i got a weber smoker for my birthday, and just smoked my first stuff.
lam riblets and beef shank on left, and pork shoulder and beef chuck on right
dry rub was chili, cumin, garlic, salt and sugar, and a little coffee and cocoa. only on there for a few hours before it went in the smoker
cold day and SUPER windy. Couldn't get the temp past 200 until i but up a wind break.
Used briquets and apple wood.
Got a lot darker than I expected. Lamb came off after maybe 4 hours (with much of that time not being quite in the proper temp range), beef shanks after about 6. Chuck and pork then went into a 275 oven. Chuck came out after maybe two hours, and pork 4 hours.
The chuck was much better than I expected. Pretty tender. Shank was super dry, but like burnt ends. Shredded with teh chuck gave some good texture.
The pork on the left and the beef in the bowl.
I gotta make some sauce and take the necessary picture on the bun.
Can't wait to learn more. I think the beef shank just doesn't have enough fat to work. I'm gonna try saving whole beef shanks instead of these crosscuts next year to see how those do.
The beef chuck had enough fat to protect it.
Also wonder about doing some stuff in foil.
As far as the heat being too high, it was too low for awhile, and never got above 230 for the first 6 hours. But, maybe the time int he oven was too hot. The beef was only int here for a couple hours, though.
I saw a show on barbeque recently wherein they did a comparison of no wrap, foil wrap, and paper wrap for beef and they found that the paper wrap outperformed the foil wrap as far as bark development went, but still managed to come out juicier than the no-wrap. I'd take a stab at paper were I not so far from my smoker.
A little dry, but that's what sauce is for OP.
I just made some salmon jerky, myself.....not intentionally, but that's damn near how it turned out due to fucking up the cure and massive temp spikes in my shitty smoker.
The weber smoky mountain is a great smoker, and even better with some tweaks. Check out this site for some good info: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/
Keep at it, OP, you'll get better with experience.
I figured it was the sugar, too.
As far as dry goes, I agree that it's dry. I did my homework (in that I read), but this was my first time. Temp never got above 275.
I have freezers full of meat. I have to use what I have, and like to experiment.
http://www.cheaterchef.com/texas-smoked-beef-chuck/ is what I read for the chuck, but I wanted to try without foil the first time. The next time I'll try foil (or paper).
THese prictures were also taken cold this morning, so they lost that sheen of warm meat that makes things look a little better.
You smoke with a temp lower than 185? I wanted my pork to hit 200!
I think the way to go is to smoke the meat until it hits 160, and then just finish it in the oven inside. By the time it hits that temp, it can't take much, if any, more smoke, and it'd probably be oversmoked if it could. The oven avoids having to fuck with more charcoal, and the temp spikes that can happen.
I got some work to do, for sure. I've got a thermapen, but I'd like a good corded thermometer so I don't have to keep opening that thing up. It was amazing how the temp just wouldn't come up. As soon as I put that shield up I had better luck.
What was interesting is how perfect the pork came out compared to the chuck roast. It was somewhat expected, but a good reminder why pork shoulder is such a winner on the smoker.
I just need to get some serious fat on my steer, or pull the beef off earlier, like you mentioned.