First Time MES Questions for Pork Butts

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by pbplayer, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. pbplayer

    pbplayer Newbie

    Hey Y’all,

    I’ve got some question regarding my new 30” 2nd Gen MES.  So, I received this for Father’s Day and managed to get it assembled and seasoned with no issues.  I proceeded to smoke a pair of babyback ribs using the 2-2-1 method.  They came out good but could be better and that got me looking and finding this site.  I saw a couple of things that I definitely will include next time. So, now I have to prepare some pulled pork for @25 people this coming weekend.  I noticed with the ribs that I didn’t get enough smoke on them that I wanted so ended up buying the AMNPS and will attempt to use it for the first time this weekend after reading the reviews of it here on the site.   Did the prep work on the unit by setting the AMNPS inside and burning any oils off.  I found Todd’s suggestions on how to set the AMNPS for the 2nd Gen MES and will do so as well as adding a 3” elbow vent for better air flow out of the unit.  My questions:

    [if !supportLists]1)    1)  [endif]  I’m smoking three pork butts simultaneously for the first time…do multiple meats add to the total cooking time?  They are all around the 7.5 lbs and I was planning on cooking them at 1.75 hrs/lb. at 225.  Do I need to raise the temp also?

           2)  Is the meat thermometer provided with the MES good to use?  Any users use it or do I go with an external probe thermometer? That being said I’ve read that a good pulling temperature should be 205.  Is that correct?

    [if !supportLists]3)    3)  Using the AMNPS (5x8), how many rows are needed to get a good smoke ring provided with the time estimates above?

    [if !supportLists]4)    4)  Fat cap up or down?  Or just remove as much as the fat cap as possible and don’t worry about it?

    [if !supportLists]5)    5)  I don’t want to open the door to mop or spray.  Is mopping a big deal for juiciness or creating a good bark?  I plan on using the finishing sauce that was provided on the site to help with the juiciness.

    [if !supportLists]6)    6)  What about foiling?  Is foiling better or just getting a really good deep bark okay? Again, I don’t wish to open the unit to wrap three butts.

    [if !supportLists]7)    7)  I have to bring these to a different location so the plan was to take them off when they hit temp, wrap them in foil and towels and then store them in a cooler.  They may sit for 2-3 hours.  Is this safe to do?  Do I have the process correct for transporting?

    Thanks for any responses and I hope to learn a lot from you pros! 
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Finishing Sauces...

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Style Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:  Make a Double batch, Butter optional.

    Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

    Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice.

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ

    Good Luck... For 25, 6oz Portions you will need to smoke 16-18 pounds of Pork. This accounts for cooking loss and give a couple extra portions. 25  X  6oz sandwiches  =  150oz  /  .6 yield  =  250oz  /  16oz per Lb  =  15.625 Lbs Raw Pork needed. Round up. Change the weight of the serving to 8oz, if that PP will be plated or if it's the only meat being served...JJ
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I like to use the Tang Finishing Sauce with a Sweeter BBQ Sauce on the sandwich for two different flavor profiles. Here are some other recipes you may like. Or Just make extra Finishing Sauce to be added by your guests. Commercial Rubs are all Salt, make your own...JJ

    Mild Bubba Q Rub  (All Purpose)

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there. Makes about 1 Cup

    Apply your desired amount of Rub to the meat, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator over night.or longer. The day of the smoke, pull the meat out, add more Rub and go into your pre-heated Smoker...

    A Spicy Rub...

    Carolina Q Dust  

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder 

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1T Mustard Powder

    1T Grnd. Black Pepper

    1T Grnd. White Pepper

    1tsp Cayenne Pepper, or more as desired.

    1tsp Grd. Cumin

    1tsp Dry Thyme, rubbed

    Makes about 1 Cup. This has some Heat from the the jar but mellows when Smoked. If too Hot, reduce the Black, White and Cayenne Pepper.

    Apply your desired amount of Dust to the meat, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator overnight.or longer. The day of the smoke, pull the meat out, add more Dust and go into your pre-heated Smoker...

    KC Bubba Q Juice

    2C Ketchup

    1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

    1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/2C Molasses

    2C Dark Brn Sugar

    1T Tomato Paste

    1T Your Rub

    1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

    1tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

    Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups.

    Yellow Bubba Q Juice / South Carolina Style

    2C Yellow Mustard

    1C Cider Vinegar

    1/2-1C Brown Sugar

    1-2T Sriracha or other Hot Sauce

    1tsp Blk Pepper

    1tsp Gran. Garlic

    1tsp Gran. Onion

    1/2tsp Salt

    1T Worcstershire

    Cayenne Pepper to taste

    Combine all and simmer to combine flavors. Reduce to desired thickness.

    Makes 3 Cups.

    Red Bubba Q Juice / Lexington NC Style

    2C Cider Vinegar

    1C Ketchup

    1/4C Texas Pete or other Hot Sauce

    1/2C Brown Sugar

    1tsp Gran. Garlic

    1tsp Gran, Onion

    1tsp Blk Pepper

    1tsp Salt

    1T Worcestershire Sauce

    Cayenne to Taste

    Combine all and simmer 5 minutes to combine flavors.

    Makes 3 Cups
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Pbplayer!!

    I liked all of JJ's answers, but here is a Step by Step on a "Pulled Pork Butt" that could contain tips you can use:

    Pulled Boston Pork Butt         

  5. pbplayer

    pbplayer Newbie

    Aaaagggghhhh too many ways to eat Q!!!!  How can i hope to try them all in my lifetime?![​IMG]

    Thanks for answering my questions above guys.  I didn't take into consideration the extra cooking that the butts would do in the cooler so thanks for that little tidbit.  I think I will be set pulling them off between those two temps and letting them rest in a cooler.   

    We like our sauces sweet down here but I was hoping to try the vinegar based finishing sauce since I've never had it before and have always been fascinated with what it may taste like so thank you so much for that recipe.  If I remember correctly, vinegar will break down the pork butt even further so don't go heavy on it, correct? 
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Storing leftovers with the Vinegar FS can cause problems but mixing with what you plan to serve is not an issue. Make the Tangy Finishing Sauce and the KC Bubba Q Sauce, the Sweet and Sour compliment each other and is not a shock to the system of your guests. There also is no reason you can't bump up the Sugar, a little, in the FS just to have it go down easier...JJ
  7. pbplayer

    pbplayer Newbie

    Thanks JJ.  Was definitely going to try your tangy sauce out!  

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