Well, gang, I'm on my second pork shoulder and I'm asking the pros here for a few tips. Seems the second one wasn't quite as good as the first and I'm wondering where I went wrong. A bit drier and less flavorful. The bark was rather hard. I'm guilty of changing too many variables although I kept the same rub:
On recommendation of several web sites on the second shoulder I:
did not dump shoulder in a pan of marinate overnight
did not use a pan of water in the smoker.
did not mop marinate over shoulder at halftime.
Stupidly thought I could improve the marinade by doing a reduction on it and wound up boiling off the acetic acid. That's what I injected into the shoulder.
So if you folks who have done this successfully please chime in with your best results / opinions on:
Immerse in marinade overnight
pan of water in the smoker
50% vinegar in the marinade
2 hours per pound rate to 195 degree final internal temp.
I used hickory with a few chunks of mesquite. This is an electric smoker BTW with a PID controller & K type thermocouple I put together.
Seriously, what do you expect from a controls engineer?