I put the butts in at ambient temp as dry as possible? And leave vent wide open ?
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What smoker are you using? What temp are you smoking at?
SM066 start smoke at 220 and finish at thinking 250 wait for internal temp to get past 210
I assume you're not wrapping the butts. You might try cooking at 225 - 250 the entire time. I usually get a pretty good bark on mine (SM066 as well) since I don't marinate, inject, baste, or wrap, only dry rub.
I only wrap them after they reach internal temp of 210 in foil, place them in a cooler (No ice) and let them sit for a hour before I pull them. There just seems like a lot of excess moisture in the unit during the 12-14 smoke that keeps it from getting a good bark ???
It's true that the CS electrics present a pretty moist environment. I've only found that to be a problem when smoking sausage, when I have to open the door once in a while to dump moisture. I haven't had a problem with butts though.
Thank you for getting back to me - I did 3 butts yesterday and discovered that my unit was not heating up to what I had put in for cooking temp. ? I put two probes in neither one came up ? I am guessing that it's a issue with the sensor? - will follow up with CS
Getting with CS is you best option. I was a tad confused when you earlier mentioned having the top vent wide open. All I have is the smoke hole and no damper or shutter. Have you run up your smoker empty, no woodbox, when it is dark and looked at the element? It should be uniformly bright with no dark or grey areas.