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Brand new BBQer here

Got a new 050 for Christmas, broke it in Sat.
I was dieing to try smoking something and this was my 1st mistake, being in a hurry......Anyway, all I had was some boneless, skinless chick thighs that had been in the freezer a while and only had 4 of them. I researched the board and came up with this: I folded them back up after thawing them, tooth picked them. I didn't marinate just used some CS rib rub (thought the CS chicken rub may be too spicy for my wife) I also didn't have a thermometer yet (ordered the Mav ET-73 Friday) I was just going to go by time.....I know this was also one of my mistakes. I smoked 4 thighs, with 2oz CS supplied hickory at 225f for 3 hrs. When I pulled them out they were shrunk up little black nuggets. The outside was and way too smoky to be edible, the inside was OK....yet one of the thicker ones was undercooked in the middle??? Not sure what went wrong....My guess would be too much heat and too much wood???
I did take the 2oz wood chunk and split it into 3 smaller chunks to better fill up the wood box, cant believe that would matter. I put 2 thighs on the 2nd rack from bottom and 2 on the 3rd (90 degrees turned from the first 2)

So what do you think.....Any suggestions???

Also, what would be a good (no brainer) meat to try? A butt?, shoulder? I need to redeem myself and show my wife that the $800 she spent is going to produce better food that my first go around.

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Did you season your smoker first as per the directions? Smokin' is all about taking your time. A good first smoke after properly seasoning your new smoker would be a nice fatty pork butt. Pork accepts smoke really well. BE carefull how much wood you use - weigh it. Two or three ounces is a good place to start with the pork butt. Chicken is really easy to oversmoke. I've been smoking for a long time and I don't think I would even attempt boneless skinless chicken and expect good results. When I do chicken, I do a whole chicken and use about an ounce of wood. Finish on the grill or in your home oven to crisp up the skin. The cookshack doesn't heat high enough to make it crispy. Or you can skin it after cooking and discard. I like to leave the skin on while cooking as the layer of fat under the skin helps to keep things moist. Disregard the book when it comes to smoking times and temperatures and come to the forum with your questions. We've all been where you are now. People here are always ready to help with any questions you may have. Read all the smokin' 101's for a host of good advice and techniques. Read the Lessons For New Users. Take solace in the fact you chose a difficult cut of meat for your first time. It will get better - a lot better!
Lloyd, I know the 050 is not the same as the FEC100. But I don't think the 225 was too high. There might have been a little too much wood. But I have done thighs at the 225 for about the same length of time and they have done fine.

I do think I would have to ask if you have a meat thermo. Checking the meat temp can also keep you from over cooking or under.

Don't get down.

If it can go higher, I would take the temp up some.

I like to run around the 300 range.

Good Luck

Thanks for the suggestions.

I picked up a shoulder blade Boston roast its a 4.6 pounder. that is a butt, right?

I'm going to put it in tomorrow morning. I have it rubbed w/ the CS rib rub up and its in the fridge now. Planing for 1.5 hrs per pound....but I understand that when its done , its done. My ET-73 came in and will be using that. I'm setting smoker to 225F and setting meat on the 3rd rack of the 050. Plan to use 4oz of cherry. I do not plan to mop and /or open door until meat temp reaches 200F (I'm planing to pull)

I'm thinking of just mixing in some CS BBQ sauce, maybe some with a milder BBQ sauce, and serve on buns.....Any other serving suggestions??

I have my 2 nephews coming tomorrow night and they love BBQ pork sandwiches and I'm hoping to treat them with the best they've had.

What do ys think? am I heading in the right direction this time?? Is 4oz too much wood?

Thanks all

You're headed in the right direction. Four oz of wood is not too much.

I would consider putting the butt in the smoker tonight just before you hit the sack. Set the temp on 180*-190*. Crank it up to 225 in the morning.

Definitely use that new therm. Don't rely on 1.5 per lb.

Don't be concerned when the temp goes thru the plateau. You'll be fine!!!

Let us know what you do and how it goes!

I wish I would have done what you suggested....But I was going to be out of town most the day and wouldn't have been able to babysit it and it being my first "long" smoke I figured that I could put it in, in the morning would be OK most the day and have it done by 6:00 or so.

Here how it went:
Put in at 9:00am, smoker set to 225, 4oz cherry, set up the ET-73, left for family lunch, called neighbor to check it for me @3:00pm it was 160F. When I returned home @4:45pm it was at 166F, figured I'm at the plateau....7:00pm order pizza....9:00pm its @ 172F...........

I took it out @1:15am temp was 198F, I double wrap in foil, wrap in towel put in cooler for an hour. @2:15 I pulled it, mixed in a little CS BBQ sauce and the nephews and I were eating sandwiches @ 2:30am. I wasn't not going to eat a fresh one!! How was it? Unreal! hands down best pulled pork I've ever eaten.

