I'm Ed from NJ and have been visiting this site for a couple of months now but registered a few weeks ago to learn more about smoking. I finally decided to post because, well, I finally smoked a "perfect" pork! Perfect as in my wife loves it and so does my neighbors and I couldn't have done it without this forum.
A little something about my experience....well, not much other than the occasion burger and hot dog grillings...that's about it. Living in the city I don't really have much room for it until now, we now have a house with a patch of yard! Woohoo! I decided to try smoking "real bbq'ing" because I like to smoke cigars and one can not really enjoy and relax by grilling alone. I needed an excuse to be out back, chill in my chair, have a glass of something and an nice cigar and still make my other half happy so this was it!
The equipment I have and started out with are:
Kingsford square charcoal grill that folds, a Weber Smokey Joe and the Go-Anywhere Grill. I first tried smoking a small pork but on a WSJ and ribs on the WGA...that didn't turn out too well. Then I got more courageous and tried a with the Kingsford grill, which I call the "Ghetto-grill" and that actually made some success. It took about 12 hours and was a lot of work trying to regulate the temp.
Then finally last week I purchased a Master Forge vertical "drum" type smoker on clearance (display unit), got it home and started modifying it the way I've seen them do on the ECB. After the mods, I became confident that from what I learned here, I will finally make that "perfect" meat and threw in 2 pork butts and 2 rack of ribs. Left it in overnite (8pm-8am this morning) and boy was it exciting! After placing the meat in (sitting in room temp for 2 hours) with pre-boiled water in the pan, it took the smoker 30 minutes to get to 230*F. Went out to check on it once around 2am and it was still around 235* with my digital thermometer placed in the middle rack.
Anywho, just wanted to say thanks to the people in this forum. I'm a changed guy and am about to head out to get more meat for next weekend!
Here are a few pix:
Bought the only stove gasket available around. Even that was too big (5/8") so I cut it in half and then glued along the rim
Made a basket using 1/2" opening, 24" x 12" 18g expanded metal cut in half and WMJ grill.
Used SS bolts to raise the charcoal bucket 1 1/2" above the coal pan
Basket and coal pan mod..perfect fit!
Dampener mod using flattened Weber dampeners.
Smoker test! Smoke leaking along the door and where the body and base contacts but temp around 225-235*F. Nomex gasket already on order to fix that problem. Need to make legs for it..maybe 12" high.
After 12 hours, 220* showing on both the digital and stock temp gauge with overnite outside temp of 66*F. I used 75% hickory and 25% apple chunks for smoking. I used about 10lbs or less (half a 20lb bag) of charcoal not knowing how much I really needed. Stacked about 3/4 of unlit coal along the perimeter of the basket, the rest lit in the middle and chunks along the top. This morning, about half of the coals were still unlit.
I smoked it with the fat on top and what a difference. The bark was "crunchy" and the fat underneath it just melted like butter.
I could have never had this experience without this forum! Loving it! I hope I did this justice to the eyes of the more experienced members in here.