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Prep and cook question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So this past weekend I was tapped to do a pp smoke for a graduation party. So my better half grabbed me 20 lbs of butt. It was a smoke from hell, but here are my questions to figure out what besides what I already knew went wrong. 1) I normally do shoulders, do butts require a different prep? 2) I cooked it with the fat cap up. Would I have been better off with it down? 3) if it passes the probe test before 200 would that cause a more shredded product than pulled ie. Stringy vs fall apart smaller pieces?
I have done a fair share of pp and have almost always had awesome results. However, this time I was displeased with my finished product. People still loved it, but when you know it's not your best it's a jab to your confidence and pride. Some issues I had were that temp regulation on my masterbuilt 40" gasser was almost impossible due to higher winds. Struggled to reach 140 in 4 hrs. Then it cooked at a higher temp and hit 190 really quick so I backed off heat and it dropped and stalled at 180 for a long time then pulled through and passed probe test. I know those hurt the smoke pretty bad, but I am wondering if I needed to do something else based on my questions.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatG View Post

So this past weekend I was tapped to do a pp smoke for a graduation party. So my better half grabbed me 20 lbs of butt. It was a smoke from hell, but here are my questions to figure out what besides what I already knew went wrong. 1) I normally do shoulders, do butts require a different prep? No. Butts take less prep. No trimming skin. Give a higher yield.2) I cooked it with the fat cap up. Would I have been better off with it down? Nope. Makes no difference unless you have high heat below the meat like in a WSM where fat down adds some protection. 3) if it passes the probe test before 200 would that cause a more shredded product than pulled ie. Stringy vs fall apart smaller pieces? Muscle fibers break up more the longer they are cooked. So, yes, let IT go to 205-210° and the finer it will shred.
I have done a fair share of pp and have almost always had awesome results. However, this time I was displeased with my finished product. People still loved it, but when you know it's not your best it's a jab to your confidence and pride. Some issues I had were that temp regulation on my masterbuilt 40" gasser was almost impossible due to higher winds. I simple wind break of plywood would help a lot. Struggled to reach 140 in 4 hrs. If the meat was intact, not injected, 140 in 4 does not apply. Then it cooked at a higher temp and hit 190 really quick so I backed off heat and it dropped and stalled at 180 for a long time then pulled through and passed probe test.Nothing wrong with going fast. That is actually good if you want extra fine shredding. Let it come to probe tender and give a long rest in a cooler. I know those hurt the smoke pretty bad, but I am wondering if I needed to do something else based on my questions. Butts or Shoulders are similar and simple. Smoke untill they are very tender even falling apart. Rest till cool enough to handle and shred. No need to overthink them...JJ
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
JJ thanks. I was really hoping you'd chime in especially with the cooking question. I eventually found a piece of plywood to deflect the win, but by that time my patience was shot lol. Every smoke is different and we are our own worst critic so as long as everyone else liked it that's all that matters.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatG View Post

JJ thanks. I was really hoping you'd chime in especially with the cooking question. I eventually found a piece of plywood to deflect the win, but by that time my patience was shot lol. Every smoke is different and we are our own worst critic so as long as everyone else liked it that's all that matters.

 

That's it...I been cooking a long time and very little ever taste PERFECT to me. My Wife goes bananas because even though her and the kids love something I make, I want to tweak it...:wife:th_dunno-1[1].gif...JJ

post #5 of 10

Hi PatG,

JJ got you covered & his answers are Right On !!!Thumbs Up

 

Bear

post #6 of 10
Thats why we are our own worst critics. We find fault in everything we cook. I can relate to what Chef J thinks on that one. As I'm sure alot of other people can to.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys much appreciated. After the smoke issues I had I would almost suggest a support group be started to help us through it 😅
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatG View Post

Thanks guys much appreciated. After the smoke issues I had I would almost suggest a support group be started to help us through it 😅

That's what SMF is! We are here to support each other when a cook goes to heck in a hand basket and guests are on the way...JJ

post #9 of 10

I came up with a portable windbreak for my gasser, Pat. I was mainly concerned about blowouts. 2 pieces of 2x2 plywood, 2 hinges and a handle. 2 of them can be configured as needed then folded up and stored. You could go taller I suppose.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
That's brilliant. I think I've got a new project
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