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Attempt #1 at smoking a pork butt

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

 So I recently purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain. And this Sunday am going to smoke my first piece of meat. In prep for this I have done a ton of research so that at 4 am Sunday morning I'm not caught by surprise. But after all my research I still don't understand a couple things:

 

1. How much coal do I use? When do I add more? How much more do I add? And do I add wood chips at the same time?

2. How much wood chips do I add at a time? And after soaking them I can just throw them right on the hot coals?

3. Do I want to keep the water at 1/2 to 3/4 at all times? If so whats the best way to fill it?

4. So I have the coal nice and hot. I now add the liquid to the pan and the rubbed meat on the tray. Correct?

5. When the temp starts to drop, should I just put in a few pieces of coal, a handful or a scoop?
 
Sorry for asking so much. And thank you for your help! If there is anything you think I might be missing being completely new to smoking, feel free to add it!
 
Cheers

 

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePope View Post

 So I recently purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain. And this Sunday am going to smoke my first piece of meat. In prep for this I have done a ton of research so that at 4 am Sunday morning I'm not caught by surprise. But after all my research I still don't understand a couple things:

 

1. How much coal do I use? When do I add more? How much more do I add? And do I add wood chips at the same time?Fill up the ring unless you have a monster butt this should be enough.

2. How much wood chips do I add at a time? And after soaking them I can just throw them right on the hot coals?  Do not soak the chips and better yet find you some chunks of wood.  Add about 5 fist sized chunks.

3. Do I want to keep the water at 1/2 to 3/4 at all times? If so whats the best way to fill it? 3/4 to start I am not a WSM user so i cannot tell you how long this will last.

4. So I have the coal nice and hot. I now add the liquid to the pan and the rubbed meat on the tray. Correct? Someone with more knowledge of you smoker will have to answer this one

5. When the temp starts to drop, should I just put in a few pieces of coal, a handful or a scoop?I don't think you will have to add coals if your WSM works like all the others you can get very long burns by using the minion method.
 
Sorry for asking so much. And thank you for your help! If there is anything you think I might be missing being completely new to smoking, feel free to add it!
 
Cheers

 



Check out this WIKI http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/minion-method-explained-with-tutorial

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePope View Post

 So I recently purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain. And this Sunday am going to smoke my first piece of meat. In prep for this I have done a ton of research so that at 4 am Sunday morning I'm not caught by surprise. But after all my research I still don't understand a couple things:

 

1. How much coal do I use? When do I add more? How much more do I add? And do I add wood chips at the same time? What Ecto said, fill the ring to the top, mix in with the charcoal 8-10 wood chunks. This should burn for 18-20 hours without adding any wood or charcoal.

2. How much wood chips do I add at a time? And after soaking them I can just throw them right on the hot coals? See #1

3. Do I want to keep the water at 1/2 to 3/4 at all times? If so whats the best way to fill it? Fill it to the top, it will last 10-12 hours, then you will need to add more water. Use a garden watering can through the door.

4. So I have the coal nice and hot. I now add the liquid to the pan and the rubbed meat on the tray. Correct? If you are talking about the pan below the meat catching juices & the tray above it, yes.

5. When the temp starts to drop, should I just put in a few pieces of coal, a handful or a scoop? If you fill the ring like we said earlier & start the fire with about 8-10 lit briquettes in the middle you should be able to control the temp with the bottom vents. Keep the lid vent 100% open all the time, When you start your fire open all 3 bottom vents, As the temp approaches 200 degrees, shut 2 of the bottom vents & leave the 3rd one about 3/4 open, when you get around 210 start closing the last vent down, when you get to 225 shut it to about 1/4 open. If the temp starts to drop open it a little. You should be able to stabalize the temp by adjusting the one bottom vent.
 
Sorry for asking so much. And thank you for your help! If there is anything you think I might be missing being completely new to smoking, feel free to add it! I'm assuming this is a 22.5 WSM, if it's the smaller one the principal is the same except you would only need about 6-8 wood chunks to start with.
 
Cheers

 



 

 

post #4 of 5

Hi ThePope,

I'm not going to disagree with the previous answers because they are 100% correct. I will however share a couple of my observations.

 

I usually start with about a gallon of hot tap water in the bowl. I usually don't bother refilling it. It does help with temperature control, particularly early when the fire tends to be hotter.

 

I use about half dozen wood chunks (on an 18" WSM.)

 

If I start running out of fire before I think the meat is fully cooked, IMO there is no shame to finishing it in the oven. The flavor from the smoke will already be there. OTOH, I've also kept the fire going by throwing in another 12-15 briquettes (or equivalent lump.) If you do that, do so before the temp drops too much or it will seem like it takes forever to light.

 

The other thing I'll add is that cooking with a WSM and likely any other smoker is that it is a skill that may take some practice to get down. Don;t worry if your first smoke or two don't seem to work exactly as you had hoped. There is a fair latitude in smoking meats so you can wander a bit from the expected course and still get great results.

 

Let us know how it works out.

 

 

Ohhh... That was three weeks ago. I hope you've finished by now!

post #5 of 5

Look at thread posts from Al and I...we have wsms.

 

 

And BTW

 

Welcome..

This site has tons of info.

I suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Ask questions and use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

Take the awesome free E-Course!!!

Have a great day!!!


Craig

   

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/about-jeffs-5-day-ecourse
 
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http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/109368/more-easy-made-bacon-with-q-view#post_666451


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