What i learned yest doing my Bone in Pork Butt, and loading question

george winters

TVWBB Member
Thanks to all who commented yest on my 6 lb bone in pork butt -- here is what i learned.
- it will take long time to do it right -- was 10 hours and i was still at 185F . in order to do it right , everyone needs to be paitence and long / slow
- this butt had big bone in - and my thermomator was plugged into the butt above the bone -- i think this is one reason why i stalled so much at higher temperatures? maybe boneless is better
-i think i might need start next cook at late nite and let it go all nite -- but not sure how people do it as i seemed to figgle with bottom vents now / then in order to maintain the 225 F / 250 F

lastly -- does anyone have easy way of restockin the 18.5 WSM? -- i was using lump charcoal and not easy getting it into the little side compartment? thanks

Does anyone
 

Paul H

TVWBB Gold Member
George, I'd try another bone in butt but don't put the probe so close to the bone. You'll get the hang of it after a few more runs.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB All-Star
George, Tim Aldus posted pictures of his chute to feed charcoal into the WSM. I copied his idea and it works great using a section of 6" vent from Home Depot. You can put hot coals down this thing if you're wearing good gloves. Here's the http://www.flickr.com/photos/61425777@N08/ ]link[/URL] to the pictures Here's the link to the thread.
Are you using the WSM water bowl?
 

Phil Perrin

TVWBB Honor Circle
John,keep at it,you'll get it! Butts are really hard to mess up! As far as reloading the WSM,I just chuck in handfuls of K through the door. It ain't pretty,but it gets the job done.
 

Ken Keating

TVWBB Fan
For overnight cooks, look into the BBQ Guru or Stoker. It makes long overnight cooks so much easier without having to worry or getting up to make adjustments.
 

george winters

TVWBB Member
thanks to all -- i will try the chute -- hard to put new hot coals in without lighting my deck on fire -- . need a tin sheet undernieth also.. practice makes perfect. thanks
 

Will B

TVWBB Member
OK I'm a newb around here. Today I did my first butt as well. Took 14 hours for a 7 lb-er @ dome temp 225-250. I had it on the lower grate and I think it is considerably cooler compared to the dome temp. Has anyone else noticed that the lower grate runs cooler?

Second, I see all this talk about chutes and whatnot. I needed to add charcoal and I just fired up a chimeny, put on some work gloves, quickly lifted off the barrel section, dumped charcoal in in and replaced the barrel. Entire operation took 30 seconds. There must be some reason why this is not the preferable option that I don't know about?
 

Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
george, don't be afraid to lift the mid-section off the base to reload with charcoal... if you have a grill or small SJ, use that to start the new coal then open your WSM and dump the daggum stuff in.
opening the cooker IS NOT A CRIME... for pete's sake, you're only cookin'


<span class="ev_code_GREY">Phil, who's JOHN??</span>
 

Paul H

TVWBB Gold Member
Will, the lifting of the midsection off during a cook is complicated by the fact of having the possibility of hot water from the pan splash on you. Another problem I found is,since I don't use water in the pan,is the weight. I usually fill my cooker with at least 50 to 60 pounds of meat. Trying to get that off and back on is a trick for me.The hot grease could spill from the foiled pan not only on you but into the fire. Man, I'm starting to sound like an attorney here.
 

Dave/G

TVWBB Emerald Member
I use lump and have never had to reload with a butt of any size. First, don't be stingy with the unlit. Secondly, add 1/3rd ring of unlit, twist the ring to settle, repeat with the remaining 2/3rds of the ring. The idea that lump burns hotter and therefore doesn't last as long as briquettes isn't true. Lump lasts just as long if you control the air. FYI, I cook butts around 250-275. JMO.
 

Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
good points Paul, i understand all that... so, lemme re-phraes that.

<span class="ev_code_GREY">I have</span> removed the mis-section to re-load with lit coal. The mid-section on my 18.5 WSM has handles which makes lifting it, for me, quite easy.
 

Chuck_B

TVWBB Wizard
I simply open the door and throw in a couple handfulls but it's rare that I do that. I normally fill it with enough lump that lasts through the entire cook.

Will if you are using water in the pan, the lower grate is normally cooler than the top. It's just the opposite if you do not use water. Water is a heat sink (as well as the meat). And as far as adding the coals, when you are doing "low and slow" it's fine to fill up your chimney starter if you want BUT don't light them. Put them on unlit.
 

Will B

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Chuck_B:
I simply open the door and throw in a couple handfulls but it's rare that I do that. I normally fill it with enough lump that lasts through the entire cook.

Will if you are using water in the pan, the lower grate is normally cooler than the top. It's just the opposite if you do not use water. Water is a heat sink (as well as the meat). And as far as adding the coals, when you are doing "low and slow" it's fine to fill up your chimney starter if you want BUT don't light them. Put them on unlit.
Thanks for the tips. A 7lb butt I was calculating about 10 hrs. I couldn't think of any reason why at the 10 hr mark is was only @ 145 internal. Now I know. I think when using water in and using the bottom grate, an oven therm would be a good idea.

Nevertheless it was delicious. Looking forward to the next smoke!
 

Ron G.

TVWBB Wizard
I found a great new tool for adding charcoal to my WSM / stirring the coals while cooking:

At Home Depot, i found a cheap metal shovel made from formed steel that is normally used for cleaning-out fireplace ashes.

It's about two feet long and cost about five bucks! Works great and cheap too!
 

Ken McCrary

TVWBB Super Fan
Ditto what Ron said. I now have a couple of those little ash shovels after my wife caught me using the fancy brass one in the fireplace set that we never used anyway.
No way I would ever try to lift the middle section off of mine. Mainly because I'm one that likes to use water in the pan.
 

george winters

TVWBB Member
great comments and appreicate to all -- as for just grabbing handful and chucking them in -- ya that would prob work -- i just started the WSM on my deck and little cautious bout getting coal on my desk -- until i buy plate or special bbq wood for undernieth im gonna be careful on re-stocking -- and if its lump not as easy to chuck handful's , i hear the small shovel is good, im gonna look for one --
i took this butt off at 185 F for over . my fault - need it on longer. someone said 14 hours -- i beleive it. thanks again .
 

Tim (the grillaholic)

TVWBB Super Fan
George, I have been lurking (on this thread)on an off all day. First, Dont give up, some times for no apparent reason, the meat just doesn't want to cooperate. I think one of your first mistakes was opening the lid to try to cool the WSM down. what happened was (by removing the lid) you greatly increased the amount of oxygen for your coals to burn on. Second, it has been debated that the bone actually helps speed up the cooking of a Butt. I think you got a false temp reading when the thermometer was inserted too close to the bone. Next time. try to get the tip of the thermo. into the center of the largest portion of the meat.(as that will take the longest to cook) I read where some people place each piece of lump (1 at a time) into the charcoal ring. this results in a charcoal ring that is packed tighter and burns considerably longer.
Good Luck,
Tim
Also, you might want to look at this..
http://tvwbb.com/eve/forums/a/...0069052/m/9281086106
 

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