Midnight at the old smoker…

Well, not really, I gave up babysitting my smoker a long time ago. This is true for brisket and butts, I tend to do overnight smokes, set it up and let it roll. This was a pretty typical smoke except for the cold weather. I did purchase 6 butts at my local Kroger where they were on sale for $1.29/lb this week. I trimmed the butts, removing the excess hard fat from the butts and did my traditional seasoning. I rarely use a standard rub, and even when making my own, I do not do a mix and apply, I do a sprinkle and splatter method. I go heavy with garlic, paprika, light with salt and pepper and then apply raw sugar to all sides prior to smoking.

I used my 22 WSM which can handle the 6 butts, I also used my recently purchased inkbird wifi thermometer, so I could monitor the temps if I wanted to. I started the smoker about 7pm, filled the smoker with charcoal and buried some hickory chunk. I filled my chimney starter and got it roaring hot, dumped it on top of the unlit, and assembled the smoker. I have never bought into the good smoke bad smoker debate. It has always seemed ridiculous to me to get the smoker to temp, then throw 50 lbs of cold meat on it, and get the smoker back up to temp again.

With the Weber Smokey Mountain it uses a water pan, and I did fill it will hot water at the time when assembled, it took about 3 gallons. Lots of debate about filling or not filling, but I have always believed it works best on long smokes to have the water pan full. I then put three butts on the bottom rack and three on the top rack. I set up the probes and let it go. My goal is to get the smoker to about 225 at the top grate. I did monitor from the app until I called it a night a 10pm. I woke up around 6 am and decided to check on the butts.

10 hours in

It was a very cold 19 degrees (which is cold for Middle TN). I checked the charcoal, and even though it was holding steady, I knew it was not going to be enough to get me through to the end. During this time I removed all 6 butts, I separated the top from the bottom of the smoker and added more charcoal. While the charoals was heating up, I rotated the butts from the top shelf to the bottom shelf and then assembled the smoker again. Once assembled I sprtized them for the first time with purple grape juice. I love purple grape juice, it helps with the color and also the high sugar content helps with bark creation and gives the pork a sweet taste

this was a couple hours after the first grape juice spritz
view from the bottom rack

For the Weber heat is regulated with air flow. There is a vent on the top, which I always leave open, then there are three vents on the bottom. For overnight, I had two of them closed and 1 partially open. As the day went on I continued to tweak the vent ultimately getting them to all open.

1pm about 18 hours in really taking on some color.

This was at 21 hours, when the three on the top hit 195. Aroma was amazing. I removed them and wrapped and placed them in the cooler.

wrap it up
3 in the cooler, the other three still on the smoker.
This was the lucky one that was pulled first after a couple hours rest and we ate some of it for dinner.
bone removed easily, butt was completely cooked, perfectly in my opinion.
here is one of the 6 that was pulled. Very nice cook, color, bark etc, and the aroma was incredible
The other 5 were all pulled after several hours of rest and vacuum sealed in 1/2 lb bags or 1 lb bags. Bags are labeled and frozen for future use. To reheat, they can be thawed in advance or left frozen, either way, the bag is boiled until heated and the meat never loses flavor or consistency