I'm officially a part of the BGE family after years of dreaming. Since the first day of ownership of my LBGE, I've been practically living on this forum, soaking up all the tips, tricks and useful information shared by others, to make my first smoke as simple and problem free as possible.
Monday (Memorial day):
Picked up LBGE, plate setter, BGE lump & apple wood chunks
After a few days of reading the forum, I finally built up enough confidence to fire up "Big Berta" (nickname for my Egg) so I headed out to my local butcher to pickup a 8LB boneless shoulder (it was the only shoulder he had) and a bottle of "Memphis Belle BBQ rub" from Chef Central.
The shoulder was washed, dried and lathered up with yellow mustard, followed by a healthy dusting of rub mixed with 1/2 cup of Turbinado sugar.
11pm- Stacked lump in Egg according to tips found on this forum, added a drip pan with a little water and fired her up! It took me 2hrs to figure out how to stabilize the temp to around 250* dome.
1am- Once everything looked good and stable, I added the meat - BUT, that's where things went downhill (literally). The temp started to drop, but I figured it was normal due to the meat being a little colder than room temperature, so I didn't panic (not yet at least).
3am- After a quick sleep, I woke up to check on the Egg, only to find the dome gauge at ZERO! I quickly checked the meat internal temp on the Maverick and it said 95*. Now I'm in full panic mode, with every PC & iPad in the house logged into the forum trying to figure out if the meat is salvageable. Heck I don't wanna kill my family on my first smoke (My mother-in-law on the other hand.....) with contaminated meat.
3:15am- I re-lit Berta and got her up to temp within minutes. By this time I weighed out my options and decided to throw the meat back on (again, after reading advice given to others on the forum).
9am: Temp is rock solid at 250 dome
12pm: Egg is on the back deck under the full blast of the sun and 90* NYC weather, but temp is still steady at 250-255
4pm: Maverick screamed out at 195* internal temp, so I opened up Big Berta to inspect my creation.. I swore it was like the heavens opened up and the angels were sitting on my shoulders singing Starship's "we built this city (on pork and beef) ". It took serious self control not to tear into it like Tiny Tim on a Thanksgiving Turkey, but I know the experts called for it to be wrapped in foil and towels for at least 4hrs, so that's exactly what I did.
All in all, I was pretty happy with the outcome. No one got sick, the flavor was passable for my first time, the meat was moist and I didn't burn the house down. On my next smoke, I'll be use some Dizzy Dust with a little added sugar and hickory chunks together with the apple to give it some more smoke flavor.
Thank you to everyone on this forum for your help. Your advice helped me to successfully smoke my first Butt!
Pizza I made yesterday was also amazing!