I'm back, with another all-nighter: Butts, Boneless Picnic, ABTs & ? - Q-view

Discussion in 'Pork' started by forluvofsmoke, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I must have flipped my lid, or shook a few marbles loose at some point in time during my last couple of great smokes (full packer brisket and 7-bone whole beef rib). My last all-nighter was of course the full packer, and I figured I’d need several months of recovery time before I’d have the ambition to pull another one…I was wrong! So, what’s the reason for my apparent insanity? The following will explain…

    Man, where do I begin…I’ve been so busy @ work since my last smoke on December 24th that I haven’t had a lot of free time for myself…I miss you guys & gals!!!!!!! What else can I say!?!?!?!?!? I’ve only spent enough time here to occasionally check PM’s and User CP for subscribed threads, and with just glancing at the active threads I knew I was missing out on a lot of great stuff happening here.

    I do apologize for not being here with everyone…crap happens…I know most of us say that sleep is over-rated, but I drive for a living and have been known to spend 3 or 4 hours here almost every night, so I gotta do the right thing and get my rest. Now, I have 2 scheduled days off work and I‘m taking them both. It’s time for some fun in the thin blue!

    I haven’t done ANY outdoor cooking since Christmas Eve…I guess I’ll have to make up for it now with another all-nighter. 18# of bone-in Cryovac-packed butts (9.6# & an 8.4#), one 6# bone-in fresh butt and one 4# boneless tied picnic will make a nice start for the evening.

    Why an all-nighter for butts, you ask? Well, I had to work for the past 4 days, and we planned a late combined birthday party for my oldest son and oldest daughter, born the 2nd & 9th, respectively. I wanted to do the smoke on my last days-off so I could freeze/reheat, but, too many things got in the way…so, I’m burning the mid-night propane in mid-30* weather with light winds tonight. I must say, this is unexpected to have such beautiful mid-January weather to smoke in, but I won’t complain!

    The first catch here is that I’ll need to move my cooking equipment to the site where the birthday party & dinner will be before 1:00 PM tomorrow, as I’ll need to do the ABT’s on-site so they can be served fresh and hot off the smoker (PS: don’t try reheating ABT’s…been there, only once). So, the plan is to get all my pork into foil for brazing, do a 20-30 minute 300* braze, wrap in towels, load smokers, fryer burner etc, and shake it over to the site about 5 minutes away and finish the brazing on-site while I start the ABT smoke.

    I’ll have to post the finish pics after we get back home Sunday night, if I’m still walking and talking that is...HAH-HAH-HAH!!!!!!!!

    Oh, one more catch: the fresh pork was handed to me still frozen yesterday after work. I didn’t want to risk doing a cold tap water thaw due to a bad experience with a ruined packer last fall, so they went into my Q-fridge overnight to begin thawing. I started a saltwater brine/thaw on them right after work tonight @ 9:00 PM before I tossed down 3-9“ soft-shell tacos for dinner. They’ll join the cryovac pork in the Smoke Vault early in the morning sometime after 2:00 AM.
    Without further delay, let the Q-view begin……..

    Here’s the larger cryovac butt in a 12" x 18" pan:

    Rubbed with a blend of my ancho chili-based pork rub and my garlic/pepper beef rub:

    Just into the SV24 @ 9:00 PM MST, with equal amounts of hickory and mesquite, with about 20% of the total smoke wood being cherry…I’ll continue adding cherry only, throughout the evening…grate temps are running ~225-230*:

    The fresh pork are locally-grown and processed...a boneless/tied picnic and a butt…I’m thinking about really spicing up the picnic and trying it sliced…never did that yet…actually I’ve never smoked a tied picnic before either…decisions, decisions……..hmmm….to pull or slice…..hmmm…..

    Brine/thawing the fresh pork with 1 cup kosher salt and 5 quarts cold tap water in a tall 12 quart stock pot, giving enough liquids for the meat to remain submerged:

    I’m not going to sweat the plateau on the cryo-butts…I don’t think I’ll even stab ‘em with a probe until about the 10-hr mark (around 9:00 AM). I’m planning on foiling @ 180* and towel-up @ 200-205*…the foiling temp may come earlier if I start feeling time constraint pressures, as foiling does speed things up.

    There will be appetizers and sides of course, with my home-made cured/smoked cold meats tray with cheese & crackers, ABTs and probably some things I don’t know about yet. I’m not 100% sure, but I think my wife mentioned she was going to make baked “ugly-rotten” potatoes and a cold pasta salad. Pork sammies will be served on freshly buttered/grilled buns……..oh man, what a day this will be!!!!!!

