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5th of July Pulled Pork!

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

Maybe it's a bad assumption, but I'm assuming most people bbqed yesterday and are sleeping in and resting today, so for your viewing pleasure, here is my first attempt at pulled pork :)


First and foremost, like always, I have to thank BearCarver.  He has gone so far out of his way to help me on these forums, both in public threads and sending me private messages.  I can't imagine how I would begin my venture into smoking without his advice!  So I'm following the instructions on his thread here:  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140055/boston-butt-pulled-pork-step-by-step


Purchased an 8.91 pound butt yesterday.  I decided to cut off all the fat I could to expose as much meat as possible to the smoke.  I kept the fat carvings and put them in a tray punched full of holes that I placed above the butt.  I drowned the meat in mustard (maybe too much?) and coated it in rub.  I had made my own rub out of SPOG and paprika, but so far I haven't found that it's added much if any flavor at all, so I picked up the most generic looking privately made rub at the local grocery store.  Not generic in a bad way, just a bottle that you can tell is made by some small start up that hopefully is good.  It's called Bad Byron's Butt Rub.  Not sure anybody cares, but here are the ingredients:


Salt, black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, paprika, and chipotle powder (smoked jalapeno).


I realized that outside of the chipotle powder, it was the same rub I made.  Hopefully, just in different (better) proportions.


So I overslept today and got a late start... meant to get this guy started at 7:00 AM, but didn't get up until close to 8:00.  Gave it a second coat of rub and threw it in the MES 40 with a full load of hickory/cherry (Pitmaster's Choice) pellets in the AMNPS.


So check out my butt (does it look fat?) after the second coat of rub:



And here we are in the smoke machine at 220:




I'm going to spend the next several hours working hard to make sure it gets enough smoke while I go back to sleep.  This smoking business is hard work.

post #2 of 53

THIS IS GREAT!!!!  Nice job on the baster.  Will be interesting to see how it works.  And thanks for the kudos to a great member, BearCarver.  Very thoughtful and kind of you to do so. 


Like you I'll be smoking today, as will others I'm sure. 


Keep the Q-view coming!

post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 

Thank Noboundaries! 


I'm a little over 4 hours in and IT is at 133.  Probably started way too late this morning!  Woops... 


I'm just now reading about how inaccurate the MES thermometers are and I'm kind of afraid.  My other meats have turned out fantastic so far by believing the thing so hopefully I'll be good for this too, but looks like I might need to upgrade at some point. 


I'm hoping my fat-drip idea isn't going to bite me in the butt (no pun intended).  It doesn't seem like there's very much action in the bottom drip pan at all.  I was expecting much more liquid to be built up down there.



post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 

Whew... another disaster narrowly averted....  When I opened the smoker to take those pictures, I got a big face full of smoke.  I came over and made my post and before going back in, decided to be paranoid and just go look at everything again for no good reason.  I hardly saw any smoke coming out at all...  So I checked the AMNPS and it was completely burnt out!  It must have jumped rows (I had it filled pretty full).  I've never had that happen before. 


So I just filled it back up with two more rows.  I hope it hasn't been out long, but I'm assuming it hasn't.  Each row lasts around ~4 hours, so even if all 3 rows burnt at the same time, it should have just finished itself off.  And I guess all 3 rows had to have burnt at the same time for it all to be gone in just over 4 hours.  Very weird...

post #5 of 53

Heck, if it all went easy it'd be boring!  That's what makes smoking so much fun........PROBLEM SOLVING! 


Nice color on the butt BTW!


