Overnight Pork Butt Cook on the BX25 Box Smoker
Meadow Creek BX (cabinet smokers) excel at holding a steady temperature without a lot of adjustments, so I decided to test my BX25 on an overnight cook and document it for you here.
In this story, I'm cooking two pork butts. I put the meat on the smoker by 8:00 pm and they were both done by 10:00 the next morning. Besides a few vent adjustments in the beginning of the cook, I didn't have to make any adjustments during the 14-hour cook. I did get up once during the night to add more fuel, but except for waking up once, I got a full night's sleep while running a fully manual charcoal-fired smoker.
Enjoy the photos and my story below...
The BX25 box smoker is a solid choice for any barbecue enthusiast who appreciates handmade quality and wants the option of cooking with water (steam). The BX smokers are insulated, which helps them hold a steady temperature with less fuel.
Checking pork butts on the BX25 with my Thermapen
How to Fire the BX25
I fired the BX25 cabinet smoker at 7:30 pm with my favorite Chef's Select 100% hardwood charcoal briquettes and two chunks of seasoned hardwood from my stash of firewood. My target temperature was 225–250 degrees F.
Here's a basic outline for firing this smoker:
Step 1: Open the stack and bottom two vents all the way.
Step 2: Fill the basket with 100% hardwood charcoal briquettes and 1 or 2 chunks of smoking wood. Nestle two wax fire starter squares into the charcoal and light them, then slide the basket back into the smoker.
Tip: If you plan to cook for less than 5 hours, adjust the amount of charcoal accordingly. A full basket will run out at different times depending on the kind of charcoal you use and how hot you run the smoker, but as a general rule, a load of quality briquettes will burn for more than five hours at 225 degrees when the smoker is filled with meat.
Step 3: Keep the firebox door open a crack until the smoker reaches 225 degrees (roughly 20–30 minutes). Close the firebox door.
Step 4: Adjust the bottom vents to 1–2 revolutions from fully closed. Watch the temperature closely and make further adjustments to stabilize the temperature.
If the heat rises above your desired temperature, turn the vents 1/4 revolution clockwise and give it 5–10 minutes to respond. If it keeps rising, turn it another 1/4 revolution. (Avoid closing the vents all the way or you will starve the fire and bad things will happen.)
If the temperature is lagging and won't rise even when you open the vents 1/2 revolution, you can give the fire a boost by opening the firebox door a crack. Be very careful not to overheat it though because it can take hours to lower the temperature if you lose control.
Basket slid back into the smoker
Heavy smoke as it lights the charcoal
Coming up to temperature
The doors are secured with positive locking latches
Prepping the Meat
I wanted to keep things very simple, so to prepare the meat for the smoker, I just unwrapped them and seasoned them with Meadow Creek Black Pepper Brisket Rub.
Seasoning the meat
Ready for the smoker
Cooking two pork butts on the BX25
The meat was on the smoker by 8:00 pm. Usually I like to give the smoker about an hour to stabilize before adding the meat, but I was in a bit of a hurry to get it on, so I finished fine-tuning the vents after adding the meat.
Between 9:00 and 9:15 pm I turned both bottom vents a total of 1/2 turn clockwise and it settled in between 240 and 245 degrees.
At 10:15 pm it was cruising at 240 degrees. I went to bed and slept for 3 hours and when I returned, it had fallen to 220, just a few degrees under my target temperature.
There was still enough heat and charcoal in the basket to quickly light the new charcoal, so I refilled the basket with charcoal and went back to bed without making any adjustments. I got up at 7:00 am and the smoker was running at 240 degrees.
The butt on the bottom rack was done then so I removed it by 8:00 am and moved it to a covered pan in an empty ice chest. The other one was done by 10:00. The bottom butt was in the smoker for about 12 hours and the top one for 14 hours.
I am quite pleased with how the smoker handled this overnight cook, running without an electronic temperature controller. I got around 8 hours of sleep and the smoker ran mostly on it's own. If you are worried about the temperature fluctuations or need the extra peace of mind, you can always add a Flame Boss or Guru.
At the beginning of the cook (8:00 pm)
Running at 220 degrees at 1:00 am when I woke up to add charcoal
The meat at 1:00 am
The charcoal at 1:00 am
Charcoal basket refilled with briquettes
Running at 244 when I woke up at 7:00 am
12 hours into the cook, around 8:00 am
A close up look at the pork butt on the bottom rack
“Great purchase… Quality workmanship, worth every penny, smoked a brisket with top notch results, this BX25 smoker will last you for generations, plus it’s made in the U.S.A. The folks at Meadow Creek are so informative about there products and will answer questions and send you recipes."
—Mario, online review
We've got many more happy customers. Read some of their stories here:
12 hours into the cook (7 hours after refilling)
14 hours into the cook; 9 hours after refilling
Ash produced from burning Chef's Select briquettes for 14 hours
Pulling the Pork
After resting the meat in the ice chest for a couple of hours, we pulled it with Bear Paws and vacuum sealed the meat.
Ready to pull
The bone pulled right out which is a sign it's done
Bear Paws are perfect for shredding a couple of pork butts.
Tender and juicy pulled pork!
Pulled pork ready for sandwiches
Vacuum sealing the pulled pork for quick and delicious meals
"I would recommend Meadow Creek BX25 to anyone. Built to last for many years. Works great even when temperatures dip well below freezing."
—Jerry, online review
Where to Buy a BX25
On the product page, click on "Customize" to see a list of available options or "Request a Quote" to send a quote request to your nearest dealer. You can also do a dealer search to find the nearest retail store that carries our equipment.