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So I got my FEC-100 ready to go, and I'm gearing up for my first smoke this weekend. I have been trying to absorb as much information as I can about smoking pork shoulders, and that is what I'm going to start with. Every recipe/instructional video I have ever seen calls for a shoulder in the 8-10 lb range. I went to Sam's this afternoon and bought their smallest shoulder, which turned out to be 18 POUNDS! I'm kinda concerned that this thing is going to take forever to cook through. I was going to cook it overnight at 180-190, then crank it up to 225 for a few hours at the end. I know that it's nearly impossible to put an exact time/pound number on pork, but will the added size of this thing really scale the cooking time from 12-17 hrs (what I normally hear for a 10 pounder) to over 24 for the 18 pounder? Would it be a bad thing to split the shoulder in half and cook them separated?

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It's 2 butts. Positive about that. Sam's, that I know of, I haven't seen shoulders (I've looked).

There is confusion with the terminology. That's a pair of pork BUTTS. Whole shoulder would indeed be in the 14+ range, but it's not a rectangular/square package like what you bought.

It's the picnic and butt together.

A lot of terminology issues, but as it's a butt, will be about 8/9 lbs you'll be able to follow whatever you want.

If you've never done one, my suggestion is keep it simple. Put it in at 250 and get a taste for a one step smoke. Always good to have a reference point. Only time "most" people do a two stage is to add smoke (typically for contest time) but some just like smoke. I say try the one step just so you have a reference for your first PB cook.
Thanks Okie. I was going to do the two stage mostly for time management issues. I want to have the pork for dinner on Saturday (in the 6 to 7 pm range). I know I have 1-4 hour leeway if I wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler when it gets done. I was really worried if it was really one 18 pound slab of it taking 24+ hours, but if it is two 9 lbers, I'm worried about it getting done too soon at 225 overnight.

I'm also planning on throwing in a couple of chickens about 4 hours before dinner time.
Just put the butts in (it was 2 slightly larger than the other). Coated them in yellow mustard, and Fast Eddy's rub. I put a foil pan with apple cider and apple cider vinegar in it in the shelf below the butts. I have a Maverick remote thermometer in the smaller butt set for 195.

When I fired the smoker up, it caught the pellets at the end of the auger on fire. I hope that goes out while it's just maintaining temp at 190 overnight. I will check it a few times before I go to bed. Also, the draft fan sounded a little rattly when I first started it up. It has stopped making noise now, but that was a little disconcerting.

Full disclosure, I came by this FEC-100 because it was involved in a fire. I have cleaned it up and this is my first smoke in it.
The augur is no longer on fire, but there is a lot of sawdust in there. It's not wet (so no least not yet), but there aren't really pellets being fed. I ran this thing for 3 hours at 300 to burn off cleaning products and season it, and didn't have any pellet problems. It has been stored in my garage since then, so I know it has been kept dry. What would cause the pellets to disintegrate like that?
Wow. That was, hands down, the best pulled pork I've ever had. It was moist, tender and the bark was delicious.

I ended up pulling it and wrapping it in foil at just before 6, so it was a 20 hour cook. 9 hours at 190, 10 hours at 225, and 1 hour at 250 because I was beginning to think it wouldn't finish before 7.

The chicken left a little to be desired. I left it in for 3 hours at 225 then double wrapped it in foil. The temp was 165 in the breast when I pulled it, but my dad said it was slightly under-done in places. None of the rub or smoke flavor made it into the meat. It was very juicy though...just not very exciting.

Thanks for the guidance folks.

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