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Offset Noob / Pork Shoulder 1st Try

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by Jonny B. Que, May 10, 2019.

  1. Jonny B. Que

    Jonny B. Que Newbie

    Hey all. So I wanted to reach out and ask a few questions to all individuals that cook with an offset.
    A few weeks ago I purchased a custom built smoker from someone. They were moving and didnt want to take it with them so I bought it. Thick 1/4" steel!. Got it home and cleaned out old ash along with drippings. Since then I have smoked hamburgers as I was learning to control heat and thin blue smoke. Fast forward to last weekend I smoked my first set of pork spare ribs, smoked baked beans and brussel sprouts on it. Did the while 3-2-1 method with the ribs and everything came out like it should.
    So my next attempt will be an 8 pound pork shoulder. I have my lump charcoal ready, hickory wood and my digital thermometer ready. My questions really are the following:
    1. Best placement of pork shoulder in the offset. Center or left by smoke stack?
    2. Where should I place grate thermometer at inside cooking chamber? ( with current setup my hot spot is center of cook chamber)
    3. Best temperature. 225 or 250 for pork butts.
    4. Should I assume 1.5 hours per pound? More or less?
    Any guidance would be awesome. I am used to smoking on my BGE and have made the leap to an offset. I know it takes a good time to learn but what to make sure I do everything I can to smoke an awesome pork shoulder. 20190510_135859.jpg 20190510_135928.jpg 20190510_135928.jpg 20190510_135859.jpg
     
  2. kruizer

    kruizer Master of the Pit

    Put the pork shoulder at the far end of the cook chamber. It will take how ever long it takes. Every piece of meat is different. Don't try to time your cook for company. Allow more time than you think and wrap the butt and put it in a cooler to keep warm.
     
    Jonny B. Que and chopsaw like this.
  3. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Far end as mentioned. That gap you could fill with tin foil if you wanted.
    I usually smoke butts at 275. But 250 also works.
    As soon as your temp starts dropping add a split...repeat till done.
    Enjoy your smoke!
     
    Jonny B. Que likes this.
  4. Jonny B. Que

    Jonny B. Que Newbie

    So the heat deflector that's in there is a section of 1/4" steel tube. It does well by pushing the heat further into the cook chamber. I know at some point I'll need to drill holes into it to allow some heat to escape. Hence the gap. I moved it a bit to allow more heat to exit instead of pushing it to the middle of the chamber. It works so well that the section above the heat deflector is cooler than the rest of the cook chamber.
    As far as time I'll start earlier than what I originally planned then wrap and place into cooler like always.
    How about placement of temp probe? Since the center is where my hot spot is at should I'll place probe to left of chamber closest to pork shoulder?
     
  5. Jonny B. Que

    Jonny B. Que Newbie

    So I tested my two temp gauges with boiling water and the checked out. I realize that they will read higher in temps because of where they are place compared to the digital probe right about the grate. I am seeing a 50 degree difference. Which should I go off of? The lower gauge? Or should I average the two and use that temp as my go to. Heck probably overthinking it but just want to check.
     
  6. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would have just used the digital at the same level the food is on.
    And then when your temp is where you want it.
    Just take a note what your tempture gauges are reading. And in the future you should have a close idea what your smoking temp is.
    Your ultimate goal is pulling your food when it is correctly done.

    I think your 1/4" plate is ok, I wouldn't mess with it to much.
     
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  7. Jonny B. Que

    Jonny B. Que Newbie

    Thank you. From what I can tell there is at least a 50 degree difference from the digital probe to the analog ones on the smoker. The 7lb shoulder took me 9.5 hours. Pulled it at 199-200 degrees, wrapped in foil, added drippings, apple cider vinegar and water spritz and placed it in the cooler for a hour. Turned out very nice.
     
    hardcookin likes this.
  8. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry I’m late on this. It sounds like everything went ok. What temp did you see during the most of your cook? You need to consider this temp on future cooks. Don’t ever make your cooker mad at you. Get to be best friends with your cooker and let it run where it wants to. Your life will be so much easier. Not just on this one time, check closely on several successive cooks and let it tell you what you need.
     
  9. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good to see you posting Joe!