Alright, I haven't posted in awhile, and while I didn't take that many pictures, I'll post what I did take and how the day went down.
So, on Friday, I picked up 4 boston butts totaling 42 pounds of raw weight for $2.59 a pound (ouch). 5 pounds of the finished product had already been reserved for a tailgate this coming weekend, but I figured if I was going to light my smoker, I better fill 'er up!
So, I got my start a little late on Sunday after a long, sweaty Saturday, I was struggling to wake up, get out of bed, or get any ambition.
Anyways, with this much weight of cool pork butt going on my little 18.5" WSM, I knew I had to get it pre-heated quite a bit warmer than I'd be smoking. So, I go outside, look in my deck box, and guess what, no charcoal. Shoot. Just another delay! So, I ran to the store, picked up two bags of KBB and came back home. I got the coals light, WSM loaded down.
I seasoned the butts up with my rub, some cayenee, cajun, brown sugar, garlic salt, lemon pepper, and paprika. I checked my smoker, it was at 250, lower than I usually smoke (I shoot for 275-300, and yes, I have a Maverick therm, but I didn't have a place to put it to get an accurate pit temp with 4 10 pound butts on that little smoker), but I figured I had better get them on. I load the meat onto the smoker and the temp crashes. Like...thermometer on the top reading 175 degrees, but I wasn't overly worried as I know that isn't the most accurate, and with the amount of meat on the smoker, the warm air was going to have a hard time filtering up to get a good reading.
Regardless, I lit some more coals, put them in one by one with my tongs. No change.
Next, I lit a whole stack of charcoal in my starter, put it in, very little change in temp. Hmmm. What to do.
I decided to be patient, I hit 140 degrees in the 4 hour time limit (no need to discuss personal thoughts on the rule...). By then, my smoker was hot enough that I was comfortable at where I was. A few more hours in and it was still going slower than I wanted so I, GASP, pulled them off and finished them in a 300 degree oven. I poured some Stone Milk Stout onto each one and placed them in a foil pan before they took their nap in the oven. The meat was done by 7, but knowing that 8 PM was bath time and bottle time for our 3 month old, I let them rest until 9 PM, which is when I pulled the meat.
It appears and tastes like I got plenty of smoke, not really concerned, but I usually can run my WSM pretty darn flawlessly, so I'm a bit disappointed in myself! Anyways, here is the pictures.
Rubbed down and ready to go!
I yielded about 24 pounds of cooked weight, so just a hair under 40% weight loss in the cooking process.