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Temp and time

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I am smoking my first Boston Butt as I type this. The temp outside is currently right around 58F. I am using a Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker. Throwing wood chunks in the bottom with the occasional (read frequent) flare up. The butt has been in for 3.5 hours now. I stuck it with the probe and it read 130. Does that sound about right?

I am worried that the flare ups will cook it too quick. The temp inside spikes quickly when the flare ups happen (duh) . lol

I am keeping a close eye on it with a fryer thermometer sitting where the meat is. It is pretty consistent at 235-240. I know that's a little high but it's what I have right now.
post #2 of 46
What size is the butt?

Sounds like you are doing just fine to me. 235 to 240 is just fine, you aren't too hot.
post #3 of 46
How much does the butt weigh???

The flare-ups most likely won't hurt you, especially if you are paying close attention. A butt is a most forgiving piece of meat and very hard to dry up. Be sure and try SoFlaQuers finishing sauce out.

On Edit: SMF is a big place with many posts Tom. I figured a link to the finishing sauce couldn't hurt. Enjoy!

post #4 of 46
Welcome Tom!
Next time you are at Lowe's pick up an Oregon Scientific wireless remote thermometer, under $20. That will allow you to monitor internal meat temp. without opening the smoker and you can clip it on your person as you move around.
Sounds like you are doing fine, bet the butt comes out just fine also.
Trust Ultramag's advice on the finishing sauce. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 46
Not sure what's causing your flare-up's, are you setting the chunks on the lava rock's or do you have the element mounted on the base?
Don't let the chunk's touch the element and you should be fine. That unit run's about 235-240 all day automatically.......good luck!
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
The Butt was 6.1 lbs pre coooked weight.

I will check out the finishing sauce. Thank you for the link!
post #7 of 46
I am wondering WHY flare ups?? You do have a water pan in place, correct??
post #8 of 46
Thread Starter 
Water pan in place with water in it. Rocks and element on the bottom. Wood chunks are catching fire after 40 minutes or so. I soaked them for quite a while before putting them in there.

It's been about 6.25 hours now and the meat is at 155ish. Getting close to foil time.
post #9 of 46
I think things are going just fine. No fear. You can stop with the wood now though if you haven't already. Then you won't have to worry about the fire anymore.
post #10 of 46
Welcome, Tom.

At this point you can stop adding wood, if you have'nt already. Also, since your at 155* you can go ahead and foil it now, if you like. Give it a good spray or mop and wrap her up tight and check your temp a couple times over the next two hours. When your temp reaches someting above 185* to 190* unwrap and let her go uncovered for a bit to crisp up the bark a bit. If you are looking for pulled/shredded pork, your target temp is around 205*. After a short rest (at least 30 min) to let the juices re-distribute, you're off to the races.

Please don't forget the Q-view.

post #11 of 46
Thread Starter 
I actually out the last of the wood chunks in at about the 5 hour mark. Is there a point where it is not really useful to keep adding the wood? Just me think here but once it gets a decent bark on it isn't about done with the actual smoking process? May be a noob question but I had to ask.

I just wrapped it up and it was sitting at 160 so it was a little earlier than the instructions read but I think it should be okay. Moving it from the grate to the foil left some tasty juices on my fingers. I think my wife and I will be in for treat!

I have not used a spray or mop. I asked the boss (wife) what she wanted me to use and she just made the icky face when I made suggestions. This one goes as she wishes since it is for her to have pulled pork sammiches with her favorite store bought sauce..... Bessingers Original. icon_cry.gif

Next time around I will do it how I want so she can see and taste the difference. From what I have gathered here on the board there are some very very good recipes floating around. I need to try them all.
post #12 of 46
Don't worry spraying then, you'll have a ton of juice without it, go with the rest of the suggestion's and you'll be fine!!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 46

Plain old apple juice with or without a little cider vinegar cider is the simplest most spray used. Some people here have mixed in a little pineapple juice and reported good results. I personally like apple juice/cider and a generous splash of Captain Morgan spiced rum or bourbon, and a couple pinches of Jeff's famous rib rub. Shake it up good and apply with a standard spray bottle every hour or so up to the time you wrap in foil.

post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
It's been wrapped for 1hr 15min and it's just under 180. I am hoping around 1830-1900 it will be in the range of 190ish. I will then peel back the foil and hope to recover some of that wonderful bark that has formed.

That Capt Morgan deal sounds great! I will definitely try that next time. I can see a thick and tasty bark in my future! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Can you actually taste the Rum or is it just for carmalization? <<< Is that even a word!?! lol
post #15 of 46
Could be just in my head, but I find that it gives a definite flavor enhancement...I believe that the sugars in the juice and rub contribute more to the carmelizing in/of the bark. The spray or mop is used more to keep the meat moist during the long cook as well as to add flavor.

post #16 of 46
Thread Starter 
Awesome stuff. Thank you for your time! I am off to check the butt again. I am betting around 190-193.... just a guess.
post #17 of 46
Thread Starter 
Still sitting at 180ish almost an hour after the last check. Should I throw it in the oven (no please please no) or just unwrap it and let it cook some more?

The temps are dropping outside so I would think that is playing a part in the stagnant temp range.

EDIT: Expecting rain in the next 2.5 to 3 hours for sure. Maybe the oven is a good idea after all?

EDIT AGAIN: Make that 2 hours and I should see some wet stuff according to the weather site's active map.
post #18 of 46
Soaking only gets the wood wet, which dries. Somehow it sounds like too much air is getting in?

Is the base seated correctly? There are no bottom dampers on those are there... Air + Fuel = Fire. Weird.
post #19 of 46
Thread Starter 
Sounds about right now that I think about it. The tube is just siting on top of the base. Makes sense now.

Oh well, I will remedy that when I buy a proper smoker or mod this one enough to keep it from doing that.
post #20 of 46
Be patient, Tom. YOu will learn that all meats, whether pork butts, briskets,etc.. will hit what is known as a plateau, where the temp seems to stall. This is normal and expected. Judging by the temp/time you reported, you are approaching the end of this plateau and you should notice your temp beginning to climb again soon. It takes time for the relatively low temps used in smoking to effectively break down the collagens and connective tissues in the meat...but it WILL happen. You are doing just fine, and with a little more patience, you will be enjoying some of the most tender, juicy and succulent pulled pork you've ever tasted.

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