1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

My 11lb pork butt journey

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by reasoning, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    So for whatever reason I lit up the wsm to start my epic journey at 1245 and the thing skyrocketed to over 300 using gary wiviott's KISS method. Now at 145 I have gotten it sub 300 and am going to throw on the massive piece of meat. Enclosed a pic of the fire maybe someone can give me an idea why my temps jumped so high ao fast. And tonight I found out exactly how inaccurate the stock thermo really is! Thermo on unit read 250 and new. Maverick read 338 lol

  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I just replied to the other tread that you started.

    IMHO your temps were "too high" because you added too much lit charcoal. I put "too high" in quotation marks because I cook butts at around 300°, so your 338° would be at bit high for me, but I would not panic over it.  If you just close your intake completely it will fall back eventually.
  3. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would not panic at the temps you found. I would have loaded it and left top vent wide open and the bottom at 50% till it settled then make minor adjustments to bottom vent only to regulate the temps. I too cook at a higher temp of 250-275, so 300+ would not be a fire drill in my book.

    Yes as you found out, stock therms can be way off. Also placement makes a diffrence. I try to keep mine as close to the product as possible.
  4. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! at approximately 515 am it has started to rain got a makeshift sandwich baggie/waterproof box/gallon baggie contraption keeping the maverick dry and a makeshift tinfoil cover for the top vent to keep water out..... This butt might be the death of me yet lol. 142 IT and 248 pit temp though...... Hopefully holds half way steady till rain lets up.

    Also I try to shoot for 250-275 range..... Im running a bit low at the moment because of the rain but hey temp fluctuations give q its unique characteristics right? After all this aint no bbq competition :) thanks for your input
  5. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your good to go.....

    If it gets too nasty out you can finish in the oven for the wrapping stage.......
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Don't let a little water discourage you, open the intake and get those temps where you want them, it'll cook just fine.
  7. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the encouragement :)

    A couple of my redneck in the heat of the moment contraptions so you can see the ridiculousness of them :p but hey they are working

  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    If it works , don't fix it . I would venture a guess that you will be at the a bunch of times - remember you have a stall to sit through. [​IMG].

    Let it go till you reach that majical 190*F to 200*F so you can pull the bone out easily.

    Have fun and as always...

    P.S.- I'l be watching this post or if you forget, or another one in the future.

    Have fun and as always . . .
  9. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    yea im hitting the stall as I write this I think been at 171ish for quite some time now. Rain stopped around 7 a. M. Just in time to do a hot squat and refuel. Temp has still been quite eraric throughout the smoke anywhere from 210 all the way up to 315. Have basically just let it go because of the weather mostly. Ohwell snapped this pic and it looks like its comin along nicely

  10. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    The stall continues lol 16 hours into this journey I have gained 10 degrees in the last 4 hours :p untill this thing moved its butt "pun intended" im camping out ;p
  11. The stall will give you time to reflect on this smoke. You can open the vent and get your heat up. Be patient and you will be rewarded with some fine Q

    Happy smoken.

  12. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    After 17 houra my journey is over, hit 190 at 6:20 pm. So pulled it and let it rest and chopped it... ..... Its got a little. Bitter flavor tho
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  13. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great job! 17hrs is a long journey and test of patcients. Keep at it!

    Ok so you mention it was a little bitter. Many things can contribute to that. Things to look at.....

    Charcoal being added unlit to the cook chamber with food in it.

    Wood used....some woods can add a bitter taste

    Not sure what was in your rub, but some herbs and spices are intended to be quick and fast flavor additives and long slow cooking can make them bitter. I keep mine simple and it is sugar based.
  14. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    Well I used gary wiviott's method and refueled 3 times by adding charcoal and a chimney of lit charcoal then let it all engage then re assemble and refill water.

    I used a combination of apple, cherry, but mainly hickory

    And my rub was also gary wiviott's graduate rub which is paprika based
  15. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think it was the wood.

    Never used his rub, but personally I don't like a lot of paprika in mine. Just don't like the taste, little is good.

    Where I think you got your bitterness from is the method of adding unlit charcoal to the smoker. This is just my theory, but I came to it from making changes to my cooks. I used to do the same thing.

    On this site there is a lot of information on modifying the WSM style smokers. Take some time and see what others have done. Look for a charcoal basket mod. This will help keep a cleaner burn for a longer time. What I think happened was when you added the unlit charcoal to your cook chamber, it takes time for them to all get burning clean. So for the first 30-45 min you are seeing a very thick white smoke.  In the thick white smoke you will have creosote in it. If too much creosote gets on the product it will get bitter. I would also look at removing the water from the pan and adding playground sand covered with some foil. This will give you a heat buffer as well as a stable heat sync for your cook chamber. Water will keep absorbing the heat and energy without releasing much back into the cook chamber, so you burn a lot more fuel to keep your temps up. Also when you add cool/cold water to the pan, you spend time and energy to recover to a proper cook temp. Sand or a solid mass like lave rocks will maintain its temperature and release more energy during the cook, so you burn less fuel.

    Just my thoughts.

  16. reasoning

    reasoning Smoke Blower

    Well I only add charcoal about every 5ish hours when my coals ate nearly depleted. I then pour a full lit chimney on top and give it 10 mins or so to engage. Thanks for your in put i would love to figure this out and prouce food im happy with
  17. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    Jeramy, you only need about 4 to 5 chunks of wood for the entire cook. The wood you used was all good stuff and shouldn't cause bitterness unless it had a high moisture level. I sometimes have to kiln dry mine because wood is my only heat source and it has to burn clean for the entire cook or I will have a bitter taste imparted to the meat. If you look at some of the Carolina BBQ joints, they burn the wood down to coals before it ever gets into the pit.

    Next time, just use a couple chunks of your favorite wood and see how you like it. If it doesn't have enough smoke for you, add a couple more on your next cook. Keep good records of what you do: how much fruitwood, how many hours of smoke before foiling, the internal temp every hour, what rubs you used, and what temp the meat was when you removed it from the pit. You will make some accidental discoveries as you do more cooking.