Official 2020 BBQ, Smoking, Grilling, Baking and Beer thread

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
226
Flower Mound, TX
Does urs run hot. My buddies does. He said it always had but it never affected his cooks
Yes, but not too hot. Typically 250-300. I usually cook around 225 on my other smokers, but rarely even use them anymore because the PBC is so easy. The higher temps bugged me when I first got the PBC, but the results were great and cooks were faster. Now I’m spoiled.
 

Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
274
Apex, NC
Bought wife a smoker last week. First attempt at some ribs...not so good but edible. Any tricks of the trade with these electric smokers?
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Yes, there are several tricks to an electric smoker. I have the electric Masterbuilt. For moisture, stick a cheap sponge in the water pan. It approves the surface area to add humidity to the inside the smoker. A second is to not trust the thermostat on the smoke. I use my own temperature probe to message the temperature inside the smokers. I have a second temperature probe for measuring the temperature inside the meat.


The Masterbuilt is decently insulated. What this means is that once the temperature meets the set temperature, the electric coil goes off so there is no more smoke being generated. Each time the coil comes on, it doesn't stay on long enough to create smoke. Therefore, to get a good smoke, buy a pellet smoking tube. It's a stainless steel perforated tube that you fill with pellets. Mine will smoke for about 6 hours.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,189
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I bought a pellet smoking tube which I will still use this winter for smoking cheese or other cold smoke projects. A Hexagon tube like above. If I needed a really heavy smoke I'd use that in addition. But I've not used it yet...

I find that is you are just going to use the water tray, using something with some carbohydrate in it like beer (half water half beer) works too.. it seems to make the stuff more moist. The sponge isn't a bad idea, however. The thermometer is just a guide, like what was stated above. If anything mine tend to read a little low in temperature. And when you smoke something low and slow is what you are after... 225-250F is about it with most stuff being better at 225F.

Also this goes without saying. Don't open the door of the unit except when you need to check temperatures or turn the meat. The more you pop it open the more moisture you will lose.

After I bought the pellet tube, I also bought a few sets of pellets. Before I used the tube I had an idea pop into my skull. Yeah, the chips do extinguish when the coil isn't on, but what if I added maybe 10% pellets to the tray of chips?

It worked GREAT. It speeds up the warmup of the smoker (to get an adequate smoke going) from over an hour to about 25 minutes, and it seems to keep the smoke going between coil cycles, although a little slower. The pellets ignite the chips well too.

And you only need about half a handful mixed in with the chips to do this. Wal-Mart on season sells small bags, and in my case I do have a Ace that sells pellets in bulk, so my little pound bags of pellets will last me a long time. But you can use any kind of Trager style pellet same or different from your chips.

But give that a try. The Mastercrafts are designed to use a small amount of smoke which I actually prefer. Adding pellets to the chip trap makes it a bit heavier and more consistent. If you want a steady stream of smoke so you can send smoke signals to the neighbors, then getting a pellet tube in addition is how you do it,... some people even add a mailbox and a tube back into the smoker so they can have the pellet burner have separate control and oxygen levels. It depends on what you want. I was almost there myself until I discovered adding the pellets into the chips....
 
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Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
274
Apex, NC
I'm a little picky about the temperature since a lot of my smoking is for summer sausage. With sausage, the fat will start rendering out if you get too hot. I like the internal temperature of the smoker not to exceed 170F which is the reason I don't rely on the Mastercraft temperature reading. I have found it off by as much as 30F at times.
 

salty87

Gold Supporter
Jan 31, 2017
196
Texas Hill Country
Another approach to getting more smoke from a Masterbuilt. I open the main door to remove ash and add more chips (and spritz). This allows you to add more chips than the side tube will allow. Leave the side tube cracked open a slight bit and the top vent all the way open. You'll get a more constant airflow over the chips. Airflow + loss of a little heat activates the element more so the chips produce more smoke.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,189
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I intend on eventually hooking my own PID controller to the Mastercraft. I intentionally bought the model that didn't have a built in PID because I knew that I'd have to leave it outside for one (I'll make it so the control can be detached and brought inside), and also that I could build something much better. (The non-PIDs also have higher wattage elements.) I am tempted to use one of my ESP8266's to do this so I even have a Wi-Fi webserver to monitor. It's on the list of to do's around here. :)

You are absolutely correct about the temperature control, especially on the low end like that. I will admit that I've not tried to cure anything in it. Or gone for a really low smoke like the 170F. It'd be tough to get it to stabilize there, especially in the summer in AZ. I've had it over 150F just in the sun here! :) For ribs, brisket, Pork Loin, meatloaf, etc., if you set it to the low end for that... 225F or so, if it were +30F then you'd still get a good result. At 275F maybe too on many meats... I imagine if you contacted them to complain about it they would tell you to buy a more expensive model.

The one with the side tube is one of those fancy models... :) I have the cheap version...
 

Wakey

New member
Jun 6, 2016
1
Madison
Any beer home brewers? Years ago I did some with a friend but he had the gear and the knowledge. Does anyone have a forum or somewhere I can go read up and learn about it? Thanks
 

CTFocusST

Well-known member
Jul 4, 2019
71
Glastonbury CT
Any beer home brewers? Years ago I did some with a friend but he had the gear and the knowledge. Does anyone have a forum or somewhere I can go read up and learn about it? Thanks
I homebrew here and there hasn't been as frequentin last couple years but still have all the gear.

There are a few forums out there the one I went to the most was homebrewtalk. Don't remember others off top of my head.

