I recently got an 18.5 WSM. I will be using it for the first time this week to smoke some Pork Shoulders/Butts for guests we will be having Saturday. I live in Northern IL, where the temperatures have been in the single digits this past weeks. I also live in a fairly windy location. Winds range between 10 and 15 MPH on a light day.
That said, I have a dilemma and need advice. I will be getting my Pork from CostCo later today. I will be getting two butts in the 7 pound range. Since this is my first smoke, I wanted to smoke during the day so I can monitor the temperature. I will be home during the day Thursday and Saturday, but not Friday. I am a little nervous about doing it all on Saturday, especially since the temperature will be a little warmer Thursday and Friday, so I am considering two approaches below and want to get feedback.
- Smoke for about 7 hours Thursday using the WSM. I will be home and can start in the morning, monitor and adjust as necessary. After about 7 hours, wrap the pork and refrigerate until Saturday morning. On Saturday, continue the slow cook in the oven at 225 for about 7 more hours.
- Smoke for about 7 hours Thursday using the WSM. After about 7 hours, wrap the pork and refrigerate until Saturday morning. On Saturday, continue the slow cook in the WSM, but with charcoal only.
I have used a similar approach when doing some short smoking on a Weber Smokey Joe with small pork roast and then placing in a slow cooker, so I am assuming either should work.
I also considered starting it Friday night around 8:00, but, since this is the first time using the smoker, I did not want to wake up to a frozen smoker with bad meat. I do not have a welding blanket or anything that I can reasonably use to insulate, or that I can get by Saturday.
What approach would be best? Would there be a better approach? Do I need to allow for more time since I will be refrigerating for a day?
Thanks in advance for the input.