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Thread: First Cook - Pork Shoulder

  1. #1
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    First Cook - Pork Shoulder

    10 hours in on my first cook on the WSM 18 I picked up. Lit the smoker last night around 1130, filled the charcoal ring with lump and lit 20 briquettes in a chimney, modified minion Iíd guess? Added two chunks of hickory and a handful of apple chips when I added on the meat. No water pan (was completely rusted through) so have a foil covered pizza pan in there instead.

    This thing rocks, super stable temps. Had to get up twice cause the maverick was beeping at me, temps were dropping, opened the top vent slightly and she has been cruising with minimal maintenance. My Akorn is easy too, once you get it set, but for whatever reason this seems easier. Also like the ability to add wood/chips easily.

    Current internal temp is 158. Iíll post some pics later this afternoon.

    The lady of the house bought me an Auber PID controller for my birthday next week, but not sure Iíll need it, this thing just cooks!
    Last edited by M.Stein; 03-31-2018 at 07:25 AM.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Emerald Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Great it's working out for you.

    An idea-->next time, put your wood chips in a foil pouch (shaped like a big envelope) and seal it as best you can. You'll still get the smoke but they'll last longer. Don't soak them though (not that you did this time ).
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Dennis View Post
    Great it's working out for you.

    An idea-->next time, put your wood chips in a foil pouch (shaped like a big envelope) and seal it as best you can. You'll still get the smoke but they'll last longer. Don't soak them though (not that you did this time ).
    Hmm, never heard of that before... You just put the foil pack on top of the charcoal?

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    I'd put a couple small slits in the top of the foil pouch to let the smoke out. And, yep, just drop the pouch on top of the lit charcoal. It will still burn a lot faster than chunk but the pouch will make it last longer. If all you have is chips, I'd prepare two pouches. That way you can stick the second one on when the first burns out and then reload the first. Best to use heavy duty foil if you have it.

    Conventional wisdom is that you should always leave the top vent open all the way, controlling the temp entirely with the charcoal load and the bottom vents. I have on rare occasion had to resort to partially closing the top vent to keep the temp down but generally try to abide by the fully open top vent.
    Last edited by JayHeyl; 03-31-2018 at 10:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHeyl View Post
    I'd put a couple small slits in the top of the foil pouch to let the smoke out. And, yep, just drop the pouch on top of the lit charcoal. It will still burn a lot faster than chunk but the pouch will make it last longer. If all you have is chips, I'd prepare two pouches. That way you can stick the second one on when the first burns out and then reload the first. Best to use heavy duty foil if you have it.

    Conventional wisdom is that you should always leave the top vent open all the way, controlling the temp entirely with the charcoal load and the bottom vents. I have on rare occasion had to resort to partially closing the top vent to keep the temp down but generally try to abide by the fully open top vent.
    This is something else Iíve been reading on here, why is that on the WSM about the vent? On my Akorn, once I get the vents ďdialed inĒ any minute adjustments are made with the top vent. Seemed to work fine for this cook, but always like to expiriment.

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    To be totally honest, the whole thing about always leaving the top vent fully open has never made a great deal of sense to me. Air flow is air flow. If you increase or decrease it by adjusting bottom vents or top vent, it should be the same. There was something about smoke backing up inside and depositing creosote on the food. I can maybe see where that might happen if you were generating a lot of smoke and then closed the top vent, trapping the smoke inside.

    For a long time I bought into the conventional wisdom and always left the top vent fully open. More recently I've adjusted the top vent a couple times when the fire was getting away from me and I'd already closed down the bottom vents. My food did not turn out like railroad ties.

    I think you probably should try to make adjustments with the bottom vents, only resorting to adjusting the top vent when necessary. OTOH, as long as you're getting clean blue-white smoke and you're happy with the taste of your food, go with what works for you.

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