Cranked up my new smoker at 5:00 am this morning to start my first smoke. Using a Char-Grill horizontal smoker with side burner and hickory for smoke and charcoal briquettes as a base. Started Boston Butt at 5:40 am - grill at 150. Rubbed meat down Friday night with the Snakebite rub on this site and again this morning just before placing in smoker. I substituted the wasasbi with cayenne in the rub. Spraying with Apple Juice/Rum mix every hour. I placed a disposable roasting pan full of water in the bottom of the smoker to help regulate the temp.
I have ordered Taylor and Maverick wireless thermometers, but they have not arrived so I bought a cheap one at Wal-mart last night. It worked for about 5 minutes...I'm a little concerned about how to know when the meat is done. I am considering running back to Wal-mart (1 hour round trip) to take this one back and get another one, but I'm not sure I want to leave for that long. Any other ideas on how to know when the meat is done?
I have not quite got the regulating of the heat thing down. Got the temp up to 225 by about 6:30 and range has been 180-240 or so since then. It has stayed mostly within 5 degrees of 225, but has spiked and fallen a few times. Hopefully I will get better with practice. I also think I started out with the wrong smoke. I think I started with the damper too closed, which starved the fire keeping the temp down and creating the wrong smoke. I'm learning that small adjustments to the damper make a pretty big difference in temp, but take a while to show up. I have the right smoke now and the meat is looking pretty good I think.
I will be adding a whole chicken, wings, corn and potatoes this afternoon.
Here is the first pic...more to come.