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Pulled pork, ribs and firebox monitoring

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

OK, have a long day on the smoker planned today.  Going to try to get 2 shoulders done in time for dinner, and some baby back ribs for my folks.  Also thought I would try to keep track of my charcoal / split use, as I haven't really monitored that closely before.  I'll set up a table for the firebox details here at the top, then add pictures and details below.

 

Time Detail
Night before Set up firebox with ~10 lbs lump and 2 chunks hickory in firebox. 
4:30

 Light 1 chimney briquettes

5:15 Add chimney to fb
5:25 CC stable @230°, TBS, add meat
6:30 Add 2 more hickory chunks

 

 

Two shoulders from local supermarket

 

 

Prepped with Jeff's rub the night before

 

 

Started with about 10 lbs of lump and a couple chunks of hickory

 

Chimney with briquettes

 

Briquettes added to FB

 

Temp stable at 230°, add meat

 

Top and bottom vent just barely open to keep temp stable from 230° to 250°

 

OK, at this point drove to neighborhood Tim Hortons for some coffee.  Addicted to the TH coffee, not sure what they add to it but I'm hooked.  Okay, back at 6:15 to nice TBS, everything looking good so far.

 

I'll be back....

post #2 of 17

Looks like you are cruising over there in Buffalo! Nice job. I'm doing a 5 pounder myself just up the road in MA! 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Time Detail Meat temp
Night before Set up firebox with ~10 lbs lump and 2 chunks hickory in firebox.   
4:30

 Light 1 chimney briquettes

 
5:15 Add chimney to fb  
5:25 CC stable @230°, TBS, add meat  
6:30 Add 2 more hickory chunks  
7:05 Add 1 sm, 1 lg split.  Put temp sensor in meat 84
7:20 Add 1 lg split, increase smoker temp 250 - 270 88
     
 

Update on temps, here's where we're at:

 

 

 

I'll be back with a Swedish breakfast.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

OK, so son (age 11) is home from scout camp (actually been away more than home this month, with a couple of weeks at Christian camp, 1 week at scout camp, then going back to Christian camp next week), so he comes down with bleary eyes, first words are 'What's for breakfast?'.  I say I dunno, how 'bout some cereal, and he says 'Hey, let's have some pult!'.

 

So, a bit of explaining here, probably good idea.  Pult is a Swedish recipe I learned from my grandfather years ago, it's basically just flour, potatoes and salt pork.  I'll have to create a how-to post the next time we make them.  Anyway, they're rolled into balls (a little smaller than a softball) and frozen until needed:

 

 

 

Inside, showing salt pork in middle:

 

 

Cut into cubes and fried with butter:

 

Conversation with son:

 

"Dad, those are looking a little dry.  Better add more butter"

"I already used half a stick, that's enough"

"You're cooking 3 of them.  Grandma uses a whole stick for one!"

"Grandma is 82 years old, she can do whatever she wants"  ... as I add a little more butter.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobank03 View Post

Looks like you are cruising over there in Buffalo! Nice job. I'm doing a 5 pounder myself just up the road in MA! 

Thanks. That's up the road quite a ways,I'll send some smoke that way.
post #6 of 17

yeah, it's about 450 miles between, us, but right off the same Highway (more or less). Never seen Pult before. Reminds me of the Geotta we ate in Cincinnati when I was a kid. I make it here too when I have a hankering. It is Pork Sausage, steel cut oats, onions and some seasonings. Cooked, formed into bricks using meatloaf pans, chilled and then sliced and cooked with a little pork fat in the skillet. Man between you and me, I'm starving... :drool:

post #7 of 17
Looks like you're off to angood start! I like your smoker! I'll be hanging around for the finish.
post #8 of 17

Lookin good so far Swede!  I'm intrigued by the pult...

