Well, after my first smoking session I started to so a bit more reading.  I discovered http://www.bbqsource-forums.com and started doing some reading.  The first thing I learned was to avoid the good ole Kingsford.  Turns out that its not as good as I thought.

We had another smoking session planned for the next weekend and after visiting Bass Pro I had a few things to buy.

I bought two 20 pound bags of lump charcoal and three 8 pound bags of apple wood chunks.  I had bought the pecan and apple wood for the first smoking session at Hersh’s Meat Market over in Plano for $2.00 a pound.  At Bass Pro the apple chunks are only $1.00 a pound and look just as good.

While I was there I went ahead and bought a temperature probe that has a wireless unit with it.  That way I could watch the temperature of the meat and not have to be outside all the time or open the smoker and add more time to the cooking time.  It was an Oregan Scientific unit and I have to say it was junk.  After the second time I used the probe it stopped working.  Now it only reads 999 and then beeps non-stop.  I am taking it back to Bass Pro and getting my money back.

I found a place here in town called BBQ Galore.  It’s mostly high end grills and smokers but they carried the new temperature probe that was suggested at the BBQSoruce.  I picked up a Maverick ET73 and what a sweet unit that is…  It is wireless like the previous unit and has a part that I can take into the house with me.  This one also has an additional probe that monitors the temperature of the smoke box.  The controls on this unit are so much better as well.  I can set alarms for the hi and lo temperature of the smoke box, and the max temperature of the meat.  That way I don’t have to watch it near as much and always be outside.

The next thing I learned was at Hersh’s Meat Market.  I went into talk to them about prices of the pork butt and how early we have to contact them for a special order. While talking to them I learned that a pork butt is not a butt at all. If you trim the butt off a pig you actually get the Ham.  The pork butt is part of the shoulder…  When they cut a shoulder off the pig they end up with two cuts of meat, the shank, and the butt.  The shank is the part of the shoulder that has the joint in it.  The butt cut is the meat that surrounds the shoulder blade.  It’s also the cut that is used for pulled pork and the really tender shoulders.  We decided that the next smoking session was going to be butt cuts.

Tim