Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by steve borkowski, May 28, 2013.

  1. The chicken was just okay.  Wife actually liked the Turkey breast.  Brisket was tough, and the Country Ribs far too smokey and salty.  The spare ribs today were odd.  One very tender, one very tough.  Wife says too much smoke.  Using a blend of oak and apple.  Apple alone has worked best so far.  I'm using a Masterbuilt Electric smoker.  Just learning, as is evident by  my mistakes, and questions.

  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello,Steve. Chin-up , my Friend... hanging with us will help your style improve...

    Tell us how you are doing it and someone will be by to suggest a cure.  First one, be patient , most likely the culprit of the Brisket caper , Try the 3-2-1 method of Ribs , and the country ribs , well ,I like them Smokey,however, esy fix. Back-off on the Smoke Generation... She'll love them then , if not , you get more...

    You will find your Click in no  time at all.  Just be patient and Vigilent , no - or  - less refreshments while cooking . LOL

    Have fun and . . .
  3. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Welcome and as already stated ...keep at will find your sweet spot.

    Keep notes and make only 1 or 2 changes at a time. If you change your rub, only change 1 ingredient. If you change the temp, time, moisture or amount of smoke. Only change 1 of them. this way it is easier to narrow down what are the good or bad changes.

    The chicken was just okay.  Wife actually liked the Turkey breast. What was different from the chicken to the turkey. Try doing the chicken the same way....

    Brisket was tough. Did you test with a tooth pick before you removed it from the smoker? You should be able to stick the brisket and pull out with little or no resistance......

    Country Ribs far too smokey and salty. Less wood chips and less salt in your rub or less rub. The MES is a great little smoker. One of the things i like about it is the ease you can control your smoke and heat. Country ribs are very easy to over season. I will usually only give a light dusting instead of coating like i would other cuts of meat.

    The spare ribs today were odd.  One very tender, one very tough. Different cuts of meat will cook differently. You have to cook each one as an individual. You could of had ribs from 2 different pigs and they could have had different diets or ways it was slaughtered. Anything can effect that, yes frustrating. Another thing could be is where the ribs were in the smoker. Were the ones on the bottom more tender? Could be temp differences in the cook chamber.

     Wife says too much smoke.  Using a blend of oak and apple.  Apple alone has worked best so far. Amount of smoke and types are personal preferences. Over time you will learn what works for who you are cooking for and what does not. That just comes with time. But always keep the wife happy!!!!!!

      I'm using a Masterbuilt Electric smoker. Great little smoker. Do a search here or even go to the section for electric smokers here. You will find all kinds of information about them with tips and tricks. I would suggest getting a remote style thermometer like the Maverick that can monitor the cook chamber and meats. The MES is very known for the thermometers being way off. This can and will effect how you cook and the results.

    Just learning, as is evident by  my mistakes, and questions. We are all still learning. That is the great thing about this site. You can always get great information, just need to look for it and or ask........
  4. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome!  Noticed that you have posted a few times....but have not gone to Roll Call yet!  [​IMG]Would you mind popping in over there and letting us give you a proper SMF Welcome!

    You can sign up for the Free 5 -Day E-Course and that will help with some of your questions!

  5. Stan, I appreciate your reply.  But what you printed, or typed made about as much sense me sending you a golumbki recipe in Polish.  I have absolutely NO IDEA of what you said.  But I've heard in the past that Yankees don't speak Texan.

  6. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Will try to translate speaking Kentuckian:
    X2 for everything that JarJarChef said as well.
    jarjarchef likes this.
  7. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    My advise is if your just now learning then master one thing at a time. There is enough info on here to get you a good smoke on each item you are cooking in your smoker...Read Read Read then try what you have learned by reading...It just takes time..The brisket is going to be the toughest with chicken being the easiest...Good luck to you and do not give up...
  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    By the way read alot about how to produce Thin Blue Smoke and not white smoke...
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Steve, morning...... Sorry to hear of your problems, but that's why we are here....   To help out.....    

