Hey Hogs, those stainless doors look WAAAY nicer than my black ones. MossyMo gave me a heads up to take a look at your new edition, its been too long since I been on these forums! Just a few of my opinions, don't worry too much about keeping the temp at or below 230. You will cook too low, and have undercooked and tough meat.......and dissapointment. Tyotrain said he likes 250. I agree, make your new temp goal 250 or 280 tops, too cool will dissappoint you worse than too hot of a cook! When you have that Party full of meat, it will act way different than an empty burn, and I have NEVER overcooked anything, but i have undercooked alot! Do you have the solid bottom coal pan, or a mesh like grate with ash pan? I don't know what temp the party will peak out at, but fill it up with with cold meat and it will take WAY more work to keep temps up versus an empty run. Once you think you've cooked something too hot, and realize how awesome it turned out, you will never worry about heat spikes in your Backwoods again. Mike knows how to build a cooker! P.S. the way the air flows in these Backwoods, the top rack cooks fastest!
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Mine had a solid coal pan, but the ashes smothered the coals out quickly. So I cut out the bottom, and made a pan like what you have with ash pan, works awesome! I have heard about the diverter, but have not seen one. I can't imagine how it makes things better, when there is noo chance of a direct flame, but it must work! Ok, I'm gonna ramble a bit! 1..Hotter is better! 2..Fill a charcoal chimney full of coal, fill your pan 3/4's full, dump chimney of hot coals in the corner and go with it! 3..You will need vertical rib racks to fit a large amount of slabs in at once, those racks are big, but not that big. 4.. I only put 6 butts in at once, leaving a lot of air flow, 2 butts per rackX3 racks. I added a level of angle iron in mine, to make 3 even racks for butts. (p.s. mine is about 8-10 years old?) 5..When the wife says you spend too much time checking temp in your smoker, buy a GURU! 6..When you worry about temp being to hot in your Party....check opinion #1!!!!!! I'm sorry I keep stressing that, but seriously, you just have to really try to overcook in this thing! Done and tender is good, undercooked and tough is nooooo bueno!
One last thing.....A friend of mine Jack Vogt from Sioux City, SD with smokenjacks.com (yep, that was a plug), had a Fatboy and a Wholehog, I think. He told me when he suggested the Party "it just makes you a better cook"!
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That is a thing of beauty!
As to the charcoal, others here with your smoker will lead you. I usually start with a bigger load, but I am scraping down cast iron grates and all that. Then I go smaller when I am ready to add the meat.
I always give myself 6 months to a year to learn the quirks of a new unit.
I think you will love that!
Good luck and good smoking.
Thanks Dentman!!! Let me show that to the Wife....
Well getting ready for the first Smoke in the new Toy!! (Still need to name her). Just made my Memphis Rub for the Chickens, and the Sassy, Sweet Pork rub for the Ribs. Gonna try some ABT's and Some of those Tomato Candy's I seen here!! Yummy, Oh and some Smokey Baked Beans. Gonna Smoke the meat I trim off the Spare Ribs Friday night in my MES, for the ABT's mixed in the Cream and Chedder Cheese.. I will Post Pics Thru the Smoke!! Thanks Everyone for there Help and Support.. ps.. How long on a average do the ABT Jalepeno boats take to cook??
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It varies, @ 250º they can take up to 2 hours depending on the type smoker, temp spikes, the type smoker etc.....
I look for the skin to start to wrinkle and if you insert a tooth pick it should feel like a stick of cool butter.
Hope this helps