question about smoking.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tazman, May 5, 2013.

  1. I have a master forge 30 inch and did my first ribs and brisket last week  I cooked both according to temps and time that I read and both seemed to be over cooked and dry.     I have had the side vent at the smallest opening could it be that I am trapping to much heat even though the temp is correct inside do I need to have the side vent open more?  I did the ribs at 225 for almost 5 hrs and the brisket about the same amount of time as it was a flat and only 4.3 pounds. 
  2. Did you use the 2-2-1 method for the ribs? I find this makes them come out wonderfull you can do a search for both 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 depending on what kind of ribs you have. What temp did you pull the brisket at? Brisket is one of the hardest pieces of meat to get just right. Try doing a nice pork but for pulled pork or some chickens till you get the hang of things.
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  3. dumbwhiteperson

    dumbwhiteperson Fire Starter

    Are you using the thermometer that is built in to your unit? Most of the time they are off quite a bit.

    Also if I was going to do really small flats like that, I would be doing the Texas crutch. Just My opinion :)
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
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  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    As already mentioned, a good thermo is critical.  After the brisket has cooked for a couple hours, insert an accurate meat probe into the thickest part of the meat.  The Maverick ET-732 is a real popular electronic meat/smoker probe around here.  Take the IT of the brisket up to around 165*, then wrap it in foil with a splash of liquid (whatever you like, I usually use a beef broth/Worcestershire mix), and then cook it some more until it reaches IT of about 200*.  Let it rest for at least an hour wrapped in a towel and placed in an ice chest or warmish oven.  It should come out very moist and tasty.

    Good luck!

    Last edited: May 5, 2013
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  5. Okay I think that I found out part of my dry rib and brisket problem is that I have never put water in the water bowl so I guess I have been making Jerky  ha ha   I have not done the 3*2*1 or 2*2*1  methods and I have used the included thermometer and also have a regular meat thermometer that I have used.  I have had my smoker at 225 degrees and monitored it for the ribs and brisket. round 2 will be in a week and a half  taking all pointers.
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keeping things moist is key. With long slow cooking it can be very easy to dry the meat out of it is not mopped or the internal smoker humidity kept high. Everyone has their own method of keeping the meat moist and for every person on here that tells you they do it one way there will probably be three others that say they do it differently.

    For the last third of the cooking time it is a good idea to wrap the meat in foil as you will already have flavoured it with the smoke and just need to get that internal temperature up.
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  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh yes - and as has been said before... Get yourself a good digital thermometer as the built in thermometers are often inaccurate. You will find that most smokers also have a significant temperature gradient within the cooking chamber - especially when cooking several large pieces of meat together - so it is important to take the smoker temperature close to where the meat is cooking as well as the meat internal temperature. I too use the Maverick ET-732 and it does the job very well.
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  8. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't mop or put any water in my smoker and haven't had any dry meat. A lot of people here including me have switched from water in the water pan to sand. It sounds to me like you are running at a higher temp than you think. There have been many discussions here about dry smoke chamber vs. humid. I'm not gonna open that can of worms. If you want to research it for yourself, use the handy search bar at the top of the page.
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  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum Tazman,  It would be very few that hit a home run on their first smokes as there is so much to learn.  It could be over done, not done, to dry, no bark too much bark, not enough smoke too much smoke.  It is a learning process that will take time and effort to get the desired results because your individual taste will differ from everyone else's.   Take the time and keep good notes and it will all come together in time.

    Good Smokin,

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  10. njfoses

    njfoses Meat Mopper

    Agreed.  I have never mopped or placed a drop of water in my mes 30 water pan from day one.
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  11. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

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  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There you go - everyone has their own way of doing things and all produce good results using their own preferred methods. There is no absolute right way (though there are wrong ways) and the important thing is to find the method that works best for you in your own particular smoker. Many of us have several different types of smoker and each will handle differently.

    I suspect that, as mentioned, your smoking chamber has been too hot or you have overcooked - or both. Next time you cook pop an additional thermometer in the chamber to verify at what temperature you are actually cooking.
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  13. Thanks for all the comments. I will take them all into consideration and well see how the next batch come out.
  14. Even though the food came out dry, congrats on jumping in there to smoke. Keep at it and keep lots of notes, they turn out to be really helpful. I have an MES 40 and used a drip pan under the meat, with water, juice etc depending on what kind of meat and spritzed, for the first few smokes. Now I don't use any liquid nor do I spritz ribs. For butts and briskets, I use Chef Jimmy's Smoky Au Jus. Good luck and don't give up! 
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