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Planning a smoke and need some advice

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So my boss asked me to smoke a pork butt/shoulder and a chicken for a dinner we are having. We are going to be feeding around 12 people so thinking about getting a 10# or so butt and a 6#chicken. Now the timing is my issue.

I am planning on cooking this on my mini wsm that should be completed this weekend. Dinner will be on Tuesday. I am thinking about putting the pork on early Tuesday morning (7am ish). The real kicker is that I have to be at work so I'm planning on bringing the mini with me and letting her do some of her magic.

My main concern is getting the pork done in time to then rest and get the chicken on as well. Dinner will be around 6 or so. I can't start earlier than 7 since I will be smoking at my work which is an hour from the house (so leaving the house around 6am). Thoughts?

I am thinking of getting the pork done early and letting it sit in a cooler wrapped in old towels while the chicken cooks. This will also allow me to get the smoker hotter so I can get the crispy skin I like when I spatch a bird.

Thanks in advance
post #2 of 16
WOW... that's gonna be a really tough one to pull off in that time frame... my suggestion would be to cook the butt the night before at home and then reheat for dinner.... just smoke the chicken the day of... that's really the only way I see it all getting done in time... see what others have to offer...
post #3 of 16

Cook at 325°, if you start at 7AM the butt will be done early(should take about 8 hours), then put the spatched bird on. It should be done well before dinner time, crispy skin and all.

post #4 of 16
Cliff.. I think he would have to get to work at least an hour early to get set up and up to temp by 7 am... whatta ya think ??
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Im not opposed to cooking a bit hotter than 250, say 325 or even 350. Ideally I would rather not cook that hot but if that means I can get it done....
post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by JckDanls 07 View Post

Cliff.. I think he would have to get to work at least an hour early to get set up and up to temp by 7 am... whatta ya think

His pit is a mini WSM(14.5 inches I believe) which should get up to temp fairly quickly if he uses enough lit charcoal to start the fire. It also will most likely require a charcoal reload at the very least when the chicken goes on and perhaps even before the butt is done.

I think you are right about cooking the butt the day before, solves a lot of potential problems before they arise.

I've changed my mind and agree with JckDanls, cook the butt and pull it the day before and reheat for the dinner.

post #7 of 16

At 325+ the Butt will take 1 hour/Lb and the bird about 15 to 20min/Lb...JJ

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks for the input. I was afraid that I may need to cook the pork the day before, something my wife won't be thrilled about!!!

In regards to keeping the pork, I will more than likely finish it pretty late Monday evening. What's the best way to keep it after its done resting and has been pulled?

I think the bird will be a no brainier, not too worried about that.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

At 325+ the Butt will take 1 hour/Lb and the bird about 15 to 20min/Lb...JJ

Thanks for the note. I know with some of the butts I've done before, it's so hard to predict when it will be done as each piece of meat is different. I think we have all read about a horror story of a 8# butt taking an absurdly long time (15 hours or so)
post #10 of 16

Bag the Pulled Pork and refrigerate until Tuesday . You can reheat in a Crock Pot, covered in a 325 Oven, some guys heat Bags of PP in simmering water. You will have 4-5 pounds of meat so give an hour to reheat...JJ

post #11 of 16
^^^^ what JJ said
First off it sounds like you will be cooking on a new smoker. I wouldn't want to be doing my first cook under pressure. To much stuff could go wrong...
Like you mentioned the chicken is pretty much a no brainier.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas. I think I'm going to have to put the pork on Monday afternoon or maybe even Monday morning and let my wife manage (scary thought as we have a 2 year old and a 8 month old). Will figure it out!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
So the pork butt is done

My question is, what's the best way to reheat? Was thinking of just putting the pork in the throwaway pan in the oven at 250 for 30 minutes or so. Don't want it to dry out so may add a cup of apple juice. Thoughts? I appreciate any input!!
post #14 of 16

See post #10. Heat to an IT of 165°F. Apple Juice is fine but you may like one of these...JJ


Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


Foiling Juice


For each Rack of Ribs Combine:


1T Pork Rub, yours

1/2 Stick Butter

1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

1T Molasses


Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.


Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.


For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork: Make a Double batch, skip the Butter.


If you plan to Foil the meat, add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the hot Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.

When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.


I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ


Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...


2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice


Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.


For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ



post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
ChefJimmy thanks for the advice and recipes. Completely missed post #10 and will have to try that out. Do you add the simmering water in the crock pot or just the pork in the crock pot?
post #16 of 16

Sorry, I was not clear. Vac Pacs or Zip Bags of PP in simmering water to reheat...In a Crock Pot I add some Finishing Sauce, 1/2 to 1C, cover the pot and place on High, stir every 10-15 minutes, until the IT is 165. Then I place on Warm and put it out. Re-heat takes about a hour or so depending on pot and amount of pork...JJ

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