Advice needed for new PBV4PS2 First cook

Edchad

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Ok did my first cook today and as promised here comes The questions. Lol.

First let me describe what happened so you can answer better to what I’m asking. (Does that even sound right???)

I used Pit Boss Apple pellets and cooked 2 racks of baby backs. Not sure how I wound up with Apple. Normally I like hickory on most everything especially pork. On my PB Hammertone 2, I sometimes mix just a little apple in with my hickory chips. Tends to smooth the smokiness a little. But I can’t recall ever using straight Apple. Anyway I’ll say I had a brain fart apparently and put a bag of Apple instead of hickory in the buggy at Lowe’s.

Emptied the ashes from my burn-off the other day. Filled the water pan. Plugged it in. Then pressed the button and turned it on. Left the door open and verified the hopper and fan was running and when I got a whiff of smoke I closed the door. I checked the control and it was set on ‘S’ (that I thought was a 5 the other day. Lol)

I left it that way for awhile but wasn’t sure it was heating up like it should. So I then ran it up to 300 I believe and watched the temp. I also put a Maverick probe on a holder and put on the middle rack. And put the PB probe on a lower rack on a holder as well.

Didn’t take long and the temp started climbing nicely and it was smoking like a freight train.

I wound up setting it on 250 degrees shooting for around 225 in the pit. I’ll say it did a pretty good job maintaining what was showing 250. But reading closer to my 225 off the probes. The two probes read maybe 3-10 deg from each other but about 30 less than what the main Actual temp on the pit was showing. Set on 250 it only fluctuated maybe +/- 8 deg during the whole cook. The probes being that far off the mains Actual didn’t bother me as everything I’ve ever had was like that. I cook from the probes readings anyway because I know it’s right. (Talking about the Maverick. The PB probe was pretty much just testing it.)

Cooked the ribs 3-2-1 style.

I even tried the app. Monitoring only. I didn’t make any adjustments with it. But it seemed to reflect the pits control pretty well. The little icons for fan, auger and element were sort of cool. Lol. When I finished the cook I removed the ribs and some ears of corn I added about the last hour and half and pressed the button no let it so it’s shutdown while I brought the food in.

Ok. The ribs came out falling off the bones tender.

They didn’t caramelize well during that last hour or so. Also, and I’ve already read a lot on this , they weren’t very Smokey at all.

Part of that I think was the Apple pellets. And after reading quite a bit in here apparently these things just don’t give off that much Smokey flavor?

I find that kinda weird as this thing was smoking like a train at startup for quite awhile and off n on all during the cook I’m assuming when it was firing itself back up for temp? After watching all the smoke this thing produced I was almost in shock with the lack of smoke flavor.

I still think the Apple was part of it. Milder smoke ??

I have read about the AMAZEN tubes. And in fact have a 5x8 tray I just got the other day to play with in my grill.

I understand that adds a lot of flavor. But if it’s loaded with the same pellets I don’t understand how it would be different than all the smoke billowing out of it anyway.

I already said somewhere this was much of an impulse buy.

I justified it as larger capacity. Which it is. Self tending. Which it did. But I was under the impression these things left a great Smokey flavor.

The cooker and even the app worked flawlessly.

I already have a bag of PB competition blend pellets. Will these be smokier? I plan to test hickory after these.

I hate to say it but my old Hammertone 2 beats this hands down for flavor. And is just about as easy to use.

Any help, tips, comments, or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance. And apologies for such a long post.
 

MikeInFla

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yeah, the smoke trays and tubes will add more smoke because they smoke continuously while the smoker itself has periods when it isn't making smoke. Chips will always give more flavor than pellets. I have 2 tubes and use them from time to time. Sometimes I even put chips in the tube mixed with pellets but they do not last near as long. In my 12 inch smoke tube if I fill it full of pellets it will go 4 to 5 hours. With chips it might last an hour but there is more smoke flavor from the chips. The extend the burn time that is why I mix in pellets. I am not sure how well chips would burn in a smoke tray (have never tried one).

