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My first time...at a butt...OH MY!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

It’s been awhile since I have used my cooker and work has consumed my life but this weekend it’s coming out of the garage. I am craving some good smoked eats and want to try my hand at a boston butt or a shoulder.  I am looking for advice for a first-timer.  I’ve played with rubs and sauces enough to know what’s going to work but I have a few questions for the community which hopefully help me along my way.

 

My cooker is a MES30 and I am going to be using a AMNTS (for the first time) this weekend to delivery my smoke.  I purchased the twelve inch and according to the box it’ll burn for about four hours, hope it holds true there... 

 

Here is what I do know so far about smokin’ a butt (or at least what I have read).

 

1.    Plan on 8-15 hours depending on the size

2.    Smoking @ 225-240º

3.    Prepare yourself for a stall (that can last several hours)

4.    Lots of beer (or in my case a good burbon) plus patience

5.    Avoid wrapping the meat during my stall

6.    Good eats await

 

What I’d like to know from you folks is just a couple things… Would 4 hours of actual smoke (from the AMNTS 12-inch) be plenty? Or would you refill your tube twice for ~8 hours (assuming it takes me greater than 8 hours to my pull stage) of smoking?  I know there is different debate on this subject and id like to here from you on what/why about it… Some of you have said “as long as you have a TBS coming from your chimney, you can smoke as long as you want without getting a bitter/nasty taste.”  Whereas others are saying “meat stops taking in smoke after X hour in your cooker.”.  I am sure there is a good thread about that subject somewhere, just haven’t found it  yet.

 

The last thing I wondered about was introducing humidity in the cabinet.  I read a thread recently were it’s not really needed to keep water/juice in your water pan while you’re smoking (unless you’re doing sausage to keep the casings moist).   According to the instructions for the AMNTS you shouldn’t have humidty in your cabinet or it’ll cause the AMNTS to extinguish.  Any thoughts on this?

 

As always, thanks for the advice!  I look forward to updating this thread with either disaster photos or a job well done set of photos upon completion of my smoke.

post #2 of 18

Your plan sounds fine. I don't know about the AMNTS, but you don't need a water pan. A drip pan, yes. There are lots of ways to smoke butts and shoulders; hot and fast, low and slow, with foil, without foil, bark or no bark. One thing I would suggest is an internal of temp of 205 degrees, and rest the meat in an empty cooler, wrapped in foil and a towel to protect the cooler for at least an hour before pulling.

post #3 of 18
post #4 of 18

Remmeber that there is always more than way to do any smoke. I like it that way it gives a good excuse to do it again to try another way.

 

"What I’d like to know from you folks is just a couple things… Would 4 hours of actual smoke (from the AMNTS 12-inch) be plenty? Or would you refill your tube twice for ~8 hours (assuming it takes me greater than 8 hours to my pull stage) of smoking?  I know there is different debate on this subject and id like to here from you on what/why about it… Some of you have said “as long as you have a TBS coming from your chimney, you can smoke as long as you want without getting a bitter/nasty taste.”  Whereas others are saying “meat stops taking in smoke after X hour in your cooker.”.  I am sure there is a good thread about that subject somewhere, just haven’t found it  yet."

 

Try both ways and see which you prefer, thats the best suggestion anyone can give you. I like mine one way, but if you do your 99% another different way then my way may not work for you. Everything is interrelated.

 

"The last thing I wondered about was introducing humidity in the cabinet.  I read a thread recently were it’s not really needed to keep water/juice in your water pan while you’re smoking (unless you’re doing sausage to keep the casings moist).   According to the instructions for the AMNTS you shouldn’t have humidty in your cabinet or it’ll cause the AMNTS to extinguish.  Any thoughts on this?"

 

Reference above suggestion, make up your own mind.

 

Me, if you keep the door closed you'll need no moisture, and injecting is only for modifying flavors. Keep the door closed and you'll need no moisture. But Try both ways and see ways and see which you prefer.

 

 

Now ..... my biggest suggestion, recommendation is  <insert drum roll here>  cook it ahead of time.

 

If its for Sunday cook it Saturday, if not cook it the preceeding Sunday. Bag it and tag it with some of Chef JJ's famous finishing sauce (the recipe is in the search engine), I add a bit of honey to mine to adjust his vinegar twang. Let it sit over night with it and absorb and co-mingle and make happy with the meat. You'll probably only need a tablespoon. You can't really distingush its taste but it brings some much to the table. People don't reconize the sauce they just know your pulled pork is better than everyone elses. Pulled pork is like stew, soup, chili, etc. it gets better with age. Always better the next day.

 

PS ::  if you'll lightly rub that butt with brown sugar just before going in the smoker, it will liquidfy. Then it will caramelize. The final and mostest bestest step is the crystalization. It makes a shell to hold that moisture in. It is like an M&M,s hard candy shell, makes the meat melt in your mouth! You'll not see it or taste it, but you'll know if you forget it.

post #5 of 18

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/139995/it-wont-take-no-more-smoke-after-4-hours-horse-hockey This is a good, well thought out article by a well respected member here. I agree whole heartedly as I have done quite a bit of research on the subject. Or I should say eaten the research. Your plan sounds good though and I would smoke the whole time as long as you are using A fruitwood or maybe a little less for the more stronger woods like hickory or mesquite. No water pan.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillmonkey View Post
 

Your plan sounds fine. I don't know about the AMNTS, but you don't need a water pan. A drip pan, yes. There are lots of ways to smoke butts and shoulders; hot and fast, low and slow, with foil, without foil, bark or no bark. One thing I would suggest is an internal of temp of 205 degrees, and rest the meat in an empty cooler, wrapped in foil and a towel to protect the cooler for at least an hour before pulling.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillmonkey View Post
 

Also, you might want to take a look at these threads if you get bored:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/167292/why-dry-rub-why-not-just-season-the-pulled-pork-after-its-cooked

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/168469/the-cult-of-the-bark

 

I'll have to take a gander at that thread--thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

Remmeber that there is always more than way to do any smoke. I like it that way it gives a good excuse to do it again to try another way.

