Motivate Me!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mikeatrpi, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. mikeatrpi

    mikeatrpi Newbie

    I'm smoking a 7.5 lb pork butt - bone in - for a party on Saturday.  I need the pork pulled and ready to eat by 3:30 or 4pm.  Doing the math, this thing needs to go on the smoker by 4 in the morning!  [​IMG]   

    Motivate me to get up that early, please!  Otherwise I'm considering making it the day before and re-heating it for the party...

    Thanks all - PS great site!
  2. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    Are you comfortable running your smoker over night?  No reason that you can't start it at 10PM, get a nice nap in, and get up early to check the temp!  Once the meat is cooked, just wrap it in foil, wrap that with towels, and place it in a cooler!  It'll stay warm for hours until you are ready to pull and serve!  Or cook the day before if possible, and reheat!
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmmmm, I run a watt burner or a pellet smoker.....I just put the butt on, turn a dial and wake up to the fantastic aroma of PP. Easy peasy....
  5. mikeatrpi

    mikeatrpi Newbie

    Those videos have been pretty motivating!  I've never let it go overnight before, and a new fancy smoker might be in the future if I get addicted to this hobby enough! 

    The weather might be the main motivator above all.  We're forecast for rain tomorrow morning with showers in the afternoon, while Saturday is clear and sunny all day long.  Plus, if I get up at 4 I can come back in for a nap - though I probably won't be able to sleep with my head full of dreams of the beautiful pork! 
  6. mikeatrpi

    mikeatrpi Newbie

    Alright, I'm starting to panic.  I'm 3:30 into it and my temp probe is reading 180 degrees already!?!?

    I put it on around 4:30 this morning.  The smoker was holding around 250 so I went to back to bed.  I just checked on it a little while ago - smoker was maybe 275 and the water pan was dry!  I closed down the charcoal vents a little tighter and added some water.  I hope I didn't ruin this thing.
  7. Hi Mike.  Don't worry.  I am sure it isn't ruined.  The water just acts as a heat sink to help regulate the temp.  Although there is some argument, I don't think the water helps keep the meat moist.

    Check your internal temp.  If it is over 120 more smoke won't help and it's time to wrap.  Keep the meat moist by wrapping it tightly.  There are all sorts of methods for wrapping (tightly in saran wrap, tightly in foil).  Though it may not be the best method, I put the meat in a disposable pan and cover it tightly in foil.  You can keep the temp that high and still get a good result!  I am not close to an expert, but I am speaking from the small experience I have.  Just make sure you monitor your internal temp... when it hits 205 you should have a nice fall off the bone experience. I have made the mistake of taking it out at 185.  It tasted great, but it was sliceable, not really pullable.

    Good luck and let us know how it comes out!

  8. mikeatrpi

    mikeatrpi Newbie

    Some new developments... after searching a bit, I learned that perhaps I should move the probe and check against a different thermometer.  Turns out the meat was closer to 172 when I found the thickest spot.  

    All was going well - really getting some good bark on this one - until I ran out of charcoal in the pan.  I forgot to check it, and the temps fell like a stone while I was mowing the lawn.  I started a new fire (Minion method) and we're back in action.  I'm approaching 190 degrees.  I'm expecting to hit 200 in under and hour, at which time I'll foil / blanket / cooler it until its time to pull.  

    Thanks all!  I'll try to get some "Q-view" for y'all soon!
  9. If i had seen post a day or two ago, I would have contacted you, by phone a 3:30 Am your time.
  10. mikeatrpi

    mikeatrpi Newbie

    Alright, so - crisis avoided.  Learned a few lessons today... 1) like parenting a newborn, CALM DOWN!  2) The meat probe location matters significantly.  3) I need to learn to better manage temperature and charcoal quantity.  4) Getting up at 4 isn't so bad - the nap after really helped.

    In the end, it was delicious.  I didn't get any shots of the pork after pulling.  People were surrounding me grabbing pieces as fast as I could pull.  Here's how it went down:

    - Trimmed fat, oiled and rubbed (commercial rub from The Salt Lick TX) the night before.  Saran wrapped and fridged at 10pm

    - wake at 4am (next time, I'll need a wake-up call Palladini!)

    - Meat was on by 4:30a with a half pan of hot water.  Smoker temp around 250

    - Between 8:30 AM and noon, every hour or so I spritzed it with a 50/50 mix of Bacard and apple juice to help the bark

    - Had some ups and downs with the temp, probe and charcoal... hit just over 200 around 1pm

    - foiled, toweled, and placed in a foam cooler at 1.  Pulled at 2:45pm and served by 3pm

    Finally, if you made it this far reading my saga, you deserve some Q-VIEW!!!!! 

    Thanks you all for such a wonderful site!  I'll keep practicing at this!  
  11. Congrats on the successful result!  I found lesson #1 the most difficult.  After all those hours of prep and cooking, the prospect of a fail is daunting.  In my limited experience, I have found smoking to be pretty forgiving and even if the results haven't quite met my expectations people will rave over how good everything is!  The time to worry is when you're in a competition.

    Another tip:  It doesn't matter what the recipes are or what the books say. If you like the result go with it!  Don't be afraid to try something new and see if you like that, too.


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