So here's my question, why did a 4.5lb butt, shoulder or whatever (still not sure what it was) take 16+ hrs to cook? My smoker temp would rise to 240 fall to 200, I'm figuring that's normal from what I've read? It just seems that it took way too long. BTW, the smoker was never opened during the smoke.

And whats with that ET-73 Maverick....100ft range? yeah not 20 ft (one end of my garage to the other) it would still lose signal and I'd have to re-register it.

Overall, very satified with the results, it doesn't bother me that it took so long...I just want to know that my smoker is working OK.

Thanks...I'm off to the jerky page to educate myself....I have 6lbs marinating.
Lloyd -- Congrats on a successful first smoke, even if the timing was off. Key here is to take good notes and learn from experience. Your temp swings are normal and sound right on.

As to "why" it took so long -- one thing you need to learn up front is that no two butts (and especially briskets) are alike. They are totally different critters. You may get a 4-lb'er that take 16 hours (tho rare) and a 6 lb'er that takes 12 hrs. This is why I almost ALWAYS start my butts & briskets the night before.

Patience is key. Good job not opening the door, usually a noob's mistake.

The remote probes rarely live up to their distance. The only one I ever owned wasn't good for more than 20', rated at 75 go figure!

Hang in there and you'll be cooking like a pro in no time. Read the forum often. You'll pick up hints and pointers and soon be assisting others.

Good luck on your jerky! Personally I prefer the GLH method, but that's just me.

Keep in touch & keep smokin'!!! Big Grin
Yep, so far been taking notes on everything...I've got 3 different flavored batches of jerky marinating, one is my own concoction and I recorded the recipe so i can repeat it if it turns out good....I always make the mistake when doing regular cooking , grilling etc....I'm just throwing in a little of this, little of that....never able to duplicate anything.

Funny you mention it....I've decided to try GLH's method for the jerky....I personally like my jerky moist and tender and it sounds as though that's the case with the GLH way. I'm thinking that my smoke time for the jerky is also going to be I cut the slices about 3/8" thick maybe some slightly thicker...That's the way I prefer it....Do you think it will be a problem?

Also what temp...if I were to probe it, would the jerky be done at? Whats the easest way to tell if its done? The bend method? texture?

I didn't see much mentioned on what to check for as far as done-ness

Smokin's gonna shoot us with eight rounds from his six-shooter for thread-jacking!!!

Probe jerky...? Whew! Mine is never more than 1/4 inch & can't imaging probing jerky. Anyway..

You are using a cure, correct? That helps get rid of the nasties. I usually smoke mine at 200* for about three hours, opening the door for about 30 seconds at about the 2.5 hour mark to release moisture (because there is a ton of moisture released from jerky.

Make sure you have a good sized drip pan under the smokette.

To check for doneness, I just open the door, cut off a piece with a pair of scissors and judge for myself.

Remember, as the jerky dries & cools outside the smoker when done, it will stiffen up a tad. Also, as it dries, the flavor seems to intensify.

Now, if you will copy and paste this to the jerky forum, PM me and I will do likewise. it may just save our somewhat respective hides, not to mention assisting someone else. Big Grin
One reason it's taking so long is because you're cooking a 4.5# piece of meat. Buy a real butt, or better yet two real butts, and cook them together, like 16-18# total, and it'll cook faster, and you'll have leftovers, and not contribute to global warming because you ran your smoker for 16 hours to cook meat for 5 sandwiches. Smiler
Originally posted by Todd G.:
One reason it's taking so long is because you're cooking a 4.5# piece of meat. Buy a real butt, or better yet two real butts, and cook them together, like 16-18# total, and it'll cook faster, and you'll have leftovers, and not contribute to global warming because you ran your smoker for 16 hours to cook meat for 5 sandwiches. Smiler

I hear ya went quick....I was just looking to try something that i couldn't screw up.....Next time it will be a couple bigin's

Why would it cook faster with 16 to 18lb of meat? I'm missing that.
Great thread. Especially for us Noobs.
I seasoned my 008 two days ago..8 hours of smoking with fattiest piece of leftover pork shoulder-like thing I could find plus a big shank bone. Left it at 225 with about three ounces of hickory for a little over eight hours. Couldn't decide whether I wanted to eat the fatty piece of meat or lick the inside of the smoker...smelled so good that I can't describe it.
I have a 7.75 pound bone-in butt sitting in the refrig right now. I will put some rub on it tonight and plan to start cooking it tomorrow night. I do have the Maverick 73..haven't used it yet...hope the darn thing works.
While it will be done when it is done, I am ballparking 1.5 hours per pound. The cooking time plus some cooler time should equal a heck of a dinner on Saturday night...does that sound right to you experts? Am I missing something?

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