My first smoke is on.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by rob sicc, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hi all,

    After a week of picking a lot of experts brains on this forum I am smoking.

    My protein of choice is a 5.6 lb pork Butt.  I started off by filling the basket in the FB 3/4 full of lump unlit charcoal. 

    I then filled a chimney half way and lit that.  once rolling I threw the lit coals in the FB on the unlit. 

    At 10:00 EST I waited till the temp got a little hot and threw the roast in.  I was confused why I didn't see much smoke. 

    It was then that I noticed the bad of wood chunks unopened on the table next to my smoker.  FULL DISCLOSURE, good and bad!  lol

    I threw the wood in and what do you know, SMOKE!

    I should have waited until I received my gaskets.  Both the FB and CC doors are leaking smoke.  The area where the FB connects to the CC has a small leak.  Does anyone think I should disassemble it and put the gasket in or caulk it?

    After about an hour I closed the bottom and top vent to about 50%.  At that point I stopped seeing smoke,  is that normal?

    If there is anyone out there today reading this, How often do I add wood chunks? I am trying to avoid opening the FB.  I am not planning to open the CC or at least 1-2 hours to baste.

    I will continue to update as the cook goes.  If anyone has any comments or suggestions, I will be checking all day long. 

    BTW, this is my recipe which I took for hear and there on the Internet

    I injected the marinade into the roast.  Then I rubbed it top and bottom with the dry rub and let it sit over night.  I am embarrassed to say I accidentally grabbed a boneless roast rather than bone in.  I hate losing natural flavor from the bone but I do like the fact that the dry rub got into the all of the crevices.


    apple cider

    Orange juice


    brown sugar

    dry rub:

    brown sugar


    garlic powder

    garlic salt



    black pepper
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can't comment on the smoker mods but your plan is sound and love the full disclosure!  Hey, we all still make "Doh!" omissions because we got distracted or lazy.  I have a mess to clean up in my smoker from yesterday's smoke because I forgot to use a new drip pan I wanted to try out in my WSM.  Had it lined with foil and everything and three hours into the smoke, there it sat, just where I put it to remind me to stick it in the smoker!

    You can smoke quite nicely with a leaky smoker so don't sweat it until you can do the mods.

    As far as adding wood, do the cupped hand-sweep-and-sniff method to determine if you can smell smoke or not coming out of your exhaust stack.  There can be no smoke because you are burning clean and hot, but the wood smoke aroma is still there.  If you don't smell anything, add some wood. 

    You can also layer wood in your cold charcoal so you get a continuous supply.  Burying wood in the charcoal helps it carbonize cleaner as it preheats prior to burning, avoiding the yucky white/grey ash loaded stuff.     
  3. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    4 hours down and I just took my first look at my BUTT!.  Wait, you all know what I mean.  (can't pass up a cheap laugh).

    It looks great.  gave it a little bath of the marinade and closed it up again, but not before throwing in a few country ribs (dry rub) and a small veal rack (dry rub).  I like experimenting with small racks of veal.  inexpensive and they usually come out so tender.

    I've already  received a few calls from neighbors.  I live in an area where weekend smokers are very few and far between.  no one does it but they all seem to understand and like what they are smelling. 

    Next installment should be in an hour or 2. 
  4. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds awesome..... Post a pic when ya can or we'll have to send this guy after ya...:police2:
    yotzee likes this.
  5. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    so it's about 3:40 EST.  and I can't believe I forgot this very crucial ingredient until now.

    AHHHH!  things look even better now.

    I will post pictures soon.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  6. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Didn't happen with pics ;)
  8. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    First the outside.

    sorry for the foggy picture but I'm guessing you all understand why!  :)

    Now for the inside.

    How's it look?  I've had neighbors stop by more to smell what's cooking then to ask to use my pool.  lol

    The bark on the roast looks awesome.  The extra items are coming along slowly.  There is probably about 90 minutes left.
  9. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Looking yummy! Great job! I'll be over with a fork, my bathing suit & a towel in an hour or so!
  10. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    sounds like a plan.  I just stocked the fridge with several micro brews to add to the feast.
  11. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    apologizing in advance for the fuzzy picture.  at this point it was late and I didn't check it after taking the shot.

    So here is what I learned.
    • I need gaskets and caulking for the smokers.
    • make sure you have enough charcoal. I used probably a 20 pound bag.  I wasn't expecting to use that much.
    • I used a 9L bag of wood.  Is that about right or did I use to much?
    • I need a mat for under my smoker or I am going to destroy my cement.
    • I can do this!  I tried once before a long time ago and it was a disaster.  It took a long time for me to try again.
    • My house smells like smoke the minute I unwrapped the roast indoors.  Wife not happy!
    • I showered twice and still smell smoke.
    • My neighbors love Smoke meat. It's not common when I am so I was pleasantly surprised.
    • my recipes had great flavor.  The dry rub will be reused over BBQ chicken
    So I smoked my 5.6 lb pork butt for 8 1/2 hours.  Does that sound good?   The bark was awesome.  The smoke ring was about 1/2 inch deep.  The smoke flavor was right there.  The thing is, and I may have been wrong was that I thought I would get a final product that I could pull and shred.  This was more something that was sliced.

    Is it a different technique to make pulled pork?  I'm thinking yes.  Also I think I want to make a sloppy BBQ sauce to but over this for next time.

    Here is a really bad picture If I can, I will post a better one tonight when I open it up again for dinner.

    And the finally thing I learned is, I AM HOOKED!  I had a blast watching this and smelling all day.

    waywardswede likes this.
  12. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds like things went well and you had a good time doing it.

    My wife always jokes to friends that every weekend her husband smells like hickory or applewood smoke and she loves it!
  13. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What was the IT of the meat when you took it out. 170* is for slicing 200* for pulled.

  14. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    The temp was a little over 170.

    So what do you suggest that I needed to do to get the temp up to 200 so the meat could be pulled?
  15. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Pulled Pork I would not attempt a temp lower then 190*, it is a learning game. Good thing is ya still get some good eats even by mistake.

  16. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    Yep you cook until the internal temp is reached, not on a time line.  I pull my pork butts at 195
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  17. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    So you're saying I should have just left it there and eventually the internal temp would have hit 195 - 200 where I needed it for pulled pork?
  18. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    So as I keep reading I realize I completely left something out of my smoking process on Sunday.  I didn't put a water bath in.  I used the pan that I left the roast in over night in the fridge and it had a little liquid in it but the quantity of liquid was nothing like I've read about.

    Is that real bad to not use a water bath?  What does the water bath do?
  19. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    Yep.  Forget time when you cook BBQ.  You can use it as a gauge to plan, but internal temperature is what matters.
     Water in the smoker does 2 things.

    1. Helps to stabilize the temperature inside the smoker

    2. Adds moisture.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  20. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Yotzee,  You are another helpful person that I've met here.  Thank you for your reply.  Water batch next time for sure.

    I think I will try a chicken or 2 this weekend.

    My copy of "Low and Slow : Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons"  Arrived this week.  I like the way is laid out.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  This book along with everyone's help here that I have received, I'm expecting a sucessful weekend with my smoker.  I figure the more I smoke the more I learn.  Plus I get to eat well while learning  ;)

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