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Unread 05-27-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
S4vant
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Default First pork butt, WSM temp issues

So I'm about 2 hrs in on my first pork butt cook, and I'm seeing temp issues with my WSM. I have 2 out of 3 bottom vents completely shut, and the third is just cracked open, and I cannot get down to 250.
It keeps bouncing between 275 and 290 (as indicated on both dome thermo and igrill probe placed near grill.
This is the first time I've cooked without water in the pan (which I decided to do to conserve fuel). Should I add water in the pan?

Also, it's a fairly small pork butt, about 7 lbs, but internal temp shows 142 already. I tried to put the probe in the meatiest part away from the bone, but this seems like its a bit high for being only 2 hrs in. Should I move the probe, or just wait till about 8 hrs in and use the handheld?
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Unread 05-27-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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You're ok, it may take some time to settle in. Dont add the water pan at this time. 275 to 290 is an ok cooking temperature. Vents, on top, close them about 1/2 way each.

Dont close off the bottom any more...
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Unread 05-27-2013, 09:14 AM   #3
BobM
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I'm with "Lake", don't add water, try closing the top vent a bit. Stay with it, you'll be fine.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, it seems to be settling in at 260 now!

So what about the meat temp? Should I disregard what that probe is telling me and wait till 8hrs cook time and use the handheld to probe in a few spots for tenderness? Or reposition the wireless probe?
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Unread 05-27-2013, 09:32 AM   #5
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I would add the water. It's brain dead simple to hold 250 with water. That's a long cook to have to keep checking the temp all the time. Charcoal ain't that expensive.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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As for temp...time is a small factor for good shoulders. It's all about the tenderness. I don't even start probing mine until 192* ... Most of my cooks for customers have been going to 199 - 202*. With a smallish shoulder, I'd guess your cook time to be around 9 hours.

Other option, leave your probe in the thickest part and wait until it hits 200*...I promise the rest is done.

You could always bump the temp up to 300* and cook it HNF. I've done multiple 9 pounders on my UDS at one time and they were done in 7.5 hours. Just don't forget the rest period. Wrap it tight in foil and in a cooler for at least 30 mins...a hour would be better.

Enjoy! Good luck!
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Unread 05-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #7
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add water, don't add water, doesn't really matter. as long as the temp stays between say, 225 and 300, you'll be fine.

of course you can do over or under those temps, but that's kindofa different cook.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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I don't see a problem. Relax and let the magic happen. Personally, I'd be trying to get the cooking temp up closer to 300, but I've always had great success going with higher temps.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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Yep,

Keep it going at 275 or more!

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Unread 05-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
Dont close off the bottom any more...
Can you explain this? The way my WSMs seem to cook (and I know I have some leakage around the door in my 18.5, so that is part of the reason) I almost always have all 3 bottom vents closed, and I haven't noticed any issues. My 22.5 only has one cook on it, but even then, I closed them all, and ran about 255* for 13 hours on one full load of charcoal.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:22 AM   #11
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Also, watchout for the stall. Easy mistake to make first time out. He's some good info:

http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_...the_stall.html
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Unread 05-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #12
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Yeah, I think I'm in the middle of the stall right now, just under 5 hours in.

Ok, more questions:

1. Should I turn the meat? If so, when?

2. Foil or no foil?

3. Spray with apple juice?
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Unread 05-27-2013, 12:08 PM   #13
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1. No
2. Foil
3. No, but add a little (along with some more rub) when you foil.

This is just how I do it, others will have different opinions.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 12:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest_kc View Post
Can you explain this? The way my WSMs seem to cook (and I know I have some leakage around the door in my 18.5, so that is part of the reason) I almost always have all 3 bottom vents closed, and I haven't noticed any issues. My 22.5 only has one cook on it, but even then, I closed them all, and ran about 255* for 13 hours on one full load of charcoal.
You have an air leak somewhere else. The most likely location is an out of round middle section. Measure it and then bend it back by laying it on the ground and gently pressing down until the diameter is consistent.
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Unread 05-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4vant View Post
So I'm about 2 hrs in on my first pork butt cook, and I'm seeing temp issues with my WSM. I have 2 out of 3 bottom vents completely shut, and the third is just cracked open, and I cannot get down to 250.
It keeps bouncing between 275 and 290 (as indicated on both dome thermo and igrill probe placed near grill.
275-300 is the ideal temperature for butts in my opinion. The butts get done faster and the meat tastes just the same as they do at 250.
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