Author Topic: HELP... please!  (Read 1137 times)

jcbaker123

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HELP... please!
« on: June 13, 2016, 03:17:38 PM »
Newbie  Smokin' It # 3 owner, but have used charcoal burners w/ success in the past.

 First shot w/ my #3... 4 lb of turkey breast/injected/ used a water pan and cherry/oak mix. Hit temp of 150 and stalled for over 5 hrs after wrapping in foil.l  never did reach a desired temp of 165 degrees, but figured anything more than 10 hrs would turn it into jerky. It was dry and by far not my best work. I had set my machine for a 225 degrees smoke.

Second shot: 8 lb brisket. rubbed and wrapped overnight. Again injected/used a water pan and used a hickory w/ a kiss of mesquite. Took about 6 hrs to get to 150... then stalled. I wrapped heavy w/ multiple layers. after 4  or 5 hrs I saw a steady climb up to 170 and again stalled. Smoked for  total of 22 hrs and again never reached desired target temp of 190 degrees.  I had to go to work and pulled it off the smoker. Again had set the temp at 225 degrees. Not happy w/ texture/ taste / appearance again.

Are these LOOOOONG stalls normal? The foil doesn't seem to help? Any suggestions before I put this thing on Craigslist and I go back to a charcoal burner? I do live in  FL and it has been nasty hot and humid. I have wondered if the water pan may be a hindrance when I have a ambient relative humidity of over 80% most of the summer. I did use 3 different thermometers all of which sit within 3 degrees of each other.

swthorpe

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 03:41:56 PM »
Those stalls do seem excessive to me.   A couple of things...first, were you monitoring the box temp to ensure that it was getting to 225 or higher?   That might be the issue.    Second, why are you wrapping the meat in foil?   I just let the meat go through the stall on its own, and remove when I hit the desired IT.
Steve from Delaware
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NDKoze

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 03:46:16 PM »

First of all, welcome to the Smokin-It Forums from ND! When you get a chance introduce yourself in the Introductions area and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and what you like to smoke.

Second, never fear we will be able to help you improve your results.

I see a number of problems so far.
  • Forget the foil. Use it for resting your meat and lining the bottom of your smoker and the top of your smoke box. Foiling just isn't necessary in these smokers because of the high moisture environment.
  • Many of the methods that you had to use with your charcoal smoker such as foiling, 2-2-1/3-2-1, spritzing, etc to keep food moist is not necessary in the Smokin-It smokers.
  • Do not place large pans for water or to catch drippings under your meat. This serves a heat sink and prevents your smoker from achieving your set temperature and is what I am guessing caused the bulk of your issues. Water pans are still advised, but should be typically a lot smaller (most of us use the disposable mini-loaf pans) and should be placed on the floor of the smoker resting right up against the smoke box.
  • Smoke your poultry at 250 verses 225 and you will get better results. Poultry doesn't really benefit from the low and slow method that pork and beef does.
  • You didn't mention how much wood you used, but I would recommend using a scale to weigh your wood and reference the guide in the flow thread that should help with your times/temps/woods. You will typically only be using 2-6 ounces of wood per smoke. For poultry I typically use 2-3 ounces and for Boston Butts and Brisketts I use 5-6 ounces. These smokers are very efficient.
    Guide to Smoking Times, Temperatures and Woods
  • If you did not brine your chicken or brisket consider doing so. Heck I even brine 90% of my pork butts. The results are phenomonal and you owe it to yourself to try it once. My guess is that you'll be hooked. I have found that brining works as well if not better than injecting without adding a bunch of holes to my meat. Some both brine and inject (especially for brisket) with excellent results.
Please have some patience. We will get you there. I hope you don't have to put it up on Craigslist, but For a good price I would love to get another #3. :)
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

DivotMaker

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 10:19:35 PM »

First of all, welcome to the Smokin-It Forums from ND! When you get a chance introduce yourself in the Introductions area and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and what you like to smoke.

Second, never fear we will be able to help you improve your results.

I see a number of problems so far.
  • Forget the foil. Use it for resting your meat and lining the bottom of your smoker and the top of your smoke box. Foiling just isn't necessary in these smokers because of the high moisture environment.
  • Many of the methods that you had to use with your charcoal smoker such as foiling, 2-2-1/3-2-1, spritzing, etc to keep food moist is not necessary in the Smokin-It smokers.
  • Do not place large pans for water or to catch drippings under your meat. This serves a heat sink and prevents your smoker from achieving your set temperature and is what I am guessing caused the bulk of your issues. Water pans are still advised, but should be typically a lot smaller (most of us use the disposable mini-loaf pans) and should be placed on the floor of the smoker resting right up against the smoke box.
  • Smoke your poultry at 250 verses 225 and you will get better results. Poultry doesn't really benefit from the low and slow method that pork and beef does.
  • You didn't mention how much wood you used, but I would recommend using a scale to weigh your wood and reference the guide in the flow thread that should help with your times/temps/woods. You will typically only be using 2-6 ounces of wood per smoke. For poultry I typically use 2-3 ounces and for Boston Butts and Brisketts I use 5-6 ounces. These smokers are very efficient.
    Guide to Smoking Times, Temperatures and Woods
  • If you did not brine your chicken or brisket consider doing so. Heck I even brine 90% of my pork butts. The results are phenomonal and you owe it to yourself to try it once. My guess is that you'll be hooked. I have found that brining works as well if not better than injecting without adding a bunch of holes to my meat. Some both brine and inject (especially for brisket) with excellent results.
Please have some patience. We will get you there. I hope you don't have to put it up on Craigslist, but For a good price I would love to get another #3. :)

+1!!!  Dang, Gregg!  Couldn't have said it better myself!  Brings a little tear to my eye... :'( ;D ;D

He hit the nail on the head, JC!  It's not about smoking experience, but adapting to your new smoker.  So many of the things you used to do, to counter the "drying effect" of the heat source, are just not necessary in these smokers.  Embrace the "Lazy Q" lifestyle, my new friend, and you will live a happy, great Q-filled life! 8)
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

NDKoze

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 12:51:15 AM »

First of all, welcome to the Smokin-It Forums from ND! When you get a chance introduce yourself in the Introductions area and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and what you like to smoke.

