Philly Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches Q-VIEW (Bear View) Extremely Pic Heavy, long post

Discussion in 'Pork' started by sqwib, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Philly Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    This is an extremely long post and very pic heavy, you have been warned.

    I dont know what the limits are to posting but if there are any I'm sure that I will hear about.
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    Before you start reading, you may wanna grab a coffee, beer or snack.

    I figured some guys would be interested in a blow by blow post.

    Before you read this post look at the clock and let me know how long it takes to read it.

    Lets Begin.
    First I mixed up my Rubs, I had some pork rub already, the photo below is old.


     

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    Pork/Rib Rub:

        1/3 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
        1-1/2 cup (packed) Sugar in the Raw(brown sugar is ok)
        1-1/4 cup paprika
        1 Tbsp freshly coarse ground black pepper
        2 Tbsp garlic powder
        ¼ cup dried onion flakes
        ¼ cup onion powder
        1 tsp cayenne pepper
        2 tsp chili powder
        2 tsp coriander
        1 Tbsp rosemary


    Then onto my Philly Style Pulled Pork Rub, this isn’t the traditional Rub that others use but very similar.
    This is my first shot at this


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    Philly Style Dry Rub:

        ½ c. kosher salt
        ¼ c. black pepper (freshly ground if possible)
        ½ c. Italian seasoning (OR equal parts: basil, oregano and rosemary)\
        ½  c. Minced Onion Flakes
        2 tsp. chili powder
        2, 7- 10lb Pork Butt



    I start off prepping the ribs, “St. Louis style”, I then line a steamer pan with some plastic wrap, sprinkle some of my pork rub on the bottom, then start layering them in, coating each one, no I don’t use mustard.
    After all the Ribs are prepped and rubbed they are wrapped tightly still inside the steamer pan and placed inside the downstairs refrigerator, if you don't have a dedicated refrigerator your wife will kill you.

    All the rib meat will be smoked, the trimmings will be used for my next batch of chili I make, nothing goes to waste.



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    Now onto the Butts, the butts are trimmed, I remove the Fat cap and False cap. A lot of folks will leave on the fat cap and score it. I think there is enough fat marbled throughout to provide enough flavoring to the meat without the fat cap. If you like a lot of bark, remove the fat, this will give you more surface area, this however is not my reasoning for this particular smoke, I am not looking for a heavy bark.
    Some leave on the fat to protect the meat from flareups or temp spikes like in the situation your meat is directly over the heat source.

     

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    I then line a steamer pan with some plastic wrap, sprinkle some of my Philly rub on the bottom, then place the trimmed butts in the pan rubbing each one real good, no I don’t use mustard.
    After the Butts are prepped and rubbed they are wrapped tightly, still inside the steamer pan and placed inside the downstairs refrigerator, where they will have to wait till morning.

     

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    Good morning!

    Ok its now 7:00am, 90 minutes later than I planned, oh well.
    I promised myself I wasn’t gonna stress over this cook and DAMN IT, I WONT!

    7:00 am
    Saturday
    Butts are removed from the fridge and placed on the counter.
     

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    Ok, now its time to fire up Frank, first I choose some wood for a coal base and toss into my handy basket, I’ll usually use my junk wood for this.
     

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    Then I turn on the propane supply and open the valve for the log lighter, get my nifty butane lighter that rarely ever works and Voila! Instant fire.


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    Now I pop the basket in directly over the log burner.
     

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    As the burner does its thing, I get out my toys; thermos, gloves, tongs and such.
    Here I am sliding out my storage bin and getting out my toys.
    I know its a bit messy, I have to organize it better.



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    Now I light my pre-warmer burner and as that’s warming up I head upstairs to get the butts


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    In retrospect I should have lit the preburner first then the log lighter.
    Let me explain.. the draft is so strong from the fire going under the plate and out the exhaust stack, that it was a bear to ignite the preburner, hell I do it wrong every time… oh well, maybe I’ll get it right next time.

    I let the smoker heat up to around 400° then turned off the gas supply. Reaching 400° barely took 10 minutes.
    My rule is not to use gas with wood once Frank is up and running, I don't want Frank to become a bomb.
    The only exception is when I am smoking with propane, I'll lay a chunk on the grate to add smoke flavor throughout the smoke.


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    7:30 Saturday
    Ok so back to the Butts, Butts are unwrapped brought to the smoker still in the steamer pan.
    Next I slide one of the grates out of the way on top of the other grate to the left and place one butt on the grate to the right and one butt on the grate to the left.


