I’ve done it both ways and can’t tell a difference in taste, so cutting out a step makes me happy.
RE: Slow cooking and smoking….
3P — I’ve done it both ways too with wet and dry wood chips… I can’t tell the difference either… But we don’t want these rookies taking shortcuts…. let ’em do things right…
Now… my ‘understanding’ is that “smoke” works like this…
It’s gonna penetrate your meat about 3/8″ and that’s all… takes 3-4 hours to do that on a regular size butt… After that… smoke don’t matter.
Bottom line here, I think, is the amount of smoke flavor in your meat is proportional to the surface area of your cut, not how long you smoke….
The taste of your Q depends on the ratio of outside meat to inside meat and the cut… shoulders will always taste better than hams… and the amount of crispy fat/skin you add when you chop and mix your Q.
The bigger the cut… the easier it is to get your secret formula right….
There are, however, more compelling reasons to go the distance 10 – 12 hours… as that’s the secret of the tenderizing effects of fat percolating through out the cut… at 160* to 180*
I want mine falling apart and moist…
For those who insist on “cooking with gas”… go ahead… you deserve what you get and if you said ‘you can’t tell the difference’… you ain’t ate any of mine, yet.