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Cannot get pork butts finished in one load of charcoal

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    Cannot get pork butts finished in one load of charcoal

    I cooked a couple 9-10lb pork butts over the weekend in the WSM 22. No water in the pan, used KBB for fuel and fruit woods for smoke. I've been cooking on this thing for years. I kept the temp 250-275 and the cook was overnight. Outside temp was in the mid 30's. At 12 hours the IT of the meat was 185 and the smoker temp had dropped to about 220 (and continued to drop). I had to finish the butts in the oven. I have the door to the smoker taped up as I've never had to use it. Really wish I could get the entire cook done with one full load of charcoal and am thinking of getting this https://www.cajunbandit.com/product/...low-coal-ring/ to solve the problem. Does anyone here have experience with this? I honestly don't want to use the door to add charcoal because of the smoke the addition of fresh charcoal produces. Also, I wrapped the smoker in a welding blanket to help insulate and conserve fuel.

    #2
    As soon as I read your comment about the outside temperature I was reminded of Harry Soo wrapping his WSM in blankets. I then read that you had done that as well!

    Have you thought about changing to a charcoal briquette or lump that has more BTUs/pound than KBB? My son used some over the weekend in his WSM as well and was complaining that they seemed to evaporate. KBB seems to have an awful lot filler, etc. and produce a lot of ash to prove it.

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      #3
      I have the 18, and I get about 12-14 hours on a full basket of KBB with a party q fan set up (https://bbqguru.com/StoreNav?Categor...iABEgItOfD_BwE) Do you have a fan? That may get you a few more hours. Or, like Alphonse mentions, try another brand of charcoal. I think some folks say that B&B may burn a little longer.

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        #4
        In my kettle with the SNS, KBB lasts 7-8 hours for a load, while some other brands last 12+ hours. Try B&B or Weber briquettes if you can find them, and see if it makes a difference.

        That said, 12 hours sounds like about the right about of time for a load of charcoal in the WSM, and I often have butts take longer than 12 on my offset or kettle, unless I crank the heat up - which of course uses the charcoal faster too!

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          #5
          B & B Briquets.

          Comment


            #6
            Sounds like Charcoal.
            I had the same problem smoking butts on my Keg until I used up a bag of Royal Oak and before that Maple Leaf charcoals.
            Those two bags were nugget infested pains were good for 5-6 hours before I had to add to finish a cook.
            Brought a new bag of Royal Oak that had plenty of chunks in it, problem solved, got a ten hour smoke on a butt last weekend and it could have gone longer.
            They need to put charcoal in transparent packaging so we can see how beat up it is before buying it.
            Can't speak for Kingsford, its priced like royalty up here, I can buy 3 bags of Royal Oak for 1 bag of Kingsford.

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              #7
              Going to stop by Academy Sports this week and pick up some B&B briquettes. klflowers I have an iq110 fan that I've had been using for years but the last 12 months I've learned how to manage the temp without it. I'm kinda' proud of that lol. Thank you!

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                #8
                I guess I'm fortunate in that I don't ever cook in 35* temperatures. Hell I don't even leave the house when it's 35* outside

                Couple of things come to mind. Yea the B&B suggestion might work for you. I also like the idea of the deeper basket, that will really help with your longevity problem. More fuel more burn time.

                One thing I do in mine is to completely remove the water pan. I don't have any need for it. I run a fan controlled by a Fireboard and it runs at what ever temp I set it at until fuel runs out. I also strapped my fuel ring to my criss-crossed bottom grates with stainless hose clamps and pile my charcoal about 5-6" deep. Having said that I get about 13-14 hours of burn time, but if need be do open my door and dump more in. Again more and maybe better fuel in milder weather will do the trick for you.

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                • Hulagn1971
                  Hulagn1971 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  klflowers any difference in the flavor profile with meat drippings hitting the coals? Interested in this method.

                • Troutman
                  Troutman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ask yourself this, how does a PBC or other UDC’s work? No water pans there either.

                • klflowers
                  klflowers commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hulagn1971, no difference that I can tell. It took me years to ditch the water pan, and I thought I would need some therapy to get me through that first cook without it. Now I can see I don't really need it. I may use it for my next brisket, but maybe not. Depends on the day and if I can find the water pan.

                #9
                Full disclosure.... me knowing nothing. Sounds like if you would have cooked hotter you would have been fine??? I feel your frustration though.

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                  #10
                  Could contact The Woodshed Smoke and Bbq and get one of his beast baskets. I found his stuff on youtube and like the one I got.

                  Comment


                  • Hulagn1971
                    Hulagn1971 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    castironchris I watched the vid and that charcoal ring is HUGE. Didn't see any links to purchase though. Any ideas?

                  • castironchris
                    castironchris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hulagn1971 his email is in his youtube info. He had a webstore but had to turn it off for some reason. or just comment on his video, he usually responds

                  #11
                  A lot of good ideas here, though I also wouldn’t shy away from adding charcoal. The extra smoke it produces is minimal. Dare I say most people wouldn’t be able to taste the difference.

                  Comment


                    #12
                    A couple of thoughts:
                    1) Cook hot and fast. I usually cook my butts at 300 degrees F and they are usually done in almost half the time (I also wrap tightly in foil when I get the bark I want).
                    2) Finish your butt in your oven if you want low and slow. At 185 internal, the butt has picked up almost all the smoke it’s going to get. Again, you can wrap tightly in foil to speed up the process.
                    3) Invest in a automatic fan controller and fan. The kettle is easy to modify for a Guru fan. These are worth their weight in gold for long cooks and cold outdoor temps.

                    Comment


                    • Hulagn1971
                      Hulagn1971 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks for the input. I usually do cook them at 300+ and wrap to get them through the stall. This cook was a long overnighter and I just wanted to see if I could get them to the finish line without wrapping. I have an iq110 that I've had for years but learned in the last 12-15 months how to cook on it without the fan. I can see though where the fan would help keep the temp from dropping near the end.

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