Another newbie 1st smoke complete. Worried!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by cappymrgn, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Hello everyone!

    After some delays I was bound and determined to get my first smoke in yesterday on my Master Forge gas smoker.  I decided to go with a 7lb butt with hickory & apple chunks.  

    After a rain delay I put the meat on at 6pm.  It took every bit of 4 hours to get to 140* and it didn't leave the 160* range until 3am or so.  

    I did use a Capt. Morgan (ALWAYS HAVE SOME ON HAND!) Apple juice mop as suggested by another member, but not until after it hit 140*.  I felt I was cutting it too close since I had probed it and didnt want to open the door any more than I had to.  I also used a store bought rub.

    The smoker was holding at 225* (per the oven thermometer i bought) sometimes a little lower and at times as high as 250*.  I havent done the gasket mod yet so that may help to maintain more consistent temps in the future.  That and a good temperature gauge so I dont have to open the door to check the temps.

    I did buy the Master Forge remote thermometer (it was immediately available) and did the boiling water test and it was accurate.

    At 9am the meat was at 211* and I took it off.  

    Im sorry there are no pictures so let me get this out of the way [​IMG], but here are some things i encountered and hoped to get comments on.

    -It might be a temp gauge problem, but in the begining I felt there was too much smoke and the smoker temps too low (around 200*).  I think I used too many chunks (about 6) and that contributed to the excess smoke.

    -I didnt get any significant drippings.  It was so little that everything that dripped into the foil pan (rack below meat) just burned.  BTW I smoked it fat side down.

    When I finally pulled it off, my son reminded me that its actually 10am it looked great!  I brought it inside and pulled out the bone with a little tug and tried a small piece.  I seemed dry to me[​IMG].  So I foiled it, toweled it and put it in a cooler hoping the rest would redistribute the juices.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  2. A couple of suggestions:

    1. Smoke with fat side up so the meat will self baste.

    2. I cook to an internal temp of 190. If your therometer has a temperature alarm be sure to use it.

    3. Put some water in the drip pan or foil the pan to avoid burnt drippings and easy clean up.

    4. DONT GET DISCOURAGED!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't address your smoker heat or smoke generation questions as I am not familar with your smoker but I am sure someone on this forum can.

    Lastly this is an awesome forum with great folks who are always up for helping us newbies and share their wisdom.
  3. Nope, no hope.....put an address label on the cooler with roast inside send it my way and I'll dispose of it for you.

    Try a sauce on it and you'll be good to go.
  4. Thanks for the response.

    - The fat side up or down seems to be an ongoing debate and the fat side down crowd had some points that seemed to make a lot of sense. Maybe next time I will try it that way.

    -I am willing to try different temps, but I thought 210* is what was recommended for pulling.  I will have to research more

    -Good advice for water in the drip pan

    -Im not too discouraged...I have a brisket marinading as we speak[​IMG]

  5. Thanks for the response.

    - The fat side up or down seems to be an ongoing debate and the fat side down crowd had some points that seemed to make a lot of sense. Maybe next time I will try it that way.

    -I am willing to try different temps, but I thought 210* is what was recommended for pulling.  I will have to research more

    -Good advice for water in the drip pan

    -Im not too discouraged...I have a brisket marinading as we speak[​IMG]


  6. #@$% I was afraid of that!  Since your helping me out by taking it off my hands...I believe I'll throw in some beer as well!!

    I'll let you all know what the final result is.

    Will the "rest" be of any advantage at this point?  Its been resting two hours already.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cappy, morning....  A few folks here have taught me to try doing butts at about 210*F... Others do them at 275-300...  Foiling at 150-160 is an option...  Final temp 190-210 and the "toothpick" test....  if it slides easily into the meat, the meat is done... regardless of the temp.... is the best way to tell if the meat is tender IMHO.....   

    About wood......  1 chunk of wood at a time is plenty.... if you can smell the smoke, the meat will absorb it... that avoids the "too smokey" terrible creosote taste you can sometimes get when smoking..... 

  8. I couldnt take it anymore!!  [​IMG]

    So I un-foiled it after two hours and thankfully its still pretty moist!  Not juicy, but moist.  For the 1st time I'll take it!  I think next time I will try foiling it at 160* or so and see how that works out.  I would have liked it to be a little smokier.  The smoke taste was very faint.  I eased way back on the chunks after four to five hours so I will go longer with fewer chunks next time.  

    I dont have everything i need for a finishing sauce so I'll let that go.  

    I will get a different rub next time or make my own.  This one had a little too much spice for my taste (Bad Byrons Butt Rubb).  

    This took a little longer than I expected; 15 hours (+2 resting) for a 7lb butt, but I am satisfied overall  I may go for a longer rest next time as it seemed to help significantly.

     I cant tell you all how difficult this would have been without all the information and helpful people on this forum!!!  Thank you all.

  9. Cappy, I have the same smoker and will offer some advice that you can do with what you wish. Most definitely do the gasket mod. Consider filling the water pan with sand and covering with HD foil. This will help with steady temps. If you need a water pan, put it in a foil pan on the bottom rack above the water/sand pan. Six chunks is a few too many, and they might be catching on fire ( the 250* spikes). If you will wrap the lid of the chip box in foil and poke a couple of holes in it, and slide it in on top of the rack instead of in the rack, it gets it up off the fire a little and helps prevent the chunks from catching on fire and producing white smoke, creosote, and too much heat (thank GrayStratCat for that little nugget of knowledge). I usually split a chunk with a hatchet into several smaller pieces so that it fits into the chip pan and the lid fits on snug since the chip pan is somewhat short/thin. Add chunks/splits as needed for the first few hours.

    Listen to Dave about the temps and congrats on your first butt!
  10. Oh yeah, I am with Andersen about the fat cap up, and don't get discouraged!
  11. I will definitely do fat side up on the brisket!
  12. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    you could also try a brine for the butts (helps keep em moist)... a 24 hr brine works well... Brining and wrapping will knock many of hrs of the cook time... no doubt fat cap up,...
  13. I've never had one that didn't come out moist but I use a water pan for a wet smoke and wrap it in alum foil when I dedect the stall to power thru it.  I wrap it only after the bark has set nicely. 

    I like the idea of the brine as well. ...and another little trick is to use a finishing sauce after pulling it.  There are several: I like Carolina Red which is basically vinegar, ketchup, red pepper flakes, and sugar.
  14. I have a follow up question about the finishing most of you pour them on immediately or is it kept on the side like BBQ sauce?
  15. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    put it on after you pull it. then i have a squirt bottle of finishing sauce and one or two of different bbq sauces on the table.

  16. Welcome to the addiction! There was a doctor that claimed he had a cure but he showed up at Memphis in May and has never been seen or heard from again.

    As for the butt, brine and foil will definitely cut down on the time. I did several shoulders this weekend and it took half the time. I try not to foil until it reaches ~170 though because I love bark. Also, I drop a little apple juice in the foil. Also, I find the resting period really helps with the juices and flavor.

    And next time bring the camera...LOL
  17. misterdk

    misterdk Fire Starter

    I am far from being an expert, but the last time that I did a pork butt I brined it for about 18 hours prior to the rub and going into the smoker. When it hit about 170 I foiled it with some vinegar. Threw it back into the smoker and tool it up to a little over 200 then tossed it into a nice warm cooler and let it set for about an hour. It pulled easy, was nice and tender, and most important  - it was nice and juicy.
  18. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I inject mine sometimes too. Some apple juice & rub mixed in. The foil seems to help retain some on the juice as it braises. The finishing sauce ( especially sofalquers ) is almost a must IMHO!

Share This Page