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Hi Guys
I need some good input on a smoker as close to a commercial grade as possible for home use . Right now i have a gravity feed smoker with a add on digital monitoring device to keep the temperature constant i can't remember the the name of it but it seems to work o k
but after 3 yrs i just can't get the finished quality i want of the meat . It will smoke for up to 16 hours and i will monitor with a remote temperature device . I have seen similar smokers on some of the BBq shows . It seem as the meat comes out on the dry side . Maybe the problem is ME . I don't mind spending the money for a new smoker
Thanks for your advice
 

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Never done it commercially,but I always have had a pan of water between the heat source and the meat. Does two things, keeps moisture high and catches any drippings.
 

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Revolution Is My Name
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You didn't say what you are smoking. If the fat content is low the meat may come out dry. You could be over cooking it will come out dry. You will find most people will smoke for a time or reach a temp, than wrap in foil to continue cooking to finished temp. It is more important to keep track of the meat temp than the cooker temp but both are important.

The more information you provide the better help you will receive. Lots of threads in here about smoking specific meats.
 

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Senior Moment
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...I can tell ya a smoker no more makes a pit boss, than a high end camera makes a photog.


"With the advent of non-stick pans, there are no real chefs"..... or however it goes ;)
 

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A smoker is only as good as the person using it.
This.
My old man owned a camp ground. I brought down my own, cheapy,(69.00 Walmart) first smoker for the summer and would smoke ribs/pork The guy next to my old mans site had a brand new long horn(750 bucks). His shit tasted terrible and was begging for hints. Said he youtubed a bunch and read a bunch but it's not the quality of mine, or the quality he wants.

So props to him for being humble, but the tools don't make the worker.
 

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Pretty much echo what everyone else has said. I'd add that smoking meat takes practice and experimentation. I've been smoking meats for a long time. I'm better at certain meats than others. I'm constantly tweaking what I'm good at and experimenting trying to improve what I'm not-so-good at.

As for keeping meat moist, there's several things you can do. Inject, brine, mop, pan of water in the smoker, wrap for the last few hours, etc. I usually use some combination of inject/brine/mop/pan of water. I boil water and pour it in steaming hot already. A 250 degree smoker will keep it at a slight boil so there's steam. I try to do everything without wrapping. Wrapping to me is cheating but some meats just come out a little drier if you don't wrap.

Also timing is a big deal. Don't want to over-smoke or over-cook. Learn your smoker before buying another. You'll just need to learn the new one.
 

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Senior Moment
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I know I phucked up some perfectly harmless beef ribs this past Sat. due to inattention. Poor bastards never had a chance. Smoked 'em in an electric smoker at 240* for a little over 7 hrs., no wrap, and pulled them at 202* internal. My own fault for not hanging with my little buddies. Another lesson learned.
Beef Ribs/Knife <------ BAD!!!
 

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One thing that will make it easier on any smoker to get the results you are looking for is to make sure you get one that is manufactured from realativly thick metal, say around 1/4 " or so. Keeping a more-constant cook chamber temperature is not the end-all-be-all, but it can go a long way towards producing a good product.
 

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I got tired of watching other people smoke meats and just eating them as well so I 1st got a masterbuilt electric smoker as a gift and tried it out, man I followed their instructions, their dvd and youtube hints and the meat didn't turn out good + cleaning the inside of one of those is a nightmare so I quickly sold it. so this year I bought a gently used seasoned Longhorn off set smoker and followed some basic steps off youtube and smoked an 6.5 lb brisket. I went with beef broth injection, course pepper/sea salt and a store bought steak seasoning. I smoked the brisket for 6 hours at 260 deg ,covering the brisket in foil the last hour and I used apple wood and a pan of apple juice under the rack. well the bark turned out perfect and the smoke ring was perfect and the taste was perfect, the meat was moist over all a success. later I was on line and others said I cooked it at too high a heat and I should be around 225 and the meat would turn out better. I did the same prep on the same size brisket with the same wood etc but maintained 225 deg for 6 hours. this time I had very little bark and the meat was drier, tasted good just dry. also did some hot and sweet sausage for the last hour that was good. so based on my experience 250-260 deg gave me more bark and seemed to trap more moisture in the meat. first pics are the first brisket second pics are the last one.

