Guilty on both accounts! When I reloaded the tray I put it up on the shelf above the power element and also didn't fill the rows so high. I lit the tray and let it "burn" for 20 minutes before putting it back into the smoker. I thought I had a good "fire" going. Unfortunately, after about 30 minutes the fire went out. The butte had smoked for about 4-5 hours so I just left it alone.
What baffles me is that I had 3 thermometers all within about 1-2 inches of the "Box" temp sensor. I had a MAV thermocouple, the MES meat probe and an accurate mercury thermometer. The readings between the 3 thermometers where all over the place and varied one from another by 20-40 degrees. The only sensors that came close to each other were the MES meat thermometer and the "box" temp. These stayed within 5-10 degrees of each other. Several times I saw temps of 310+ on both the mercury and the MAV sensors while the Meat thermometer and box thermometer read around set point of 250.
All that being said, the butte turned out very good. Now I'm trying to find a light "finishing" sauce to put on it before serving. I don't like to put a "heavy" sauce on the meat as it covers up the smokey flavor.
Even with all those "flaky" temperature readings, I guess you can say "All's well that ends well". And this definitely ended well.
IMG_0997.JPG 2,874k .JPG file
Again, Bear, thanks for all you do,