So i'm having a inner-personal-conflict with my BBQ skills....questioning life and all that stuff...
i consider myself pretty knowledgeable...i have cook many briskets, butts, ribs, chickens and jerky. i know my smoker well and i know the science of smoking pretty well. So here is my problem...i did a friendly backyard smokeout a few weeks ago. i knew we only had until 5pm on a saturday to complete the pork and pull and ready to be judged.
So my plan was buy a smaller butt and start early...i'd rather be done way early and let it rest in foil and a towel and let it break down more until i'm ready for judging. I get to the cookout at 6am saturday morning...giving me 11 hours of cook time! I bought a smaller butt just to make sure i'd be done in time, i got a 3.5lber. so in theory my cooking at 225 should take at most 7-8 hours.
i had one of the smaller butts...so of course i got flack from my friends about that. so we all get our butts in..i was the 2nd or 3rd to get mine in a smoking. others had slightly larger butts then me and started after me.
long story short as time draws near my friends are finishing around me...hitting temps of 185-200. i'm sitting there at 2-3pm sitting at 175 and barely inching forward. finally 4pm comes around and i'm almost at 180. i say screw it i want atleast a hour of resting...i know it'll go up in temp atleast 5 degrees so i wrap and pput in my cooler to rest.
i get it out and it pulls away fine but i know i've had more tender meat.
So i guess my question is....in competition (or in general cooking) am i really being naive to keep at 225 the whole time? i'm thinking of starting out my smokes for now on at 250...and once i get over the peak setting it lower down to 225 to finish off.
maybe i just had a un-agreeable butt...who knows...but i'm getting down on myself here