Help needed!!

mccray44

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Hello,
I'm new to the smoking game and am very excited about learning. I have a PIT Boss PBV4PS2 I purchased this summer. I have smoked 2 chickens, 1 brisket, 2 pork shoulder some ribs and meatloaf, my issue is besides the meatloaf and the ribs all the other smokes the meat has came out tough and dry. I have tried fat cap up, fat cap down and spritzing while cooking and making sure I let the meat rest before serving. I've watched numerous videos on how to smoke but I can't seem to get that fall off the bone tenderness. One thing I have noticed is that the temperature from the smoker and the temperature from my wifi thermometer can vary 25-35 degrees. I cook to the recommended internal temp. I usually set smoker at 250. Should I set at 200? My wife is telling our family I am going to smoke a brisket for Thanksgiving and I am worried to deatho_O that I will come out with another dry brisket. I really don't want to spend $100+ on meat to practice beforehand. Anyone willing to share information on what I may be doing wrong will be appreciated. I get a nice smoke ring on the smokes but the meat is dry and definetly not fall off the bone. TIA
 

Dan-H

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How are you measuring internal temps?

Do you have a separate thermometer to measure pit temp other than using the built in on the smoker?
 

Cowboy1955

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I agree with Dan. I always have a probe in mine. On ribs you want to smoke them about an hour then wrap in foil and pour some apple juice in there and close them up. They’ll be tender every time
 

Dan-H

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@mccray44 It's hard to make suggestions without more info.

What wifi thermometer do you have? Do you also have a quality instant read? Does your smoker also have meat probes?

Are you using all of them and do the temps all agree? or is one read high or low.

My thoughts are if all your food is dry, you are cooking it beyond the temp for that cut of meat.

The smoker temp can be hotter, or cooler but trust the internal temp of the meat and pull it off below your target temp and let it rest and see if it comes up to target temp.

My suggestion is pick a cut of meat, ask about how best to smoke it, listen to a few opinions, and then take @Cowboy1955's advice
 

mixed up

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MY thoughts ever one has the way they smoke what ever meat I have had good results with my PB 4 cooking most of m meats at 225 almost all of them . I have cooked ribs 8 hrs not wrapping them look up methods for cooking ribs some say wrap some say not to wrap I use to do the 3 2 1 method and had good results with out wrapping them use what they say the bounce method for checking if done grap the rib in the middle and bounce it if it crack between the bone its done .Pork butt try using a brine of water salt a seasoning its adds moisture to the meat .. Thing you might want to look at on your smoker check the temp using a separate probe your smoke might be off make sure you have water in the tray . after a few hours start spraying the meat with water of apple juice to keep outside moist .smoking is a trial thing you find what method best works for you and read on the web that how I found the ribs method with out wrapping practice and eat good
 

PostalTwo

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Great suggestions on here allready. I'll add that your cut of beef is as important or more than any other factor. It pays to spend the extra for prime and be choosy when picking . A crap cut no matter what temp will be tough to turn out great. Fwiw it's my understanding cold meats get better smoke rings and using the smoke setting for several hours is a good way to add smoke flavor to your meat.
 

mccray44

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@mccray44 It's hard to make suggestions without more info.

What wifi thermometer do you have? Do you also have a quality instant read? Does your smoker also have meat probes?

Are you using all of them and do the temps all agree? or is one read high or low.

My thoughts are if all your food is dry, you are cooking it beyond the temp for that cut of meat.

The smoker temp can be hotter, or cooler but trust the internal temp of the meat and pull it off below your target temp and let it rest and see if it comes up to target temp.

My suggestion is pick a cut of meat, ask about how best to smoke it, listen to a few opinions, and then take @Cowboy1955's advice
I am currently using a Bird wifi thermometer. I use the probes from the wifi thermometer because I BELEIVE that is more accurate but the differnce between my wifi thermometers and the smoker probes can vary between 25-35 degrees. As i've said I set the smoker at 250 but on my next smoke I will begin at 225. Thanks for the response
 

mccray44

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm going to lower my temps and see if that helps. I may be over thinking it.
 

