Hi all, this is my first time back in a long time. I feel bad about my last time here (two years ago) when I tried to show off a smoker build (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/98436/big-blue-egg-finished-build-of-the-19-flower-pot-smoker) then disappeared after I never got it to work right. It's still sitting in my garage, but for some reason I could never keep the coals lit about 180 or so. I think the colander I used choked them out, and grad school took over all my time for troubleshooting (and my budget for buying).
Well, two years later, and I now have a steel kamado instead of a homemade ceramic one. I started it up this morning after testing it out over the last few days (empty burn for seasoning and then some turkey brats I had in the fridge to test cooking). I'm hosting a watch party for the Oklahoma - Texas game (I'm a long-time OU student, undergrad through grad school), and I thought I'd try to make some pulled pork. A bit of a heating debacle when I started has pushed my hopeful finish time to well after the game starts, though, as instead of starting at 4:00am, I didn't get it really going until almost 6:00. I think I didn't account for just how much lump was still in it from the test runs, and overloaded it, spiking the temps up to nearly 350* (!!). I spent the next two hours trying to get it under control before I stuck the butt on. I finally got it to at least come down (though it's been a temperature roller coaster since then, I'm keeping an eye on it right now, in fact), and it's been on for a little over two hours. Temperature has fluctuated all the way from 180* to 275* (I think I almost choked out the coals once, and then overcorrected). I feel a bit like someone driving a Corvette that's used to Civic-- overcorrecting and spinning off the track. Still, I think I've gotten it at least to stay stable at close to 250*. A little more than I'd prefer, but I guess that'll help with my late start, too.
I thought I should post this here, by the way, because I'm following a guide on these forums from mythmaster, Pineywoods, and meowy that Google turned up. I've got the SoFlaQuers finishing sauce ready and waiting (as well as some homemade barbecue sauce), and I'm spritzing with a 3:1 apple juice:Mount Gay rum mix. Wood is a mixture of cherry wood and hickory. Big thanks to those guys for making that guide!
Here are a few pictures from this morning, the smoke was way too high while the temps spiked, but it made for a cool picture. Then the meat going on after finally taming it. I'll add the sausages (hot Italian links, brats) when there seems to be about three or so hours left. Based on the turkey brats last night, that should be plenty of time.