Going to smoke an 8.4lb pork butt this weekend for the first time in my MES 30 and am curious what setup y'all use. I successfully smoked a bunch of chicken thighs for my first smoke and they came out great. A few questions:
- Should I put an empty water pan in for smoking the butt to catch the grease? For the chicken thighs, I didn't have the water pan in while smoking them and noticed a lot of burned residue on the cover of the heating element.
- How often should wood chips be added for the butt? For the chicken thighs, I did two portions of chips (one at the beginning and refilled about 20 minutes in after I stopped seeing smoke come out of the vent) and they came out plenty smoky. Those are of course much smaller pieces of meat, so not sure if the butt needs more smoke.
- How open should the top vent be? For the chicken thighs, I had the vent closed as far as it would go to trap as much smoke as possible. Is that a good strategy for the butt too?
- Any other recommendations?