- 7 Posts. Joined 7/2014
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First of all you want to up the cooking temp to at least 250°, 300° is better IMHO.
If you are going to use charcoal, use lump charcoal, Royal Oak is readily available and a good choice.
I start with 2 fully lit chimneys of lump charcoal in the side fire box, when the temp in the cooking chamber reaches your desired temp, put the meat on.
Regulate the temps by opening or closing the air intake on the fire box, leave the exhaust wide open.
Be prepared to babysit the fire, this is not a "set and forget" pit.
Do not try to cook at the temps you posted , they are far too low.
Bearcarver's step-by-step is excellent and wonderfully detailed.
You gotta crank up the heat a little higher
Sorry to hear about the trouble you ran into. First off let me say that I agree with what all the guys have said above.
I will share a couple of things with you that you may want to consider on your next smoke of a Boston but or anything else. First off, don't rely on the accuracy of the temperature gauge on your smoker as they are often less than being terribly accurate. It would be well worth looking at making a small investment into a Maverick ET-733 Long Range Wireless Dual Probe BBQ Smoker Meat Thermometer that will cost about $69.95 + or -. You might want to Google maverick and take a look. They are often available on amazon.com. To cut to the chase, the maverick comes with two probes, one to put into what you are smoking and the other to place inside the smoker to see what the internal temperature is. This will help you with knowing what your smoker temperature is and it has settings which will alert you if the temperature gets to hot or drops below what you have set. The meat probe will monitor and will show you the temperature of what you are smoking.
Now if you are going to smoke the Boston butt low and slow as I enjoy doing you want to maintain an internal temperature of the smoker somewhere between 225 and 250 and at that temperature it will take about 10 hours for a 8-9 lb. butt to reach an internal temperature of about 185 to 190 + or - and you should be in good shape to take it off and let it rest for 30 minutes before you pull it.
Here is how I smoke my Boston butts. I first season my butt and set it aside making sure of course that it is at room temperature or close to it. I start my smoker with charcoal and apple wood and get the temperature up to 300 degrees. I then add my cast iron tray filled with water on the bottom shelf of my smoker nearest the firebox to add additional moisture to the cooking process. I then put the butt in and let it smoke for 3 hours adding wood about every 45 minutes or so and making any adjustments to my pin wheel vents on the firebox to maintain my 225-250 temperature.
After the 3 hours, I take the butt(s) off the smoker and place them into an aluminum pan ( cheap from grocery store) add a cup of apple juice and wrap the butt(s) in the pan with heavy aluminum foil and put them back into the smoker for the next 7-8 hours adding wood as needed ( could be charcoal if preferred) to maintain my temperature. At that point you will be done, take the pan out, let it rest for 30 minutes, uncover and "BAMB" you will see one very juicy butt(s) and ready to pull apart with a pair of claws or tongs and serve.
I wish you very well on your next smoke and if I can be of any other help to you, please don't be shy and send me a post.
Sorry I forgot to mention something else you may be interested in. If you want to get some sleep and not go the "low and slow" route you can certainly do a Boston Butt in what's known as the "hot and fast" method of smoking. I have done both and can tell you that there is NO difference in the flavor of the pork or meat.
If you want to try the hot and fast method, get your smoker up to 325 degrees, put the butt in and cook it for 3 hours adding wood about every 45 minutes. I prefer apple or cherry wood as the flavor is light and a little sweet. You may want to mix in a little hickory or oak with the apple/cherry for additional flavor. Take the butt(s) off after the three hours, place in a pan with a cup of apple juice and place heavy duty aluminum foil over the top, wrap tight and put the pan back into your smoker for another two hours. If you have a Maverick thermometer or use another type to check, the inside of the butt should be at about 195-200 degrees and you are done. Take the pan out, let it rest for 30 minutes, unwrap and you should be a very happy camper.