That smoked fat is giving me all kinds of ideas.  Before that fat burns up completely it might be good to break up and add to a cornbread recipe.   

post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hmm so, if I take it out now, should I re-add it to the pan when I foil?
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Ooh, I think I may have hit my first stall, too. It's been at 240 for about 2 hours and IT has been at 140 for about an hour without budging.
post #8 of 53
Looks like its going to be a late night dinner.
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Ya, I don't want to have dinner at midnight. I've read that many people have good luck cranking up the Temps when crunched for time. I'm thinking maybe at the 8 hour mark I could just go ahead and foil and crank up the heat. Not sure though... This is my first time doing this.
post #10 of 53
Its a good size piece of meat....it can take the heat. Lots of folks, including myself have good luck with 265, 275, or better. No loss of flavor, moisture, or tenderness. Helps drive you through the stall also.....and keeps you from having to eat at midnight.
Also when planning your cooks, remember to add some rest time to the total. Its an important part of the process.
post #11 of 53
Thread Starter 
OK, Bear might slap me when he reads this, but I'm over 8 hours in and not even at 150 yet, so I might just crank it up to 260 now. The thermometer was just stuck at 140, so I moved it to a different part of the meat and it read 145. That was almost a hour and a half ago and it's still at 147.

Definitely need to plan this better next time. Good news is it looks like I'm making some nice looking bark.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
With and without flash:

Had to bust out the old school thermometer just to verify the MES readings.
post #13 of 53

Looks good so far, Josh!!  And Thank You for the kind words!!


I like to keep my temp at 230* or so the whole time, but like Geerock said, it won't hurt to go up, especially since an MES won't go higher than 275* anyway. If you could & wanted to go higher than that, I'd recommend against it Personally.


We gotta get you into the digital therm, like an Maverick ET-732 or ET-733. I'd never trust a built in therm, especially one with a stationary sensor.


As for your AMNPS maybe burning out early by jumping rows, I'm not sure where yours is in the picture, but if it's under that foil on the bottom left, that foil might be to close to the top of the AMNPS. So if you fill the pellets too full, so the pellets are too close to each other at the top between the rows, plus you have the foil holding the heat from the AMNPS down on the pellets, that could be the cause of a cross-over.





PS:  I wrote this before your last post, but I wouldn't change my content.

Edited by Bearcarver - 7/5/14 at 2:41pm
post #14 of 53

Okay, at this point if you're trying to salvage dinner, you can wrap it in a double layer of foil with just about anything sweet like a cup of apple juice, white wine, orange juice, beer, cola, 7-up, ginger ale, whatever.  Crank the temp up to 275 to 325.  Don't worry about smoke once wrapped.  Or you can wrap it and put it in the oven at the higher temp.  Should be done in less than 2 hours once you wrap it if you take it to 325.  Then let it rest in the wrapping for about an hour.  Wrapped it will cook faster than just cranking up the temp in the smoker alone.


Or, just let it go as is and wait out the stall.  No harm in cranking up the temp.     

post #15 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I'm at a half hour now on 260 and IT is still only 149. Really contemplating if I should go ahead and foil or not...
post #16 of 53
Originally Posted by turick View Post

Thanks guys! I'm at a half hour now on 260 and IT is still only 149. Really contemplating if I should go ahead and foil or not...


You're talking about 260* on your MES digital read-out???


If it is, and you still have smoke going, take it to 275* awhile before foiling it, and see what happens.




post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
Yes sir... Cranking her up to 275 now!
post #18 of 53

Then even if it doesn't get up to 165* in an hour, foil it in a pan with the juices. Nuke the juices good & hot first, so that doesn't cool it even more.




post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 
Roger that. Oh ya, how do you check IT after you foil? Do you just foil over the top of the wire, or puncture the foil, or just unfoil occasionally?
post #20 of 53
Originally Posted by turick View Post

Roger that. Oh ya, how do you check IT after you foil? Do you just foil over the top of the wire, or puncture the foil, or just unfoil occasionally?


I've done it both of your first 2 ways. The easiest is to stick it after foiling it, as long as you can figure center good enough. I wouldn't unfoil it until it's done & rested.


I like to pinch my fingers on the probe right where it should end up at the surface, and slide it in to that point.




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