First Smoke Stressful - Second Smoke a Breeze!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by noggin, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. noggin

    noggin Fire Starter

    I did my first smoke on Jan 1st (two 3 lb butts and 2 chickens).  By the end of the day I just wanted it to be over.  Turned out very well, but it just stressed me the heck out.  I did my second smoke yesterday, 7 lb butt and two chickens and it was a breeze.  My only regret is not starting the butt the minute I woke up.  Instead, I waited about two hours.  Overall, it turned out very well and I'm very happy and one 7 lb butt was much better taste-wise than two 3 lb butts.

    My wife was sick when I did my first smoke, and she wasn't impressed at all with the outcome.  By the time she was better, we (or more accurately, I) had eaten it all.  Last night, when we sat down to eat our chicken dinner she was really impressed with it.  She was amazed with how good it was and couldn't stop eating it.  No more buying grocery store rotisserie chickens for us! 

    Here's my log from this most recent smoke:

    January 11, 2014

    7 lb butt, and two spatchcock chickens.  Butts rubbed with Jeff’s Rib Rub and chickens placed in Wine Brine night before.

    8:00 AM    Smoker preheated.  Cherry wood chips put in water.

    8:30 AM    Butt and wood chips placed in the smoker.

    11:20 AM    Chickens rubbed and placed in smoker, used rest of cherry wood chips.

    12:00 PM    Added apple wood chips.

    1:30 PM    Foil placed over top of tray, apple juice poured into tray.  Apple juice sprayed on chicken.

    4:00 PM    Chickens removed at 180°F

    10:00 PM    Butt removed at 190°F, just a bit on the low side.  Placed in cooler overnight.  Juices put into glass and put into fridge.

    7:00 AM    Butt pulled.  Fat removed from juices.  Glass with congealed juices placed in pot of water.  Pot placed on stove on low heat.  Butt put in oven to keep it warm at 170°F.  

    8:00 AM    Butt dried out just a little bit, but still very tasty.  Juices poured over butt.

    I bought a needle valve too, to help more finely control the temperature of the system.  There seems to be some large black box connected to it which has made it cumbersome to use at the moment. Guess I'll have to figure out some way to take advantage of that [​IMG] 14.12.38.mp4

  2. Hello Noggin.  Great looking meat.  Keep Smokin!

  3. bigr314

    bigr314 Meat Mopper

    Nice looking butt. Looks like good bark.
  4. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Meat Mopper

    Hey Noggin, that black box is a radio control servo, are you planning on adjusting the flow by remote control ?
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    In one of your photos I see the probe sitting right in the metal cooking grate. That's not a good way to do that. You'll get a false temperature reading. The metal absorbs more heat. You can run the probe through a potato or a small bloke of wood to hold it off the metal.
  6. noggin

    noggin Fire Starter

    Hopefully, it'll be more than that when I'm done.  This project is drawing inspiration from the HeaterMeter  for charcoal BBQ's and smokers.  However, my goal is to remove the need for the Arduino MCU, add additional temperature channels, and also cut the temperature back to ensure that any meat at desired temperature doesn't exceed the desired final temperature, and assist in getting temperatures out of the danger zone. 


    You place a chicken and a butt in the smoker.

    In the web interface, you identify one of the channels as chicken and the other as a pork butt.

    (Optional) Cabinet temperature is ramped up to 270°F until both the chicken and the pork are out of the danger zone

    Temperature set to 240°F for the chicken.

    Once chicken hits 170°F, cabinet temperature is reduced to 170°F

    Chicken is removed and cabinet temperature ramps up to 225°F

    Cabinet temperature is set to 200°F when butt reaches 200°F

    I also hope to allow emails/sms to be send a status every hour or so, and also when meats are done.  We'll see how far I actually get in this project.  I have a habit of not finishing what I start.

    I'm also hoping that I'll be able to make it easily configurable for electric smokers.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  7. noggin

    noggin Fire Starter

    Thanks, I'll look into that, but it doesn't make much sense at first thought.  The metal can't get hotter than its surroundings. I can understand that it makes the temperatures wrong for a while after the door is opened/closed though.  I may drill a hole in a block of wood and hang it from the top of the cabinet.  I like the idea of not having to waste a rack for just a temperature probe.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Actually the metal can get hotter and retain heat longer than the air surrounding it. The only portion of the probe that you need to be worried about is the tip as that is where the reading comes from. You also want to place the probe close to the meat but not too close. If the meat is cold and the probe is too close you can get false readings. Also if the probe is placed below the meat and drippings are dripping on it you can get false readings.
  9. noggin

    noggin Fire Starter

    Still doesn't seem logical to me.  Infrared might cause some additional heating, but I don't think that much infrared radiation can make it to the top of the cabinet when it is full of meat.  I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I can't fathom it.

    That being said, I am considering what you suggested and may do something along the lines of drilling a series of holes along the back side of the unit.  If a small sleeve is inserted into the hole, the temperature probe can be inserted through the sleeve at varying heights in the cabinet.  The sleeve would provide support to hold the probe at the desired angle.

    I'm thinking something like this:


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