Originally Posted by AZBBQ
OK well I smoked my first butt. BUT I had to finish it off in my oven for the last 4 hours. Not cool.
I filled up my basket with one and a half bags of Kingsford competition and about 10 chunks of Hickory. Did the minion method with the bottom of the chimney starter and got it goin. I did use a water pan. Temp took about an hour to get to 250. Set the 8 lb butt in and had to tend to the drum every 90 minutes due to temp flux. Ended up drilling while cooking to keep the temp up above 200. I now have 8 3/4" holes wide open. Started at 12:45am and by 7am the temps tanked. I looked at the charcoal basket and it was all burned up. Top was on most of the time unless I needed more heat then I removed to get something burning better then put it back on.
Pretty sure I am going to buy a smoker, too much time and money in this thing that I can't get to work.
I may try a different charcoal basket but man I am running out ideas here. I shouldn't need two or three bags of charcoal for a 12 hour burn should I.
Try without a water pan. Heating the water takes a LOT of fuel. What type of lid do you have? Are the vents open on the lid? Is the basket elevated off the bottom of the barrel?