Smoke vs steam?

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toejam

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Original poster
Dec 2, 2014
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I got a smokin-it #1 for my mom to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving. The bird turned out good, was impressed with the si #1. In particular, the si appeared to kick out smoke for 5 hours on just 3 chunks of apple wood. At the end of the smoke, the wood tray just had ashes, which leads me to question when did the wood actually stopped smoking?

It appeared to be smoking coming out the vent for 5 hours, but, it was raining the entire time, so, I did not stick my head out and sniff the vent to verify it was smoke. Alternatively, it might have been steam coming out as the bird cooked. So, should I worry that I was drying my bird out for some portion of the 5 hour cook time, or is it normal to get 5 hours of smoke out of 3 chunks of wood?
 

DRKsmoking

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Jan 27, 2021
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Not sure about the length of time your machine ( as I am not that familiar with it )
was smoking with the 3 chunks, depends on the size of the wood pieces and how hot you were running.
So someone with more time on that machine will pop in to help about that.

The big question is , was the turkey good and tasty and not dry, and you liked the amount of smoke
as 5 hours is a long time for the smoke part on a bird, but that is just my tastes
I was drying my bird out for some portion of the 5 hour

David
 

toejam

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Dec 2, 2014
38
19
Not sure about the length of time your machine ( as I am not that familiar with it )
was smoking with the 3 chunks, depends on the size of the wood pieces and how hot you were running.
So someone with more time on that machine will pop in to help about that.

The big question is , was the turkey good and tasty and not dry, and you liked the amount of smoke
as 5 hours is a long time for the smoke part on a bird, but that is just my tastes


David
So, this was our first time with the si #1. I have zero experience with this type of smoker, so, was trying to get a feel of how the unit worked and compared to what I have used exclusively in the past - MES.
.
The bird was a cheap bird - $ 0.78 / lb. I've done more expensive birds in the past and it seems you get what you pay for. So, my expectations for the quality of the final, cooked bird were not high. The bird did taste good, had a subtle, smokey flavor. However, it dried up real fast. It seems the day-after meal (leftovers) was a drier bird than normal.
.
Also, I fought with the temperature control the entire cooking time. I set it for 225 degrees, and the remote thermometers were reading 245'ish - consistently. I'd dial the temp down to 220 and not see much movement on the smoker temp, as read from the remote ThermPro probes. So, I am unsure if the temperature control is wonky or my remote thermometer is wonky.
 

Lonzinomaker

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Mar 8, 2018
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I have a #1 and a #3 SI.
You probably had wood smoke for 3 hours, the rest of the smoke was from fat/drippings burning on top of the wood shed roof.
The dial is adjustable to a small degree so you can adjust if you feel it is really off. I usually just set the temp and walk away. I only watch the meat temp so I know when it is finished.
There a lot of threads about cooking above 225 for pork butts and briskets so I now set my thermostat slightly under max temp for those. My last dry brined turkey breast for Thanksgiving I cooked at 235. Fish and jerky are the only things that I really watch the box temp on.
 

old sarge

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Nov 26, 2012
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I don't do poultry in the smoker. However, I think most of us know that white meat can dent to be dry. When we roast a bird, my wife does so breast side down so that the typically juicer portions moisten the white meat. We flip the bird to crisp the breast skin the last 45 minutes or so. All is juicy. I don't know if that will help with smoking. Just me tossing out a tidbit.
 

toejam

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Original poster
Thread starter
Dec 2, 2014
38
19
Lots of good suggestions/comments, thanks to all for the sage advice. As I'd indicated, this is my first foray into si style smokers, so, I am trying to figure out what is normal and maybe glean some tenured techniques.

At this point, I'd tend to agree that I didn't really get 5 hours of smoke especially since there was nothing but ash left in the wood bin. This helps me to compensate for the amount of smoke I want in my food for longer smoking recipes.

And thanks to Sarge for the tidbits, every little bit helps from those with the experience.
 
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