First smoke coming up this weekend. Suggestions requested.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bvbull200, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    I plan on trying out my freshly restored/modded Bandera this weekend and have a couple of questions.

    To start, taking everything that I have read, I want to get "good" at smoking pork shoulder before I try to get "good" at smoking anything else.  I understand it is the most forgiving in terms of still turning out quite good even if I don't quite get it to perfection.  That said, I have a brisket in the freezer that I'd like to throw on at the same time if it isn't the worst idea in the world.  I will be setting the smoker up to optimize the pork shoulder and will not be "splitting the difference" in temps or altering the pork cook in any way to accommodate the brisket.

    I was going to start with the recommended temps/times from the 5-day course which puts pulled pork at 225 degrees for 1.5 hours per pound.  It recommends 240 degrees for brisket, so at 225 degrees, the brisket will, obviously, take longer (which is fine).  I'll monitor the pork first and foremost and pull it when I feel it is ready.  The brisket can stay in for as long as it needs.  I haven't bought the pork shoulder, yet, so I may get one slightly bigger than the brisket to bring cook times closer together.

    I have a few reasons for experimenting this way.  First, the brisket was bought on the cheap and if I don't particularly care for the results, I'm okay with that.  Second, if somewhere down the line, I will benefit from "experimenting" at 225 degrees, then I'm okay with trying that experiment now.  I intend to take detailed notes on the pork shoulder and will just add a column for the brisket.  Third, there is the outside shot that I turn out two pretty decent pieces of meat on the same cook.  I'll find the mouths to feed if I do.

    Is it worth trying a brisket at 225 degrees?  Will having it in the chamber with the pork add unnecessary challenges to getting the pork right?  

    Thanks for everyone's help.  I'll be learning to control temps this week in prep for the cook on Saturday.  Expect plenty of pics when I'm done....good or bad.
     
  2. I do pork shoulders and briskets together all the time at 225 and have never had any adverse effects on either cut of meat. It's just a matter of pulling them off at the correct internal temperature. What are you planning to do with the pork? Slice it or use it for pulled pork? That will make a big difference in what you want the IT to be. Which ever piece is done first you can wrap in foil and put in a cooler filled with towels and it'll stay hot for a LONG time. As a matter of fact this is highly recommended because it will allow the meat to cool slower thus not drying out and it'll allow the muscles to relax so it's more tender. There is no reason at all, even being your first run, that you won't have two outstanding pieces of meat to tear into when you're done. I have become a big fan of injecting meats for a couple of reasons. It adds flavor to the meat and it keeps the meat more moist. I originally started out injecting them before they went on the cooker but recently found out that if I wait until later to make the injection the results are more profound. I'll typically shoot the injection at an IT of about 170. This gives lots of time to cook through the meat but less time to evaporate, which leaves more of the injection inside of the meat when it's done.

    Hope this helps....
    Robert
     
  3. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Thanks, Robert.  It certainly does help.  I think I will be doing pulled pork, so the IT will be a little higher.  Ideally, I'd like sliced brisket if the timing works out.  I have towels and a cooler ready, so both meats will get a chance to rest properly.

    I'll look in to injections!  Glad to hear you have had success with it.
     
  4. Glad to help!! Of course the brisket will be fine for slicing. I take mine off at an IT of 195 and let them rest in the cooler for a couple of hours before slicing. If you're doing pulled pork you'll want to leave it on until it reaches an IT of 205. Indications are that you don't want to take it off any sooner than that. I've never tried taking one off sooner so I can't say what the problems would be but every one that I have taken off between 205 and 210 have been perfect. In my estimation, it ain't broke so I'm not gonna try fixing it :)

    As for injections, I have played with a few different ones. My favorite for pork is a mixture of apple juice, a little bit of Worcestershire sauce, and a dribble of red wine vinegar.

    For brisket I use Swanson's beef broth and a shot of bourbon. The bourbon makes a wonderful flavor in the meat!! We love it.

    Good luck!!
    Robert
     
  5. bigjp

    bigjp Newbie

    I have smoked shoulders and briskets together often and have always been pleased with the final product.  When I first started doing briskets I pulled them off the smoker a little early and they seemed a little dry, if you are slicing it let it get to 190 IT.

    John
     
  6. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Thank you both.  I'm trying to hammer down what temps I'm going for internally as well as what sort of "feel" I should be looking for when putting the probe in.

    Bourbon in the injection?  You are really talking my language.
     
  7. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Two of my favorite meats...... pork butt and brisket. So I've done them together on pellet smoker, electric mes, and uds. I tend to cook a little higher temp but no reason you can't do them together whatever temp you use. Just leave yourself plenty of time between finish time and eating time as you can let them rest for a good 3, even 4 hours if you have to. This will give you the leeway time for finishing whatever meat takes longer than the other. Both are gonna be great....don't worry, just be patient to get to your finish IT.
     