    The pan is then placed underneath the grates on top of the reverse flow plate to catch the drippings.
    There is a cast iron grate on top of the reverse flow plate, you can not see it in the photos below but it is there.
    The Steamer pan will sit on top of this grate.
    Now I slide the grates back in place with the butts on top of the grates without disturbing the butts.
    The butts were not tied up, I just placed any trimming I had inside the butts and tucked it tightly in place.
    I’ll add 2 cups of water to the steamer pan, this prevents the drippings from burning.

     

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    Time to set up my probes.
    Once the probes are inserted and ready to go and everything is in place the door is shut and sealed and I hit the timer button on the Taylor Thermo and do an actual time check.
    The official smoke has begun.



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    Ok time to tidy up, I’ll put everything back into the bin that wont be used right away and close the bin.
     

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    I start with all 4 intake valves open, for the first hour or so
     

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    I check the fire once more and wow its going good. This fire will not be raging like this during the smoke, this is the first burn.
     

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    Now I start to monitor my temps, at first I don’t mind if it goes over 275° and sometimes as high as 300° the first hour or so but will shoot for 225° - 240° for the long haul.
    Once I have a good coal base and can feed it every 30 - 60 minutes I can maintain my preferred temps, I dial in the smoker every smoke.



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    Ok now that everything is done and seems to be running smoothly, it is now a waiting game and I know I cant go anywhere, its time to chill out, so I head upstairs for a cup of coffee and quick meal.
    Then I head downstairs with my coffee, get a notepad, and grab my maverick receiver and relax with some episodes of Lost.



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    This Timothy's Kahlua is awesome.



    Gotta love this Netflix.



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    I’m on episode 3, yep that’s right never seen lost before and have 99 left.
    After an episode its time to see how the smoke is coming along.


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    8:30am Saturday
    Ok everything’s looking good, threw on a few more chunks of cherry wood and added a quart of water on the reverse plate, I usually don’t do this.
    For the next 2 hours I dial in Frank and get a my preferred temp range. I ended up with 2 valves fully open and 2 valves fully closed, throughout the entire smoke.



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    10:30am Saturday
    Its 10:30 now and a few episodes of Lost later, it's time to throw on the ribs.

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    The Ribs are unwrapped and taken to the smoker. I check the fire and add some more chunks of cherry wood.
    The smoker temps are looking good, hovering around 240°.
    I open the smoker and place the rib rack inside and do my best to fit everything without disturbing the butts.
    I add a cup of water to the drip pan and add a 3 cups of water to the reverse flow plate.

    Ok the ribs are in and everything’s looking good. The steamer pan is cleaned and set a side for the foiling stage of the ribs.

    The Butts had broken 140° a little while before adding the Ribs.



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    Adding the ribs knocked the snot out of my temps but Frank recovers pretty quickly, plus the fact that its over 100° out helped out quite a bit.
    It took around 10 minutes to recover temps, I usually throw a few chunks on right before opening the smoke chamber for any length of time, such as I did here.

     

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    Back to my show.
    For the next three hours I monitor the temps and feed the fire, peeking only once and opening another time to add the ribs.
    I usually mop but decided not to do so this time, I wasn’t going for a heavy bark on the Butts and felt the ribs would be fine.

    1:30pm
    Saturday
    Now it’s 1:30pm and still nasty hot outside I believe we topped out at 103° - or 106°
    Ribs are ready to be foiled, ribs are removed from the rack, placed in the steamer pan and foiled, then placed back in the smoker.
    The reason I do it this way is, I have found it's a lot less messier and none of the rib juices are lost.



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    Since were open, lets take a look at the butts.
     

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    2:15pm Saturday
    Its now nearly 7 hours into the smoke and the butts have reached 165° at nearly the same time as one another. I decide to foil these butts at this time because as I said before I am not going for a heavy bark on this smoke. When I am doing my "Traditional Barbecue", with my pork rub, I will usually mop. It's fun to play with your food sometimes.


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    3:30pm Saturday
    Ribs are removed from the pan and placed directly on the grates and a few marinated chicken breasts are added, it was way too hot out to cook inside so the wife reluctantly let me throw the chicken on the smoker.
    Everything is looking good and incredibly both butts are around 190°, they did hit a stall at 160° at 12:30 for two hours, but that was it, steady climbing the rest of the smoke.

