Well, I completed my first smoke this weekend. I finished my UDS (Big Pappa Smoker Kit) during the week and was chomping at the bit to try it out. I was hoping to try a brisket, but found that acquiring a whole packer brisket in Maryland can be exceedingly difficult. I called about eight different places to get the packer, almost everyone had heavily trimmed flat, but no packers. I finally found a butcher who said they had packers in stock but when I drove there they said they were out. I found a place that can get them but said they need about 2-3 days notice, so next time I will have to plan a bit further in advance.
Anyhow, I ended up getting 13 pounds of boneless pork shoulder from Costco (two 6.5 pound butts). I would have preferred bone-in but at this point I was just wanted to get meat on the bbq. I dry rubbed the pork on Friday night and fired up the UDS on Saturday morning around 6am.
A couple of observations about the UDS. I was VERY impressed at its ability to hold a constant temperature. I was worried I was going to have to be tweaking it every 15 minutes, but it was insanely easy. The one problem that I did encounter was I ran out of charcoal about 8.5 hours into the cook. I had filled the basket to the brim with lump and apple wood but had to pull everything out and refill the basket to complete the cook. This was a bit of an issue because I ran out of charcoal the one time that I left the house to take my son to a parade so when I came home my BBQ temp had fallen to about 140 and the pork temp fell about 3 degrees. Besides that mishap, I smoked for about 14 hours between 220-255 degrees. I foiled at IT of 165 and removed from grill at IT 202. Let the meat rest for an hour and I could shred it with a spoon! Excited to have my first cook under my belt, thanks to this forum for all the great advice and tips.
Questions: Is there any way to increase the cook time on a UDS without adding charcoal? Seems that a lot of guys are getting about 12-14 hours off of a fukll basket and I only got about 8. Perhaps the basket that came with the Big Pappa Smoker Kit is a bit smaller than most? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!