OK, here's the deal. Last weekend, I smoked 5 butts for pulled pork. Put them in at 12:30am on Saturday. The last one came out of the smoker after all had reached the internal temperature of 200 degrees at about 6:15pm or 6:30pm the same day. Had to relight my AMNPS at least three times because it kept going out. Guess I didn't nuke them long enough, and 1 minute of torch time and about 13 minutes of burn time wasn't enough to keep them going the whole time. Makes me want to bang my head on a brick wall.
Forward to Wednesday. I put two butts in at about 8:30pm, and they both hit 200 only about 15 minutes apart or so, with the 2nd one coming out at about 10am Thursday. In other words, roughly 13 1/2 hours later. FYI, I try to keep my temperature in the smoker as close to 235 as possible. During this smoke, I had to open my door and relight my AMNPS at least 5 times. More head banging thoughts. I'm sure that's part of the reason it took so long.
Forward to last night. I put ONE butt in for someone I owed it to at about 10:30pm. I just pulled it out about 10 minutes ago, and it is now comfortably resting in a cooler wrapped in a towel. 13 1/2 hours from start to finish.
This time, I not only baked my pellets (Pitmasters blend) for an hour at 250 degrees earlier in the day, I put them under the broiler on low for 10 minutes or so about 30 minutes prior to lighting them. I torched for just over a minute as I didn't want a flame to develop on the next row over, and let them burn for 14 minutes. The flame went out once in that time, and I re-lit them. They smoked the entire night, just like they should. Didn't have to open the door once.
Bottom line to this thread: Why did it not take significantly less time for this last smoke since I didn't open the door once from start to finish? Almost all conditions were identical, but I simply didn't have to open my door to light my AMNPS repeatedly, and it still took the exact same amount of time for only ONE roast. My smoker is the newer 2012 MES 40, by the way.
Oh, and since everyone likes photos, this is the last one I just pulled out prior to foiling and resting.
And yes, it SUCKS not being able to try this in a little while because it's going to someone for a family reunion.