I'm relatively new to smoking and last time I did a pork shoulder was the first time smoking (brand new MES 30) and it turned out amazing. I rubbed it down with yellow mustard plus a dry rub (store bought) and then threw it in the fridge overnight. Based on what I was reading online (1.5hrs per lb) I didn't get it on until about 11:00am being as it was barely a 4lb shoulder. I figured this would leave me plenty of time before dinner since we had company. Well, this was a mistake and we ended up buying BBQ to go with all of our sides at a local place. Grrrr Once the pork was done it was incredible and I was VERY pleased with my first smoke. My 2nd was last week and was a brisket. Not too happy with the results (even though wife and mother said they liked it) but that's another topic.
Fast forward to tonight and I just rubbed down a larger (about 50%) shoulder to smoke and it's in the fridge. Laying here watching football now I'm wondering if I should just throw it in the smoker to avoid a repeat of last week. This means I can't let the rub sit overnight but I'm not sure that's too important based on what I've read since. I'm reading lots of people saying they rub just before throwing it in and it's fine. I also don't own an AMNPS<sp> so I plan to add chips every 30min or so until I go to sleep. Based on time right now that means I would likely get about 3-4hrs worth of smoke before just leaving it sit all night at 225deg or less. I might even shoot for 200deg since I will have more time if this yields a juicier or moister end product? I think I read that you only need to 'smoke' the first 3hrs or so and I think I read elsewhere that it will still take 'smoke' until about twice that length of time.
So, what would you do for those more experienced? Wait and get up early and still chance it not being done or having to rush or throw it on now w/o letting the rub sit overnight and only get chips smoking it for the first 3-4hrs but have it done with plenty of time and possibly at a lower temp for better (?) results in meat quality?
No pressure but I would have to be getting this thing on like right now so quick (even if short) responses would be ideal. Other responses will get added to my cooking notes for the next time since I have another shoulder in the fridge that will likely go on towards the end of the week.
I should add that I also use a Maverick ET732 for remote tracking. I could figure out how to set the alarm for the meat to 200-205ish so I don't sleep through a complete meat but I doubt that will be the case as I seriously doubt it will cook that quickly.