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Maple Syrup and Sesame Oil rubbed butt - Q-View - Page 2

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, I dozed off and let the fire get down to 150. BAAAAD BBQ'er. It's now 4:15 and I'm half-craxed with drink and sleep.

I must admit that I aborted the mission a little early. Meat temp was 190 and I went ahead and ripped into the butt. Yeah, I know...but the bone pulled right out, I tell ya! It's not melt apart tender ('cause it's still not to 200), and still a little firm, but I was able to pull some nice hunks off of it. I took some pics and ate me some pork. Tasty.

I'll post pics later and I've re-wrapped it with more foil and I'm going to let it sit in the Weber for a couple of hours. It should keep it at safe temp and, who knows, it might actually do the same as putting it in a cooler. Of course, I've violated the integrity of the butt, so who knows...

I haven't eaten since a late breakfast, so I was pretty hungry and I couldn't help myself. Too much alcohol, too much sleep and a little too much drunken impatience just did me in...

Think I'll lay down for a while and see what it's like a little later.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Decided to towel wrap it and throw it in the cooler. My better angels got through.

Will check it in an hour if I"m still alive...
post #23 of 27
you are in a "full state of trooperness" you go little solider!! you go!!
post #24 of 27
you definatly nade this smoke "your own" with the techniques used. there is onlly one thing that counts,well two, did you have fun, and what the final outcome is. way to stick in there and try some different methods!!!!
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm now awake again. I hit the wall around the time of my last post (was that around 4 or so)?

Through my drowsiness, I realized that with the pork sitting at 190 and dropping from all of my tearing into it, it needed to go into the oven and get it up to 200. So that's what I did. I put the oven on 225 and threw the pork in straightaway. I didn't preheat since I was actually trying to buy myself some more sleep time.

I actually got up twice to check temps. But for the most part, I just crashed.

At 8:15 it was at 200. So I pulled it and pulled it. Wrapped it in a towel, threw it in the cooler and waited 30 minutes. When I opened the foil, it was as I expected. The parts that were exposed were dry and brown. But the part that was still intact was perfect. Too hot to handle, I took a fork and pulled it.

I'll post pics in an hour or so (from last night and this morning). They will clearly illustrate the difference between 190 and 200. At 190, the pork is cooked through but it's still firm. It pulls off but in chunks about the size of a car keys remote. It's firm and somewhat tender - it doesn't melt in your mouth. At 200, a completely different animal as you'll see in the pics.

So, what did I learn? If you start a butt at almost 6pm, make sure you haven't been up since 7am.

If using this method (and yes, I'm going to do it one more time and follow through properly), make sure that you have a good fire at the 7 hour mark, but be prepared to start another one an hour later because you don't really have the support of the original fire anymore. Remember that a later fire dies harder and more quickly than your original one. I'd say, it's better to finish in the oven at 225 than to be slack with your fire late in the process. It's easy to let the temp drop below 200 and when it does, it drops like a stone. It's also easy to forget how important fire maintenance is toward the end when lulled into a false sense of security from the first 5 or 6 hours, where the fire almost takes care of itself.

Throwing a handful of dry chips on the fire about every hour is good in the middle and end of the process. Some of them flame up, which recaptures the heat lost when you open the lid to check a temp, and it provides good smoke from the chips that don't ignite.

150 is probably a little early to be foiling if you're going to foil. Next time, I think I will wait until 160 (unless I forget).

Less mesquite, more hickory. I know that most people don't use any mesquite but I like a little to give the meat a little bite. However, I think I used just a little too much this time. The meat wasn't quite sweet enough for me this time.

One potential downside to cooking at a higher initial heat - you might get uneven bark formation from some areas shrinking at a higher rate than others, as I did here. It might just be a function of this particular butt though as the first one I didn't didn't display this. Next time I do this, I'll be on the lookout. Since I seared the first one, that might explain the more even bark formation. It might have kept the surface more uniform by blasting it with flame. I didn't sear this one.

Oh yeah, if you consider the oven time, total cook time was still about 12 hours or so, but a lot of that was my fault for letting the fire die down at the end (and I had about 30 minutes of non-cook time as I was deciding what to do about finishing it). I think I would have hit 200 a lot earlier had I either kept the fire up above 225 or just put it in the oven at about the 7 - 8 hour mark. And, had I not dug into it at the crack of dawn at 190, the whole butt would have turned out great.

Well, I'm getting the pictures from my camera now and I'll start sending them to my photo hosting site in a few. I've got 3G back today so it should be a quicker process than yesterday, which was like trying to watch water boil...
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
OK, first pic is from 4:40 when I woke up to find that the fire was down to 150. Meat temp was 190:

Pulled the bone (it's the fuzzy out of focus white thing on the side - I was shooting in complete blackness):

Pulling some large chucks away:

More big chunks at 4:30. See how some of it will shred a little but that big firm piece at the bottom is how most of it wants to come off. It has the texture more like roasted pork than a traditional pulled pork. This is what you get at 190.

Here, once again, you see some evidence of good pulled form, but it's at the margins. Most of it doesn't just fall apart, it breaks apart. It's certainly perfectly fine to eat this way, but it's going to taste different than if you let it go to 200:

Some shreding is evident, but you can also see the unrendered fat at the left. that shredded part was only a small portion of what came off of the butt:

This is how the bulk of the intact part of the butt pulled (at 8:52 and 200 degrees out of the oven). That bit of fat at the top was from a part that was adjacent to the exposed part of the butt, the part that was dried out. I suspect that it being exposed kept it from melting into the meat.

I wish I had taken a shot of the exposed part of the butt. It clearly shows the effect of overcooking. The color was grey and it was stringy and a bit tough. But here's the final result of the good part:

As you can see, there's just a little bit of unrendered fat in the top right, but that actually worked into the meat pretty well. In the end, the higher heat in the beginning didn't screw with the texture and flavor of the intact part of the butt at all. The part that was less great is due to operator error during the critical 2:30 - 4:30 part of the operation. I'll fix that next time.
post #27 of 27
Looks like it all turned out pretty good. Congrats.
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