I've decided on my rub and I'm gonna brine one of the 2 butts. I think I'm good on the meat prep but I need some guidance on the MES, the AMNPS and thermometers. This is only the second smoke in the MES for me and it will be the first with the AMNPS and pellets.
Todd told me in an email that I should spritz the pellets with iso alcohol to help them start burning. (At least that's what I remember and I can't call the email back because the laptop it was on crashed.) Does this sound like the right approach? I could soak 'em for a bit, but I don't want an alcohol taste or to burn the pellets to fast. Also, how many pellets will it take for 2 boston butts? Will I have to replenish the smoker basket? How often?
The MES built in will be used and I have another thermometer on a cable so that I can read the digital readout without opening the door, but I've never used it with the MES. Will the cable interfere with the door closing and the seal? I'd like to use this for the second butt however I don't want to mess of the seal on the MES.
I've read here that 220 degrees is the right temperature setting for the smoker and that the butts should be up to 200 degrees with the thermometer probe for them to be done. Is that right or should I cook at higher temp and expect a higher or lower probe value?
Figuring an hour and half per pound for the cook time on the butts, does that mean that I should expect 2 of them to take twice as long? If not, how much longer will it take to do 2 than one? Also, how long should I let the cooked butts stand after they are removed from the smoker?
Butts and Ribs
I've got 2 butts and 4 baby back pork racks to smoke. They will have the same rub, Jeff's. Can I/should I do them in the same smoke or separately? I assume that the ribs will cook a lot faster than the butts. I don't think I can or should use a thermometer probe on the ribs, so how do I know if they are done? I don't want to open the smoker door any more than I have to.
Thanks for taking the time to read such a long post. This meat is to be prepared for family coming from out of state to attend our daughter's wedding. They will be in Texas for about a week and will have to be fed. Your guidance is much appreciated!!!!