7# butt SV then smoker

Discussion in 'Sous Vide Cooking' started by hillbillyrkstr, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Gonna try to back asswards this sv then smoke in hopes of getting a bit of bark if I smoke it after it's cooked in the sv.

    7# butt sealed up and ready to go. Sv is set at 165 and it's gonna go for between 24-26 hours before I pull it, pat it dry, reseason, and smoke it.

    Not sure what temp I'm gonna smoke it at. Any suggestions?

    Also I'm assuming 165 for over 24 hours will kill anything it needs to? Is this correct? I've seen various answers to this.
  2. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Well at 11 hours in the sous vide I checked the cooler and found this:

    Lot of air in the bag. So much so that it was floating and the top wasn't covered by water. I tried to put my metal expandable dish holder on it to hold it but it kept falling off to the side. I ended up having to add roughly 60oz of water, popping a pin hold sized hold in the part of the bag that stays up and out of the water, and using the metal dish holder expanded to each side of the cooler to hold it under water. Not sure at all if this is normal or if I messed up by pushing the pin hole through.

    Guess we will see. Chime in with any info or suggestions if you have them.

  3. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Here she is swimming in liquified pork fat!

    Butt was in for 24 hours at 165. I pulled it out and about 10 minutes later took a temp of 160 in the center. So didn't get all the way up to temp or it cooked a bit sitting outside the bath waiting for me to rerub and get in smoker.

    Butt is falling apart! Had a hard time keeping it together to get it on the smoker rack.

    Not sure what temp to smoke it at since I haven't found any info on doing a pork butt this way. Pellets are smoking and I set the temp to 165. I figured it doesn't need to get any hotter than the sous vide was and I don't want to dry it out.

    Not sure how long to smoke it for i guess I'll check it in about an hour and see how it looks.
  4. redoctobyr

    redoctobyr Smoke Blower

    I'm new to the site, and new to smoking. But I have some sous vide experience.

    Did you do anything to the raw meat before bagging it? Sous vide cooking temperatures, during long cooks (say 8+ hours) , can still allow the growth of lactobacillus bacteria, which can be on the surface of the meat. As I understand it, they are not dangerous, but can produce gassing (contributing to puffing up the bag), and an "off" taste/smell.

    There are two common ways to try and kill that bacteria before bagging the meat. You can drop the meat into a pot of boiling water for about 60-90 seconds. Or sear the entire surface of the meat with a torch. I usually use the boiling-water method, it's simple, and it may do better at getting the entire surface of the meat. Doing something like this might be helpful for future cooks.

    My apologies if this is old news for you.

    I hope it turns out well! I'm curious about the results.
  5. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I appreciate the info.

    No smell except the rub from the pork. I smoked it for an hour and a half and it was fall apart perfect.

    On the smoker falling apart.

    Chopped for pork tacos in the next few days.

    Came out good. No complaints. That air in the bag confused me a bit. No real issues. If trying to make BBQ pulled pork I'd use the smoker in the future but doing something like carnitas or some other flavored pork the sous vide could be useful.

    Thanks Red for the info. Ask me any smoking questions you have I'll be happy to help.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It sure looks good from here, but I think I'll stick to smoking my butts!

    I wonder if it would have been better to smoke it first, then SV it.

  7. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I'm thinking it's worth a try. I sv first so I could use the smoker to try and form a bark after but it was gonna take to long on the smoker and it would have dried it out.
  8. redoctobyr

    redoctobyr Smoke Blower

    Thank you for the offer! Can I ask you to explain your statement a bit more? Why is the smoker better for pulled pork, but sous vide maybe good for carnitas? Because of the way the meat itself holds together/comes apart? Or because of the way the surface of the meat comes out? Or something else? 
    I've heard people on sous vide forums say that smoking first, before SV, can help get more smoke flavor in the meat, as compared to SV first, and smoking after. I haven't gotten to try myself yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the surface of the meat came out different/better if you finished it on the smoker, vs finishing it SV? 

    This might just be making the whole process too cumbersome. But I wonder if there'd be any benefit to smoking first (to help the smoke flavor get into the meat). Then SV. Then maybe cool it some (which is easy if it's still in the bag) to avoid over-cooking it, and then put it back on the smoker to finish it off? 
  9. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead


    I said that if smoke the pork butts in the future meaning if I want BBQ pulled pork. Rubbed down with BBQ seasoning and then smoked. I see no real benefit using the sv on a pork butt for BBQ pulled pork. The smoker does a fine job on its own.

    Now I'm thinking for carnitas or something other than BBQ pulled pork where your trying to flavor a meat another way besides smoking it, the sv could be useful.

    With BBQ pulled pork I like the bark and the sous vide doesn't give you that or the smoked flavor (unless you use ls) so I'd just assume making my BBQ pulled pork in the smoker.

    Hope that helps.

  10. redoctobyr

    redoctobyr Smoke Blower

    Thank you, that does help.

    I just found this article mentioned on a SV forum, about doing a pork shoulder in SV first, then finishing on the smoker, or grill, or oven:


    There was also some info about different SV temperatures, to get different textures (like for slicing vs pulling), if that's useful to anyone.

    I hope it's OK to post a link. I found it a useful read, but I'm new at this, so I have a lot to learn.

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