs and a few butts and I get a good smoke line but I cannot get a crust.  I am only using dry wood chips with the meat in the middle and top with no water.  It tastes great but looks so bad I typically finish it on the grill so the guests are more willing to dig in.  The outside is grey, soft and wet-looking.  The rub just turns to paste and you can scrape it off with a dull knife.  I usually leave the lid on tight but wonder if leaving it cracked will give me some air flow and a brown crust.  Any ideas?


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What Temp does this get to? You should be smoking Ribs at 225+. This will brown them over the 5-6 hours cook. From what I can find on it, that smoker should run Hot, 300+ and at those temps there is more of an issue with burning the sugar in a rub rather than have gray meat. Sounds like low temps here, which can cause food safety issues...JJ
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.  The water build up was not as great but still there..

Not sure if there is a problem with the smoker since it wouldn't get any hotter.  Would having meat in there make a difference?  

I have heard of people drilling vents into their smoker to adjust the air flow but something tells me that is not going to help.  Any ideas?
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Old Sarge, When you say vent do you mean just crack the lid?  I am assuming so since there is no other method with this type of smoker unless I put a hole in it.
250+ should get good color. Just the meat should not make much steam unless that thing is pretty air tight. Place the lid ajar 1" and see how it goes...JJ is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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