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Bob13 11-10-2012 10:28 PM

Today's smoke on the WSM-Frankenstein... Feedback, please.
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Brought the WSM-Frankenstein to life today. Learned a few things, and would love to get some feedback on a few other things.

I fired WSM-Frankenstein up, and she hit 250 within 10-15 minutes. Threw a couple of butts (7 and 7.5 lbs, BRITU rub) on about 6:30am. Threw some brats on about 4 hours later. By 11am, the butts had an internal temp of 175, so I foiled them. By 12:30pm, they were past 195. I took them off, and let them rest for a few hours before pulling them. They had a bit of a smoke ring (not too much), and the bark wasn't as dark as the butts I've done on my mini-WSMJ.

I was expecting a much longer cook. The butts didn't pull apart as smoothly as I would've liked; they certainly didn't fall part, and the bone didn't wriggle (not even a bit).

I foiled the water pan; no water or sand. I used a full charcoal ring of KB and RO. This being a WSM-Frankenstein, I don't have a Weber charcoal ring. It's a 16" diameter ring fashioned from a Meco ECB body, so about an inch smaller in diameter than the Weber. In addition, the bottom of my WSM is a 3 daisy wheel Bar-B Kettle, so the vents are on the bottom. For most of the cook, the bottom vents were completely closed. I covered the vents using the mini-WSMJ can mod; at the end of the day, the cans were completely covered over with ash. That may be because the vents were closed most of the cook.

I'm wondering if I should add vents to the side of the kettle bottom, like a true WSM. I'm also wondering why they cook took a mere 6 hours for 14.5 lbs of pork. Opinions are appreciated. Thanks for looking... here's some pron:

J'ville Grill 11-10-2012 10:45 PM

You pulled them way too early. When the bone wiggles free they're done.
No need to add vents I have a 22" Cajun Bandit sitting on o Weber OTG and it does just fine.

cholloway 11-10-2012 10:46 PM

You can't think of it as a single 14.5 lb hunk of meat. Those butts should have taken 10-12 hours to reach 200-205 IT. 5 degrees can make a big difference.
You may have taken them off too soon.
I did a half butt today (4 lbs) on my kettle and it took 7 hours to get to 200.
Very tender and pulled easily.

Hambone1950 11-11-2012 08:33 AM

What makes it a Frankenstein ...never heard this before....:confused:

aawa 11-11-2012 08:48 AM

You had 2 butts at 7lbs and 7.5lbs. Both of those will cook anywhere between 6-10hrs depending on your temperatures. If you added another 3 more 7lb butts, it would still take the same amount of time to cook those. Now if it was just 1 big 14.5lb butt then yes, it would take more than 14hrs to cook it.

Also internal temperatures for pork butts are nothing more than a guide line. The saying "the meat is done when it is done" rings very true. 195F internal temp is when to start your bone wiggle test. If at 195F you wiggle the bone and it does not start to release, then the meat isnt done and let it go further. All pork butts finish differently, I have had one release the bone at 195F and another at 210F. Don't be afraid to see internal temperatures above 200F, pork butts are very forgiving and will remain moist and tender for a much greater temperature range than most meats.

grantw 11-11-2012 08:55 AM

They don't look done to me, you foiled em because they were at temp, don't do that get them looking how you want then foil, it depends a lot on the weather on my wsm some times they never even get foiled. If your not using a good thermometer too? I use themoworks fast as hell and accurate. Pay attention how the prob goes into the meat on a butt the probe will resist at first because of the bark then be like butter.

Mdboatbum 11-11-2012 09:16 AM

It's all pretty much been said already. They hadn't reached the "sweet spot" where the collagen breaks down to gelatin yet, and you may need a better thermometer. That being said, the smoke ring looks good, and even mediocre pulled pork generally tastes a lot better than "crockpot bbq". (Not that there's anything wrong with that)
Next time maybe take a page from the brisket manual and try probing for tenderness. Since they're foil wrapped, it's hard to tell if the bone is free, but if a probe will go in with no resistance, you're likely close. May want to probe beforehand well before it's done so you know what that feels like. It won't be as drastic a difference as a brisket because the fibers won't tighten up as much before the "break", but there will be a difference.
You can also unwrap it when it gets to 195˚ or so and just let it ride. The foil will have done most of its job by then, and you'll be more easily able to do check for the bone wiggle.
Good luck!!

Bob13 11-11-2012 10:04 AM

Thanks for all of the feedback... it is very much appreciated. Definitely learned a lesson on this one (which is what it's all about!).

I did take the meat off the cooker b/c of the internal temp. Having been on this site for awhile, and reading all that I've read, I should've known better :doh:. The last two butts that I smoked (on my mini WSMJ) were definitely ready when they hit 195. Different smoker, different results. "The meat is done when it is done" does indeed ring true, aawa. The lesson here is patience.

Anyone else have on any thoughts on the bottom vents? Leave them as is? Mod the bottom kettle by adding side vents?


Originally Posted by Hambone1950 (Post 2268776)
What makes it a Frankenstein ...never heard this before....:confused:

Fellow Brethren Bob In St. Louis passed the WSM barrel and lid to me ( When he saw the results (WSM top, 70's kettle bottom), he called it a WSM-F; the "F" being Frankenstein... using different body parts to make a new smoker.

Bob in St. Louis 11-11-2012 02:18 PM

Good looking butt you've got there Bob. ;)

I've got nothing else to add, other than with each and every smoke I have, I learn the thermometers are less and less useful. My recommendation would be to use the guage part of the thermometer as a handle. The readout isn't as important as I thought it should be.

Glad things are working for you Bob. Rock on Brother.

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