The guy that runs the BeerSmith software does a podcast as well that I have been meaning to check out
 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,189
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Same here. I have a PID controlled electric mash and Brew-In-A-Bag setup that I made myself but I have only done two batches in two years and one cider (which I do cold). SO I am not doing it much anymore, either. There are several of us here in the group, though, some are VERY active.

There was a great group on Facebook called "Home Brew Network"-- but it's kinda turned to doo doo IMHO (but still check it out), and there is the Home Brew Talk website and Facebook pages. That site is probably your best best even though there are aspects about it I have never really liked.

The hobby isn't as "hot" as it used to be. Many small shops have gone under in the last couple of years. BUT: It's still fun. The big downside is that it's a 3-5 hour process to brew a batch of beer, 3 being extract and up to 5 for all grain. And then you have a minimum of two to three weeks to ferment and serve. So there is a big time commitment there. And never ever think you are going to save money by brewing either.

I've enjoyed it. I want to brew a couple of batches and then downsize my system a bit over the holidays. For as much as I am actually brewing I might switch back to extract. Sad. I know.

If you are not sure... then do a cider with (no preservative) Apple Juice and the yeast of your choice. You will know right away if it's for you to do this... There is a lot of weird terminology with brewing because it's an old art, but for a beer, you are making a "wort" which is sorta literally a barley and hop tea. You cool it down properly (sanitization is important) and then add your yeast while controlling the temperature closely in most cases. That in a nutshell is brewing beer. Wines are more like the cider in that the ingredients are more important than the process, but in beer both are important, but especially the process.

Good Luck!
 
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Andome

Member
Sep 10, 2020
12
Palm Bay, FL
Anybody else have a Barrel House Smoker? Ive had mine for over a year now and I just love it. I find it does run a little warmer than other smokers, but like others have said, I actually enjoy that for what I tend to smoke. Mostly boston butts and ribs. Ive done several turkeys. That was a real hit at thanksgiving! Ive been experimenting a lot with wings also. Gonna try my first brisket soon, wish me luck!🤞
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
226
Flower Mound, TX
Anybody else have a Barrel House Smoker? Ive had mine for over a year now and I just love it. I find it does run a little warmer than other smokers, but like others have said, I actually enjoy that for what I tend to smoke. Mostly boston butts and ribs. Ive done several turkeys. That was a real hit at thanksgiving! Ive been experimenting a lot with wings also. Gonna try my first brisket soon, wish me luck!🤞
Interesting - I had not heard of this until your post. I have a Pit Barrel Cooker and it looks very similar: 30 gallon drum with meat hanging directly above the fire. The PBC also runs a little hotter, but I love mine. Brisket that used to take 12-15 hours in my stick burner can be cooked in 6-8 hours on the PBC and comes out just as tender and flavorful. Check out amazingribs.com for great tips on all cooks, including brisket. It’s my go-to site for rub recipes and they do a great job of explaining the why’s and how’s behind smoking. Good luck!
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,921
NE/Pa
Ok I’m making my favorite Italian dish. The recipe is a combo of 2 local restaurants in our area and some finesse of my own.
Chicken Saltimbocca. I use Marsala for my liquor. I know a lot use vermouth or white wine. I like that sweeter taste.
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My sage was giant this summer! Lol
 
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Brentr

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 18, 2009
3,258
Jacksonville, FL
This is one of DW favorites :cheers:

BTW we just came back from Orlando, went to Disney Springs, ate at Homcomin, Boathouse Marina, drank many Margaritas at Dockside Margaritas. Went to Epicot for one day at Food and Wine Festival, not as good as in the past years, downscaled due to Covid I suspect. Got to ride the Gondolas very cool. Stayed at The Grove Resort for a few days. It is very reasonable and pretty nice if you have kids :cheers:
 
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Brentr

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 18, 2009
3,258
Jacksonville, FL
Anybody else have a Barrel House Smoker? Ive had mine for over a year now and I just love it. I find it does run a little warmer than other smokers, but like others have said, I actually enjoy that for what I tend to smoke. Mostly boston butts and ribs. Ive done several turkeys. That was a real hit at thanksgiving! Ive been experimenting a lot with wings also. Gonna try my first brisket soon, wish me luck!🤞
Brisket is a favorite here. I wrap in butcher paper when it stalls, usually around 160 degrees :cheers:
 
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jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,921
NE/Pa
This is one of DW favorites :cheers:

BTW we just came back from Orlando, went to Disney Springs, ate at Homcomin, Boathouse Marina, drank many Margaritas at Dockside Margaritas. Went to Epicot for one day at Food and Wine Festival, not as good as in the past years, downscaled due to Covid I suspect. Got to ride the Gondolas very cool. Stayed at The Grove Resort for a few days. It is very reasonable and pretty nice if you have kids :cheers:
brent. Very cool. We have a Jan trip books for 10 days but I think it’s getting cx’ed. June also for 10. I’m hoping that one happens. My buddy was just down there. He said they had a blast.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
226
Flower Mound, TX
Perfect fall weather in Texas for BBQ! Slow cooked cream cheese stuffed jalapeños, wrapped in butterflied chicken breasts, wrapped in bacon. Cooked on Weber kettle with Slow ‘n Sear. Served with Mexican street corn, also grilled on the Weber, and Parmesan garlic smoked potatoes, cooked indirect on gas grill with smoke pouch. Enjoyed a couple of Shannon Brewery Irish Reds while keeping an eye on temps - had to act like I was doing something! 🙂 Excellent meal!
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