The Masterbuilt propane smoker
BBQ Insanity visited Cork this weekend, to a house far into the Irish countryside, somewhere between a town called Inishannon and the popular tourist town of Kinsale. A long time friend of BBQ Insanity, Mr. Steve Prior was entertaining, and BBQ was on the menu.
Steve has just moved back to Ireland from Little Rock, Arkansas. As well as his family, he also brought back his Gas smoker, the Masterbuilt Propane smoker. It’s a great piece of equipment, providing decent heat insulation and easy temperature control. Masterbuilt also do a range of electric smokers.
These smokers are different to the Weber smokers that have featured so far on this website. While the Weber Smokey Mountain is bullet shaped, and has a deep water tray, the Masterbuilt smoker is rectangular and the water tray is much more shallow. This rectangular design allows for easy access to all four shelves of the Masterbuilt model. It’s a bit trickier to get to the second shelf of the Weber Smokey Mountain. Of course the other major difference is that the Weber Smokey Mountain is fuelled by charcoal, whereas the Masterbuilt smoker is powered by propane gas. The big advantage of this is that temperatures are a lot more predictable and controllable. This is something that comes in very handy when you are cooking for a long duration. You just don’t have to worry about temperature control as much and it frees you up to focus on the actual preparation of the food.
On the menu were two whole chickens, two types of sausage (German and Irish), and 6 racks of baby back ribs. All smoked with Hickory woodchips placed at the bottom of the Masterbuilt smoker. Of course to accompany all this meat, Steve had also prepared roasted potatoes and Barbecue flavoured baked beans.
The ribs were cooked at 200-220 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of 6 hours. First Steve applied a dry rub to the ribs, primarily paprika based. If he’s willing to share the exact recipe, I’ll put it up on this blog. Steve told me he uses the 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs. The ribs are cooked for 3 hours uncovered then 2 hours covered, and then the final hour uncovered again. It’s important to leave the ribs uncovered initially as meat takes on most of the smoke flavour when it is raw. When covering the ribs, wrap in tin foil with apple juice to keep moist.
As you can see from the photograph, this smoker has 4 shelves, providing plenty of space for cooking lots and lots of meat. Steve used Hickory wood chips to smoke the meat, adding a few more later on in the process to ensure that the sausages picked up some of that smokey flavour.
The chicken took about 3 hours 45 minutes, and the sausages 2 hours, and everything was timed to come out at the same time. Steve shredded the chicken and served it with burger buns. The rib racks were sliced into individual rib portions. The sausages barely made it to the table before they were demolished by the hungry crowd.
Steve shared the ingredients of his dry rub, although he couldn’t remember the exact proportions he used.
- Brown sugar
- Black pepper
- Red pepper
- Chili powder
- Toasted cumin
- small bit of nutmeg