Third Pork Butt and No Smoke flavor.

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Original poster
May 16, 2016
I have done three pork shoulders my first was bitter, and took the advise of the forum and have not had any more bitter flavor. The last two smokes have not had any smoke flavor. The second cook I used KBB with maple, and the third I used Royal Oak red lump with western products maple and Mesquite from walmart. I am cooking on a 14.5 WSM, top vent open, I was running 220 most of the time I did dip to 210 and I opened bottom vents more I did have a harder time controlling the temp but it never got below 200 or above 250. I cooked 10 pound shoulder until internal was 165 (6 hours) then i foiled the pork and cooked until 200 (2 hours). I did not have water in the pan, I used a mustard and a brown sugar spice rub. I covered the pork with mustard, rub and let it sit for 24 hour. I used the minion method on both and about 4 chunks of wood. Started the coal added to the fire box and let it sit until the billowing smoke clears and the temp stabilized. Added some most of the chunks and when smoke started i added the pork.  The pork pulls very easily and is tender. Just can not get smoke flavor.

Should I add water to the Pan? Should I soak the chunks?  I guess i could try one then the other then both and learn. Worse case I learn something and we don't like the final product.
We like a little more smokey flavor also with Pork Butt and thicker cuts of meat  I have an electric Smoke-it #2. 

After I pull it I mix in some of the SoFlaQures finishing sauce and then put it into a couple foil pans.  I then put it back in the smoker with a couple wood chunks and turn it back on for about 15 min.  This gives time for my smoker to produce smoke flowing over the pans, but not raise the temp very much to dry it out..

I then re-stir it a little to mix it all up and we find the smoke flavor to be more to our liking.  You might give something like this a try.

I smoke at 225 till I get 195 IT or so then start poking to see how it feels.  I do not use a water pan, and I do not foil until I pull it off.  Works for us.

Good luck to you.
If you want more smoke flavor, just forget the foil stage.

I always put water in the water pan, a moist environment will allow the meat to absorb more smoke.

No water needed in the pan. Do not soak the smoke wood. Wet wood will provide bad smoke.

For longer cooks like a pork butt 4-6 2"-3" chunks should give you ample smoke flavor.

Also if you want more smoke flavor do not foil during the cook. Keep the smoke rolling the entire cook.
I have an 18.5 WSM and find that I get much better smoke on a butt when smoking around 250-260°.  Since butts are one of the most forgiving things to smoke, a brief spike in temp will do no harm, and if there's a dip you'll still be around your target temp of 225°.  I always keep water in the pan for butts and brisket and I feel the added moisture helps the meat absorb more smoke and your temperature will fluctuate MUCH less.  A piece of advice: only change one variable at a time, don't try different fuel and different wood every smoke.  Try good ol' KBB and hickory or pecan and I think you'll reach much better results.  One last note: Are you using a remote thermometer like a Maverick or iGrill to monitor your smoker temp?  If you're using the thermometer on the WSM lid it could be high (mine is ~30° high).  If that's the case, when you're reading 220ish you're actually below 200 degrees and the wood you're using may not be able to produce effective smoke at that low of a temperature.
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I use the Amazen pellet smoker and let 'er roll 

the whole time.

I've always had good smoke flavor.

Don't soak your wood, just takes longer to get smoke.

What is your elevation, I hear the pellet smokers don't work

as well at higher levels.

Keep on going you'll get it after a few tries.

Everyone of us had to learn what works for us.

Have FUN.

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I agree with the no foil,water to each there own. I suggest try some better wood then the store bought dried out stuff,Fruita wood and BBQ supply is one I use often and there are many eBay sellers as well. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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