    Smoking one item at a time and getting it to come out great is a big task... several items at once, daunting.... 

    Chicken, smoke at a 225 ish temp and fininsh at 300+ to crisp up the skin.... 165 IT

    Brisket, smoke with a water pan for the first 2-3 hours...  finish with an internal temp (IT) of 190 for slicing or 205 for pulling..  if a toothpick slides in easily, it's tender...

    Salt addition...  I weigh each chunk of meat separately and add salt by weight... usually 2% is a good starting point...   weighing keeps a recipe repeatable or adjustable with good results... 

    Smoke, one chunk, or 1/4 cup of chips at a time will allow for light smokey flavor.... Most often, less smoke is better...  heavy tasting smoke, like mesquite, should be used sparingly...  do not need to soak chips or chunks in water....

    One tender, one tough.... each piece of meat has it's own make-up.... they need to be cooked "as they like it"... time doesn't work...  manipulating each individual piece until it is perfect is the best method.....    

    Thermometers can be a very big help... they need to be calibrated for consistent results....   

    Smokers have hot and cold spots and learning those quirks is part of the learning process when trying to make great Q.....  each smoker is different.... 

  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great translation ,Demo.... Thanks. was in a hruuy,Trish wanted the 'Puter. I've ben here all day.[​IMG]
  11. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can not add anything to the great advise you got, other then agree keep at it
  12. I still consider myself a noob, though I have been smoking for about 2 yrs, but here are a few things that I have learned that may help you.

    First thing I learned was this site.  With all the helpful people, recipes and search function I am always able to find my answer.

    Next thing I learned was to learn my grill.  Learn where the hot and cold areas are as these can affect cook times.  A trick here is get a couple of cheap biscuit tubes, and place them around the smoker and check them after a bit. (Even though they to bake at something like 350, I still smoke at 225.  It takes longer but this way I can get finer details on hot spots.)

    Next was to cook everything by temp .  I tend to pull items off 5-10 degrees before ideal temp as they will continue to cook for a few more mins after being pulled off.  Along this line is patience, I have had 12lb briskets finish in 8 hours and another finish in 16 hours.  Don't rush the food.  For ribs, I do either the 3-2-1 mentioned above or the "bend test"

    When I am trying new meats, I tend to get two.  I do one first with basic S&P, then smoke he second learning from the mistakes of the first.

    Always take notes of each smoke.  Though it seems like an after thought they always come in handy down the line.  I generally record weight, start time, start temp, start of stall time, start of stall temp, end of stall time, end of stall temp, end time, end temp, recipe used, and general notes on the smoke.

    Lastly is what I call the "advanced search feature" for the site:  In Google, type  then what you are looking for (i.e. pastrami)

    Hope some of this helps.
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Meat Thermometers, if you don't have one, get one. Maverick makes what I use. What you'll waste on bad food will easily pay for the thermometer. If you don't have one its going to be a looooong process  learning. Its not impossible mind you, but it automatically moves you from the 1st grade to the 8th grade. With the thermometer you can make good food immediately. Your mistakes are more a pleasure to eat than a punishment. You can enjoy learning.

    Once you have internal temps ball-parked, everything else is just a refinement on the basic. Change one thing at a time so you can understand what you changed. If you change the temp, the vent, the smoke, the meat, the rub/sauce all at the same time how do you know what you've accomplished? When you find something you like, write it down so you can do it again.

    Good advice above, stick with one meat till its comfortable. In all things look for cheap and locally available to learn. Salt and pepper was the original spice, and what wood is easily available?

    Smoking is fun, plus its a good excuse to get away from all the household, go outside and relax. Maybe have a beer if you sneaked some in the grocery bag. Its like Zen or Yoga. You should be happy happy not stressed. "Honey, did you weed that flowerbed?" "Can't now dear, got to watch this chicken smoke, so its the way you like it".

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