I've been lurking the forum for hours over the past few days, preparing for my first smoke. I just got an MES30 and the AMNPS and will be trying it out tomorrow. I searched through several threads for recommendations for a first forgiving smoke, and the consensus was pork butt. Once settled on this, I went to Costco to pick one up (don't know of any butchers in my area) and was disappointed to find nothing labeled "pork butt." I did find a pork shoulder, and my understanding is the two are very similar? I'm not sure...
In any case, I just opened it up tonight to put the rub on and was surprised/concerned by two things - 1) it is two separate pieces and 2) they aren't just large hunks of meat; they seem to unfold and be several medium-sized hunks all connected by varying thickness of tissue.
I'm concerned because I have no idea how to smoke something like that -- it wasn't at all what I expected. Won't there be a lot of uneven cooking? Should I fold it over on top of itself or open/spread them both out? Can I put one on the rack above the other or would the fat dripping down on the lower one be no good? Should I put my probe in the smaller one in the thickest part and pull it when it's done and let the other go longer? In that case, I assume the thinner hunks of meat will be overcooked/dried out and just need to be trashed?
Sorry for all the questions... I thought I had things planned/figured out, but of course it never works that way! ;) Any advice would be much-appreciated!