Maintaining Smoke + Q-View

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by isucyclone, May 5, 2013.

  1. isucyclone

    isucyclone Fire Starter

    Did my first smoke today on my new Masterbuilt Propane smoker!  I am supposed to be studying for my final exams I have coming up tomorrow through Wednesday [​IMG]  But, I  did some bone-in split chicken breasts that didn't take all day. I just couldn't wait until the end of the week to try it out!

    Anyway, the chicken tasted great, but I had a hard time maintaining smoke for the duration and it was only a 2.5hr smoke. I was targeting a 240 smoking temp, but it ran closer to 250 most of the time.  I took advice I have read on here and placed a cast iron skillet on top of the factory chip pan.  Initially I double wrapped a few handfuls of apple chips in foil, poked a few holes and placed that in the cast iron skillet.  That burned up quickly so I put another handful of loose chips in the skillet and covered the whole skillet with foil and poked some holes. I had to re-stock the skillet one more time after that. Maybe I just wasn't using enough chips? Or should I use chunks next time?

    Regardless, I considered it a successful first attempt and thoroughly enjoyed the end-product. Next time I will crank the temp up toward the end to give the skin a nice crisp.

    I soaked the chicken in a brine (1/2 gal water, 1/2c kosher salt, 2/3c br. sugar) for 24hrs, then used 1/2 stick melted butter and 2TBS jeffs rub on the chicken before cooking. Basted at 135 and 150 meat temp with a mixture of 1/2c Jeffs BBQ, 1/4 can beer and 1tsp honey.  Rivaled the local hot-spot in Ames, IA Hickory Park Restaurant! 

  2. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      The finished chicken looks good!   As for the chips, if you start with about a handfull at a time, you will need to add more about every 30-45 minutes. That's where the Amazen pellet smoker comes in! Be sure to check it out.

  3. dumbwhiteperson

    dumbwhiteperson Fire Starter

    Looks great!

    It looks like you have the two door Masterbuilt? I have the same one. I used chips the first time and ever since I only use chunks and never have a problem with lack of smoke. I don't use any foil with regards to the wood or pan. I also just use a 9 inch cake pan instead of cast iron and it works great. 3 chunks will get me 2-3 hours of smoke at around 230-235.
  4. isucyclone

    isucyclone Fire Starter

    Thanks for the quick help. I have done some reading about the Amezen pellet smoker, I'll see how other options work then decide if I should get one. I'm trying to mind the budget but there are so many fun toys out there.

    It is the two door Masterbuilt.  Thanks for the tip on chunks. I will pick some of those up and give that a try next time.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Using larger chunks should help with your smoke. Also as mentioned above the A-Maze-N smoker products will help. I use the 18" and 12" AMNTS in my gas smoker and love them.
  6. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Chicken looks great! Like the others have said already, I prefer chunks to chips for less refilling.

  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cyclone , welcome and glad you came to SMF for your info. Your Chicken liiks great and the advise recieved was good. However  , I have one bit of advice to you...

    Get to them books and study for your exams...then  relax...[​IMG]   [​IMG].

    Have fun , god luck on the Finals , and as always ...
  8. comosmoker

    comosmoker Smoke Blower

    What everybody else said.  Chunks are the way to go!  Good luck!! Oh, your chicken looks great!!  [​IMG]
  9. isucyclone

    isucyclone Fire Starter

    One more question, when re-fueling with wood chips/chunks should I leave the ashes of the burned wood in the pan or remove those at each refill?

    I am getting ready to smoke a brisket and pork shoulder for pulled pork! Party is Saturday evening but I think I will smoke it tonight/tomorrow and reheat for the gathering.
  10. dumbwhiteperson

    dumbwhiteperson Fire Starter

    I always dump any leftover or ashes. I don't want the ashes floating up and sticking to the meat.

    Good luck and take pictures and post some Q-view! :)
  11. isucyclone

    isucyclone Fire Starter

    10-4. Will keep you posted with some Q-view!
  12. That is some great looking chicken! How did your finals go?
  13. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The chicken looks great!

    Chunks will definitely keep your smoke going longer.  I no longer use chips in anything.

    You should also consider an AMAZE-N-SMOKER invented by one of our members - Todd Johnson.

    I own one of the dust burners but he now has a tube smoker and pellet smokers that work well with any smoker, though I only use mine with my electric smoker.

    Good luck,

  14. comosmoker

    comosmoker Smoke Blower

    I agree.  Always dump ashes.  I dump mine 2 or 3 times during each smoke.  Don't forget to post Q-views!!
  15. isucyclone

    isucyclone Fire Starter

    Finals went well, thanks for asking!

    The shoulder and brisket were put on the smoker last night at 11pm with Chef Jimmy J's Au Jus.  Surprisingly, once I got the temp set I have been able to hold it between 220-230 with no adjustments.  Hickory chunks have been working great!  After being on for 8.5 hours now, the internal temp of the shoulder (7lbs) is 133*.  Does that seem ok? According the 1.5 hours/lb guideline the shoulder should be done in around 10.5 hours but that is clearly not going to happen.  My guess is because it is in with a 10 lb brisket and pan of au jus with veggies that are taking a lot of the heat.  Good think the food isn't needed until Saturday and I am home all day today!    

    I will get some q-view next time I open it up. It was too dark last night when I put it on to get any pics.

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