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SMOKING HELP NEEDED

stan the man

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Joined Sep 30, 2016
I'm a beginner that loves trying new recipes and better yet, EATING. I have a 30" Digital Masterbuilt smoker. I followed all the directions, assembly and seasoning the smoker. I verified a couple of recipes and after 12 hours, the meat didn't pull apart. Smoke flavor good, no smoke ring. What did I do wrong? Please help.

(2) boneless pork shoulders, about 7.5 lbs each
24 hours brining
Filled water pan with half apple cider and half water
8 hours at 225 degrees, adding damp wood chips every 1-1.5 hours
Wrapped both meats in aluminum foil with a little apple cider/water, placed bottom piece on top rack and bottom piece on top rack
At 12 hours total, pulled meat to rest for 30-45 minutes
Internal meat temperature was 170 degrees
Meat would not pull apart, had to thin slice to eat, flavorful.
 

chef jimmyj

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Internal Temp of 170 is just over Slicing temp. Pork Butts don't pull until the IT gets around 205°F. At a Accurate 225, you can figure about 2 hours per pound of pork. Accurate as in You have a tested good therm near the meat. The MES can be 20+ degrees off. Basically you under cooked by about 3 hours and/or your temp was not quite 225, low or affected by the water pan.

Adding anything to the Water Pan is a waste. Contributes nothing to the moistness of the meat. No flavor at all, and can slow the cooking as a lot of energy goes into heating and evaporating the water instead of cooking the meat....JJ
 

seenred

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Hi Stan...there are a few tips I can offer that I believe might help.

Your pork butt was done, but not done enough go to pull apart. The internal temp needs to reach around 200 for fall apart tenderness. Simply cook it longer (or at a higher temp) for pulled pork.

You say you ran your MES at 225*...do you have a reliable external thermometer to verify that? The factory temp gauges on those Masterbuilts are notoriously inaccurate. There is a possibility you were not really cooking at 225.

I have found that pork butts cook well at significaly higher cook temps...I regularly smoke at 250, 275, or even higher.

My advice is don't soak your wood chips. IMO this is a waste of time...the water must evaporates before combustion will begin to produce smoke. And I wouldn't waste apple cider or other liquids in your water pan. If you want to keep a moist cook chamber, just plain tap water will suffice. But IMO you can leave that water pan dry and get just as good results. Just line it with foil so cleanup is easy.

You're on the right track...and you'll learn from this one, making the next one that much better". Thumbs Up



Red
 

seenred

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Oops...I see JJ beat me to most of my advice while I writing it!

:biggrin:
 
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Only one addition - you won't get a smoke ring on the MES.  Smoke rings are from a chemical change that requires charcoal or propane.  I think some people have placed some crushed charcoal in the chip try to try to get a ring in an electric, but I've never tried it.
 

stan the man

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Joined Sep 30, 2016
Thanks everyone for the advice. After calling CS at Materbuilt, they did say that there was too much moisture in the pan. They did not talk about a longer cook time or higher temperatures. Thank goodness for another week end and some football to watch. After all, after week one of the season, half of the teams lost. At least I get to try again!
 

gary s

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  Good morning and welcome to the forum, from a nice day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

Good advice above

Gary
 

stan the man

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Going to try 3 racks of baby back ribs on that 30" Masterbuilt Electronic Smoker. Any good tips for time and temperature would be much appreciated. Any thoughts on Hickory or Pecan wood chips? Dry or soaked?
 

lcsmokeaddict

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Dude, blend the hickory and the pecan. Heavier on pecan. Dont soak em. Pecan is the bees knees on pork IMO.:grilling_smilie:
 

seenred

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Going to try 3 racks of baby back ribs on that 30" Masterbuilt Electronic Smoker. Any good tips for time and temperature would be much appreciated. Any thoughts on Hickory or Pecan wood chips? Dry or soaked?
Agree with LC...a mix of hickory and pecan will be great. I wouldn't soak them. At a cooking temp of around 225, baby back ribs should take around 5 hours to get nice and tender. (And its important to know for sure if you smoker's set temp is accurate). And remember that this time estimate is only a guess....could take more or less time. I usually cook ribs at a pit temp of 250, which obviously gets em done faster. The key is to cook until they reach your desired tenderness. The longer they cook, the more tender they should get. Some guys like them fall-off-the-bone tender, some prefer a little firmer rib with a bit of tug in the meat. If interested, do a search for 2-2-1 ribs...it's one popular method for fall off the bone ribs where you wrap them in foil with some a braising liquid for part of the cook.

Good luck! Be sure to let us know how it goes...and remember we like pics! Thumbs Up

Red
 

gary s

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Great advice from LC and Red   Rib's gunna be good

Gary
 

stan the man

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You guys were spot on!  The ribs were good.  I took everyone's advice and mixed the hickory and pecan chips and didn't soak them.  I set my smoker temperature to 230 degrees and started a 6 hour process using no water in the pan and adding wood chips on the top of each hour..  The last hour I added some bbq sauce to the meat side and let 'em ride another hour.  I resisted the temptation and let 'em rest another 30 minutes.  That was a 3 napkin meal.  Thanks again for the suggestions.  I hear brisket just around the corner.
 

seenred

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You guys were spot on!  The ribs were good.  I took everyone's advice and mixed the hickory and pecan chips and didn't soak them.  I set my smoker temperature to 230 degrees and started a 6 hour process using no water in the pan and adding wood chips on the top of each hour..  The last hour I added some bbq sauce to the meat side and let 'em ride another hour.  I resisted the temptation and let 'em rest another 30 minutes.  That was a 3 napkin meal.  Thanks again for the suggestions.  I hear brisket just around the corner.
Sounds like it turned out tasty...congrats on a successful smoke!  


Good luck with the brisket, and remember...we love to see pics to drool over!  


Red
 

lcsmokeaddict

Newbie
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Joined Oct 2, 2016
No problemo man. Hickory pecan blend is my go to for making killer pork jerky, so i knew it would be spot on for pork ribs.

I got chip blend ratios for days. Smoke is a fun tool to play with.
 

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