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First Butt Smoke this weekend!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

This weekend I'm planning to smoke my first butt for a family dinner Sunday night.   I will also be doing up a few slabs of spare ribs to go with it which I've done before and i'm not concerned about.  The butt however has me a little scared.  I'm planning to smoke the butt saturday pull it and re-heat it on sunday. I will smoke the ribs sunday afternoon.  This gives me PLENTY of time to wait out the butt if I need to.  Also gives me time to throw on a backup brisket if I need to... smile.gif

 

 

Plan so far for the butt:

 

slather with yellow mustard

apply a rub yet to be determined

wrap in plastic and fridge over night.

Early saturday morning start smoking

smoke for 1 1/2 hour per lb till it hits 200 IT.

 

 

Unknowns are:

 

To Foil or Not to Foil?

To Spritz or not to Spritz?  ( like to spritz my ribs with apple juice and cider vinegar)

 

I've narrowed down the two rubs I think I would like the best does anyone have an opinion either way?  

 

Rub 1:

 

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons cayenne
 
Rub 2:
 
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup mild chili powder (use medium or hot to kick up the heat)
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground allspice
 
What do you all think?  I'm using a Brinkman Charcoal Grill/Smoker that I've used for a while and I'm able to keep it pretty steady between 225 and 240 all day long.  I usually use a water pan in there but lately have read about using sand or bricks instead.  Not sure If I want to experiment with that on this smoke or not.
post #2 of 13

I don't foil till it is done. Then sometimes I just use a towel. You get better bark that way. You will loose the bark If you are serving the next day so foil it when you remove it. I don't spritz i leave the door closed the whole time.

Remember to post a Qview.

Happy smoken.

David

post #3 of 13

I'd take the allspice from rub #2 and add it to rub #1. No real need to spritz. Foiling will shorten your cook time but soften your bark. I personally don't like my pork butts to look like a meteorite, so once I get the color I like I foil and put in the oven.

That way I also have the juices from the foil to use in my finishing sauce.

Good luck!!

post #4 of 13

In rub #1 that looks like a lot of cayenne to me...but I an not one that likes a lot of heat.

This #1 is my fav of both.

 

I don't foil anymore.  I do spritz every now and then.  I do put them in a foil pan and wrap up for a cooler nap for at least an hour.  Butts are very forgiving.  Just have fun and "don't sweat it"!

 

Kat

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I don't mind a little heat but some of the other guests may not like alot of heat so I might cut that cayenne back a bit.  Just found out its a smaller butt (lol) at 3.5lb so I can probably get everything done in one day by doing two rounds.  Butt first and then ribs on after the butt is done andcooler resting and being pulled.  3.5lb butt and 4 slabs of spare ribs for 8 people.  Should be about right.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here we go! ypuje3ep.jpg

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post #7 of 13
Looks like a plan to me. I don't foil or spritz ribs or butts, or even open the cooker for that matter until the temp tells me to probe for tenderness. Then I let a butt stand at room temp for about 30 min and pull by hand. Ribs: when they're done I cut and eat. But that's just me. Experiment and figure out the best way for you and your family and guests.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
2.5 hrs in everything coming along nicely. Little windy but temps holding steady. About to foil ribs soon.


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5ameny6a.jpg

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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I'd like to thank everyone for all the help and advice. I mixed up a rub based off the first one I listed.  Add and reduced a few items and I really like it and seems everyone else did as well. The ribs and butt both turned out nicely. The butt turned out VERY tender, I left it on till right at 200 then foiled and tossed in a cooler for a few hours to rest. It pretty much pulled its self and tasted great! No sauce needed..
 
Ribs however, are really testing me. The last few times I've done them trying to use any variation of the 3-2-1 method I NEVER get the last hour on the grates unfoiled because after they are rapped they simply fall apart if you even touch a bone. Now thats GREAT if you like them dry like I do. But if you wanted to sauce them the last hour your SOL! So am I the only person having trouble with this? This time I tried going 3-1-1 and they fell apart in the foil. I even tried a 2-30min-2 which left them a little tough. Does anyone else have trouble with this?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KandL View Post

Well I'd like to thank everyone for all the help and advice. I mixed up a rub based off the first one I listed.  Add and reduced a few items and I really like it and seems everyone else did as well. The ribs and butt both turned out nicely. The butt turned out VERY tender, I left it on till right at 200 then foiled and tossed in a cooler for a few hours to rest. It pretty much pulled its self and tasted great! No sauce needed..
 
Ribs however, are really testing me. The last few times I've done them trying to use any variation of the 3-2-1 method I NEVER get the last hour on the grates unfoiled because after they are rapped they simply fall apart if you even touch a bone. Now thats GREAT if you like them dry like I do. But if you wanted to sauce them the last hour your SOL! So am I the only person having trouble with this? This time I tried going 3-1-1 and they fell apart in the foil. I even tried a 2-30min-2 which left them a little tough. Does anyone else have trouble with this?

Yes. LOTS of people have trouble with this. The 3-2-1 method is considered by many to the the gold standard for fall off the bone ribs. However, many others don't like fall off the bone ribs. There are literally thousands of different methods for cooking ribs, all due to people wanting to get them the way THEY want them. I'd love to tell you there is a one size fits all solution, but there isn't. Ribs are tricky.

Variations in cookers, fuel, weather and the quality of the ribs themselves put ribs right up there at the top of the heap of mythical foods. Why do you think that when someone decides he or she has perfected ribs that they invariably promote "their" ribs to family and friends via endless BBQ's and "get togethers". Then they'll regale them with the story of about how difficult it was to get to that point, their "secret" recipes and methods, and finally the "breakthrough". And then they get that wistful look in their eye and start talking about "opening that little BBQ joint someday"....

Then you taste their ribs and you're like "Eh, they're ok." Ribs are like children. Everyone is convinced that his or her own are "exceptional". This is natural, as they have a lot of time and effort invested in them.

So just keep at it. You'll get there. For me, it's 2 hours, 45 minutes, 15 minutes as a starting point. I smoke 'em until I get the initial color and tenderness I want, then I foil them for usually about 45 minutes, then I put them back on the grate, sauce them and give it 15 or 20 minutes to set up. Oh, and I do all this at 275˚. This method USUALLY gives me very tender ribs that are still meaty and bite cleanly off the bone. I try to shoot for 1/2" or less of pull back. Someday I'll open up that little BBQ joint....

post #11 of 13

Question, what temp are you running the smoker at? The 3-2-1- and 2-2-1 methods were originally set up for running a smoker at 225*. So if you are running hotter that will make a difference. Also these are just guideline times and since you are foiling (braising) you are going to end up with more of the fall off the bone. If your looking for more of a bite I would skip the foiling and use the bend test for your ribs. That is the method I prefer. I also like my ribs naked, but will sauce some for guests.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the insight!  I'm glad I'm not alone.  The few times I've done them before were for myself and my wife.  We did not sauce them and actually enjoyed them falling off the bone.  This time however our guests requested them sauced which is where I ran into trouble.  I will just keep practicing and I'll try your timing out also and see where that gets me.  The good thing is every time I "Practice" its never really a failure as they always end up tasting GREAT regardless of the texture.  biggrin.gif

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Dirtsailor, I am running hotter, usually around 240ish. So that could be the entire issue.

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