Thanks everyone for your suggestions. In practice (not theory, according to the USDA), how long can a pork shoulder or whole turkey be outside of food-safe temperatures (40 - 140 F) and still be safe to eat once it's fully cooked?
Hours. Bacteria does not travel through whole muscle tissue well at all. Ground meat is what's risky. The smoke (and the rub) also kills surface bacteria. Just rinse the meat and it can go a long time. Bacteria growth slows and eventually stops as you get above 125F internal temperature. By 140F internal it has stopped. 150F internal will kill bacteria given some time. 160F is simply the point at which bacteria will die in less than a minute, which is why the USDA recommends it.
With an Intact Pork Butt, no injection, etc, get the surface above 130-140 in under 4 hours, which is not hard Hot Smoking, and the time spend heating the interior is irrelevant. Poultry, on the other hand, is frequently Enhanced, Injected with a Salt solution, and therefore Not Intact. You want the internal temp up to 130-140 in 4 hours. If you use All Natural birds, they are Intact and the surface temp is the only concern...JJ
I doubt Jabiru grill temp is actually 180. I believe he meant he sets temp to 180 on the unit and the actual internal cooking temp is closer to 225. I also have a GMG and it runs hotter than setting suggests. I use a temp guage inside cook chamber to know actual temp.
I'm with RCAlan on this one. Try all available options of smoke first. You having a similar set-up to Don Godke's downward draft is great.....that would of been my first suggestion especially since you have a GMG and his original was on that.
Basically seems like you want more smoke flavor? Since you already have a downward draft - that keeps in more smoke.
Options are pellet tubes, pellet trays, pellets or wood chips on deflector shield, you can put a small meat loaf pan in front of the fire pot with wood chips, SmokeDaddy Inc. has something called the heavy D heat diffuser which you can put wood in but then it is a challenge keeping temps but wrapping the wood if foil helps. I've tried all of these with my Rec Tec.
The best option I believe for the real wood smoke is SmokeDaddy's cold smokers. Like RCAlan - I have the Magnum P.I.G. cold smoker and I've only used it once but man, the chicken I did have a way strong flavor of pecan wood. I can't wait to use it again this weekend. But this does require you to drill a hole into your grill and cost isn't super cheap but worth it to me.