 

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Sometimes the difference between two different pieces of meat comes down to the fact that one might just be a better piece than the other. Neither of the two temps you cooked at would be considered outside the range of proper cooking, barring the opinions of zealots.



One thing to be aware of though, is that if the brisket is cooked at the far lower end of the heat scale, it will also finish at a lower internal temperature. In other words, if a brisket is cooked at 375°F for the duration of the cook, it might not be tender and fully cooked until an IT of around 210°F or so is reached. If cooked the same but with a cook chamber temperature of 200°F, the equivalent doneness might occur at around 187-190°F, for instance.



Also, all things being equal, wrapping an item in aluminum foil will tend to soften the bark somewhat, as the meat begins to "steam" a bit when tightly wrapped.



Your briskets look good, much better than my first two attempts.
 

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Sometimes the difference between two different pieces of meat comes down to the fact that one might just be a better piece than the other. Neither of the two temps you cooked at would be considered outside the range of proper cooking, barring the opinions of zealots.



One thing to be aware of though, is that if the brisket is cooked at the far lower end of the heat scale, it will also finish at a lower internal temperature. In other words, if a brisket is cooked at 375°F for the duration of the cook, it might not be tender and fully cooked until an IT of around 210°F or so is reached. If cooked the same but with a cook chamber temperature of 200°F, the equivalent doneness might occur at around 187-190°F, for instance.



Also, all things being equal, wrapping an item in aluminum foil will tend to soften the bark somewhat, as the meat begins to "steam" a bit when tightly wrapped.



Your briskets look good, much better than my first two attempts.
thanks, the brisket on the first attempt had great bark before i wrapped it, the second brisket had color like bark but not crisp at all before I wrapped it? I have a oklahoma joe offset cooker and I cook the brisket on the far side near the stack I also put in a steel deflector plate to push the smoke and heat to the middle of the smoke chamber from the fire box. I have 2 temp gauges that end up being about 20 deg apart so if I'm at 225 on the far left (brisket side) then the far right is 245 (fire box side). I'm not trying to enter contest or make a living at it, just a hobby. I will tell anyone out there that its a good days work having to monitor the temps and fire box, it's not like baking a cake were you put it in the oven and come back when the time goes off. I did my meats while working on my corvette, broke up the monotony of sanding primer.
 

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Color Me Gone'd
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Hi Guys
I need some good input on a smoker as close to a commercial grade as possible for home use . Right now i have a gravity feed smoker with a add on digital monitoring device to keep the temperature constant i can't remember the the name of it but it seems to work o k
but after 3 yrs i just can't get the finished quality i want of the meat . It will smoke for up to 16 hours and i will monitor with a remote temperature device . I have seen similar smokers on some of the BBq shows . It seem as the meat comes out on the dry side . Maybe the problem is ME . I don't mind spending the money for a new smoker
Thanks for your advice
Just buy the cheapest one you can afford on Evilbay, throw the food in, drink some cheap beer &
 

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Hi Guys
I need some good input on a smoker as close to a commercial grade as possible for home use . Right now i have a gravity feed smoker with a add on digital monitoring device to keep the temperature constant i can't remember the the name of it but it seems to work o k
but after 3 yrs i just can't get the finished quality i want of the meat . It will smoke for up to 16 hours and i will monitor with a remote temperature device . I have seen similar smokers on some of the BBq shows . It seem as the meat comes out on the dry side . Maybe the problem is ME . I don't mind spending the money for a new smoker
Thanks for your advice
the smoker I bought was a used oklahoma joes for $150 they sell for $275-$350 at big box stores, its made better then most of the smokers one can find at local stores since it's not sheet metal. that being said I have a friend who smokes a lot of meat and he bought a kit to make a vertical smoker out of a 55 gallon drum smoker and his food is phenomenal.
 
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