     

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    4:30pm Saturday Happy Hour!
    First things first, time for an ice cold Killians, WOOHOO!



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    after my first cold one… one of many to come, I remove the ribs and they are placed in a steamer pan and taking upstairs to rest about an hour


    5:30pm
    Saturday
    Ribs are sliced for dinner and some placed in the refrigerator awaiting to be vacuum sealed and frozen for next weeks vacation.
    I know, I know, the presentation sucks, but I was in a hurry to feed these guys after you see the next picture you'll understand.



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    As everyone ELSE eats their DINNER, its time for me to do a few more things.


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    Scary, Huh!



    Since the butts are ready as well, I remove the butts, place another layer of foil, wrap in towels and place in a cooler to rest.



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    The drippings are then removed from top the reverse flow plate, strained into a pot and placed in the refrigerator for later.
     

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    I was a bit surprised that the butts were finished in 10 hours, they were roughly 9 pounds each, trimmed to about 7.5 pounds, that would be a cook time of 80 minutes per pound. I checked the probes in different spots for about twenty minutes and even switched the probes from one butt to another just to make sure.
    I knew the thermos weren't lying and the butts seemed tender by feel, no resistance from the meat when probing.

    I have a theory as to why the butts were done so quickly, that I am going to research.

    While the butts are resting, my game plan was to make 4 different toppings:

    1) Broccoli raab
    2) Horseradish sauce
    3) Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
    4) Grilled peppers


    Anyhow I decided to make them the following day, but at the least finish the butts tonight.



    8:00pm Saturday

    The butts are removed from the cooler and placed on the counter, the foil is opened slightly to cool a bit as I make the finishing sauce. I don't want too much of the steam to escape too quickly.



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    Time to start the finishing sauce.
     

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    Finishing Sauce

        2 c. red wine (merlot)
        1 box beef stock (4 cups) (or 1 qt. pork stock )
        1 tablespoon. canola oil
        1 small white onion, chopped finely
        1 tbs. fresh garlic, chopped finely

         In a skillet add a tablespoon of oil
        Add the onions and garlic and cook 5-7 minutes.
        Add the wine and allow it to reduce by half.
        Add the broth
        Remove the drippings from the fridge, skim off the grease and add to the skillet, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat.




    After the finishing sauce is made, remove from heat.
    Now its time to shred the pork, once the pork is shredded, the finishing sauce is slowly added to the pulled pork, I would add a few cups at a time,  mix a bit and let the pork absorb as much as it could, wait a while and repeat.
    Make sure to taste the finishing sauce before adding it to your pork!

     

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    I ended up using a little more than half, the rest will be saved for “Au jus”.
    Watch your salt here, it was more than enough salt from the Rub and Beef broth, don’t add any salt.
    The finishing sauce was incredible, and if I had to tweak anything, it would be an extra cup of merlot…that’s it!





    Ok lets Fast forward to the next day.


    10:30am Sunday
    At about 10:30 am I drag my sorry ass out of bed, I know… late start, anyhow I make myself a cup of “Jamaican me Happy” and now I’m ready to go.

     

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    I start off with the Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese sauce.
     

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    Ingredients

        5 red peppers, rinsed (I used 4 this time)
        1/8 tsp salt
        1/2 tsp ground pepper
        1 tsp balsamic vinegar
        11 ounces goat cheese
        8 oz. whipping cream
        10 basil leaves

    Directions

    Roast red peppers under the broiler for about 10 minutes each side you want the peppers skin to blacken
    Put peppers in a paper bag, fold top closed, and let steam for about 20 minutes.
    Carefully remove the peppers from the bag - they will still be hot. the skin will peel right off. Remove the stem and seeds inside.
    Place the pepper flesh, skin and seeds removed, in a food processor.
    Add salt, pepper, vinegar and basil leaves.
    Pulse until smooth.
    Transfer to a pot on very low heat, add the whipping cream and goat cheese once everything is smooth, remove from heat
    Taste and add additional pepper as desired.
    Store in the refrigerator for 10 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


    After that was done I placed the sauce in a Jar, Labeled and refrigerated.



    Ok now onto my next topping, “Horseradish Sauce”.



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    Ingredients

        2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
        1 tablespoon cider vinegar
        1 teaspoon dry mustard
        3 tablespoons mayonnaise
        1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
        1/2 cup nonfat sour cream

    Directions

        In a small bowl whisk together horseradish, vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, ground red pepper and sour cream.

    Alright the Horseradish sauce is finished, bottled and in the refrigerator.



