Took delivery of my MES 40 with window earlier this week. Could not wait to get to my first smoke project. After reading a lot of posts here I settled on doing a Boston Butt as it seems like it's forgiving of most mistakes.
Bought a package of 2 Boston Butts at Sam's club. Vacu packed one into the freezer, the other I rubbed with mustard and store bought rub. Yeah, store bought. Figured for my first smoke I was going to keep things as simple as possible to reduce my chance of screwing something up.
Wrapped tight in plastic and into the fridge. (Q - Did the rub on Thursday night as my work schedule would not allow me to get it done on Friday for an overnight rest in the fridge. Is that too long to leave it wrapped? It did seem to come out ok)
Up at 4 AM to get the MES started so I had some temp and smoke in it before the meat goes in. Walked the dog and came back to good smoke so in went the Butt.
I went back in the house for an hour and when I came out to add more chips I found the smoke had stopped. Not sure how long before I went out to add the chips, but I was concerned that the chips were burning out before I expected them too. Next time I only waited 45 minutes. Again, the smoke had stopped. (Q - I didn't soak the chips per the advice I've read here, the the chips were very thin pieces of hickory and apple. Should I have soaked the chips? I know the chips were burning completely because when I cleaned out the smoker all that was left was very little white ash in the chip basket.)
I put the MES meat probe as well as my own thermometer probe in around 9 AM and the internal temp on both was within 2 degrees of each other and already reading 160, by 9:30 it was 165 so I pulled it, double wrapped in in foil and put it back in. (Q - I was cooking at 275 per a recipe I found here. That does seem high. What do most of you cook at?)
The internal temp seemed to be rising pretty fast so I turned the MES down to 250. By noon the internal temp had reached 204 according to my thermometer and 210 according the the MES meat probe. I pulled it out, wrapped it in two old bath towels and put in my cooler. At this point I'm really concerned because my company was not due till 3 and we planned to eat at 5. I had expected the smoking and cooking to take WAY longer than it did.
On the bright side, I pulled the pork out of the cooler at about 4:15 and could still feel the heat through the bath towels. Unwrapped it from the towels and foil and it was still steaming and smelled great! I pulled the bone and it came out easily and clean. The meat pulled easily and tasted fantastic. You could really taste the smoke. My guests were equally impressed. So all in all a success.
Next time I'd like to cook it at a lower temp so I can get more smoke into it and I hope to have the AMNPS and a Maverick to keep an eye on temps.
So after reading this rambling post what advice, suggestions, critiques to you all have?