Smoking Newbie Needs some input!!!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by vervoren03, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    Hey everyone! So on Sunday I'm going to attempt my first smoke. I got a 30 inch Masterbuilt electric smoker for XMas. I have already did the break in process so it's ready to go. I'm going to attempt a boston butt as I have heard its a good starter meat. I'm looking for some advice here and below are a few questions I have.

    I have heard both ways but should I use water in the drain pain?

    I know the pork is cooked at 160 degrees but I still people cooking till 190 up to 205 degrees?? Where should I stop at?

    I will be using wood chips... How often should I be putting in new chips?

    Lastly What's a good dry rub? And is yellow mustard good to do then apply your rub?

    Thanks in advance

    Josh
     
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Hi Josh...and welcome to the world of smoking!!!  I'm fairly new to smoking also, but can share what I've learned so far, for what it's worth. Everyone has different methods and tastes, so you will get a variety of advise, but it will all be good. Just practice and experiment. One thing I'll suggest that I find very helpful, and I think others will agree, is to keep a log book of all your smokes. List what you're smoking, what you used such as rubs, injections, etc....and methods and temps. Then after the smoke and you have tried the meat, write you comments on what you think worked about it, what didn't, and what you would change. Trust me, it is had to remember all the different variations you might try, and it's easy to forget what worked for you and what didn't. With a log, you can build upon each smoke you do.

    Ok, for the butt, I've used water, and I've done them without. I found that with my butts, it didn't really add to the moisture content on mine. But I do inject mine which I think improves the moistness and adds flavor. That is a matter of preference. So do and some don't. You can experiment and see what you prefer.

    If you want to pull the pork, then I would recommend going to a higher internal temp. I've had good luck with about 205 degrees. If you want to slice, then you can go lower. Others can add there experiences with this....

    Adding chips will depend on your smoker. With the MES, (I have the MES 40), you have to add them every half hour to hour, I found. Yours may be different. But as far as the butt, I use an internal thermometer, and smoke until it reaches around 140 or 150, then stop adding. I found that adding after that temp, the butt didn't absorb much more smoke. Just my experience...but others might have different opinions.

    There are some good commercial rubs out there, Plowboys, Smokin Guns,etc. You can do a search and read up on them. I like making my own. Just more fun and allows you to experiment. I like the Big Bob Gibson recipe for a base, and then I adjusted for my own tastes. You can use mustard, it helps the rub stick, and you don't really taste the mustard after the cook. I found that I didn't really need the mustard for my rub, but again, just my own preference.

    Most important...HAVE FUN.....take your mistake in stride, and learn from them. Don't be afraid to experiment and find the methods and techniques that work for your tastes.  If you need advise, everyone here is great to help, so don't hesitate to ask.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  4. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    Should it be wrapped in foil the whole time? Also thanks for all the help mtm29575
     
  5. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    Also what do you use to inject it with? Example apple juice, etc
     
  6. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If it is wrapped the whole time, it will not absorb the smoke.  Some people wrap when it reaches an IT in the 160s.  Some feel it helps keep it moist and might get you through the stall a little quicker.  If you haven't read about the stall yet, it is a frustrating phenomenon in which the IT of the pork just stops rising.  For example, the IT can be rising a degree every couple of minutes and then when it reaches a certain temp, maybe 162 degrees for arguments sake, it will just stay there for anywhere from an hour to 3 or 4.  Each piece of meat is different so the length of the stall is different.  If you have the time, I say let it ride without wrapping it in foil at all.  Good luck!
     
  7. bkbuilds

    bkbuilds Fire Starter

    I don't mean to high jack the thread but I will also be doing my first butt soon and am also new to smoking.

    Do you put the butt in a foil pan to catch the juice during the smoke? or is that Brisket you put in the pan to catch the juice?
     
  8. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    I agree with Worktogthr, I know some people foil later in the smoke, but I did not. I just let it ride it out. Creates a nice bark on the butt.

    As for the injection, yes, it is a mixture of Apple Juice, sugar, salt, water, and some Worchestershire Sauce. I don't have the proportions memorized, but you can do a google search on Big Bob Gibson injection, or maybe Chris Lilly injection, and you can get the ratios. You can adjust the proportions toward the flavor profile you prefer.
     
  9. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    Thanks for the info worktogthr. This board seems really nice and everyone is so helpful. Now worries BKBuilds its just a learning experience.
     
  10. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    Thanks again man! Also probably stupid question but is it better to lay the meat directly on the rack or place it in a plan... I would assume directly on the wrap so it cooks even but again I'm a newbie?
     
  11. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    and another lol with the injection... are you just doing it once before you put it in the smoker or throughout cooking
     
  12. I have only done pork butts three times and they were on a Weber gasser with two burners turned off. That said I have not used a pan and usually wrapped when the IT hit between 165* and 175*.

    I just got a Yoder YS640 pellet smoker two weeks ago and have not had the chance to do a butt yet, but I have been reading about not foiling and may use one the first time out.

    There are a lot more experienced cooks on here so hopefully someone will help with your decision.

    Joe
     
  13. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No problem, at all.  I have only been smoking since October and have turned out some amazing meals due all in part to what I have learned on here.  
     
  14. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Yes, I inject it just once right before I put it in the smoker. For safety's sake, you should read up on the 140 degrees in 4 hour guideline. In a nutshell, if you penetrate the meat, then you can possibly open it up to contaminates..i.e.: bacteria, etc.  So you should then have the internal meat temp up to 140 degrees within 4 hours to prevent any problems. This applies if you penetrate, such as with an injection. So I do it just as it goes in the smoker. I don't inject any after that.

    As for the foil pan, again, matter of preference. I do with the butts, but only because the butt is a fatty piece of meat, and it can drip out a LOT of drippings during the cook. In an enclosed electric smoker, it can fill up the drip pan really fast and make a mess of things. So I just place in a foil pan to catch the drippings just to ease up the cleanup, that's the only reason I do it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  15. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I like to cook directly on the rack because you get more bark.  If the butt was in a pan the whole bottom could get soggy.  The juices will drip into the drip pan at the bottom of your smoker.  I usually smoke without any liquid in the drip pan so those juices burn anyway.  Like someone above mentioned, put some foil over that drip pan before the smoke so you don't have to clean it up afterwards.  J
     
  16. bkbuilds

    bkbuilds Fire Starter

    Thanks for the answer. My WSM 18.5 was just delivered today so when I get home I'll check out the water pan size. I'll likely put the foil pan in cuz I'm a clean freak.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  17. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    mtm29575 is right.  I should have been more clear.  The drip pans provided with a lot of smokers are small so I often place a foil pan on the rack under the rack that the butt is on.
     
  18. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Right, if you want it sitting directly on the rack, then you can always put the foil pan on the rack underneath the butt, to catch the drippings and help with clean up.  It's one of those things that just comes down to your comfort level with cleaning, etc. No real right or wrong way to do it.  Worktogthr is correct. If you place the butt in the pan, the bottom won't get a bark, and can be a little soggy. But since I pull mine anyway, the bottom doesn't bother me and when I mix the pulled together, it seems to add to the moisture. Just my opinion and preference. Again, you will learn your own way after a few smokes.
     
  19. vervoren03

    vervoren03 Newbie

    Thanks everyone!! This info has been soooooooo helpful. Have a great day all!!
     
  20. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    Be sure to post about the results of your smoke...with pics if possible ! 
     

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