Heres what happened with the Pork smoke WSM 18.5" 9.5lb Boston Butt
I fired the smoker 9:30pm Saturday, full load of KBB with hickory and apple
chunks buried in the charcoal. Lit 20 briskets and put them mostly in the
middle and around the top a little.
10:30pm temps were up to around 250, so I put the water bowl in and filled
with pre-boiled water and some hot tap water and put the pork on.
Between 11:00 and 1:00am the temps were steady at 230 and I spritzed the
pork down with apple juice and Jim Beam mix a few times.
I went to bed at 1:00am and the baby woke me up at around 3:00am ish and my
maverick 732 was turned off (must have rolled over in my sleep and tried to turn the back light on and hit the power instead). I went down peeked out the window and it looked
like it was still around 225 per the Weber built in therm.
7:30am wake up and fix the Maverick and my temps were at 199, and I put the
prob in the pork and it was at 172 already. I checked the fuel and most of
my charcoal was already spent. (That didn't make any sense to me since I
thought a full load in a WSM would last like 20 hours). I added more
charcoal (Wicked Good Lump charcoal this time).
At this point the temps of the pork came up very quickly and the temp of the
smoker climbed to 260 by 9:00 the pork was at 196 and the smoker was at 280
despite me closing all the bottom vents. I checked and all my water was gone
from the bowl and the drippings were burning. So we pulled the pork off the
smoker and rested it. Luckily the burnt drippings didn't affect the taste of
the pork, I must have caught it just as it started burning.
I'm confused by how fast the pork got to 172 overnight, by how much fuel was
spent over night without measuring a major temp spike, and by how quickly
the pork finished from 172 to 196. I know the temp spike in the morning was
caused by adding the fuel but since there was almost no fuel left I added
what I thought was needed for the rest of the cook. So I guess you add less
fuel but more frequently to finish the cook?
Also, for those who don't run water in their water bowl, how do you keep the
drippings from burning?