I have a 4 1/2lb boneless butt that I will be smoking on my Weber Performer. So far, I trimmed it, dried it, oiled it, dry rubbed it, foiled it, and refrigerated it.
The plan is to do a charcoal snake (with Stubb's and apple wood chips) and do the entire cook on the Kettle. The butt will sit (unfoiled) on the indirect side and I'm going to use two thick sheets of foil between the snake and butt to deflect the heat. I'm thinking it will take 6-8 hours if I stick to the 225-250 range. I have read a TON of articles, forum posts, etc. about the subject and although I feel pretty confident I do have a couple of concerns that I'd like to get advice on.
1) Temperature - I'm still learning the nuances of my kettle and haven't quite figured out how to control the temp consistently. I'm thinking that I'll heat 10 briquettes and use those to start the snake. From there, I'd close the intake and exhaust 50% each and more if the temp gets too high. Does this make sense or am I mistaken? Any suggestion for keeping the temp low if it starts rising?
2) The snake seems pretty straightforward except I'm not sure how many rows of briquettes I should be using. From what I read, I can get this done with two bottom rows and one top row with the chips piled on top. The snake would go halfway around the bowl. Thoughts?
3) I plan on using a water pan on the cooking grate above the snake and a drip pan underneath the butt. Is that okay to do?