Started off the weekend Friday smokin a couple racks of spares and a couple of chicks. I used Jeff's rub for 1 rack and a Memphis rub Mythmaster posted up the other day. Brined the chicks in the slaughterhouse brine for about 5 hours. After about 3 hours. Hopefully I figured out my issues with the temps for the chicks. I tested my couple Taylor weekend warriors no issues, during the smoke one chick was 15* hotter and it just wan't making sense. When I repositioned the probe it even dropped further in temp. Then about 45 minutes before pulling everything UPS showed up with my new Maverick ET-73 (more on that later) and walla...the chick wasn't 130 after nearly 4 hours, she was 161!! Later in the evening I retested all my thermos and everything checked out!!! All that to say...the only thing I can figure is probe placement had to be the issue. Trimmed, rubbed with Jeff's nekid rub and smoked! Pulled right at 6 hours. Memphis Rubbed, untrimmed. I think I could have went just a little longer (6 hrs) on these ones. Still tasty. Everyone still prefers the foiled ribs I done last weekend. Even though I took both chickens to 165 and 167 over about a 4 1/2 hour period the one had a lot of blood in the thigh/leg joints. This was more than the typical pink coloration, it was actual blood. Only being my sixth bird smoked, (and haven't seen this in the previous) is this normal? Of course the wife especially had some concern about the bird being done...not all was a loss, I ate the breast! lol The ribs I'm leaning a little towards the rest of the fam and kind of like the way the foiled ribs came out but I think I could have gone another half to an hour on these ones, so I'm not totally set on wrapping just yet and will have to make another attempt smokin'em unwrapped next weekend because the remaining 4 racks tomorrow I'm going to wrap to compare those again. Now onward to what is becoming my favorite item so far to smoke, a nice Boston Butt! I've always loved pulled pork as we ate it all the time when I was little growing up just outside of Memphis. MMMMmmmmmm....thinking back to the smell and sights of that roadside stand along Hwy 51, where this elder gentleman had a couple large outdoor brick style pits that were always smoking and filled with shoulders behind his vegetable stand, all summer long! I couldn't imagine such a setup being permitted these days! Not sure how we survived in such an unprotected environment. Ok, sorry I'm awake again...lol It was a long night. Anyhow, I thought instead of doing as I did last weekend and right up to dinner time, getting her done, I'd start this one earlier last night (10 p.m.) and cooler it until dinner time (3 p.m.). This worked out to 4 hours in the cooler because this 8.69 lb butt only took 13 hrs instead of 15 as the one (similar weight) did last weekend. The cooler method definitely served its purpose and held the heat and kept her still steaming (see pic below) at 180*, 4 hours later when I went to pull it! Although it was still excellent, raved and applauded..., to me the texture was not quite what I wanted. It was of course much softer, not mushy really, just softer. For my future butts I'll only cooler for extended periods of time only when absolutely necessary. Guests waiting an hour due to a stall or conditions won't be a reason that I'll start one early again. Don't get me wrong, this butt was still delicious but I like a little firmer butt. Jeff's rub, prepped late Thursday night for a Friday night start. When my ET-73 went off letting me know she hit 165* I couldn't get out of bed and when I did, at 8 a.m. (10 hr mark) she hit 170* and was wrapped and put back in the smoker. I was going to go to 200* but because she was cooking up faster than expected I let her hit 205* before pulling for the cooler at 11 a.m. Unwrapped from the cooler at 3 p.m., steaming hot, still 180*! In comparison with the picture above you can kind of see the wilted soft look of 4 hours in the cooler. She pulled very nicely. Well, hopefully this wasn't to long and/or boring...but if you're up late tonight smokin that 4th of July feast, maybe it'll occupy a little of your time during your all nighter! I'll discuss my new passion for my Maverick ET-73 in another post because I still have 4 racks of ribs to prep for tomorrow and make a final decision if I'm going to do the other 2 yard birds! Happy smokin' and hope you all have a great and safe 4th of July celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain! Remember all those defending our freedoms and protecting us!