 

"What I’d like to know from you folks is just a couple things… Would 4 hours of actual smoke (from the AMNTS 12-inch) be plenty? Or would you refill your tube twice for ~8 hours (assuming it takes me greater than 8 hours to my pull stage) of smoking?  I know there is different debate on this subject and id like to here from you on what/why about it… Some of you have said “as long as you have a TBS coming from your chimney, you can smoke as long as you want without getting a bitter/nasty taste.”  Whereas others are saying “meat stops taking in smoke after X hour in your cooker.”.  I am sure there is a good thread about that subject somewhere, just haven’t found it  yet."

 

Try both ways and see which you prefer, thats the best suggestion anyone can give you. I like mine one way, but if you do your 99% another different way then my way may not work for you. Everything is interrelated.

 

"The last thing I wondered about was introducing humidity in the cabinet.  I read a thread recently were it’s not really needed to keep water/juice in your water pan while you’re smoking (unless you’re doing sausage to keep the casings moist).   According to the instructions for the AMNTS you shouldn’t have humidty in your cabinet or it’ll cause the AMNTS to extinguish.  Any thoughts on this?"

 

Reference above suggestion, make up your own mind.

 

Me, if you keep the door closed you'll need no moisture, and injecting is only for modifying flavors. Keep the door closed and you'll need no moisture. But Try both ways and see ways and see which you prefer.

 

 

Now ..... my biggest suggestion, recommendation is  <insert drum roll here>  cook it ahead of time.

 

If its for Sunday cook it Saturday, if not cook it the preceeding Sunday. Bag it and tag it with some of Chef JJ's famous finishing sauce (the recipe is in the search engine), I add a bit of honey to mine to adjust his vinegar twang. Let it sit over night with it and absorb and co-mingle and make happy with the meat. You'll probably only need a tablespoon. You can't really distingush its taste but it brings some much to the table. People don't reconize the sauce they just know your pulled pork is better than everyone elses. Pulled pork is like stew, soup, chili, etc. it gets better with age. Always better the next day.

 

PS ::  if you'll lightly rub that butt with brown sugar just before going in the smoker, it will liquidfy. Then it will caramelize. The final and mostest bestest step is the crystalization. It makes a shell to hold that moisture in. It is like an M&M,s hard candy shell, makes the meat melt in your mouth! You'll not see it or taste it, but you'll know if you forget it.

 

Wow, thanks for the response.  Good info, appreciate the time taken to respond. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timberjet View Post
 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/139995/it-wont-take-no-more-smoke-after-4-hours-horse-hockey This is a good, well thought out article by a well respected member here. I agree whole heartedly as I have done quite a bit of research on the subject. Or I should say eaten the research. Your plan sounds good though and I would smoke the whole time as long as you are using A fruitwood or maybe a little less for the more stronger woods like hickory or mesquite. No water pan.

 

Thanks for the response. Lots of good information itt.  I guess it's time to get cooking! Come on Saturday!!

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

All trimmed up and ready to go.  Should be done around 3ish tomorrow. 

post #8 of 18

Looks like it's gonna be good38.gif.

post #9 of 18

One shot at Q-view   :police2:   Shame . . .worthless.gif

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

in my stall right now @ 165º been there for about 2 hours... Hoping it's outah the cooker before 3 but if not, company will just have to wait :D

 

Here she is 12 hours in.  getting hungry over here... :sausage:

post #11 of 18

:drool  Yummy!!!

post #12 of 18

Well, now I'm hungry!38.gif

post #13 of 18
Nice color looking good!
post #14 of 18

Great :icon_exclaim:  Thanks . . .

 

Now the Plated shots . . .:deadhorse:

 

Later , Tater . . .

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Phone died when I took it out for the wrap...

 

But here is the end result, the guests are satisfied! Thanks for the advice itt.

 

post #16 of 18
That's one clean bone!
post #17 of 18
Looks like a home run! Great job! Glad to hear the guests were satisfied, but what did you think of your masterpiece?
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyboys View Post

Looks like a home run! Great job! Glad to hear the guests were satisfied, but what did you think of your masterpiece?

I think it turned out great!  I ended up pulling it out of the cooker @ 187 after about 16 hours.  I wrapped it and let it rest for almost 1.5 hours before I pulled. Next I think next time I will just be a few tweaks to the rub to make it a bit spicier.  I was conservative with company coming over!  The better half and I have made shoulders in the slow-cooker quite a few times and we like to finish it with a spicy pineapple chili sauce which is actually quite mild but some may not thing so... So we just served with a bbq sauce and called it a day. 

 

You know what the best part is? Leftovers!  We sent a lot home with folks but there's still a good mess of it in my fridge.  nana2.gif

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