Originally Posted by psouthwick
Ok. I did pull it at 196 - the bone could have easily slid out. I used a great rub and tried Cherry (which gave it a very unique but pleasant taste). All in all everyone that came over was very happy and it tasted very good. Becaue I didn't factor the time in correctly I didn't get as nearly as long set time that I would have liked but I learn. I will start earlies factor in longer time and I will be good. Not a disaster as I suggested just a dumb cook.
No such thing as a dumb cook...we all gotta start learning somewhere. The first of anything you smoke will generally be a challenging experience...and you learn from it. You never stop learning, because every time you fire up for another smoke, there will be something new along the way to keep your senses sharpened and your mind at work. I always seem to have something sneak up on me...it may be just a small detail, but it's there. I expect things to challenge me, and if nothing does, then I consider it to be an uneventful smoke...no problem.
Glad to hear it all worked out. It's pretty difficult to botch up a butt smoke for pulled pork as long as you have the time to bring those internal temps up where they need to be. Butts are a great first smoke item, IMHO, then spare ribs is a close second for easy smoking.
Just remember to allow for extra time as you mentioned doing...I always try to plan for 30-40% longer than I think it will take, and then I don't have to worry about deadlines for a meal time. If I'm smoking a whole packer brisket of average weight (14-16lbs for me), I figure on 22-24 hours before it comes out to rest. If it's up to my desired temp befor ethat time, that allows me extra time for resting the meat and finishing preparing the rest of the meal, whatever it may be.
You'll get more comfortable with the smoker, the concept of low & slow, getting a nice, thin, long lasting smoke, and gain confidence in your skills as you move forward. So, don't sweat any issues you encounter during your journeys...every smoke gets easier, and every smoke teaches you something.
Stay with it and you'll be rewarded with much more great eats to follow!