Advice for First WSM Smoke

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pearlmikejam, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. pearlmikejam

    pearlmikejam Newbie

    I recently got an 18.5 WSM.  I will be using it for the first time this week to smoke some Pork Shoulders/Butts for guests we will be having Saturday.  I live in Northern IL, where the temperatures have been in the single digits this past weeks.  I also live in a fairly windy location.  Winds range between 10 and 15 MPH on a light day.

    That said, I have a dilemma and need advice.  I will be getting my Pork from CostCo later today.  I will be getting two butts in the 7 pound range.  Since this is my first smoke, I wanted to smoke during the day so I can monitor the temperature.  I will be home during the day Thursday and Saturday, but not Friday.  I am a little nervous about doing it all on Saturday, especially since the temperature will be a little warmer Thursday and Friday, so I am considering two approaches below and want to get feedback.
    • Smoke for about 7 hours Thursday using the WSM.  I will be home and can start in the morning, monitor and adjust as necessary.  After about 7 hours, wrap the pork and refrigerate until Saturday morning.  On Saturday, continue the slow cook in the oven at 225 for about 7 more hours.
    • Smoke for about 7 hours Thursday using the WSM.  After about 7 hours, wrap the pork and refrigerate until Saturday morning.  On Saturday, continue the slow cook in the WSM, but with charcoal only.
    I have used a similar approach when doing some short smoking on a Weber Smokey Joe with small pork roast and then placing in a slow cooker, so I am assuming either should work.

    I also considered starting it Friday night around 8:00, but, since this is the first time using the smoker, I did not want to wake up to a frozen smoker with bad meat.  I do not have a welding blanket or anything that I can reasonably use to insulate, or that I can get by Saturday.

    What approach would be best?  Would there be a better approach?  Do I need to allow for more time since I will be refrigerating for a day?

    Thanks in advance for the input.
     
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If you are going to be home all day Thurs., I would get up as early as possible & get the smoker going. Smoke it in a pan. Don't take it off in 7 hours, let it go as long as you can. If you get up at 5:00 AM & smoke it until 9:00 PM That may be enough to get it close to done. Then cover it with foil & let it cool & refrigerate it until Sat. If it's not completely done, put the pan in a 225 oven covered with the pan juices, until IT is about 205. I'm sure others will chime in with their ideas as well.

    Good luck,

    Al
     
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Doing the split smoke is not a recommended method. If I was you I'd crank the heat up to 265-285 and smoke them to an IT of 205. You will still get a great piece of meat. I do higher temp smokes on pork butts all the time. I run my WSM 18.5 at 285. Takes less time and still a great product.
     
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome from SC. It's good to have you on this great site.

    Either method should work. I do prefer Al's idea of getting it as done as possible on Thursday, As far as the temp and wind is concerned, if you can't wrap the cooker, just get some cardboard and tie it to a couple of lawn chairs to keep as much wind as possible away from the smoker.

    Good luck and good smokin'. Let us know how it turned out. Pics are always nice. Joe :grilling_smilie:
     
  5. pearlmikejam

    pearlmikejam Newbie

    Thanks for all of the responses!  I do like the idea of getting it as done as possible.
    If I follow this method and I get an IT of 205 on Thursday, what would I do on Saturday?  Shred and reheat in a crock pot with juices?  Throw it in the oven for a hour and then shred?
     
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It's best to shred once it's out of the smoker. I let it rest an hour foiled and then shred. For reheating you can use a crockpot, or the oven. If going the oven route place the pulled pirk into chaffing pans or tin pans or casserole and cover with foil. Put into 200 degrees oven. With either method add the drippings or a finishing sauce after pulling the meat.
     
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree with Dirt, if it gets to 205. Let it rest & pull it then. Like he said the crock pot works really well for reheating. Make sure you save the pan juices for reheating. 

    Al
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016

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