    Whats next…
    Broccoli Raab



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    Looking good!

    Ingredients:

        1 large bunch of fresh broccoli raab
        1 tablespoons olive oil
        1 whole bulb of fresh peeled garlic, coarsely chopped
        1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
        Crushed red pepper, to taste

    Rinse and trim 1/4-inch from bottom of stems.
    Cut stalks crosswise into 2-inch pieces and drop them into salted (optional), boiling water.
    Cook in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes and remove with slotted spoon.
    In a large heavy cast iron skillet over medium heat; add a tablespoon of olive oil then add the chopped garlic and sauté briefly, 1 minute, add  the blanched broccoli raab/rapini cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add salt and few dried red pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon.


    That was painless, quite easy actually.
    Off to the fridge with ya!




    Ok, this is the easiest and so far my favorite and I’ll explain later.




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    Simply Gorgeous!

    2 red peppers (optional)
    2 yellow peppers
    2 orange peppers
    Tablespoon olive oil
    Salt to taste
    Teaspoon balsamic vinegar(sorry not in the picture)

    Grill or sauté peppers 5 minutes toss with a bit of Sea salt and balsamic vinegar.





    Damn! Thank goodness that’s all done, now its time to make some sandwiches and get some feed back.


    First, all of the toppings are laid out.



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    Lets break it down.

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    A few sandwiches were made in the following manner
    Long roll split, smoked provolone slice, pulled pork then grilled for several minutes each side.
    I am sure the grilling and foiling makes a big difference in the  quality of the sandwich.



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    Then toppings were added.


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    Then the sandwiches are wrapped in foil for 10 minutes for a short rest, unwrapped, sliced and served.
     

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    These would be great for a party, make a bunch of different ones use long Hoagie rolls and slice in 2" pieces




    Ok, now that that’s all done, the pork and Ribs are vacuum sealed and frozen, except for a bit set aside for another dinner.



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    So how did everything come out? Great!
    Here are my notes on this cook


    The Ribs
    Awesome as usual.
    No complaints from any of the dinner guests and hopefully they will be enjoyed on vacation next week

    The Pork
    The pork itself was top notch and the finishing sauce threw it over the top, and the general consensus was that the Philly Style was preferred over my traditional Pulled Pork as was my Italian Porchetta.

    The chicken
    Everyone liked the chicken as well.



    The toppings, well this is another story.

    I’ll start off with the least favorite.

    Horseradish Sauce, everyone found this to be a bit too bitter on the pork, my suggestion would be to use horseradish cheese in place of the sauce, unless you have a better recipe. The sauce was so so and I am sure it has its place somewhere, but not on my pork sandwiches, would I make it again? No, not for sandwiches, not this particular recipe anyway.


    The next in the Lineup:

    Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese sauce, while this was a good sauce, and mostly everybody liked it, I think it would get better recognition with a stuffed pork loin. I would definitely make this again for a party, but most likely not for sandwiches for my family. It does make a fine dip.

    Broccoli Rabe, This was ok by itself but really came through on the sandwich, me and my wife gave this 2 thumbs up and I would definitely make this again for sandwiches.
    The kids however are a little weird with green stuff on their sandwiches.

    Grilled Peppers, Now this was my favorite, something about grilled peppers.
    This was an awesome topping for the pork, it added a nice sweetness and a welcomed crunch to the sandwich.

    My kids loved the sandwiches plain, sometimes you cant improve on perfection and this pork did not need any help at all from the toppings. The toppings complimented the sandwiches and did not take away from the pork.
    My oldest prefers barbecue sauce, so she slathered hers with Sweet Baby Rays, go figure.

    I will be serving this next week for a crowd of 15, then I can give some more feedback.
    I am going to serve some as a French Dip, the gravy (finishing sauce), is outstanding


    Now that wasn’t so bad was it?


     

     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well SQWIB, You were right, it should get the award for the longest most pic heavy thread.

    However, it was very well done & very informative.

    I think you should be congratulated for putting this much effort into a thread.

    I had to drink a cup of coffee half way through, but enjoyed every detail.

    By the way, everything you smoked looked absolutely delicious too.

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  3. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    WOW. THumbs up on a nice read, and great pics.

    The food looks great, nice bar too!
     