    The building we’ll be in for the gathering is a multi-purpose facility with tables/chairs capable of handling a few hundred people, a large multi-appliance kitchen, and equipped with an audio system, with a large smooth-floor open room for roller skating or dancing.

    It’s sure to be a great day with the family and friends!!!!

    More to come!

    Thanks for peeking at my return to the thin blue smoke!

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    2.75 hrs during water check and cherry smoke wood addition...meat starting to sweat...I rotated the grate 180* degrees to offset possible uneven cooking due to un-even grate temps:

    I took the fresh pork out of the brine after 6.5 hrs and prepped to smoke. The water was still very cold to reach into, so no safety issues, as the meat was just finishing it's thaw.

    The butt rubbed with a spicy/hot blend with extra cayenne pepper & ancho chili:

    I decided to season the picnic with Tony Chachere's Original Creole for a new twist:

    And, the 3rd butt is into the Vault after 4.75 hrs with the first 2...this one is a fairly thich cut in comparison to the store-bought, but is also a smaller cross-section due to the box-cut of the roast...I hope my timing will be OK:

    We'll still have plenty for everyone to eat, even if the hot/spicy butt doesn't get finished in time...no worries, just wanted this one for the more adventurous eaters.

    The picnic is resting peacfully in my closed SNP @ 33* while it waits for some cherry smoke in the Vault. It goes on in a couple more hours and then I can relax for a few hours before getting the rest of my equipment ready and loaded for the quick trip.

    More to follow...

  3. I love Tony's. Its almost the only seasoning I use. I have got a 9 pound pork shoulder going right now and cant believe how long it is taking. Good luck with the party!
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looking good Eric, keep the Q-view coming
  5. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great, Eric! Glad to see you back. Keep on posting the pics as the smoke progresses. I'll take a sammie made with the hot one![​IMG]
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everything looks great!
    Welcome back, I love to ride along with your smokes!

  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Everything is A-ok and looking good I didnt see you in chat tring to keep us all awake last night. Im still going but fell out for a couple of hours but everything is going stronf thou.
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Really you didn't like your reheated ABT's??? I have reheated them several times and thought they were great. I just put them in some tinfoil and put them in the oven. Also there was a post on here yesterday where a guy was experimenting with times in the microwave and he said they were great that was as well. I guess it is all personal preference.
  9. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Looks like its going to be one heck of a party! Great Qview -- thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the finished shots.
  10. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Eric! You may have not smoked for a little while now but you sure are making up for that with this beautiful smoke.
  11. brohnson

    brohnson Smoking Fanatic

  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Man, I was in the process of replying to several responses here yesterday when my 'puter got bugged...the fight was on.

    Tony's is some goooooooooooood stuff, brother! Some butts do test your patience.

    Wish I could have kept it coming nice and steady...

    Thanks, glad to be back! The hot rub was actually milder than I expected...I'll do some tweeking on it next time and see where it goes...was pretty good flavor, just not the level of heat I expected.

    Thanks brother!

    Thanks Mark, I did think about dropping in a couple times...I stayed pretty busy with the progressive additions to the Vault. Then the computer bug kept me going all day on Sunday until we left for the party. Heh, I'm still not finished getting personalized settings and other issue taken care of.

    Yeah, it's just a texture thing for me...they are tough to keep crisp on the outside when reheated...maybe just playing with a few methods will bring out a desirable reheat though.

    Thanks, it was a great time, and lots of good food for everyone.

    Thanks, I had trouble deciding what to smoke for this occasion...I mentioned brisket/burnt ends and kids went crazy, but the wife said "no more all-nighters for awhile OK?"...well, I had one anyway and she thought I knocked something loose in the noggin out when I told her I hadn't gotten all the meat into the smoker @ 2:30 AM.

    Sure is, brother!

    Thanks guys!

    I finally got more pics uploaded tonight after dealing with issues all day today. I'll get those up ASAP.

  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Isn't that purty? (6.75 hrs):

    ABTs about to get happy:

    About to foil/pan the 2 largest butts on top:

    Man, that's a full pan:

    Nice comfy load for the SV24:

    Some appetizers...my own home-cured/smoked meats to go with cheese & crackers:

    ABTs, after a few have been taken for samples:

    Pasta salad:

    "Ugly-Rotten" Taters:

    Last, but certainly not least:

    Ratts! I just realized that I missed pics of the small boneless picnic...I sliced it about 1/4" thick...very nice pork as well. Took it to 168*, foiled and brazed for 2 hours without taking IT (probably close to 185*).

