My First Pulled Pork, and First Q-View Post
This is my first time making pulled pork, and this is my first time posting a thread other than in roll call. I have been using the forums to get ideas and tips for awhile now so I thought I would give it a go and do a Q-view of the process.
My guide for this has been Bearcarver's "Boston Butt (Pulled Pork Step by Step)" that can be found in the link in his signature. This will be the first of several smoking adventures that I will be using his Step by Steps for (Dried beef "Venison", BBC, CB, Turkey CB, formed venison bacon....) I will lay it out similarly to his because I like his walk-throughs and it makes it easier for me that way.
Well, here goes,
This all started when Hy-Vee was running a special on Pork Butt Roasts, $0.88/lb. If I would have had my upright freezer for meat at the time I would have bought more but the four I did buy maxed out what little space I had left in my very small chest freezer. We now have the meat freezer and its waiting patiently for all meat sales so I can fill it up!
The one in the smoker right now is the smallest of the four at 6.42 lbs. The others are about 7-8 lbs each. I figured if it didn't turn out it might as well be the smallest, not that it would be a huge financial lose though.
I have an electric ECB, nicknamed the "Little Red Kettle"(LRK) by my family, which I am using for this.
Day One: Prep Work
I set up my electric ECB on my deck last night so it was all ready to go this morning.
Took the butt out of my meat fridge and rinsed it and patted it dry with paper towels. I scored the fat cap, what little it seemed to have, and applied yellow mustard. I then covered it with my mix of rub. After that I rubbed a little brown sugar on the outside.
Once done I placed it in a gallon freezer zip-lock and put it in the fridge to absorb flavor overnight.
I put hickory chips in water to soak overnight. I then made sure my meat thermometer had fresh batteries and that it was working properly with a boil test. Runs 4° low.
Day Two: Smoking
5:35AM------------Electric ECB is plugged in and heating up. (no temp control....yet!)
6:21AM------------Wood chips are in "not so amazing tube" (explained soon) and placed between heating element coils on lava rocks. Water pan filled with 140° water and placed in ECB. Lower rack placed on top of water pan. Foil pan on top of lower rack.
6:28AM------------Butt placed on top rack.
7:00AM------------TBS going and everything smelling amazing!
7:30AM------------Leaving for work and one last look at the smoker, good thing too. Smells sort of like burnt sugar, instant regret over rubbing it with that, and white smoke it rolling. Pull the lid and pork and drippings are fine. Replace lid and open the tiny door. White smoke it rolling from my "not so amazing tube" which is just foil wrapping in a tube with both ends open. This is how I always do it but for some reason the chips burning badly. Lifted the whole body off and used tongs to remove the problem. Grabbed my dad's old chip tray/box and filled it with the remaining chips I had for throughout the day to continue smoking and placed it directly on the element. I could have soaked more chips and had the box refilled throughout the day but I didn't want to hassle with it. This will just be a little lighter of a smoke. Returned the body and cleaned up my mess.
7:45AM------------Leaving for work, again, and going to be late now. But, smoker now smells glorious again!
NOTE: *******This smoke is now in my wife's hands*******
I forgot to mention above but she will be managing this while I am working. (for the most part) This is also the reason I didn't want to mess with more wood chips. Not that she couldn't handle it but she has enough going on with our 5 month old son, and I wanted this to be as easy as possible for her since she was so willing to take care of it all while I was working. She is the best!!!
9:28AM------------My wife says it smells good but she can't see any smoke. Thinks it's too windy. I briefly explain TBS and she says all is good.
10:20AM----------My wife calls me to say our dog just puked up blood.
10:30AM----------I am on my way home to take him to the vet.
12:49PM----------Dog is okay, and should be feeling better. I now get to see the butt again! Insert sterile meat probe to center of butt and not near the bone. Internal Temp measures 151° after a little over 6 hours. Would have done closer to 4 hours had Zeke(dog) not been ill.
1:16PM------------Heading back to work after building a quick wind block for the smoker.
3:00PM------------167° internal temp. I explain the stall to my wife and tell her to keep me posted.
3:42PM------------171° internal temp.