  4. smokin - k

    smokin - k Meat Mopper

    SQWIB! My goodness what a post...! Don't tell my boss but I ran a little long on my coffee break... Love it! I will be trying a couple of your recipies... That roasted red pepper goat cheese sauce and your Philly Style Dry Rub look delish! It all looked great but I don't have the time to do it all at once. Great job on the smoke...! Happy Smoking, Smokin - K
     
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WOW !!! Great thread......chow looks marvelous.......your 3 daughters did not look too happy about the pics.......but I'll bet they were happy about the food....[​IMG]
     
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice job my friend. Great post and qview. Awsome tutorial all the way along. Thanks for sharing
     
  7. hmmmmm Killians on Tap

    BTW the rest looks good as well
     
  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    Got a chunk of andouille and a glass of root beer as instructed...

    Very nice thread SQWIB!

    The food and recipes are awesome..

    I didn't read every word  -- 14 minutes..

    I will read it more thoroughly later.

    I love seeing the smoker full,I bet your entire neighborhood was wanting some.

    How long did it take to put the thread together??

      Craig
     
  9. man, a lot of work went into making that meal, and it looks like it was well worth it. Those sammies look delicious. And I have to give you a bunch of [​IMG]for taking the time to put together a play by play post like this.  Awesome job my friend.
     
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is an Awesome Thread!!!!!

    We got to see it ALL:

    Three lovely young ladies.

    Some Great equipment being used.

    Some real good Recipes.

    Parts of a brand new kitchen.

    The SQWIB hard at work!!!

    Some Philly "Pork" Cheesesteaks actually made in Philly.

    And a whole bunch of Awesome BearView.

    Thanks SQWIB !!!!

    Unbelievable Job!!!!

    Oh Yeah---It took me about an hour and a half from start to finish, but that included about half hour break for Supper, and I have no idea how long I sat and stared at those last few BearViews of the Pork Cheesesteaks!!!!!

    Thanks SQWIB !!!

    Bear

    BTW----SQWIB: I see you have the exact same vacuum packer as I have (V3485). I got it a short time ago when they had a Heck of a buy.

    I just confirmed something "today" about mine that I suspected the last time I used it. We have had a lot of trouble with it. We thought it was the curl on the end of the bags we cut from the rolls. Then I noticed we never seemed to have trouble with the first 15 or 20 bags. Today I made up 18 bags before I started slicing. The 18th one had a problem. It didn't want to get to the right place to work right. So I set it aside & started slicing CB & Dried Beef. After I sliced the CB, I put it in the bags & sealed them up. Then I took the one that I had trouble with, and it now went right into the right place, and sealed perfectly. Then I sliced all of the Dried Beef, and sealed that up, but after making some more bags, and sealing a bunch of bags of Dried Beef, I ran into the same problem. I tried a few bags, and had the same problem with all of them. So I put all the ones that needed sealing into the fridge, and took a break for about an hour. Then I went back, and it worked Great on all the bags that didn't work right before.

    So after all of these months, after thinking there was something wrong with the unit or the bags, and after hearing Mrs Bear yelling at it & at me---"What's Wrong With This Dumb Thing", we are now sure that when it heats up, it seems like it won't line up properly, and if it does start sucking the air out, it only sucks less than half of the air out & then seals too soon.

    All you gotta do is give it a break, turn it off, and come back later---How long I'm not sure yet, but it was good an hour later.  Then it works perfectly again.

    Thought you might want to know this if it happens to you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh another "BTW" SQWIB:

    Mrs Bear and I never saw the series "LOST" either, until last year.

    I found it on Netflix, and streamed the first couple episodes.

    We got totally sucked in & watched ALL of the episodes.

    I won't say any more---Let me know when you've seen them all.

    Bear
     
  12. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    What a great post, lots of great pics and info. [​IMG]
     
  13. johntroxel

    johntroxel Fire Starter

    This is one of the most awesome threads ever.  Bookmarking this one for later.
     
  14. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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    Great Post
     
  15. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WOW reading it all took nearly 20 minutes of drulling!!

    Awesome post man. LOVE me some phillies, any style

    Love the bar & Killians on tap NICE

    Love that smoker too
     
  16. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You get my vote for best Q-view ever!!  [​IMG]
     
  17. Great post. Most detailed Q-View ever. Took me 11 minutes to get through it. Now I'm really ready for lunch. Love the broccoli rabe on the sammie. Never heard of that. Bet it's yummy. [​IMG]
     
  18. OMG this just gave me this super strong flashback.I lived in Philly for 22 years and one of my favorite meals was a roasted pork, smoked provolone, and roasted pepper sandwich from DiNic's. Your sandwich is the spitting image of it and I am SO going to try this. Thanks for the amazing post!
     
