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First timer needs some guidance

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I just bought my first smoker (electric MasterBuilt) and I want to smoke two 4 lb boston butt roasts for pulled pork sandwiches this saturday.

I have the rub I want and the finish sauce but need the technical guidelines.

How long? What temp? When do I take out and wrap in foil? What am I leaving out?

If this kind of information is posted somewhere else I apologize for looking like a noob and if you'ld be so kind as to point it out, I would appreciate it.

post #2 of 25
Welcome to the site. Go to roll call and introduce yourself. There is a ton of info here for us newbies to read and questions are answered quickly. Good luck with your two butts. I am doing two myself tomorrow Friday potluck at work.

There is a sticky in the Pork forum with a lot of info about your questions. Check it out:
post #3 of 25
Use whatever rub and/or sauce you want, but this is what I do:

Rub (usually double):
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Paprika
2 Tbl Black Pepper
2 Tbl Salt (Sea Course of course)
1 Tbl Cayenne
2 tsp Dry Mustard

Coat the roast (all over) with a thin layer of Yellow Mustard and apply the rub; heavily

Seal in plastic wrap and zip top bag, and stow in the firdge overnight.

Set the pit to 225; let meat hit room temperature before loading.
(Tulsa Jeff's process here)
Cook for 2 hours untouched
At the end of hour 2, spritz with apple juice every hour.
When the meat hits 145, douse with apple juice and wrap with foil (and place wrap on a foil pan)
Cook until the meat hits 205
Wrap foiled roast with towel and put in cooler for 2 hours to rest.

After hour 2, break the seal on the foil and let the steam escape; Drain the juice into a Mason Jar and put the jar in the fridge (to let the fat separate). I then take my chef's knife and cut all of the bark off and chop it fine. Cut the excess fat and dispose. Remove the bone. With 2 forks or your fingers, pull the roast into shreads. Mix the chopped bark into the pulled meat. Take the juices from the fridge and spoon off the fat from the top (dispose). Then poor into the meat mixture and stir.

Mix the meat with SoFlaQuer's finishing Sauce to taste (small mod.):
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 Tbl Brown Sugar
1-2 tsp Weber N'Orleans Cajun Seasoning (to taste)
1 tsp Course Black Pepper
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (grind in the coffee grinder)

Hope this helps!
post #4 of 25
Welcome to SMF! I use an MES so I'll tell you how I do things.

Before you put any meat in your smoker you're going to want to season your smoker. That's to burn off anything that might be left on the surfaces from the manufacturing process.

Spray the insides with cooking oil and then heat up your smoker. After an hour or so, add some wood chips and let it go an hour or two longer.

To smoke those butts, use a temperature of 225° or 250°. As far as how long, cook by the temperature of the meat, not by time. A VERY rough guide is an hour and a half per pound but I wouldn't trust that if you are trying to time a meal.

Often butts will plateau where the temp just stops moving. This is a good thing because all the connective tissues are breaking down, making the meat tender. The plateau can be anywhere from an hour to several hours.

I wrap them in foil at about 165°. For pulled pork I shoot for 205° for the final temperature. Then let them rest for an hour or so before pulling the meat. They should be so done that the bone pulls right out.

While they are smoking I either put them in aluminum pans or put pans under them to catch the juice that's dripping off of them. If I have them in a pan I draw the juices off every couple of hours. Let the juices cool so the fat sets up on top and then take it off. Put the rest back in with the meat.

Hope this helps.

Btw, I sometimes have trouble keeping the temps up on MES when it's cold or windy outside so you might want to consider some sort of windbreak... especially with the snow and ice Lincoln has had.

Good luck with the butts. icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 25
Several MES owners on here. It is a great unit. You are already getting some advice from them. I can't speak to that particular smoker but have used the two basic approaches shared here. I can vouch for them they both turn out great results. The basic 3-2-1 method is a solid standby. The only thing I would say is that I like the 205+ for PP, better than the 195 range. Just seems to work better for me

The questions and answers belong in these individual forums, like you have done, but Roll Call is for introductions. As suggested, drop in there and let us know a little more about you.

And, of course, take lots of pictures, we always like that. redface.gif

Good to have you on board.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Whats everyones preferred wood to use? I hear hickory a lot but the little book that came with it recommended fruit (apple) wood for pork butts.
post #7 of 25
For my tastes, apple isn't strong enough to tackle a butt on its own. Great for ribs, chicken etc, but for a butt I would mix it with hickory or something........got a large chunk of meat there and the mild woods don't get it done for my tastes when going alone.

Try it and see, it may be just what you are looking for. Apple and pork is a good combo flavor wise, just the not strong enough for a big ol' butt.
post #8 of 25
The type of wood is a personal preference. Fruit woods usually give a milder taste then the nut woods. Each wood adds it's own unique flavor.
Hickory or oak is a good all purpose wood but if you aren;t use to smoked foods it might be too strong for your taste.

I'd recommend eithe using a lighter tasting wood or maybe a mix of Apple and Hickory. Pecan is another great wood for pork.

Just remember to use only hardwoods and preferably woods that have been seasoned.

Enjoy and good luck.
post #9 of 25
For butts, I use an even mixture of Oak and Apple.
post #10 of 25
Tons of great info in this thread Turfmunch, you are off to a great start!

Only things I can add is to be patient, expect the plateau and DO NOT bump up the temp when it hits. Remember, treat the smoke as an ingredient. Your smoke should be thin and blue, not white and billowing... too much smoke can kill your product.

Good luck and have fun!

Oh, and have plenty of adult beverage on hand to marinate the cook... PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #11 of 25
Phil is very correct. The marinating of the cook is very important to the final result!
post #12 of 25
what these guys said.........

but the question that wasn't asked............and i suspect with the smaller weight

is this butt bone in, or boneless..........this can add its own unique characteristics during the smoke

just a thought
post #13 of 25
also........i brine my butts..............

using a mollasses based brine
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Boneless. Does that make a difference in regards to cooking time etc
post #15 of 25
it has for me.............not sure for the others.......

but once again......you have to cook to temps.......not time
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
OK. I'm two hours into it.

It's cold and snowing.

One butt is at 120 and the other is 124.

Temp is 225

Wood choice was hickory

Correct me if I am wrong but my next milestone is meat at 160 where I take it out, wrap it in foil and place back in the smoker...right?

Anything else I am forgetting about?
post #17 of 25
Right. Foil it loosely, so the juice can collect. Be sure not to puncture the foil. Honestly, at this point <160°>, I'd can the smoker and remove to an oven in a covered roasting pan. But...some say it ain't right. ;{)

Think about it this way: Foiled meat might as well be in an oven.
post #18 of 25
pics man- we need pics.... just grey & rainy here- i need some stoke.PDT_Armataz_01_07.gif
post #19 of 25
i spritz when i foil.........just in case.........add's moisture
post #20 of 25
I agree that once foiled, you can finish in a 225-250°F oven with no ill effects.

Enjoy your smoke!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


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