I've been lurking around on here for a few weeks, and now that my second pair of pork butts are in the smoker, I figured it's time I introduced myself. As my profile name suggests, I am an amateur blacksmith, as well as a homebrewer, and now I have a new hobby: smoking meat! I got into smoking in a kind of backwards manner--I had trouble sleeping one night, and I ended up in the recliner channel surfing at around three in the morning, and lo and behold, QVC was selling the MES at what seemed like a really great price, lol. Long story short, I ordered one, and then the next morning had to figure out what the hell to do with it when it got here.
An Amazon search led me to purchasing Jeff's book, and it arrived even before the smoker. I read the book cover to cover twice, and by the time the smoker had arrived, I'd bought a mess of accessories and gadgets on Amazon, and had ordered a whole new batch of rub ingredients from Penzeys. I have a group of friends that come over every Sunday evening to game, so I made them guinea pigs for my first attempt. But before I could smoke, I needed to figure out how to use my smoker during the rainy, snowy weather here in Central New York.
Solution--build a little house for my smoker:
I cut a little flap on the side with hinges, so I could easily add chips without having to drag the smoker out of its house each time. (I've recently ordered an AMNPS, based on the advice and comments on here, but that's another show)
So with the house built, the first smoker experiment was off and running. Took around 12 hours to get two ~8lb Butts to the 202-205 range, and my first thought was they got burned. I know, bark is good, but still, this seemed awfully dark to me:
But, after a judicious rest, the pork pulled beautifully, and it was tender, juicy, and amazingly flavorful. The guys pulled half the bark off of one butt while I was pulling the other one, and after sampling quite a bit myself, I realized that's not burnt, that's bark, baby!
Anyway, I owe much of the success to all the great tips and suggestions I got on here, and from Jeff's book, and now that my second attempt is in the smoker, I wanted to say hi, and to extend my thanks to you all. I'll be posting pics of today's attempt later on--this time, I plan on smoking for six-seven hours, then transferring to the oven to finish--supposed to have a monsoon here this afternoon, so over seemed like the better option, lol.