hot n fast or low n slow

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bmorris, May 20, 2014.

  1. I'm going to ask this question ...should I cook a Boston butt high n fast or low n slow.....normally I do the low n slow method but since watching and hearing from the King of Q Myron Mixon method has gotten me curious about the high n fast method....doing a cookout Saturday and possible time restraints was thinking about the high n fast....has anyone have success on the high n fast method?....thinking I'm going to stick with what I know which is low n slow
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    To me Q is low n slow take a tough cut of meat cook it real slow and make it taste great.
  3. I agree but the King goes by hot n fast lol...just the thought if trying that caught my attention just didn't know if anyone tried that method
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I believe it depends most upon your type cooker, electrics are low and slow by nature, firebreathers are hot and fats. Low and slow to a fire breather is 325 where an electric 325 is hot and fast.

    Firebreathers that need tending or watching, I can understand why you'd want to hurry and get out the heat. But an electric or I guess a propane which you can set up remote you can run for days.

    I completely agree with Pineywoods. IMHO I see low and slow as less than 300, I see grilling at about 400+, everything in the middle is a hot smoke or a cold grill both of which I consider BBQ temperature.

    So if you have time problems with your Saturday due time, I HIGHLY recommend you cook a head, NEVER try to cook on the clock because no one ever taught a pig to tell time and the one time it really matters is that one time you'll get the crazy pork. At that point you can look the fool for either having to call pizza hut or trying to serve chewy sliced pork.

    It's happened at least once to every smoker. How many times it happens after that is completely up to you.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Not everybody considers him the King of Q and cooking for a competition is much different than cooking it to eat with friends and family. When you gain points by making the turn in box look pretty I personally think we've gone too far I care about how it tastes not how pretty the box/plate look. 

    Ok off my soapbox sorry for the derail and rant
    smoking b and smokedstanley like this.
  6. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I made some mods to my SFB smoker a few months ago and had serious issues keeping the temp where I like it (225-250) on my next smoke. Of course that smoke was a pork butt and I smoked it at an average of between 300-350. I thought it was gonna be awful! Turned out GREAT! I couldn't believe it! I love slow and low but honestly this one was just as good and it took way less time.
  7. I agree piney....I have been doing the low n slow methods for the past few years and have success..I use an off set cheap char griller...Have finally got that down....recently got a MES....which I use now during cold months...down side to the MES there is no smoke ring...when your cooking for others I try to impress with flavor n looks...thank you guys for the input....the king will be dethrone lol
  8. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    My hot and fast butt smoke was on a cheap chargriller bro. I was a non believer but I changed my mind quick. One of the best butts I've ever smoked no BS.

    I also have a mes 40 with mailbox mod. It's just not the same as using the old SFB chargriller I've had for the past decade but I'd you wanna set it and forget it, it'll get the job done while you watch football.
  9. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I've been trumpeting the merits of hot and fast for more than a year here on SMF. I cook hot for most everything (except ribs) with excellent results.

    IMHO hot and fast has too many advantages- no overnighters, no stall to foil through, no loss of bark because you foiled to get through the stall, no need to finish in the oven and best of all it makes your cooks more predictable, I can start an 8 pound butt at 9AM and serve at 5PM with none of the anxious "when will it be done" questions.

    Cook your next butt hot and fast and you won't go back to low and slow. JM2C,YMMV.
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The purists on this board are going to scoff at me, but I believe BBQ is what you want, have, and can reliably cook. Be that an 18 hour whole hog, a hot and fast butt or <GASP> hot dogs and burgers on a dimestore hibachi over match light. The results are secondary to the process, a big part of which is spending quality time with loved ones. Am I saying results don't matter? Absolutely not. I tend to go completely overboard striving for that knife edge of perfection. I think everyone who participates in this forum tends to do the same thing. All I'm saying is that if time and circumstances dictate, and you can get the results you and your family enjoy by using a non-traditional method, by all means go for it. For the record, I've had great results with hot and fast. 275˚ is the minimum temperature at which I usually smoke.

    I also mean no disrespect to those who swear by low and slow. Most folks on this forum have been smoking meat since before I was allowed to touch matches, and I would never dare question their methods. I'm just saying, like most things in life, there are many ways to get where you're going, and the getting there is often the best part.
    smoking b likes this.
  11. What are the temps your cooking at?
  12. And what are your cook times.....meaning smoke time foil time glaze times
  13. What are your cook times ....smoke time foil time and glaze time.....what temp?
  14. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Bingo! I've often wondered why anyone would care about presentation if the product was delicious. If 1/2 the judging is based on fluff then it has no merit in my book.

    As for the topic of hot and fast vs low and slow....My smoker has run away on me before and the smoke ended up being hot and fast. Turned out fine. I still mostly go low and slow though. I like to let the smoker run all night and just forget about it until the Q is up to temp. I plan for plenty of time in advance and if things finish up in the morning letting the product rest all day in the cooler is not a problem.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  15. I agree with the way the box looks that should not count unless they are going to eat the box [​IMG]
    smoking b likes this.
  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Butts/picnics low and slow on my stick burner 250-275.
    Spares 225-250
    Chicks 300+
    Baby backs 450-500
    Suff like sausage, kielbasa fatties, 250 or lower... try not to render too much fat
    smoking b likes this.
  17. markyque

    markyque Smoke Blower

    I don't know what temp is low/slow or hot/fast but as an MES30 owner I screwed around with temp controller on the smoker and my maverick trying 225, 240 250 etc. I finally realized that I bought the electric to set it and forget it. Everything goes at 275 (maximum setting on the MES30) or whatever temp that really is.
    Chicken finishes in the oven at 375. Now I get a consistent smoke every time, which is the important thing.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  18. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Try smoking it at 300 to 325. I bet it turns out great!
  19. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thinner cuts of meat like SLC spares and BB's I smoke at 225-235.  I feel like I can control the result better.

    Tri tips, prime rib, and leaner beef roasts I smoke at the same 225-235 low temp because they stay in the smoke longer and have a consistent pretty color from center to edge by the time I yank them at an IT of 133-135F. 

    Thicker cuts of pork (butt, loin, etc), beef brisket, and any poultry I'm up in the 275+ range.

    Here's another point to consider, both plus and minus for higher temps.  If you are smoking at the higher temps overnight, your fire dies, and you fell asleep, you have a bit more buffer of your meat staying in the safe zone until you wake up and catch it, possibly saving an expensive discard.  The flipside to that is you may overshoot your target temps if it is toward the end of the smoke, which I did on my last overnight smoke of 19 lbs of pork shoulder.  Thankfully the overshoot was only a few degrees and the people eating it weren't smokers so they still raved about the result.  Smoking temp varied between 290-315F.  Total smoke time was only 9 hours; 5 hours exposed, 4 hours wrapped.   

    Look up online any in-house oven recipe for tough cuts of brisket, chuck roast, or pork butt/shoulder and you'll see oven temps with everything from 325-450F and 3-6 hour cook times.  Before I started smoking I turned out some fantastic oven creations, though there was no smoke flavor unless I added (yuck) Wright's Liquid Smoke.  That all changed with the smoker.   
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  20. Low and slow always wins my race.

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