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You



    Thanks, yeah the bar is nice when doing those long smokes.

    Thank you



    I'll tell my lovely wife you said that, my oldest is not in the picture, the first young girl is my daughter Sams friend (2nd girl), she always magically appears when I'm doing ribs lol.

    Heres my oldest with her BF Dan, nice guy, I thhink he comes around more when he knows the smoker is getting fired up.

    [​IMG]
     

    Thank You

    Yep Killians, My camping beer is Pabst Blue ribbon
    Thank You
    About 5 hours, I typed up the event from the pics and notes, posted it on my website then posted here. Took a few hours to post here because I swapped all the pics out so we could have Bear View!
    Thanks

    I had a sammie last night roll/provolone/pork and peppers and served like a  like a french dip.

    The gravy is awesome.

    Had another at lunch with the peppers, wrapped in fol threw in the toaster oven and that was awesome as well.


    Thanks Bear.

    Haven't had any issues other than sometimes its a PITA getting the bags in that little slit.
    Its pretty cool to be able to watch 3 or 4 episodes in one shot with no commercials.

    Now dont laugh but just finished watching the Seaquest series, Boy that show dropped lik a bag of S%#@ after the first season.



    Thank you
    Thank You

    If I ever get my links working, I'll have it in my signature as well.
    Thanks


    Thanks, yeah sometimes I love the Killians too much lol, so the wife says anyway.
    Well thank you.



    When I ws doing research on the Philly Style PP some of the big dogs like Tony Lukes and Tommy DiNics were using Broccoli Rabe and spinach, referred to as greens from what I hear anyhow. I figure if they can do it so can I... without the drive and 2 hour wait.
    Thanks, yeah read the post above, DiNics is supposed to be top dog for Pork Sandwiches. Do I hear Throwdown?
     
  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't want to make this post any longer, but wanted to share this with everyone.

    Here's a hot and juicy topic to sink your teeth in:

    The cheesesteak is No. 2?

    Funny, the things you stumble across on the Web.

    "I may never eat another Philly cheesesteak - not, at least, when I can have a roast pork sandwich," a writer opined some weeks ago in the Washington Post.

    Tim Warren, who lives in Maryland, was such a big cheesesteak fan that he often made food runs to Philadelphia and found he "wasn't the only idiot who had driven 100 miles for a $7 sandwich."

    He sided with Pat's in the Pat's vs. Geno's debate.

    Now he's siding with the roast pork vs. cheesesteak.

    Because he fell in love.

    "The subtle interplay between the pork and the tart greens, between the provolone and the spices in the juices, is heaven compared with the sledgehammer-like cheesesteak."

    Heaven!

    "Going from cheesesteaks to roast pork sandwiches was like listening to whatever pop music was on the radio, and one day discovering a station that played Sinatra and Duke Ellington," he gushed.

    Warren also sampled the sandwich at John's Roast Pork and DiNic's, but pronounced Tony Luke's the best.

    But is Warren to be believed?

    On the one hand, others have agreed.

    "It's time to retire the greasy, overrated cheesesteak and name this superior sandwich our official food," wrote Inquirer columnist Karen Heller last June.

    How superior?

    "The roast pork Italian with aged provolone and broccoli rabe is one of the finest treats the culinary world has to offer," she declared.

    Tony Luke told the Washington Post many of his customers agree.

    And so did Gourmet magazine once, as quoted by tonylukes.com: "Philadelphia is famous for its sandwiches: hoagies, chili-sloughed Texas wieners, steak lubricated with molten Cheez Whiz. But nothing compares to the roast pork sandwich at Tony Luke's."

    Then again, Warren may not be fully informed, just like Gourmet apparently was confused about those wieners.

    If a Tony Luke's cheesesteak was his basis for comparison, well, that's a worthy opponent, most locals would agree.

    On "best cheesesteak" lists, Tony Luke's often finishes high, along with the likes of John's Roast Pork, Chink's and others.

    But not Pat's or Geno's.

    They're basically tourist traps, many here agree.

    The biggest giveaway of Warren's gnawing naivete, however, is this remark: "Sharp provolone vs. Cheez Whiz? Please."

    Uh, dude, you can put provolone on a cheesesteak.

    Indeed, most locals prefer provolone or American, according to a Philly.com poll.

    That Cheez Whiz stuff?
     

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