    I did end up just tossing the ABTs in at our house and keeping the smoker at home. The pork stayed hot long after we got to the party...it was wrapped in towels @ 4:15 PM and was still too hot to handle after 10:00 PM. We had one full shoulder that never got pulled and when I checked it about 6 hours after wrapping, I burnt my fingers just a wee bit.

    The fresh pork shoulder was a strange situation...this was brined to finish the thaw and rubbed with a spicier blend...I foiled it at about 170* to get rolling to the party and brazed for about 2 hours without checking IT before pulling it to towel and take to the party. It pulled tougher was a bit dry. It actually would have sliced better than pulling.

    The cryo-vac packed shoulders came out beautifully...I had to be careful not to break it apart too much, just for the sake of having larger chunks with that nice bark.

    Total smoke/cook time was 17 hours, but well worth it.

    We had to rush a bit to get the food over to the party for final prep, but it did come together really nicely...had a great time putting it together...wife and daughters did the taters and pasta. My oldest daughter built the ABTs and my wife did a sauce for the pork, but nobody wanted to cover up the pork, so that was a compliment to me. I had to tell my wife that sauce is to cover up bad Bbq, so we didn't need it today...LOL!!!!! It was all good, even the sauce, just didn't need it...

    Hope this gets you wanting PP...I know I was overdue for some myself! HEH-HEH-HEH!!!

    Happy smokes to all!

  14. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now thats a freaking post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks awesome man...[​IMG]
  15. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thasnks for sharing the start of a great meal, I also like your wood combo, great mix. It's never too late to light up a meal.
  16. irishteabear

    irishteabear Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice job on your big smoke, Eric. Glad you see you smoking again and that everything turned out well.
  17. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Meat Mopper

    Yum.....planning a spread like this for a "day before the superbowl" party we are throwing, hadn't thought of the bacon wrapped jalapenos, have had them grilled but not smoked...and smoke makes everything better right?

    Thanks for the inspiration.
  18. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Once again a very nice smoke and thread Eric!!

    Love that Smoke Vault!!
  19. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holly crap......when you cook you COOK! everything looks top notch !
  20. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks, it did come off really well...not 100% as planned but still no complaints...I really enjoyed doing the smoke even though I got pretty tired around 4:00 AM...fun times!

    Thanks Rich, it did seem like I might have bit off more than I could chew at first, like I was trying to cram for a senior high school final exam or something...LOL!!!!! I just decided after getting the frozen pork into the brine to just go with the flow, and the farther I went with the smoke the better everything started to look...we just gotta trust our instincts and let the thin blue take over from there.

    Oh, the smoke woods, that did a very nice job...flavors were distinct but worked very well with the mostly basic rub blends I used...even the experimental rub blends got a nice touch from the smoke...overall, I think with a bit of cherry a few others to go along for the ride, you really can't get a bad smoke.

    Thanks Dawn, it really did feel great to get back into cooking mode again...it just doesn't seem right anymore to go for more than a week without a nice burn.

    Thanks, hey just go for it! You're right about the smoke...the smoked bacon wrap is great, to smoke it all up just drives it home even better. Go with your gut and you'll do just fine.

    Thanks Mark, that SV24 sure saved the day for me on this one...I considered getting my propane control panel and burner back into my small GOSM for this one, just in case. By the time I tossed the second batch of pork roasts into the Vault, I knew it would be clear sailing for the duration of the smoke.

    I actually could have had another med/large butt and still had room for the full grate of ABTs...28 lbs of pork and 44 (I think) ABTs wasn't even a load for the SV24...just a comfy cruise through the thin blue.

    Thanks brother! It sure was alot of fun doing this one. I was thinking about doing a combo smoke at first...a brisket or 2 with burnt ends from the points (that would have knocked the sox off most of the guests, as they've never had them before), then a couple butts for PP, a couple nice sized yard birds and a couple chuckies for PB...my wife thought that might have been taking it just a wee bit too far though, so I bowed down saying "yes dear, you're probably right on that"...LOL!!!!!! [​IMG]

    We did all get to snack on cured/smoke meats and feast on fresh smoked PP along with all the sides.

    I can't remember if I mentioned it now, but the total time from starting the prep for the brine of the fresh pork, until everything was smoked, wrapped up and in transport to the site of the party was 20 hours...the smoker ran for a bit over 18 hours...it may seem like a long time now that I think back on it, but I had plenty of time on my hands to bring it together...that and some ambition to keep me going.

    Thanks everyone! Glad to share the smoke and feed with you!

    I've got some things going on right now that will pull me away until next week...I guess I'll post a thread on that in case anyone is wondering...look in messages to all members and guests.

    Been fun as always!

    Many great smokes to all, and take care!


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