I have now done 3 meats in the smoker. A rump roast on super bowl sunday. Ham for easter and a boston butt this past weekend. The beef was "good" but people freaked and loved it. Could have been a by product of super bowl sunday. The Ham was fantastic. Never had a ham out of a smoker before and it was awesome. But then, the big boy came to town in the form of a boston butt. 8.5 lbs, homemade rub (throw in the kitchen sink if you like it) about 30 hrs prior to smoke/cook, and then in it went. I've read "take the meat out early and let it come up to temp, preheat the smoker etc.". this time in favor of easy (not that those other tasks are especially difficult or time consuming, but my Mrs. / Warden gets a little nutty when meat is sitting out for longer than 3 mins.) I took the meat right out of the fridge, put it on the 3rd rack up, jabbed a meat thermometer probe in it (up through the smoke vent), filled the water man and turned it on. In the water pan I had water, worscesteshire sauce, and white vinegar. Why? Why not? I waited until about 9 hours in to plug in the probe to check the temp. Stalled in the 175 range, just like everywhere I read said it would, and then kept on going. 11 total hours @225, not sure how much of that was truly necessary, but you just can't argue with the results. I was pretty much convinced that something about would make it just "ok". Dry? Nope. Smoke flavor deep into the meat and tasting out of this world? Affirmative. Tender and juicy - check. I pulled it with my new bear claws which worked GREAT, spooned some of the healthy drippings on, sprinkled on a bit more rub, tossed it up a bit, then served and blew people away.
While still in the smoker, my brother and another guy sat there with a beer in one hand and the other hand pulling off chunks of stinging hot pork, and they were flat out amazed. Best thing is a combination of all this:
Smoker was delivered for less than $200.
8.5 lb boston butt was $14.
Prep time was about 15 mins, all in.
Cleanup is washing the water pan, rack and probe (10 mins if I do a real good job)
And the end result was just off the charts.
Doing another one for work tonight (set it and forget it bc its electric) to bring in tomorrow for cinco de mayo.