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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-04-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
shouse
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Default First time smoking, need help.

I'm borrowing an old Weber smoker from a friend and wanting to do a pork butt or briquette this weekend. The smoker reminds me a lot of the current Weber smoker people like on here,....just a lot older.
I was told the thermometer isn't completely accurate. Something about it usually only reads approx 2/3 of what it really is. Not sure what to do about that. Also not sure how to use the smoker in general. Ive been reading about the UDS' alot lately but never read up on how to use the Weber. Really could use some help on what I should do about the thermometer and how to use the Weber. Detailed instructions and advice would be very appreciated. thanks.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 10:39 AM   #2
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I've got an old WSM that does not have a thermo , I use a digital and just lay the probe on the cooking grate and put the lid on. Leave the top vent open and adjust the bottom vents for your temperature.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 10:50 AM   #3
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Go to the weber virtual bullet site for detailed instructions with pics.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #4
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Run over to the Dollar Store and grab a couple of oven thermometers. Toss em both in there, at different locations, and see what you got. It's a cheap way to figure out your temps. You really need to have semi accurate temps.

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Unread 09-04-2010, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_matt View Post
Run over to the Dollar Store and grab a couple of oven thermometers. Toss em both in there, at different locations, and see what you got. It's a cheap way to figure out your temps. You really need to have semi accurate temps.

Matt
Not sure I would rely on Dollar Store temp gauges.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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This should help.
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html#minion
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Unread 09-04-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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Maybe I'm being dumb but if I throw in thermometers onto the grill grate won't I have to open the lid every time to check the temp (thus letting hot air out and ruining any chance of temperature stability?)?

Also, if I want to do a pork butt, what's the standard estimate on cooking time?
Thanks for the info.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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You can also put a candy thermometer through the top vent. The reading that you get on that will be approximately 15* hotter than the temp at grate level.
You should plan for 1.5 - 2 hours per pound for cooking at 225* - 250*.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shouse View Post
Maybe I'm being dumb but if I throw in thermometers onto the grill grate won't I have to open the lid every time to check the temp (thus letting hot air out and ruining any chance of temperature stability?)?

Also, if I want to do a pork butt, what's the standard estimate on cooking time?
Thanks for the info.
Yes, you'll have to lift the lid here and there to check, but it's the cheapest way to do what you're asking. Oven thermo's are $2-$5 each. Space them on the grate and check them. When you get the temp where you want it according to the oven/grate thermos, note where that spot is on the cooker's thermo, and it will give you a "target" to look for so you can just try and play with vents and keep it where you want it. Double check it a couple of times during the cook. If you're cooker thermo reads "175" but when you lift the lid and the oven thermos on the grate are reading 230, then you know that "175" on the cooker themo is really 230 and then you don't have to check any more (unless you just want to double check).

I have this when I cook on my ECB. On mine, the thermo just says WARM, IDEAL and HOT. I know that the "E" is about 225, so that's what I shoot for.

In my opinion, as long as you're not lifting the lid every 10-15 minutes, you're OK. Check it once or twice at the beginning, and then watch the cookers thermo based on what you find.


Cook time for a butt could be 10-16 hours (for say a 7-9 lb'er) at 225-250 cooker temp. Just have to wait until the meat probes with no resistance....like "buttah". Don't pull it until then and you'll be pleased. Foil if you think it needs is whenever it looks dark enough for you and cook the rest of the way foiled.

Good luck!
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Unread 09-04-2010, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian in Maine View Post
Big thanks on the link, very informative.

Thanks for the help guys, I think i've got all the information I need.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 12:12 PM   #11
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I have also found that when I make my final adjusment, I close 2 vents all the way, and use just one to regulate air flow. This way I'm not playing with 3 vents at a time.
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Unread 09-04-2010, 12:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog66 View Post
Not sure I would rely on Dollar Store temp gauges.
I hear what you're saying, and believe it or not, they read exactly what my oven is set at. I've tested them all (I have 3 from 3 different stores) several times, and they've always been spot on.

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Unread 09-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Russell View Post
Go to the weber virtual bullet site for detailed instructions with pics.
What he said! +1
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Unread 09-07-2010, 05:17 PM   #14
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Did a Boston Butt yesterday. Started at 12:30am and pulled at 3:00pm. Came out really well. I need to build a UDS now. I seasoned with:
mustard glaze
light coating of Lawry's
Butt glitter
Dalmatian rub
Hit me Fred's BBQ sauce upon serve

Do I need the Lawry's? Wasn't sure but I thought the butt glitter went under the low-salt rub category.

Last edited by shouse; 09-07-2010 at 07:11 PM..
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Unread 09-07-2010, 05:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shouse View Post
Did a Boston Butt yesterday. Started at 12:30pm and pulled at 3:00pm. Came out really well. I need to build a UDS now. I seasoned with:
mustard glaze
light coating of Lawry's
Butt glitter
Dalmatian rub
Hit me Fred's BBQ sauce upon serve

Do I need the Lawry's? Wasn't sure but I thought the butt glitter went under the low-salt rub category.
Barbecue in two and a half hours? I smoke aprox eight pound butts over night at 225-250 for sometime 15 hours.

Regarding the rub, you really kept it simple your first time, didn't ya?

Well, anyway, glad ya liked it!
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