Time to Experiment

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smalltownsmoker, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Still a newbie to smokin' and can't believe all the variables to play with.  Maybe that's why this is so much fun.  Temperature, Inject or not, Brine or not, Spritz or not, Mop or not, wood type, rub type, sauce type, In the pan, out of the pan, wrap or not, etc. etc. etc.

    Thank goodness for this forum to help sort some of this out. 

    Today I have 2 butts I'm smoking with Applewood chips at 240.  Gonna put them in fat side up (do any of you trim that fat off?) and keep both uncovered and leave them alone 'till they get to 200.  Hoping for each to have a nice bark - my first attempts I never got as hard of a bark as I wanted but rather soggy I think maybe from wrapping or putting a lot of water in the water pan???

    Butt 1:  Brined overnight in salt, water, brown sugar, rub, and 2 bay leaves.  The rub is homemade I found somewhere on the internet and has 1 Tbsp of each: salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin, plus 1/2 Cup of brown sugar.  Gonna keep it in the pan.

    Butt 2:  Rubbed a store bought Kansas City Style rub, no brine or anything.  Putting it on the rack, not in the pan but with a pan underneath to catch the drippings.  I know most of you probably frown on the store bought rubs but I'm just experimenting!

    I'll let you know how they turn out!
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi STS...I have a few suggestions and comments if you don't mind....
    Good luck, have fun, and don't forget the q-view!


  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Trim the fat.

    If your cooker will take it you should turn up the heat to at least 275° IMHO.
  4. Thanks for the comments and advice.  That's exactly what I'm looking for when posting my trial and errors.

    Both turned out pretty good.

    Butt 1:  In the pan cooked faster and got lots of good juices to put back in after I pulled it.  I had brined this one and it may have been a little more moist but not sure it was noticeable enough to justify brining.  Butt 2 was still juicy without brining.  I let this one rest foiled in a cooler.  Bark was not as crisp as I wanted probably due to having it in the pan.  Overall a pretty good smoke.

    Butt 2:  I have finally been introduced to bark heaven...kept this one on the rack the entire time and by the time it was done I couldn't stop myself from going back time and again for bark pieces while it rested (in the smoker at 100) and then again while I was pulling the bark kept making it in my mouth!  The store bought Kansas City Rub (Weber) turned out great, was a little dryer than Butt 1 but still moist enough but the bark made all the difference for me.  This one stalled on me at about 190 so I bumped up the temp to 265 and it pulled right through to 205 when I took it off.  Unfortunately the pan that caught the juices didn't have much in it and was basically just burnt stuff.

    NEXT TIME:  I think I'm going to try and combine the 2 methods I used - Skip the brine, maybe put in the pan to 165 then directly on the rack for the rest, then rest in foil in the cooler.  If I have a nice bark will resting wrapped in a cooler ruin it?
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