My first smoking experience

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by covewi, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. covewi

    covewi Newbie

    Purchased a MasterBuilt electric smoker and smoke my first meal - Country Style Ribs.

    They turned out great - very happy.

    The problem I ran into was that I preheated the smoker to around 250 degrees before 

    placing the meat and side in the smoker.

    After a short period of time (20 mins) the temp of the smoker dropped to around 180.

    Is this normal? Do I need to turn the heat up or add more wood chips.

    Advice welcome - I will be doing a Thanksgiving turkey.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Anytime you open the door you are losing heat in a big way...So yes it's normal, It will recover leave the temp setting alone...Adding Sand or Rocks to the water pan help with faster recovery as well...JJ
  3. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Be patient, when you open the door you lose heat, and when you put in your meat that absorbs heat - it will even out, don't mess with the temp or you will be fighting the temps. Good luck!
  4. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with all above
  5. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    did you let your meat acclimate to room temp or did you put it on straight out of the fridge?
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It's normal, every smoker has a different recovery time. 
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Is it possible to preheat the electric smokers to a higher temperature before adding the meat?  Say 300 or so and then adjust your temps down after stabilizing.   I don't think it hurts the meat to start at the higher temp as long as you run it long term in the lower range
  8. covewi

    covewi Newbie

    Thanks for all the help.

    No - I put the cold meat right into the smoker - Thursday I will let the turkey sit at room temperature for an hour before.

    Yes - I could preheat the smoker higher than the cooking temperature.

    I noticed this weekend while cooking two whole chickens that I had to run the thermostat at almost "high" to maintain 225 degrees. It was 50 degrees outside so I don't think the outside temp was the problem.

    Does it matter that I am running the electric smoker off of a 50 foot extension cord? Should I be plugged into the wall instead?

    I know how could I make these mistakes. With your help we will have a great smoked turkey and mac / cheese for Thanksgiving dinner.

  9. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    All electric smoker manufactuers say DO NOT USE extension cords w/ their units. Plug directly into an outlet if possible.

    If you have to use a cord ,make one w/ 10 gauge wire and 20 amp plugs. Make it as short as you can.
  10. covewi

    covewi Newbie

    Twas the night before Thanksgiving, good smells in the air;

    No turkey is stirring, anywhere in the house;

    The bird has been brined in the fridge with care;

    In hopes that the smoker will heat in the morning;

    The stuffing and desserts have been made;

    While visions of cornbread dance in my head;

    Mama is now out of the kitchen as i take off my hat;

    And head up to bed for a sunrise start.

    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for the help to a new member.
  11. tt ace

    tt ace Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    It would be better if you didn't rely on an extension cord.  However, there are many extension cords that could handle what you want to do.  Go to a good hardware store and ask for an extension cord that has a high rating.  These can handle the current needed.  Also, it is always a great idea to bring the meat out of the refrigerator about an hour or so earlier and let it get more to room temperature. The colder the meat is when you place it in the smoker, the longer it takes to bring it to proper cooking temps.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Covewi, Please don't let the turkey set on the counter, take it from the Fridge and place in the Smoker. You can ,as stated, pre-heat to 300*f or 350*f to begin, then lower the heat to where you want to cruise .

    Also, check you thermometers , possible they are out of calibration. And yes, plug in direct to the socket.....
  13. covewi

    covewi Newbie

    Thanks for all the turkey tips - here's the finished product.[​IMG]
  14. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



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