The history of the barbecue is incredible. While the idea of cooking meat over fire has been around since the dawn of man, the first barbecues were thought to be discovered when the Spanish landed in the Caribbean and encountered the Taino roasting meat on wood above a fire.
The word Barbacoa first appeared in print during the 1500s.
As barbecues spread across the Americas, there became some interesting debates between the purist and pioneering pitmasters.
In North Carolina, the purists insist barbecue should be pork-based. Their argument is based on the fact that original BBQ masters of the southern colonies farmed pig over cow.
It was cheaper and demanded less space. The pigs were sometimes allowed to roam free in the forests and when it came to slaughter, they were much leaner.
This is where the low and slow method of barbecue was developed. smoking the pork for longer periods to give it that beautiful tender finish. By the time barbecue hit Texas, a new breed of pitmaster was born. Texas had far more room for animals to roam and therefore cattle were bred and slaughtered.
These pioneers took the original low and slow concepts of the North Carolina chefs and swapped out the pork for beef.
The Mississippi River provided Memphis with an abundance of goods, including molasses.
It was here that the traditional barbecue sauce was created, marking another step in barbecue history.
Whether you are a purist or a pioneering pitmaster, the Weber Smokey Mountain gives you a simple and brilliant base to perfect your low and slow smokes.
From pork butt to beef brisket one of the best ways to get that low and slow tenderness is to cook overnight. What could beat waking up to the smell of perfectly smoked meat?
Weber Smokey Mountain Overnight Smoke
Overnight smokes require you to trust in your equipment. This is one of the reasons the WSM is so popular.
Temperature control and stability are really important for low and slow smokes, with the multiple vent options and iGrill compatibility, you can sleep easy knowing the Weber is doing all the hard work!
Weber Smokey Mountain Overnight Smoker Tips And Tricks
Your first overnight smoke is a big deal. You are likely to be a little nervous about leaving the WSM all night to do its thing. If you follow a few smart pieces of advice, you’ll be able to relax and trust the WSM to smoke steadily all night.
- Pack your charcoals tight. Leave a small gap in the middle to add your lit coals. You want to start with around 6-7 lit coals if you are using the minion method. A full pan of coals packed nice and tightly should keep your WSM at a steady temperature for the whole night
- Vary the placement of your wood. You want to ensure there is wood throughout the smoke so pack it between the coals at various depths to ensure you have an even distribution of wood smoke
- Start with the vents open but when you are around 30 degrees from your target temperature, start to close off the bottom vents. Always leave your top vent open
- A water pan is a great way to regulate the heat on low and slow smokes. However, you may find that you burn all your water on an overnight smoke which could leave you exposed to a rise in temp at the end of the cook. If you are planning to cook all night, it may be better to use an empty water pan with foil in. This way you can be sure your temperature will remain stable
- Using an iGrill or another app-connected thermometer will really help you with overnight smokes. You can set the app to alert you if the temperature goes below or above your target temperature.
- Check out the overnight forecast. High winds, rain or a sudden drop in temperature could cause you issues with temperature stabilization
How Do You Keep A WSM On Overnight?
Keeping your WSM on overnight isn’t as complicated as you might think. You need to light the barbecue and ensure there is enough coal to see it through the desired amount of hours.
You shouldn’t cook with water in the pan unless you want to get up every 4 hours to check the water. It’s important to keep it a safe distance from the house just in case the wind picks up or anything goes wrong.
The most important part of leaving your WSM on overnight is a steady temperature.
Allow yourself plenty of time to monitor the temp before you go to bed. Once you have held a steady temperature for 45 minutes to an hour, then you can leave the WSM providing the weather isn’t due to change dramatically in the evening.
Using an app-connected thermometer, such as the iGrill2, will help you relax a little overnight.
If your smoke chamber temperature drops the app can alert you.
Is It Safe To Smoke Meat Overnight?
It is perfectly safe to smoke meat overnight.
You need to ensure the temperature is in the safe zone and that there are no adverse weather conditions due.
High winds can affect your temperature stability.
Wind can also cause your smoker to flame up or to fall over, so ensure it is a safe distance from the house.
Always check the internal temperature of your meat to ensure it is cooked.
Best Meat To Smoke Overnight?
The best meats to smoke overnight include:
- Beef Brisket
- Pork Butt
- Lamb Shoulder
- Lamb Leg
- Beef Prime Rib
Best Way To Do An Overnight Smoke With A WSM
Before you attempt an overnight smoke, it’s worth running a few low and slows during the day first.
This will help you master how much coal you need and how your particular WSM performs. Newer Smokey Mountains need to be seasoned so might burn fuel a little faster than a well-seasoned smoker.
Start with more coal than you think you will need and pack it really tight with your wood at various levels within the coal.
This will ensure an even smoke through the whole night.
The water pan is ideal for maintaining temperature in your WSM.
However, if you are cooking through the night and don’t want to check on the WSM, leave the water pan empty and cover it in foil.
Run your WSM for an hour before leaving it overnight. Once your temperature has been stable for 45 minutes it should make it through the evening without any issues.
Using an app-connected thermometer is the best way to monitor your WSM for the evening.
Weber Smokey Mountain Overnight Smoke Pork Shoulder
A pork shoulder should never be rushed so the overnight method is a great way to get maximum smoke flavor. The best way to do this is with an app-connected thermometer so you can monitor it throughout the night should you wish. A pork shoulder is a really forgiving cut of meat that tastes amazing the longer it is smoked. It is ideal for your first overnight smoke.
The total cook time of a pork shoulder could be up to 12-15 hours. If you cook at a temp of 200 degrees for 8 hours overnight, then wrap the shoulder and raise the cooking temp by 25 degrees. Once your shoulder reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees it should feel like butter inside. This is the time to rest it for 10 minutes, then wrap it and place it in a cooler for up to 5 hours before shredding.
How Long Can A Weber Smokey Mountain Cook?
Depending on the size of your Weber Smokey Mountain and what kind of coals you are using, you can expect to get 12-18 hours of cooking time.
Weber Smokey Mountain Overnight Smoking Brisket
The historical debate between bbq purists and pioneers has butt and brisket right at the heart. Both cuts of these meats are excellent for the low and slow method so will be brilliant on the WSM cooked overnight.
When you are cooking brisket overnight you should season the meat and return it to the fridge so it is cold when it hits the smoker. This will help keep it moist and the temperature of the smoker steady. It is important to choose a cut of brisket with the fat still on, this ensures that your meat remains juicy and full of flavor.
Brisket can easily cook for 12 hours and the longer it cooks the more tender it becomes. If you are using an app-connected thermometer then this is a cut of meat that lets you enjoy a lazy morning!