Thursday, October 13, 2005


Well, I finally decided to go all out and do my first overnight cook on Tuesday night. I knew that sooner or later I was going to have to get this one behind me. With everything I had read about the WSM and how it excels on cooks like this I just had to see for myself. Well, let me tell you what I discovered. Everything I had read, heard and learned about this wonderful smoker was true. A full load of Kingsford gave me a steady cook of 240-260 degrees for almost 10 hours and I still had plenty to go. I probably could have gone another couple of hours before having to add any fuel. I had to mess with the vents early on to get the temp to level out. I ended up with them set at about 1/3 open for most of the cook.

The process started at about 2:45 pm Tuesday afternoon when I took the 7.2 pound pork butt (bone-in of course) and covered it with yellow mustard. There is no other way to do that except to just dive in and get your hands dirty. After the slathering I put on a good coat of Modified Armadillo Willy’s Rub and then put it back in the fridge.

The butt went on the smoker at approximately 10:20 pm and was taken off at 8:52 am the next morning after hitting a temp of 200. A good sign that things had gone right – when I was removing the butt from the smoker it was breaking apart. Some of the juiciest, most tender meat I had ever seen. In my cooking notes I stated that the bark was not as prominent as I had hoped but was better than I had seen in some restaurants. The meat had a very pronounced smoke ring that I attempted to capture with a picture, to no avail.

My initial plan was to foil the butt at 165, then turn up the heat a little and make a run for 195. However, the butt hit 165 a little earlier than I expected at 2:45 am. I still had about 10 hours before I had to take it off the smoker and it was then I made the transition from “Follow the recipe” cooking to “Cooking by the seat of your pants”. I decided to just let it ride out the entire time without foiling. Turned out to be a good move. A more detailed discussion can be found by clicking here.

All in all, I was very satisfied with my first overnight cook. I learned a lot of things this time that will help me on future cooks. I made some simple mistakes but next time I will know better. Here are a few notes from my cooking log:
  • Must order the Brinkman water pan from Mike @ Hawgeyes BBQ. I ended up filling the WSM pan 2 times and if the cook had gone for another hour or so I would have had to do it a third.
  • For some reason, I put the butt fat side down – instead of fat side up. Not sure if it makes a difference but will be more careful next time.
  • WSM ran a little hotter than expected (250-260 with a spike of 271) but I think that helped with the shorter cooking time (a little over 10 hours vs. 14-16 hours.). The temp variations did not adversely effect the meat. Still very juicy and tender.

Have a great week and enjoy the great outdooes by smoke something this weekend. I am looking forward to going to the Jack Daniels cookoff next weekend in Lynchburg, TN. I will post more information about my trip soon.


At 5:17 PM PDT, Blogger The BBQ Guy said...

There are some very successful bbq contest cooks that cook their briskets fat side down. I've tried both fat side up and fat side down and even tried flipping half-way through. All three variations produced slightly different results. Experimenting with different techniques is a whole lot of fun.

At 5:20 PM PDT, Blogger Ole Smokey said...

I really did not taste or see a difference by doing this so I'm not sure how much stock to put in the "fat side up" argument. I guess I will just have to do another and compare.

At 4:51 PM PDT, Blogger The BBQ Guy said...

I found that I get a better bark on the brisket by flipping. I also spray with apple juice at various times during the cook. When I started doing this, our results at contests improved immediately.

At 2:55 PM PDT, Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

Sounds like you had a great first cook. Any pics of the final product?

At 3:22 PM PDT, Blogger Ole Smokey said...

I took several but they all came out blurry. Cannot tell much detail. Probably need to get a better digital camera, eh?


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