Wife bought me a new WSM 14.5, and we put I through it first smoke on Labor day. We did a pork shoulder, with KBB and maple, and the WSM maintained heat for about 6 hours running at 240. Everything came out fine, but it had a slight bitter taste. I have been looking on the site and found that I may have started the meat on the smoker. I have also read that many have ran the wsm for 12+ hours with out having to add coals. Was wondering if those were on larger model like the 18 and 22 if you have run your 14.5 for a 12 hour smoke with out adding coals what was you set up? Also am I correct in that I put the should on to early with to much smoke going. I did add hot coals and a fresh piece of maple at the 6 hour mark due temp being below 200 after I opened the bottom vents.
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I don't do a lot of pork shoulder so I hope you get some more comments, but the bitter taste sounds like it might be over-smoked a bit. I usually stop adding chips to my MES 40 at about 2 to 3 hours depending on the meat.
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Bitter taste usually means creosote.
Did you have a lot of heavy white smoke?
You should just be seeing very light smoke.
My 14.5 will run 8-10 hours without refilling.
My 22.5 will go 23 hours with out adding any charcoal or wood.
I did have a lot of smoke at first then again after I put in more coals. I used the minion method for the coals at first. then just replenished the coals 6 hours later. It was the very first smoke on the WSM not sure if that has anything to do with keeping heat control and slowing down the burn rate.
Sounds like it was good and seasoned. So I agree with my earlier comment, Al, and CrankyBuzzard comments above.
Be sure to post your cure once you figure it out because it will help someone somewhere.