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planning first cook


Fire Starter
Joined Feb 1, 2017
this weekend i burned a fire in my new smoker with nothing in it and i got it all rubbed down with oil. Now Im ready for my first smoke. I think. wife brought me home an 8lb butt, which is about twice as big as what we normally do in the crock pot when we do pulled pork. Im a little intimidated and don't want to screw up my first cook so I have a few questions.

1. Is a butt a good meat to start with or should I start with something easier?

2. I know I'm shooting for in internal temp and it will probably stall at some point but how long of a smoke can I expect with this?

3. is it a bad idea to cut it in half and only do half of it saving the other half for another meal?

4. since this will be my first cook not really knowing how the smoker will cook, how important is it to stay within that 225-245 temp range? If I get up over that or lower on temp now and then will I be ok?

5. The weather is showing rain, is that a show stopper? will it make it much more difficult or damage my cooker using it in the rain?

Im sure I have more questions but any advice or tips would be very much appreciated. 


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 4, 2014
  1. Butt is perfect!
  2. 205 IT for pulled pork, anywhere from 8-14 hours for that butt.  Depends on temperature, wrap/no wrap, how well the butt wants to cooperate, etc...
  3. No issues at all.  Try and slice it in half to keep equal fat cap on each piece.  Personally, I'd cook the whole thing and freeze the leftovers, it reheats nicely.
  4. Above won't be an issue, under 225 is too low, try and stay above the 225 mark as much as possible.
  5. Depends on the cooker.  A light rain on my stick burner is ok, but constant showers are an issue.
Now, the main thing to do is relax and enjoy the new world you are about to enter into.  Ask all the questions you need and show us how it works out.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Sounds like Charlie has got you covered.

Keep us posted!


ab canuck

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Nov 20, 2016
Yep... follow those steps and away you go. Should be a great meal, Let us know the outcome and your process if any change.


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 22, 2016
Great advice Charlie.  These guys on here are great and there is a ton you can research on spices, recipes, and methods.  Take notes and give us updates.  

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