I have used all the brands from PB. Apple, fruit blend, classic blends, competition, hickory, etc. They are all about the same but I like hickory the best. The bag I just finished off was the "Expert Grill" brand and oak which are less than $7 a bag. I am still unsure about those pellets because they seem not to burn up all the way. My next bag will be either the Smokehouse pellets from Sam's (hickory/oak/maple/cherry) or a bag of oak from Bear Mountain. Have never done straight oak and want to give it a try so it might be next.

Personally I like a heavy smoke taste. A few weekends ago I did Mahi Mahi. My oldest daughter said it tasted like chicken. My wife said it was too smokey. I thought it needed more smoke and our youngest daughter said it tasted like fish. So 4 different opinions.

Just keep trying different pellet brands and blends. Hopefully you will find one that works best for you.
 

Edchad

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Thanks for the reply And info. Honestly it wasn’t like there was NO smoke flavor. Just not as much as we’re used to. Again I think the Apple pellets had a lot to do with it. I just took one of the leftovers out of the fridge And it was pretty tasty. Lol.
I’m going to try different ones. What brands beside Pit Boss would you recommend? I know there’s a ton of different brands and flavors. I’m wondering if there’s any particular brand that’s known to leave a better flavor? I have a bag of competition right now but am thinking about picking up some hickory to try next.
And I still find it crazy 😜 that there was no more smoke flavor, how this thing was running. It smoked probably more than my other. And off and
on during the cook. Not just at the start. This joker was puffin!!
Pic below, I happened to remember I took. This was probably an hour into the cook. Oh. Did it sound like I started the cook off correctly? It may just be me but a lot of the manual isn’t very clear.
I didn’t fiddle with the smokestack. Stayed where you see it in the picture.
 

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Edchad

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Oh I forgot to mention. I ordered a 12” and 6” AMAZEN tubes online last night. Going to tinker with one of those as well.
 

MikeInFla

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Mike. Which size tube you use ? And where do you place it inside the pit?
I have a 12 inch and 6 inch. Pack them full of pellets. Blaze them with a blowtorch until they have a nice flame. Let the flame burn for about 8 minutes. Blow out the flame and it will start smoking. Carefully lay it on its side anywhere in the smoker (in my vertical I usually put it on a shelf under the meat, on my Pit Boss grill I just set it to the side I have 2 Pit Boss's a grill and vertical and I tend to get more smoke from the vertical). As I stated I have tried wood chips in mine and those work good too but they don't last as long as pellets.

I have tried all the Pit Boss blends with Hickory and Competition being the best. Mesquite is good as well. Have also tried Kingsford, Bear Mountain and have a bag from Sam's that I haven't opened yet (I have 3 bags in the shed. Pecan from Bear Mountain and Oak from BM and the Sam's bag). Walmart also has a charcoal blend which is pretty good.

If you buy Bear Mountain, wait til they are on sale. Sometimes they have a buy one get one offer. I tried entering in BOGO today (since it is a holiday and sometimes they offer them unannounced on a holiday) but the code didn't work.

A pellet smoker will give you smoke, just not as much as a stick burner.... And I have noticed that leftovers from the fridge have more smoke the next day but that might be my imagination.

Oh and I have never tried Lumber Jack or B&B pellets because I can't find them anywhere but I have heard they are good. Our local ACE has Traeger pellets but honestly I think they are too expensive for a 20 pound bag so I don't plan on buying any.
 

Edchad

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Here is how to light a tube


hey I certainly appreciate all that. And the vid helps too. You gave me a lot of info and stuff to ponder but the one thing that ‘stuck’ was being better the next day. Lol.
the wife and I just finished what was left. And they certainly were more Smokey.
gonna try some different pellets and the tubes I ordered are 6 and 12 as well.

oh. And If anybody wondering. I’m not upset about anything. I’ve already fell in love with this thing. It’s just gonna be a learning curve. And right off the bat I nabbed the wrong flavor pellets. And worse. Used em in those ribs. Lol.

was what I wrote regarding getting the meat on fairly correct?

does that S setting actually heat up to 350?

the pit, by my probes read about 235 or so and smoking like crazy when they went in. I set it to 250 and let r rip.
Are there any little tricks to tweak those temps a little? I didn’t fool with the stack that much but did move it up and back down a few times. Didn’t see any noticeable temp changes.

