1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

learning the way of the butt

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Brewer, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Brewer

    Brewer NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2017
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Erebor refugee in Mass
    Shameless clickbait title for barbecue advice.

    I'm getting into smoking meat. Currently starting small and taking notes on what works or doesn't, trying to get consistently good results before one day building a big rig and supplying parties. Family and friends keep coming back as test subjects, so that's promising. I've made a couple rounds of chicken and five Boston butts on an electric Masterbuilt. Just pulled it back out of the basement after a two-year hiatus.

    I smoked one butt last weekend: 9-pounder, injected, rubbed, 8hrs at 230 before hitting 160 internal, foiled and poured a little more injection mix over it, increased temp to 250 for another 4hrs before reaching 195 deg internal (was shooting for 203 but got tired of waiting). Had been throwing more applewood on until foiling. Fat cap down the entire time. No rest after removal, just immediately pulled and the bone fell out. Turned out delicious with no sauce -- my only complaint was too little bark, but that's to be expected with foil.

    So this weekend I decided to basically repeat same but not wrap in order to get some bark. It was 8.25lbs, rubbed like crazy, and set to 230 for most of the time, never opened or touched until finished. I knew the stall at 160 internal would last longer without foiling but I didn't expect the whole smoke to take 26 hours versus the previous round taking 12 (again, wanted 203 deg but gave up at 197).

    Butt Temps.jpg IMG_1215.JPG IMG_1217.JPG

    Still turned out tasty though a bit dry until saucing. The bark is pretty good, but I also like black coffee. Probably not a party pleaser. Wife was diplomatic about how she preferred last weekend's.

    So why did this smoke take bizarrely longer than the previous?
    • Constantly adding wood? It wasn't soaked, so no added moisture. I know electric units are pretty air-tight and retain moisture longer than other smoking methods, so I also didn't put any water in the pan.
    • Not having such a hot day or direct sun as with the previous round?
    • Constant evaporative cooling from a butt injected to saturation? The foil at 8-hr mark would have retained that moisture, but I thought it takes 25-50% longer without foil, not over double the time.
    And while I'm asking advice, what's your rank of meats/cuts from beginner to pitmaster so I know what to try next?
     

  2. smokey-seven

    smokey-seven NES Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,726
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    Location:
    North Shore
    An honest man! I have no advice, I don't smoke. I do question why the fat cap was on the bottom tho.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  3. Sparkey

    Sparkey NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,818
    Likes Received:
    504
    Location:
    Warren mass
    26 hours seems crazy long it usually takes me 12-14 on a UDS no foil around same temp.
    If your looking for some shorter cooks do some ribs 4-6 hours
     
    Brewer and EMTDAD like this.
  4. Mass-diver

    Mass-diver NES Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,655
    Likes Received:
    768
    Location:
    South Shore, MA
    Looks like it was in the stall for a really long time. Not wrapping a descent sized butt can really extend the cook time. Honestly I smoke my butts warmer these day - like 275 (turbo) can’t tell the different.
     
    Brewer, EMTDAD and Sparkey like this.
  5. grey

    grey

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    North Shore
    I try to keep it simple. Spice rub and maybe a little salt and pepper and spice rub drippings while shredding. Cook it hotter like said. They can handle 300 no prob. It may minimize the dehydration "jerky" effect you ran into last cook (less time, more internal moisture retained) Try the best of both - cook hotter, at 155 or so, wrap for a while, unwrap for the last hour or two to give it some nice bark. Maybe even make a vinegar-thinned bbq sauce with spice rub to enhance the bark. I monitor the temp sometimes but usually use the temp probe to check texture.
     
    Brewer and Mass-diver like this.
  6. Fixxah

    Fixxah NES Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    27,411
    Likes Received:
    6,197
    Location:
    Norwood mostly.
    Someone should start a bbq thread.
     
