first time smoker( pork butt )turned out not so great

Discussion in 'Pork' started by gotbags-10, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. gotbags-10

    gotbags-10 Smoke Blower

    so i tried my first ever smoke yesterday. It was 5.21 pounds bone-in butt. So at 1.5hr per lb i figured about 8hr cook time and a 1hr rest inthe cooler before pulling. I have a char-broil cabinet style electric smoker and bought an amnps to go along with it. Just for reference that smoker is identical to the smoke hollow electric as well. I compared them side by side. I rubbed it down, got the amnps going, got the smoker to 225, filled the water pan with water and some apple juice and threw on the butt at 10am. Things moved right along at first. It seemed to stay at 150 forever.I use a thermapen to check my meat temp and an old fashion potato with a digital thermometor for the smoker temp.    I was anticipating the temp to just hover for a while. So I just tried to ride it out. Well 4 hours later i was only at 155ish. So i just let it go another hour. At 10 hours It was almost 160 so i figured throw it in the oven wrapped in foil and poured in a litttle apple juice to finish. 1.5 hours later i was a 180 and tired, hungry and frustrated beyond belief and with my neighbor egging me on to just pull it out so we could eat I figured why not. So a total of 11.5 hours of cooking. All i can say is yuck!! Don't get me wrong it looked great after all that time, nice dark bark going on and a big smoke ring. It tasted very bitter for some reason. Not sure if it was the rub or due to the smoke. It was also very dry and impossible to pull apart. So this morning I'm trying to figure out what i did that went so wrong with it.
  2. smokinal

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

    If it tasted bitter it had to be the rub, because with the AMNPS you wouldn't get creosote.

    The reason it wouldn't pull is because you have to take the IT to 200-205 for pulling.

    I would put it in a pan with some liquid & a foil covering & back in the oven for a couple of hours or until a toothpick will go in without any resistance.

    Also are you sure your smoker temp was 225? It sounds to me like it was running cooler than that.
  3. I know it can be frustrating but smoking is about patience, I would also use a remote thermometer in the smoking chamber dont rely on the thermometer on the smoker. As SmokinAl said its just not going to pull untill you get to 200 degrees
  4. gotbags-10

    gotbags-10 Smoke Blower

    As far as i know the temp was 225. I checked the thermapen and my other digital thermometor in boiling water. I wondered about the rub as well causing the bitterness. I have been looking at all kinds of rub mixes and couldn't decide on one so i kinda threw one together last second. Here's what i came up with:

    2tbl paprika

    2tbl dark brown sugar

    1tbl garlic powder

    1tbl onion powder

    1 tbl cumin

    1 tbl ancho chile pepper

    1tbl salt

    1tbl pepper

    1tsp mustard powder

    dash of celery ceed

    Kinda random I know, probably not any good. What sounds wrong with it?
  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    My butt rub-

    1/2 cup turbinado sugar

    1/4 cup paprika

    2 TBS chili powder

    2 TBS garlic granules

    1 TBS onion granules

    1 TBS black pepper

    2 Teaspoons cayenne pepper(or to taste)

    Lose the cumin, too floral for pork IMHO, old paprika may become bitter over long cook times.

    IMHO you cooked the butt at too low a temp, I try to keep them at the 250°-275° range.

    200°F as the ideal internal temp for pulling pork has not been my experience. I've had them pull as low as 182° internal. It is much easier to use the "probe" test. When the thermometer slides in with no resistance, the butt is done.
  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I wouldn't even trust the thremapen. The one I had was crap. Go down to walmart and pick up one of the stainless oven temp gauges. Not expensive and will give you another opinion.
  7. gotbags-10

    gotbags-10 Smoke Blower

    yeah i bet it was the paprika then. The stuff i have is kinda old
  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I do not like celery seeds in anything to me it gives off a bad taste...
  9. My first rub has paprika in it... Put the meat on an hour ago... Getting nervous now.
  10. smokinal

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

    As long as the ingredients in your rub are fresh, the paprika won't give you a bad taste.

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