Skip to main content

Been lurking for a few weeks. First post. New SM050 owner as of Tuesday. Smoked a 7# butt and results were pretty good. Very moist and tender but the bark was a bit on the bitter side. Used 4.5 oz. apple wood and probably over did it (despite reading all the warnings on this forum about doing exactly that).

I've been trying to answer my own questions by searching the forum (great forum by the way), but I'm having problem finding the answer to this one.

According to the 050/055 owners manual, the maximum capacity is 35 lbs. of heavy cut meat or 15 lbs of ribs. How important is it to adhere to this maximum capacity? In particular, I had expected the model 050 to be able to handle more ribs than that at one time.

Thanks in advance.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

When the smoker is overloaded, that is loaded beyond what we recommend, heat and smoke cannot circulate freely and the humidity in the cabinet is raised.

If heat is not circulating properly, food will take longer to cook, and may cook unevenly. If smoke is blocked in some areas, some food will be oversmoked.

If the humidity is raised significantly, and this is a special risk with poultry, end product can appear and taste as if it had been steamed.

It's best to stick to what we recommend, even though it is tempting to cram that thing full and fire it up!
Well now,Donna is an owner and the family of the inventor,so she gives real good advice.

I'm merely a cook,but I'd say Cookshack is known to err on the conservative side.

I'd increase my loads gradually and keep good notes.

Personally,I'd not worry about that much apple on a butt,but you could be right.

What about your rub?
Moisture will be your biggest consideration,I've found.

If you make adjustments as you experiment,I'd bet you will be pleasantly surprised.
Originally posted by Tom:
What about your rub?


Not having done much experimentation with or investigation into rubs, I found a recipe for Big Bob Gibson's all-purpose barbecue rub which looked pretty good so I used it. The rub recipe was part of a bigger recipe for cooking ribs, but since it's pork, I figured it would probably be OK for butt too.

Do you have a favorite butt rub that you'd recommend?


The amount of smoke flavor is a highly personal taste issue. If you thought 4.5 oz of apple wood got a little bitter, next time cut it back maybe to about 3 oz. Or try pecan wood or alder wood. Point is to experiment. Too much of any wood will get bitter. Also, like Tom suggests, it could be something in your rub, like too much white sugar goes from carmelization to burnt (bitter) pretty fast. If you used white sugar, try brown sugar or turbinado instead.
Like Mike says,Ribs could be a 3 hr cook,butts could be 16.

There are different uses for sugar,depending on what you want them to do.

Chris Lilly's rub is fine for ribs,but I'd have to look again at it for long cooks.

Chris probably has his pork rub posted,along with his injection.

If you don't run across them,post on Mon.,and I'll help you.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.