    PaulR, Brewer, Dennis in MA and 4 others like this.
  7. DitchDigger

    DitchDigger NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    South Shore
    There are some vey good resources out there on the web.
    amazingribs.com and bbqbretheren.com are 2 that have an amazing amount of great info.
    And a gazillion youtubers out there that are funny as hell and passionate about the fine art of Q
     
    Brewer likes this.
  8. SevenPointSeven

    SevenPointSeven NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2013
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    FUMA
    Weber Smokey Mountain here. I’ve never foiled butts. I like a spicy, crunchy bark. Longest I’ve ever gone is 14 hours, 200 internal temp, between 230-275.

    Little something I like to do is mix up a spray bottle with bourbon, apple cider vinegar, and apple juice. Usually spray half way through cook, then every 2 hours or so.
     
  9. NHKevin

    NHKevin NES Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    463
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    I run my smoker for about 26 hours for pork shoulder. I prefer hickory. Smoker temp set to 220, fat cap trimmed some and on top.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  10. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    10,783
    Likes Received:
    4,149
    Location:
    In Orbit
    Actually, I thought it may have been a review of a new book out by Mayor Pete. [grin]
     
    Brewer likes this.
  11. Chappy7

    Chappy7 NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    77
    Every piece of meat is different and cooks will vary. Wrapping helps the meat get past the stall quicker. Shoot for 195 - 203 IT & learn how to test for probe tenderness. It takes some practice, but it's worth it. Always let large cuts if meat rest wrapped in an old towel in a cooler for at least an hour before pulling or cutting. Butts can sit like this for up to 3 hrs and still be smokin hot when you start pulling them.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  12. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,502
    Likes Received:
    1,121
    buttstroke.jpg
    ????????????????????
     
    Brewer likes this.
  13. babygorilla

    babygorilla NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,944
    Likes Received:
    669
    Location:
    South Shore of Massachusetts
    Go hotter. 220-250 until the stall, then crank it to 275-300. You will have a thin and crispy bark, great ring. Butts can take the heat.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  14. kurtb

    kurtb NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,134
    Location:
    MA
    • Not having such a hot day or direct sun as with the previous round?
    This

    and remember that you dont need to keep adding smoke after the first hour or so (depending on the cut). By that point the meat is permeated to the point where it wont take any more. After that you end up with a buildup of creosote that dries, burns, and tastes bitter.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  15. EMTDAD

    EMTDAD

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,644
    Likes Received:
    485
    Location:
    North Attleboro, MA
    I've found my long lost BBQ twin.. ;)
     
    SevenPointSeven likes this.
  16. teaser452

    teaser452

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    3,193
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Location:
    NC defending a beach
    Well, since I live in the heart of the biggest pork production area in the entire world, I’ll chip in my 2 cents.

    Smoking pork is as much of an art as it is a science. Cooking in general is an art.

    Like a few others above have said, I cook hotter. The 225 is ok, but I can’t find a difference at 275.

    Smoke with the wood you like best. I like hickory, but that’s just me. I do not soak my wood. Buddy of mine does. I can’t find a difference.

    What I will tell you isn’t that the butt you smoke, the meat, is the most important ingredient. And not all butts are the same.

    I use these folk’s breed of pig.

    General Store — Cheshire Pork

    It doesn’t appear they ship butts. I go pick up my butts. If you can acquire one of their butts you will be in for a real treat.

    The last butt I did was an 8lb butt injected (you have to inject. I inject everything now, turkeys, chickens, rib eye roasts, everything).

    That 8lb butt from heritage farms disappeared. The fat was delicious. The platter was empty when we were done. The only thing I wish I had done was smoke 2 Cheshire butts. That’s how good it’s was.

    But, really, get best quality pig butt you can get. If it costs more, it’s probably worth it. Play with different rubs. Just like regular cooking. Play with different injections. That’s the fun!

    I’ve Smoked over a 100 butts in the last 3 years down here in NC. I’ve smoked a dozen pigs ranging in size from 60lbs to 120lbs. (Smaller is better, baby always tastes better)

    My next project is a suckling pig. 20-40lbs whole. Probably going to aim for a 30 pounder.

    And not to derail too much, but deep fried rib eye roasts are to die for! And much easier.

