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Got this email from a forum member asking for help.

Lots of experience in the forum, thought you could help and then I'll jump in also:


I am brand new to smoking and would like some heads up as the last two pork butts I've done in a my brand new 009 unit came out OK, but on a dry side.

The unit was seasoned for 7 hours when it arrived.

I have two pieces of pork butt, roughly 5 pounds each. If I smoke both of them at the same time is my cooking time still 7.5 hours (as in 5 pounds for each piece times 1.5 hours) or is my cooking time 15 hours (10 pounds total times 1.5)? I am assuming 225F temp for smoking.

Should I be placing a container of water inside the unit to keep the meat moist? The flavors came out just fine, but I expected the pork to be very moist and pull easy, which it was not.
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I am no expert but this is how i do mine and they come out very moist every time.
You can put 5lb butts both on the same rack. on the mid. rack of a 3 rack sys. rub butts with your fav.rub put in refrig. over night. put in cs set temp to 200deg. when butts get to 165deg. internal temp. remove put in foil with some apple juice. back in cs till 190deg. pull out and put in cooler for 1/2 to 1 hr. start pulling the best butts you ever had.hope this helps.
just my way of doing butts but everyone loves them. j foley
I don't go by time when smoking butts or briskets, come to think about it I never use time when cooking any meats, I use my thermometer and by feel. If you want to pull your pork, get it to an internal temp of around 191 degrees and then let it rest in foil, wrapped in a towel for about a 1/2 hour or more. This will work everytime to perfection.
Good comments so far.

Couple of points.

When you double the meat, you don't need to double the time. The smoke holds a steady temp and doesn't know how much meat.

2 5lbers shouldn't take 3 hours per pound.

How did you determine done? I didn't see a mention of what temp you pulled them at. If you did time alone, that could be an issue. Until you've done a lot of them in your smoker, you won't have a basis for a specific time to do them.

Have you checked the oven temp? Could be an issue with electrical cords, etc.

If you have a thermometer, have you checked it for temp?
OK, I'll chime in since it was my original inquiry that started this.

After reading the forum for some days I bought a temp gauge at my local Target. Not sure if it was deffective or not, but had to return it a go by time only. The flavors were great, given my first time us of the unit, but the meat didn't "pull" as I expected, and I simply sliced it. Great flavor, as I said, and great texture for slicing.

I bought a nice Weber temp gauge and will use it today. Thanks for all the recommendations above, should set me in the right direction and I hope I do a decent job this time around.

My only issue with doing thins by feel, which I do on my grill, is that it sounds like every time I open the unit to check on meat I will add another hour to the long cooking time? will rely on temp gauge to see how it goes.
I've never smoked using anything other than a temp probe and never had a dry smoke. The first smoke I did was good, not dry, and each has been better as the smoker becomes more seasoned. I have never smoked a boneless butt but I'm thinking the bone may help with the cooking as it retains heat. Also, the meat around the bone is different than the meat away from the bone.

I always smoke on the middle rack and perfer to smoke smaller cuts of meat - 5 to 6 pounds. I did a 15.8 pound butt, two pieces, and while it turned out good it did not seem like the flavor penetrated the meat like it does on the smaller pieces. All my smokes are 3.5 to 4 oz of wood.


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