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Pulled pork questions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Howdy yall. This is my first post of what i hope to be many with you guy.  I am fairly new to smoking things and have been learning as i go.

 

I am hoping to do up a big ol' batch of pulled pork for my Kentucky Derby Party.  I did pulled pork once before i had a smoker on my gas grill (one side of the grill off and chips in a smoker box on the side that was lit)  It turned out ok i guess.  here is where the questions come in:

 

1. Brine or no brine?  The first that batch i did, i did brine the butt.  I may have done a bit to much salt i dunno but it was certainly a little salty.  not terrible, but salty.

 

2.  I got the chargriller duo for christmas with the side firebox.  I have been using charcoal for the base fire then putting a big piece of hicory on top of that for smoke.  Any tips you guys can throw my way for being able to maintain 210 to 225 ish?

 

3:  i will probably be serving around 20 people so i was going to do 2 8lb butts (i think that should be enough). i am guessing about 10 to 11 hours on the smoker.  does that sound about right?

 

Many thanks in advance!

post #2 of 10

welcome1.gif You should jump over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so you can get welcomed properly. Also could you add your location to your profile. About the butt. I wouldn't brine it. Just rub it the night before with your favorite rub, wrap it in saran wrap and let it sit overnight. Charcoal with wood added occasionally for smoke is how I do it. Leave the exhaust wide open and regulate heat using the intake on the firebox.  I would figure at least 1 1/2 hrs per pound at 225ºF. And maybe 2 more hours in case you get a bad stall. If it's done early you can foil it wrap it in towels and put in a cooler. It will stay hot for over 5 hours. The chargriller does need some modifications to make it a good smoker. Here are a couple links that may help.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/96895/char-griller-mods-from-junk-around-the-house-qview

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/98502/recent-firebox-mods-w-pics

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/109725/this-is-my-version-of-the-perfect-char-griller-with-side-fire-box

post #3 of 10

Also look into Minion Method smoking.  I'm still a padowan learner in such arts, but I've had a few smokes where I've had a good 6 hour of constant burn temps using that method.  

 

And consider a wind break for your Chargriller.  I smoke on the Smokin' Pro with the SFB and if the ambient temps are low and there's any breeze at all, it will pull the heat right out of the smoker on the windward side so fast you can't believe it.  In breezy, cold conditions that we frequently encounter out here in the mountains, I've seen the breeze make my temps swing 60 degrees across the grate from the windward to leeward side.

 

I also bought a piano blanket that I drape over the top of the smoker.  I think it helps insulate it some, which makes me go through fuel slower.  Just be careful that it doesn't touch your fire box because it will burn on contact.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

i am noticing everyone lowering their smoke stacks.  This may be a dumb question but why? (still a newb)

post #5 of 10

Quote:

Originally Posted by ben502 View Post

i am noticing everyone lowering their smoke stacks.  This may be a dumb question but why? (still a newb)


I'm assuming you're referring to extending the stack down to cooking grate level inside your cooking chamber, right?  That forces the heat and smoke to fill the chamber before going out the stack.  Without it, the heat and smoke come out of your SFB and travel along the ceiling of your cooking chamber and out the stack.  With it, the hot air and smoke from your fire fills the chamber before it can find its way out your smoke stack.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

This  Minion Method looks great!

post #7 of 10

The minion method is a must for longer smokes.

Instead of a piano blanket, you might also want to invest in a welding blanket. Fireproof and available at most hardware stores. I got mine pretty cheaply at Harbor Freight. Get a larger one that you can fold a couple times for more insulation and drape it over the smokebox.

And I'm sure this is covered in those other links, but get yourself a couple decent bbq thermometers and install them near grate level on either side of your smokebox. That way you can gauge the temp difference from side to side.

As for lowering the smokestack, most people use aluminum dryer hose, but I just use a hollowed-out Sapporo beer can, jammed  into the bottom of the smokestack. Fits perfectly and works fine.

post #8 of 10

Unless you have sealed up your fire box the minion method will not work on the Duo.  Too much air flow.  I have one, and tried it ended up with 10 lbs of charcoal going at once, and about a 600 degree meat chamber.  Had to dump a bunch of water on it.  You need to seal it up so you don't have all the air flow in before you try it.  If you haven't done that, you are stuck baby sitting it all day.  Or you can cheat a bit, and start it in the smoker, then when you get it to 160, pull it out wrap in foil and put in a 225 degree oven.  I have had great success with that method.  Works very well with the long smokes.  I usually start it the night before the event, and put it in the oven when I go to bed.  If it is pretty early, only set your oven for 200, let it cook overnight.  Works well with Briskets too. 

 

You lose the hard bark doing this, but in my experience it is the same as if you foiled it and left it on the smoker.  You just don't get stuck babysitting it all night.  Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

i really do not mind sitting with it to watch the temp.  that just sounds like good reasons to drink bourbon and smoke cigars!  I have actually been running a bit hot.  it sounds like i need to restrict down the airflow a fair amount.  i may have also been running the air intake a bit to opened.  i think the first think i will try is foiling the door and putting some weight on it and choking down the air intake a bit as well as adding some length to the smoke stack...thanks yall!

 

i do like the idea of the tool box latch on the fire box door and may look into that.

 

what do you guys suggest for a longer term firebox door gasket and how would one attach it?

 

i loved the bottle opener mod on one of these as well. i am only mad i did't think of it first.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben502 View Post


what do you guys suggest for a longer term firebox door gasket and how would one attach it?

 


Some guys have used RTV gasket maker. Get the red stuff. You can pick it up at any auto store. What you do is sand off the area where your gasket is gonna go, then push a bead of gasket maker. Wrap the lid with saran wrap so it doesn't stick, then push the lid down into your gasket. Let it sit for probably 24 hrs to cure Boom, custom gasket. I've been meaning to get around to this one, but just haven't yet.

Another alternative is to loosely roll up some foil, put it in place and close the door on it. Then you shape the foil as needed. I've used this method to plug leaks from my cooking chamber and it works pretty well. Cheap and easy too, which is a plus.
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