    But pig is awesome. It’s a lot of fun and a great hobby. And you wife will appreciate you more.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  17. Skysoldier

    Skysoldier Forum Curmudgeon NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    9,568
    Likes Received:
    8,383
    Location:
    In a Van, down by the Rio Grande
    A bit off topic from smoking butts, but the OP mentioned wanting to cook for large parties someday, so just wanted to add this:

    Years ago I used to do a lot of catering for company parties and other groups. My specialty was Mesquite Smoked Baby Back Ribs, and I usually smoked
    anywhere from 20 to 60 racks of ribs at a time on a portable, 4' x 8' smoker.

    Invariably, there were always a few folks that did not want to eat pork, so I also offered my famous Corn Cob Smoked Barbecued Chicken.

    I learned the recipe from an 80 year old farmer from Iowa many years ago. In Iowa, they use corn cobs all the time instead of charcoal. The cobs are loaded
    with natural sugars, and the smoke has a flavor that reminds you of those cracked, half popped seeds in the bottom of your popcorn bag!

    All you have to do is soak the cobs water for about 15 minutes, then place them on top of a heat source. (I used to use an old electric fry pan and turn it on high,
    because when they died, I could always buy more at the Goodwill store for a couple of bucks each.)

    The high sugar content of the steamy smoke penetrates the chicken, and also adds a red, almost syrupy coating that seals the moisture in the chicken. Most folks
    who try it don't even want any other sauce on it!

    I have always said I could start a fast food joint called "Kim's Corn Cob Smoked Chicken" and I would never have to worry about customers.

    Try it sometime, you won't believe the flavor.[wink]
     
    Brewer, Dennis in MA and teaser452 like this.
  18. Mark from MA

    Mark from MA NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,576
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    I smoke at 275.

    Takes about 12 hours, wrap in butcher paper, not foil. Gives a decent bark. Hickory and apple wood. Some people are saying post oak is good wood to use.
    Its pretty much all good as long as you hit the right internal temp and let it rest good and proper.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  19. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    14,072
    Likes Received:
    6,074
    There are differing opinions. I'm a bottom guy. The outer fat will NOT penetrate and coat the meat if you put the cap side up. So it won't make it juicier. What it will do on the bottom is act like the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. ;)


    I'm a late wrapper as well. I like barkiness. Although I made some ribs on Sat (a small St Louis and a large baby-back - wanted to check em out back-to-back) and foiled them after just 2 hours. Little to no color on them at all. Tasted great. No bark. All bite.

    For those wondering - St. Louis for sure. If you can get a fat fat FAT baby back rib section, they are good. But nothing beats a St. Louis rib. They seem more tender.


    OK, last BBQ tip outside of teh BBQ thread: Get this from Amazon. Get a small-opening (aka normal-opening) Ball jar for your rub

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01410LTWC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Makes spreading the rub on your BBQ so much easier.

    Ribs were done with the following ratio (All Tbsp)

    2 Cumin
    2 Garlic Powder
    1 Black pepper
    1 Coriander
    6 Brown sugar
    1/6th Cayenne

    Just drop it all in the jar, shake like hell and shake on. My glaze was SBR. It's just proper for ribs to me. I never use it otherwise. I eat most of the PP and brisket sans sauce.
     
    Brewer likes this.
  20. Brewer

    Brewer NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2017
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    1,237
    Location:
    Erebor refugee in Mass
    That's the theory I'd been told and the reasoning -- down against the heat source for more even/slow cook. I'm also lazy, thus not flipping and using electric for now.

    Very good to know. And enables my laziness even more.

    Thanks all for the feedback. I now see and will stick to the dedicated BBQ thread.
     
  21. PaulR

    PaulR NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    6,956
    Likes Received:
    2,463
    Location:
    Western MASS
    I'm still stuck on brisket.
    Use the same method every time, some come out like bricks, some come out like buttah'.
    <shrug>
     
  22. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    14,072
    Likes Received:
    6,074
    F that. I'm still stuck on Sky's chicken. Trying to figure out how to do it in the UDS.

    Could you imagine a turkey boob done that way???? Talk about old-school. Make some greenbeans and squash and you'd be Massa-freakin-Soit!
     

Share This Page