Second, never fear we will be able to help you improve your results.

I see a number of problems so far.
  • Forget the foil. Use it for resting your meat and lining the bottom of your smoker and the top of your smoke box. Foiling just isn't necessary in these smokers because of the high moisture environment.
  • Many of the methods that you had to use with your charcoal smoker such as foiling, 2-2-1/3-2-1, spritzing, etc to keep food moist is not necessary in the Smokin-It smokers.
  • Do not place large pans for water or to catch drippings under your meat. This serves a heat sink and prevents your smoker from achieving your set temperature and is what I am guessing caused the bulk of your issues. Water pans are still advised, but should be typically a lot smaller (most of us use the disposable mini-loaf pans) and should be placed on the floor of the smoker resting right up against the smoke box.
  • Smoke your poultry at 250 verses 225 and you will get better results. Poultry doesn't really benefit from the low and slow method that pork and beef does.
  • You didn't mention how much wood you used, but I would recommend using a scale to weigh your wood and reference the guide in the flow thread that should help with your times/temps/woods. You will typically only be using 2-6 ounces of wood per smoke. For poultry I typically use 2-3 ounces and for Boston Butts and Brisketts I use 5-6 ounces. These smokers are very efficient.
    Guide to Smoking Times, Temperatures and Woods
  • If you did not brine your chicken or brisket consider doing so. Heck I even brine 90% of my pork butts. The results are phenomonal and you owe it to yourself to try it once. My guess is that you'll be hooked. I have found that brining works as well if not better than injecting without adding a bunch of holes to my meat. Some both brine and inject (especially for brisket) with excellent results.
Please have some patience. We will get you there. I hope you don't have to put it up on Craigslist, but For a good price I would love to get another #3. :)

+1!!!  Dang, Gregg!  Couldn't have said it better myself!  Brings a little tear to my eye... :'( ;D ;D

He hit the nail on the head, JC!  It's not about smoking experience, but adapting to your new smoker.  So many of the things you used to do, to counter the "drying effect" of the heat source, are just not necessary in these smokers.  Embrace the "Lazy Q" lifestyle, my new friend, and you will live a happy, great Q-filled life! 8)

 :-[

I learned from the master, Sensei Tony  8)
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

jcbaker123

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 09:39:24 AM »
Thanks for the input!!

Yes, the foil is a carry over from my charcoal burning days. No more wrapping meat!

You would all laugh if I showed you the size of the water pan I've been using. Its big enough to bath a 2 yr old in! I've been braising in a lukewarm sauna w/ piss poor results.  I will probably eliminate the water entirely on the next go around and see what we get.

I have brined in the past and I am a firm believer. I didn't on these last two, but will do so on the next. I had heard from someone who's opinion I trust that you can get the same effect w/ a dry rub as a brine. I'm not convinced.

Thanks again... will repost w/ results of the next attempt.

NDKoze

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 09:58:14 AM »
If you are using that big of a water pan, that is almost guaranteed to be the cause.

I would skip the water pan for skin-on poultry, but use it for skinless as well as all other smokes where you want to retain moisture. Just make sure you use a small disposable mini-loaf tin and place the water pan on the bottom of the smoker rested right up against the smoker.

Things like sausage and jerky where you want to remove the moisture, you would want to skip the water pan too.

Doing these things will greatly increase your chances for success on the next go-around.

Smoke-on my friend!
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

DivotMaker

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Re: HELP... please!
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 08:16:11 PM »
Thanks for the input!!

Yes, the foil is a carry over from my charcoal burning days. No more wrapping meat!
Great decision.  ;)
You would all laugh if I showed you the size of the water pan I've been using. Its big enough to bath a 2 yr old in! I've been braising in a lukewarm sauna w/ piss poor results.  I will probably eliminate the water entirely on the next go around and see what we get. Save the pan for bathing 2 yr olds.  For meat you want to add moisture to (butts, briskets, etc.), use a disposable aluminum loaf pan, with water (or apple juice) on the floor of the smoker, up against the smoke box.

I have brined in the past and I am a firm believer. Great!! I didn't on these last two, but will do so on the next. I had heard from someone who's opinion I trust that you can get the same effect w/ a dry rub as a brine. I'm not convinced.  True...sort of!  The one thing that makes brining cause the meat to hold moisture is the chemical reaction, caused by salt, on the protein molecules near the surface of the meat.  A rub with enough salt, left on the meat overnight (wrapped in plastic), will cause the same "sealing" of the meat surface.  However, it will not impart the same flavor, or depth, that a brine will.  Check out the brining section, and read Brines 101.

Thanks again... will repost w/ results of the next attempt.  Please do!! :)
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!