Donna

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Hello,
I'm new to the smoking game and am very excited about learning. I have a PIT Boss PBV4PS2 I purchased this summer. I have smoked 2 chickens, 1 brisket, 2 pork shoulder some ribs and meatloaf, my issue is besides the meatloaf and the ribs all the other smokes the meat has came out tough and dry. I have tried fat cap up, fat cap down and spritzing while cooking and making sure I let the meat rest before serving. I've watched numerous videos on how to smoke but I can't seem to get that fall off the bone tenderness. One thing I have noticed is that the temperature from the smoker and the temperature from my wifi thermometer can vary 25-35 degrees. I cook to the recommended internal temp. I usually set smoker at 250. Should I set at 200? My wife is telling our family I am going to smoke a brisket for Thanksgiving and I am worried to deatho_O that I will come out with another dry brisket. I really don't want to spend $100+ on meat to practice beforehand. Anyone willing to share information on what I may be doing wrong will be appreciated. I get a nice smoke ring on the smokes but the meat is dry and definetly not fall off the bone. TIA
 

jimbo

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Tough dry porkbutt usually means undercooked, dont go by temp, start probing with internal temp of 200 , when probe slides through like butter it's done, wrap in towels and set it on counter for an hour or two or three. This also goes for brisket . Good luck
 

BigO58

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Tough dry porkbutt usually means undercooked, dont go by temp, start probing with internal temp of 200 , when probe slides through like butter it's done, wrap in towels and set it on counter for an hour or two or three. This also goes for brisket . Good luck
BFED40FB-7F48-4B83-A000-40F68F76C8BE.jpeg
I smoked these 2 pork butts over the weekend (8+ and 7+ lbs.). I have a PB Pro 850 & started at the “smoke” setting for about 3 hours, then raised temp. to 225 for about 5 hours, then raised to 300 until internal temp was about 205 degrees. Basted twice with some juice from marinating to which I added a little vinegar & beer. Turned out great - pulled pork, some burnt ends added in, moist, and just the right amount of smoke for my taste. Don’t know if I could duplicate them, but I’m always up to give it a try!! 😋
 

mmclemore

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View attachment 1760I smoked these 2 pork butts over the weekend (8+ and 7+ lbs.). I have a PB Pro 850 & started at the “smoke” setting for about 3 hours, then raised temp. to 225 for about 5 hours, then raised to 300 until internal temp was about 205 degrees. Basted twice with some juice from marinating to which I added a little vinegar & beer. Turned out great - pulled pork, some burnt ends added in, moist, and just the right amount of smoke for my taste. Don’t know if I could duplicate them, but I’m always up to give it a try!! 😋
How long did that take total?
 

Big Daddy Q

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I cook my meat on smoke only at the P5 setting so about 180°. Also you might want to add a pan of water to keep the moisture up inside your smoker. I guess this all depends where you live. I’m in Florida and there’s more moisture in the air than I know what to do list.I agree do you have to probe the meat and I always temp your meat. But if it’s tough it just hasn’t cooked long enough
 

1MoreFord

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OP, As Jimbo said tough dry pork butt is undercooked. Same way with brisket. Overcooked butt will be mush and brisket will go dry again but it will crumble when sliced.

Pork butt is done when the bone will pull clean and easy.

Brisket is done when the thickest part of the flat will probe tender and easy everywhere. By that I mean an object like a chopstick will slide into the flat like it would going into peanut butter. Butts work that way too BTW.

To get some smoke flavor I'd start the cook at 200°F for an hour or two and then bump the temp up to at least 225 if not 250-275 for the balance of the cook. If you have a smoke tube you can cook hotter sooner.

Chicken needs to be cooked at 325 or hotter to finish to get good edible skin.

Use a remote thermometer to have an idea of where the meat temp is but don't rely on it except to start probing. Don't rely on time either except to start probing. Don't open and look and spritz. Keep the lid closed and cook. You add 15-20 minutes to your cook time every time you look and spritz. You do not need a pan of water in the cook chamber either. The burning of the pellets creates water vapor for moisture.
 
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