Smoking my first pork butt today

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jan 17, 2011
Lindenhurst, NY
i have a 3.5lb pork butt in the smoker as i type. i have this smoker:

i got it for christmas. i went with gas because it is easy to use. i figure once i get the hang of this, i can choose something that the pro's might use.

for today i'm using some Mesquite chips that i picked up. i've read around that chips might not be best, and that i might want to use wood chunks instead of chips. so i might plan to do that depending on the opinions of you guys on this forum.

the smoker has 2 pans, one for the wood, and one for the water. how much wood do you typically load in at a time? different amounts for chips as apposed to chunks?

i picked up a wireless thermometer for the meat, that seems to be working out well. along with an oven thermometer. it does seem that the oven thermometer is reading higher than the one built into the smoker itself, so i'm going with that, since i've heard the ones in the smoker arent as accurate.

cant wait to taste this pulled pork when its done, just curious about the smoke mostly at this point. i'm not really getting a constant flow of smoke, if i move the chips around i get more smoke, then it dies down to where you can not even see it coming out the exaust... should i be using more then?

thanks for any help.
I have a different gas smoker but I tend to mix chunks and chips for a better smoke and.. I fill the wood box up. On mine this is about 4 fist sized chunks and then fill in the gaps with about a handful of chips.

This will smoke for about 1.5 hours or more and then I will fill it up again the same way and pop it back in there.

Make sure the top vent is at least 1/4 to 1/2 open so you are getting proper air flow.. you also need air to be drawn in and I can't see that in the picture but I have to assume it is made to be able to draw in air either from the bottom of the smoker or via a bottom air vent.
also.. as long as you can smell the smoke you should be ok. The best smoke is the kind that is very thin so just hold your nose over the vent and see if you can smell it. If not you may have to run the smoker on high for a few minutes with the door partially open (to keep the heat from climbing to high). This will get the chips/chunks to smoking and then you should be able to close the door and turn the smoker down to the proper setting.

Make sure you are NOT soaking the chips.. use them completely dry for best results.
Sounds like good advice from the smoke whisperer. I don't have a gasser so can't really comment. Let us know how it turns out w/ Qview of course. Good luck.
It turned out awesome, I have pics, I'll post them when I get a chance to use my pc.
Thank you to everyone on this site for helping me with my first smoke! especially loved the finishing sauce, first time I've tried a vinegar based sauce, very tasty!



Dont think the flash did this picture any good.

it was really tasty! thank you all for your help.

Next week, another Pork butt, with bone in, and WINGS!
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Now there ya go, a fine looking butt.
  Most important thing is learn your smoker and it will treat you right. P.S.... A few good therms go a long way.
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