  8. I have done (Briskets, Beer Can Chickens, Ribs, Sausages, and Smores') on the same cooker. Also had A 60 pd pig and 20 pds of varied seasoned chicken wings going on the same grate another time. While 240 might be suggested for brisket you could easily do it and the shoulder at 200 if you wanted to sit there and watch them for the time it takes and make sure they dont dry out. Each meat will have its own weight and cook time requirements. Put them on accordingly and there is no reason you shouldn't be able to turn out 2 good pieces of meat. Kinda leery about a cheap brisket from the freezer, but that's just from my experience. Not sure if you have a whole brisket or just the flat cut. Just keep the temp steady, make sure the cooler isn't too far away (if the wife knows you dont have to watch it constantly she might want you to fix stuff in between spraying's) You are performing science here and it requires your full attention! (hope you have better luck with that argument than I do however) 
     
  9. Few weeks ago a buddy shot a Turkey up with chicken broth, bourbon and a few basic seasonings.....it was pretty tasty.
     
  10. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Thanks, biscuit.  I doubt I'll be on the beer this weekend.  I'm much more of a bourbon guy ;).  The wife does a great job letting me explore new hobbies.  She likes this hobby better because it has the potential to really benefit her.  She, and my 3 month old daughter, will probably sit on the patio with me, smelling the smoke :).

    Don't be too leery about the brisket.  It was a good, fresh piece of meat that I just got a good deal on from our Tom Thumb.  Better cuts are available from better places than that, I know, but it isn't "bad" or "old" meat.  I got it home and went straight to the freezer.  I'll thaw it very slowly starting Wednesday evening.
     
  11. Bourbon.....where was I? Oh yeah....wait, Bourbon. Pretty much all that I can think of now! And I'm out!!!
     
  12. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now I know why I spritz with Apple Juice and Makers Mark.  [​IMG]
     
  13. Jim Beam Devils Cut and Vernors cooked down to a syrup.
     
  14. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    If you like Makers Mark (and it used to be one of my everyday bourbons), then I suggest you look for and try one called Larceny.  It is more on par with Makers 46 but about 5 bucks cheaper than regular Makers.  It'll make its way on (or in) my brisket this weekend ;)
    Devil's Cut is pretty good, too.  What is "Vernors"?
     
  15. Brand of Ginger Ale.......I was sitting at home one day and had several 2 liters (used to drink Vernors and Bourbon) the thought came to me to cook one down till it thickened up a bit from the sugars, add a little bourbon and minced onion. Glazed some ribs with it the next day right before they came off. it was a hit............have learned that it doesnt work unless you have a real woody Bourbon. Devils Cut is perfect for that....stuffs like drinking liquid bark. 
     
  16. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Pretty solid description of Devil's Cut, I'd say.
     
  17. I second the larceny suggestion. A buddy gave me a glass a couple of months ago and I went out the next day and bought a large bottle. It is one of my favorites, along with the much sweeter buffalo trace. I am a Kentucky boy who is a bit of a bourbon snob. Along those lines, if you ever get the chance to tour the bourbon trail in ky, I highly recommend it.

    (Not the first bottle I have bought!)

    I also rarely cook one type of meat at a time. I even sometimes change wood mid way through depending on what I am putting on. Have done brisket and butts plenty of times. All the advice you have gotten is spot on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  18. I am mostly a beer drinker and have been brewing my own for about 15 years. I do however enjoy a top-shelf bourbon once in a while. After a big slab of prime rib there isn't much better than a shot of bourbon over one ice cube and a Cuban cigar :) Since I only enjoy the bouron on rare occassions I tend to keep a bottle of Bookers around, which IMHO is about the finest bourbon made. The drawback is that it's pricey but I can justify that because it's only gotten out a few times a year. If it were a more regular thing I'd have to say that one of my favorite bourbons that's less expensive is Basil Hayden. It's not easy to find (at least not in central Texas) but it's in the $30 a bottle range and extremely good. My ex-wife, wo I am still good friends with, works part time at a discount liquor store and every time a bottle comes in she asks me if I want it and will pick it up if I'm getting low.

    Robert
     
  19. bvbull200

    bvbull200 Smoke Blower

    Can't say I've ever had Booker's, but I'll keep an eye open for it now!  For my "better" bourbons, I like Woodford Reserve and Pappy Van Winkle.  The PVW is a little tougher find, but it is really good.  

    I have to say, this thread, for me, is one of the greatest in the history of the internet.  Great smoking advice followed by bourbon talk?!?!?  Doesn't get much better than that.
     
  20. Basil Hayden is abound here in Northwest , OH......Dont remember seeing Larceny but I will look saturday when I buy a bottle for band practice. Since we have turned this thread into a bourbon fest I am thoroughly surprised that no one has given Knob Creek some credit. Woodford Reserve is a bit too astringent for my taste. Fell in love with Devils cut the first taste, but if that's not around I'm going for Buffalo Trace.
     

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