My little ones have become pulled pork fanatics lately though, and I wanted to show them it's something dad can make too! So after a lot of hemming and hawing, I went with an MES 30 from Lowes to get my feet wet. AMNPS is on order - just waiting for Todd to get back and ship the goods. 3" duct elbow already in place. In the meantime, I followed the general guidelines from the pork sticky and some MES threads and had a successful first smoke this week.
The quick specs:
7lb bone-in pork shoulder
Stubbs BBQ rub (plus a little extra garlic powder and spanish paprika)
Overnight in the fridge
225 in the MES, dry water pan, vent open halfway
mix of apple and hickory chips
Foiled at 170, pulled, wrapped and stuffed in the cooler at 205
Never opened the door to peek, spritz, etc as I wanted a baseline for the level of "interference" required before I start tinkering.
Pulled by hand and dressed lightly in a mix of juice from the foil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and a couple tablespoons of Stubbs sauce.
Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. Was moist, medium smoke, decent bark - but most importantly I couldn't keep my three year old daughter's hands out of the pan as I was pulling it. Looking forward to improving, expanding and maybe branching out to some brisket and ribs. Will be digging through the postings here for ideas and improvements.