Hey. Sitting in the living room watching tv in my recliner under a big ceiling fan while cooking was awesome. Lol.
The little auger fan and element icons ....well they’re a hoot! Lol 😂
 

Edchad

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The S setting at start up will only get to about 180 deg.
Oh. Well that’s about the range it seemed it wanted to reach causing me to crank it on up. Thanks Mike for clarifying that . The manuals not the worst I’ve ever used but its kinda cloudy in areas.
It says on p19 I believe it has an automatic startup temp of 350 degrees. That’s why I was concerned I was doing something wrong or there was a problem there. But that’s about exactly what it does. At startup the S Takes it close to that. At burn off I waited and waited for it to climb and it didn’t till I raised it. Then cooking yesterday I didn’t wait very long and went ahead and cranked it up to get to my cooking temp.
the manual states it will reach 350 of course unless you change it. But that ain’t what it’s doing. Lol. Thanks again Mike. The whole startup and info in the book is cloudy to me. Of course it may just be me. Lol.
 

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ANT0407

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I have a 12 inch and 6 inch. Pack them full of pellets. Blaze them with a blowtorch until they have a nice flame. Let the flame burn for about 8 minutes. Blow out the flame and it will start smoking. Carefully lay it on its side anywhere in the smoker (in my vertical I usually put it on a shelf under the meat, on my Pit Boss grill I just set it to the side I have 2 Pit Boss's a grill and vertical and I tend to get more smoke from the vertical). As I stated I have tried wood chips in mine and those work good too but they don't last as long as pellets.

I have tried all the Pit Boss blends with Hickory and Competition being the best. Mesquite is good as well. Have also tried Kingsford, Bear Mountain and have a bag from Sam's that I haven't opened yet (I have 3 bags in the shed. Pecan from Bear Mountain and Oak from BM and the Sam's bag). Walmart also has a charcoal blend which is pretty good.

If you buy Bear Mountain, wait til they are on sale. Sometimes they have a buy one get one offer. I tried entering in BOGO today (since it is a holiday and sometimes they offer them unannounced on a holiday) but the code didn't work.

A pellet smoker will give you smoke, just not as much as a stick burner.... And I have noticed that leftovers from the fridge have more smoke the next day but that might be my imagination.

Oh and I have never tried Lumber Jack or B&B pellets because I can't find them anywhere but I have heard they are good. Our local ACE has Traeger pellets but honestly I think they are too expensive for a 20 pound bag so I don't plan on buying any.
I buy Bear mountain pellets at my local Tractor Supply store for $9.99 for a 20lb bag. I called Bear mountain and asked if the were the same pellets they sell on the website and the answer was yes. So if you have a Tractor supply near you check it out. Or try the Tractor supply website.
 

Edchad

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I buy Bear mountain pellets at my local Tractor Supply store for $9.99 for a 20lb bag. I called Bear mountain and asked if the were the same pellets they sell on the website and the answer was yes. So if you have a Tractor supply near you check it out. Or try the Tractor supply website.
Hey. I appreciate the info. I do have a TS local here. Will check em out!
 

MikeInFla

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I buy Bear mountain pellets at my local Tractor Supply store for $9.99 for a 20lb bag. I called Bear mountain and asked if the were the same pellets they sell on the website and the answer was yes. So if you have a Tractor supply near you check it out. Or try the Tractor supply website.
Yeah, I have been there MANY times looking for them and I am always told they do not carry them. 9.99 a bag is a steal. It's been a few months since I have been maybe I need to swing by there and check again.
 
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