I pit fire shoulders over hickory coals. Here is a link to my next-to-last pit firing:
I cooked another butt recently, and although I have learned and grown (all thanks to you fine folks) there remains one common thread: there is very little smokiness. If you are willing to read along, here is my progression:
First attempt: kept pit temps too high, meat cooked in only 5 hours. Result: no flavor at all, because of less time in pit, also used no rub and a far too weak vinegar sauce.
Second attempt: kept pit temps lower- never higher than 220, usually bobbed around the 200 mark. Used good rub, much better sauce recipe/
The third attempt was much like the second, with one notable difference: I observed, at one of my favorite BBQ joints in the state, that the wood pile contained a lot of bark. The wood planks looked like the scraps from a lumber yard... where the heart of the trunk had been cut into boards, and the remaining wood was mostly hickory bark. I tried to carry this through with my own bbq, where I cut away much of the wood and kept the bark.
The difference? Nothing!
I want a deep, pervasive smokiness to my barbecue. Any suggestions? If you want to see my pit, look back at the link I posted.
Thanks so much for reading.