 

Red

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Time Detail CC temp Meat temp
Night before Set up firebox with ~10 lbs lump and 2 chunks hickory in firebox.     
4:30

 Light 1 chimney briquettes

   
5:15 Add chimney to fb    
5:25 CC stable @230°, TBS, add meat 230  
6:30 Add 2 more hickory chunks 250  
7:05 Add 1 sm, 1 lg split.  Put temp sensor in meat 250 84
7:20 Add 1 lg split, increase smoker temp 250 - 270 270 88
8:10

Add 2sm, 2lg split.  Vents at 1/2 (bottom), 1/2 (top)

270 108
8:20 Spike to 300, vents at 0, 1/2 for 10 minutes, then bottom at 1/2 300  
8:50 Add 2 lg split 275 122
9:15 4 hours 270 133
9:25 Add 2 lg split, vents at 1/2, 1/2 270 135
10:00

Add 1 lg, 1 sm, vents 1/2, 1/2

Condensed coals, bin about 1/2 full, set up another chimney to keep good coal base

270 147
10:10

Spiked to 325 from condensing coals and shaking things up, closed vents to 0 bottom, 1/4 top

325  
10:15 Temp stable 275  
10:15 Add chimney lump, 2 splits 275 153

 

OK, here's where I'm at, going pretty good except for a couple of spikes above 300 when I turned my back (teach me to multi-task).  At 5 hours I added another chimney to keep things running.  For most smokes (ribs, chicken) I would have been well set with the initial charcoal setup and adding splits, but because this will be going for awhile yet I added more lump to keep a good base.  I've run into trouble before by letting the base of coals get too thin.

 

Here it is at about 4 hours, didn't write down when I took the picture

 

 

 

Coals moved over toward CC to make room for another chimney.  Temp spiked to 325 5 minutes after doing this, need to watch that.

 

Added chimney of lump

 

 

OK, need to get ribs set now, be back with those.

post #10 of 17

looking good, maybe load a half chimney to keep the temps from climbing that high? Looking good! 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

OK, next update, ribs on at 12:45, butts stuck stalled at 165 and 180.

 

Time Detail CC temp Meat temp
Night before Set up firebox with ~10 lbs lump and 2 chunks hickory in firebox.     
4:30

 Light 1 chimney briquettes

   
5:15 Add chimney to fb    
5:25 CC stable @230°, TBS, add meat 230  
6:30 Add 2 more hickory chunks 250  
7:05 Add 1 sm, 1 lg split.  Put temp sensor in meat 250 84
7:20 Add 1 lg split, increase smoker temp 250 - 270 270 88
8:10

Add 2sm, 2lg split.  Vents at 1/2 (bottom), 1/2 (top)

270 108
8:20 Spike to 300, vents at 0, 1/2 for 10 minutes, then bottom at 1/2 300  
8:50 Add 2 lg split 275 122
9:15 4 hours 270 133
9:25 Add 2 lg split, vents at 1/2, 1/2 270 135
10:00

Add 1 lg, 1 sm, vents 1/2, 1/2

Condensed coals, bin about 1/2 full, set up another chimney to keep good coal base

270 147
10:10

Spiked to 325 from condensing coals and shaking things up, closed vents to 0 bottom, 1/4 top

325  
10:15 Temp stable 275  
10:15 Add chimney lump, 2 splits 275 153
11:05 Add 2 splits 260 163
11:20 Moved temp sensor to smaller butt, internal temp is higher 270 178
11:50 Add 1 split, add ribs, back heat off for ribs 230 180
12:20 Add 2 splits 220 178
1:35 Add 1 split, prep chimney with lump 230 185
1:50 Add chimney, wrap ribs and butts 220 185
2:00 Stable, all back in for finish 230 185
2:40 Light 1/2 chimney of briquettes to finish 250 183
3:00 Add briquettes, done with splits.   250 192
3:45 Pulled ribs from smoker 250 198
4:10 Pulled butts from smoker 250 200

 

OK, so finished the ribs on the grill just to give a little crust to the outside, took it over to the parents (they live across the street), they're happy

 

 

Butts are wrapped tight and in the cooler, as soon as the wife and son get back from the pool we'll pull them.  Interesting that smaller butt stalled at about 180, larger one stalled at 165.  When the smaller one hit 178 at 11:30 I thought for sure it was going to just sail right on through.  But if fluctuated from 185, then all the way back to 178, then back and forth, for over 3 hours before it broke through.  They ended up finishing within 15 minutes of each other.