4:00PM------------She takes the butt off and places the foil pan on the top rack. Butt is in the pan with 6 oz apple juice and double foiled. (forgot to have her take a picture of it before she foiled it, oops)
4:39PM------------175° internal temp.
5:11PM------------187° internal temp. Leaving Work!!!
This is where we sit so far. I will update when I get home and take over again.
Pictures with captions below.
A huge THANK YOU and shout out to Bearcarver for his Step by Step that helped me through this!
Thanks for checking out my first post!
ps I will be posting a couple other smokes that I have done in the past, but there aren't as many pictures or details for those. I am a lot more organized on this one.
6:00PM------------200° internal temp.
6:19PM------------205° internal temp. Unplugged smoker. Rose to 207° and then dropped back to 205° while we finished making the rest of our supper.
6:49PM------------Removed from smoker.
I did it just like Bear, pulled enough for four sandwiches and left the rest foiled while we ate. Then pulled the rest after supper. I also kept the drippings/apple juice and put it in the fridge in a container to separate over night.
This turned out AWESOME!!!! Very moist, very tender, very delicious!!!!
I am so happy with the results and I will definitely be doing this again! So much food for just my wife and I...I might have to share.
Once again THANK YOU BEAR for your Step by Steps, very helpful for a first timer!
Notes for the next time:
1) I would add more rub in the morning before putting it in the smoker like Bear did. He put it as optional and it really is. Mine was great but I think it could have been even better with a little more spice and flavor. Definitely more spice to kick it up a notch! ***EDIT*** I would probably not use brown sugar next time. It added sweetness to the bark that wasn't my favorite with the spices.
2) I also would have smoke going for more of it. This was my fault for messing it up and not having an easy way to add more. Again it is great, but I think it would have been better had there been more smoke flavor. It is very mild due to the lack of time with smoke.***EDIT*** After sitting in the fridge over night the smoke aroma and flavor was improved! Every time I opened the container it smelled better and better to me! Would still probably add more smoke next time, but it was very good.
3) I might let it go a little higher or for sure do the foil, towel, cooler rest that so many people do so. That way maybe a little more fat and connecting tissue would render out.
Other than those minor flavor things it turned out very well and I am happy to be eating it in my lunches for the next while!
If you have any advice, suggestions, comments, or thoughts please let me know. I am always looking to improve my smokes!
****END EDIT****New pics at the end of the rest of the process
Good price from what I can tell, $0.88/lb
The other three that are still in the freezer. One will be BBC!
Electric ECB/Little Red Kettle's storage spot
ECB/LRK is on the deck already. Meat fridge(wife's dorm fridge) on left, and "new to me" meat freezer is on the right. Brinkmann All-in-One Charcoal/Gas Smoker is to the left of meat fridge. My little meat smoking area of the garage.
Yellow mustard, rub, and brown sugar on.
Smoker plugged in and warming up early this morning.
Wood chips, water pan, and foil pan all in place.
Butt on the smoker. Already dripping into foil pan from liquid formed while in zip-lock over night.
Element going full bore to reach factory set temp. Not sure what that is. I only have a single probe Maverick thermometer. Maybe Santa will bring me an ET-733 for Christmas.
"Not so amazing tube" right where I always put it.
Just probed it after about 6 hours on the smoker.
Zeke relaxing on the deck keeping an eye on the smoker for me.
He heard my phone as I took the first pic.
First look at the butt when I probed it. Really wanted to pull off a chunk and eat it. Smelled sooo good!
Little man is 5 months old today. Figured it was time I put him to work. Helping monitor the internal temp.
Never throw the box out for your smoker(or your other smoker) its about the perfect size for a wind break!
Wind was only coming in from the north west so I didn't need a full cover.
The rest to come later, Thanks!
Unplugged and coasting while we finish supper prep.
My wife's beautiful foiling job!
Just enough to get started with supper.
Just took the foil off.
A little better photo. I took the meat for supper off the closest end when I pulled back the corner. Happened to be the end with the bone and the bone just fell right out, so tender!
Drippings and juice.
Already separating some.
What was left after pulling it. Just a little fat and the bone.
Pulled super easily! Just used forks.
A little close up of the goodness
This one is a little better! Mmmmmmm
Thanks for looking!
Edited by 4PoGo7 - 11/18/15 at 12:49pm