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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all, My name is Mike and I a prosecutor's investigator/deputy sheriff from southern Ohio. I have a wife with 2 wonderful kids. My wife is a deputy sheriff and I am in my last 6 months of law school. During a break from school I decided to take up meat smoking. I have always loved to cook either indoors or outdoors but this is my first attempt at smoking meat. I have always wanted to cook this way but never really knew anything about it. Last week I was in the lawn and garden department at Wal-Mart and noticed a vertical charcoal/water smoker by Kinsford for 30 bucks so I picked it up along with a rack of beef ribs and thought what the heck. That attempt was a Miserable failure... Good flavor but tough as nails meat (I had temp issues and didn't wrap the meat)So I jumped on YouTube and did a bunch of research, long story short I picked up a Boston Butt at our local meat market and started smoking it this morning at 8am. The butt was 10 lbs so I planned on about a 10 hour smoke. Put a mustard binder on it last night with an applewood rub from the grocery store. My smoker had temperature issues all day. I had to put 3 charcoal starters full of charcoal throughout the day and seemed to constantly have to add wood chunks. I filled my ceramic water pan up 3 times as well. My temp range was from 175 to 250 but it mostly stayed in the 225 range. My internal temp of the butt got to 160 at which point I wrapped and sprayed some apple cider vinegar. I kept the temp at around 225 for a few hours and pulled the meat when the internal temp reached 197. I let it rest for 30 minutes. Some of the meat was very moist and pulled apart like butter but others were very tough. Flavor was good throughout. So I figured I would try other ways to smoke the Butt next time as I understand that this is a learning process. So anyway that's my limited smoking experience, I have a blast cooking this way (for now at least) and am already looking at better smokers maybe an offset or whatever. Any advice anyone wants to throw my way I will welcome with open arms. Thanks for listening and allowing me into the group


Mike
post #2 of 7

Welcome to the forum Mike!

 

Glad to have you aboard.

 

Sounds like your butt was under cooked. We usually figure 2 hours per pound at 225. But always go by meat temp.

 

Next time let it go until 205 or until a probe goes in with little to no resistance.

 

Check it in several places and make sure it's done everywhere.

 

The bone should just slide out clean.

 

Al

post #3 of 7

Welcome Mike!  I too am an FNG and you hit it on the head, this whole thing is a learning experience.  You will find a wealth of knowledge from the fine folks here on SMF.  Everyone is amazing and very helpful.

 

Thank you for your service Brother in Blue, stay safe out there.

 

Chad

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! I didn't really think about moving the probe around. I figured that it was in the center (or at least I figured it was in the center). Plus I had a set time people were coming over and I got a little antsy especially since I wanted at least a 30 minute rest time! I had issues all day with maintaining a constant temp! I used Kingsford original charcoal briquettes with hickory chunks. Do you think that would be an issue? Also my smoker is small and uses a ceramic water bowl as a barrier between the heat and the meat. Should I use the water bowl or ditch it? Anyway thanks again for the advice I will surly take it an hopefully apply it for a better smoking experience. I will say that I reheated my pulled pork this evening and it was much better!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

Welcome to the forum Mike!

Glad to have you aboard.

Sounds like your butt was under cooked. We usually figure 2 hours per pound at 225. But always go by meat temp.

Next time let it go until 205 or until a probe goes in with little to no resistance.

Check it in several places and make sure it's done everywhere.

The bone should just slide out clean.

Al
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you and welcome also brother! I am very excited about this new venture and hopefully it will be something I can master! Stay safe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBig1 View Post

Welcome Mike!  I too am an FNG and you hit it on the head, this whole thing is a learning experience.  You will find a wealth of knowledge from the fine folks here on SMF.  Everyone is amazing and very helpful.

Thank you for your service Brother in Blue, stay safe out there.

Chad
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmike98 View Post

Thanks for the advice! I didn't really think about moving the probe around. I figured that it was in the center (or at least I figured it was in the center). Plus I had a set time people were coming over and I got a little antsy especially since I wanted at least a 30 minute rest time! I had issues all day with maintaining a constant temp! I used Kingsford original charcoal briquettes with hickory chunks. Do you think that would be an issue? Also my smoker is small and uses a ceramic water bowl as a barrier between the heat and the meat. Should I use the water bowl or ditch it? Anyway thanks again for the advice I will surly take it an hopefully apply it for a better smoking experience. I will say that I reheated my pulled pork this evening and it was much better!

 

I don't think the type of charcoal made a difference. It is hard to maintain a steady temp on an inexpensive smoker like yours.

That's because the metal is so thin. I think you did a great job of controlling the temps. Next time I would leave the water bowl in but leave it dry. This will let the temps get a little higher without using so much fuel. You can also put sand in the water bowl & it will act like a heat sink & help keep the temps more stable.

 

Al

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

I don't think the type of charcoal made a difference. It is hard to maintain a steady temp on an inexpensive smoker like yours.
That's because the metal is so thin. I think you did a great job of controlling the temps. Next time I would leave the water bowl in but leave it dry. This will let the temps get a little higher without using so much fuel. You can also put sand in the water bowl & it will act like a heat sink & help keep the temps more stable.

Al

Awesome thank you I will try that this weekend!
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