 

I'll be back later with finish product on the pulled pork. Thanks for looking!

post #12 of 17
Isn't that the way. My 5 lb shoulder is at 196. It went on at 630. It should be done soon. Ribs look great!
post #13 of 17

Really like your set up

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sorry about the late update, things got a little hectic about dinner time, and we were on the go all of Sunday.  Just one final picture of the pork as I started pulling it, after resting in the cooler for about 1 1/2 hours:

 

 

Turned out very good, both were very juicy with lots of flavor. We added some finishing sauce using a recipe we got from a neighbor (they probably wouldn't want me to publish it as-is, but after having some I'm going to be modifying it quite a bit, once I get that down I'll share it here), then wrapped and put in to freezer for kid's birthday party next week.  Of course we kept out enough for dinner, and a little for the 'rents across the street.

 

Feedback on the BB ribs were the best ever.  I keep it real simple, just a little SPOG for the first 2 hours, then some of Chef JimmyJ's foiling juice (we use Jeff's rub, juice instead of cider and honey instead of cane syrup, and this time I left out the molasses) for the 1.5, then on a 250° grill for .5 with just a splash of store bought BBQ sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays).

 

So, I learn something from every smoke, this is what I got from this one

 

  1. I ended up using about 3/4 bag of Royal Oak Lump (maybe 10-12 lbs), 1 1/2 chimneys of briquettes (maybe 8 - 10 lbs), and a full bucket of hardwood (maybe 4-5 fireplace size logs).  The smoker had enough fuel for another 2 hours at 230 or so left in it after I pulled the meat out.  Total burn time was about 12-13 hours).
  2. I ran it hotter than I usually do, keeping it near 275 for most of the time, instead of the 230 that I usually target.  At first I thought it used a lot more wood, but the butts got done a lot sooner, so it's probably an even trade off.  The flavor didn't suffer from the higher temps (that I could tell), but the smoker definitely required closer monitoring.  It's more work to burn it hotter, you really can't leave it for long.  This smoker seams to 'like' working at the 230 range.
  3. My splits were too small, which added to my work load, I kind of new this going in, but I wanted to use them up.  I'm using a mix of northern hardwoods, but it's mainly hard maple and white ash, with a little oak here and there.  Full fireplace cut (16") won't fit in my SFB very well, so after splitting I cut in half with a reciprocating saw so they end up 8" deep.  I'll be keeping them about  3 x 3 x 8 going forward

 

Overall a very successfull smoke, and a great way to spend the day!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

Looks like you're off to angood start! I like your smoker! I'll be hanging around for the finish.

 

Thanks for looking Case!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeenRed View Post
 

Lookin good so far Swede!  I'm intrigued by the pult...

 

Red

 

Thanks, Red.  I'll be making more this fall, I'll create a complete write up then, I think a lot of folks here would find it interesting. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobank03 View Post
 

looking good, maybe load a half chimney to keep the temps from climbing that high? Looking good! 

Thanks, Bob, I left the vents open too far.  I have to really watch it for 5-10 minutes after I add more fuel, it can really spike.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobank03 View Post

Isn't that the way. My 5 lb shoulder is at 196. It went on at 630. It should be done soon. Ribs look great!

Great minds think alike!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fendrbluz View Post
 

Really like your set up

Thanks, it was a little bumpy getting started, but I'm getting a handle on it now.  It's getting to be more fun, I'm not as nervous as I was starting out.

 

Thanks for watching, everyone, I appreciate the feedback!


Edited by WaywardSwede - 7/28/14 at 11:35am
post #15 of 17
Looks great!!!
post #16 of 17
I really appreciate this post! Inspires me to log my steps, temps etc next big smoke!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm glad it was helpful, make sure you share what you're doing with us.
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