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First Butts on The New "Old Country Smoker"

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Last night I finally had the chance to season our new Old Country Smoker. This lasted the better part of 5 hours. I kept playing with adding wood, moving wood, changing the air flow and just in general trying to get an idea how and what I could expect from her. Open the intake vents…and the temps climb rapidly…close them down to about ¼ open and things really seem to settle down. I did find that making small changes each time will help in keeping things stable…rather than large changes and chasing the temps up and down. …Say…I learned that from reading SMF! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

While the fire was still cold (did not use coal…just wood) there were huge amounts of white billowing smoke.icon_neutral.gif However, about an hour after starting the fire, once I had a nice bed of coals starting to form…the smoke mellowed out, the smell changed and I believe I actually achieved TBS! I was able to maintain stable temps in the 225 to 250 range without much problem after things settled down. Should I start with lump charcoal (to provide a hot stable bed, and add wood to maintain and smoke?

I have a few pictures from last night. Sorry about the quality…but they were shot in the dark (on our almost finished deck). One of the shots you can just see a wisp of smoke above the stack.

Today I have prepped two butts using Jeff’s Rub (with extra cayenne pepper) and trying to follow the knowledge of the folks here at SMF. They were first coated with regular mustard. One is 8.8 lbs and the other is 7.2 lbs ( I guess I should expect about a 1.5-2 hours difference between them). They are now wrapped and in the refrigerator. I plan to make smoke around 5:00 in the morning (Friday).

We are planning a gathering for Saturday for a few close friends. I want to have the smoker up and running during that time. I will reheat the pulled pork…but plan to smoke some ABT’s and a couple of Fatties for the benefit of the guests (new toy…must show it off…hopefully I won’t burn the new deck to the ground!). This should allow folks to snack on things fresh out of the smoker.

OK…I’m excited and have gotten long winded (sorry!). icon_redface.gif Here are the pictures.

post #2 of 21
Looking good cant wait for the finale like the glove trick also
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was practicing safe Rub'n! I can grab with dirty hands...and the clean-up is easy! Thanks.
post #4 of 21
When i do my Pork Shoulders i foil them at 165, bring it up to 205. Double wrap in foil, then wrap in a towel..into a cooler for an hour or so ...Then let the feast begin
post #5 of 21


You'll get a lot of replies on this,so from a "stick burnre's" point of view(hope you decide to join our little bunch), I'll have to say, Cut your wood down to a more managable size for your OC Smoker. I have the Tejas2040CC model and is a little larger than yours,however I have coached several others on using all wood in the little units.Garyt being one(HI,GARY!).
I suggested cutting his sticks to 8"long and pared to 2"X2" to allow faster ignition.You will find a place where the fire will be most efficient in the firebox(burn better,at a lower intensity and better drafting to the cooking chamber). Mine is dead center of the FB.

You'll need to build a nice(rather large at first)fire to set up the coal bed and let the pit warm-up.Then shut the intake down to 1/4 and the exhaust wide open(leave the exhaust open at all times). Watch for a few minutes and see where it settles and adjust from there. Use observation from now on to see temp drops of 5*F to 10*F at the grate level.I use a dedicated thermo. for this "AT" grate level and a probe in the meat.
When a drop is seen, add a stick to the FB coal bed.

By keeping the extra wood on top of the FB to warm,you will decrease the ignition time of the wood , thus decreasing the possibility of "White Smoke" . It will all be virtually Blue,instantly.It will start to blaze as soon as you put it in...
If you happen to see an increase in temp. close the draft more to adjust.

I keep my cooks at220*F to 225*F for a range,and that is very steady for my cooks as long as I watch the temp. It can run away fast, but this method,when one is vigilant in his/her proceedures, is steady...

Let's see, did I miss anything?
O.K. If you have any questions, please notify me.

Here's my Tejas and the coal bed.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
I can tell this is going to take a lot more learning time than the ECB's I used to use...way back when. I was thinking about placing the wood on top of the fire box to pre-heat. Thanks for confirming that is a good idea! While getting to know my smoker and working with wood (stick burner) I will certainly call on you as needed.

Is the light wisp of smoke (as shown in the pictures) what i'm looking for?

OK...I've got my target temps for foiling and resting. ...I wonder what I have forgotten? Thanks again!icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 21
Everything looks good so far. But I have one question where do you find those rub bottle covers. I have never seen them before.
post #8 of 21
It looks like ya have it covered pretty good. Your smoke looks nice, thin and blue, exactly what ya want. In my Horizon I cut my wood to around 8 to 10" lengths and that really works well in my 18x20" fire box.

Keeping a good bed of coals is the key, that and a small hot fire. I do start with a bed of hot charcoal and it works very well.

One other thing I do is; I set some wood in the firebox just out of reach of the fire to preheat the sticks. When ya put these warmed up sticks on a hot bed of coal it's instant fire, no white smoke.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
First smoke at 0500 this morning. The butts went on at 0600. I'm having a more difficult time managing the heat than I thought I would. I find that I am running a little too hot. However, the larger the coal bed...the easier it is to manage. Butt temps have stalled at 152 & 156 degrees. Been there for over 45 minutes.

The first picture is at the 2.5 hour mark and the second is at the 5.25 hour mark. I'm spraying them down with a mix of apple juice and ...lets just call it... hard apple/spice cider. ...yea...that name works for me! biggrin.gif No spiced rum available.

At 165 I plan to pull and wrap. Is there a difference in wrapping them individually in foil...or can I place both them in a roasing pan and seal with foil? I'm going to finish in the oven...so I can get a little work done!

post #10 of 21
Everything is lookin good there Flyboy!!!!!
I wrap in double foil at 165 then if yer pullin them take them to 200-205.
Then wrap them in some old towels and put them into a cooler for at least an hour to rest. (No ice in the cooler...lol) I have left mine in the cooler for up to 8 hours and they were fall off the bone and still hot enough to burn yer fingers.
It will be easier to wrap them seperately in foil so when you put them into the cooler they'll fit easier and really suck up the juices being tightly wrapped....I also give them a spritzing when I'm ready to close up the foil....biggrin.gif
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks! In hindsight... wrapping them together was sort of a brain dead question! icon_redface.gif I've got one that just hit 165 and the other one is still stuck at 153. I'm off to heat up the oven and make the transfer on the first one. Thanks again!biggrin.gif
post #12 of 21
Welcome to the forum! It looks like you've got the hang of it pretty fast. Can't wait to see the finished pics.

Is your family ready to accept your new obsession? That's what this will be if you keep hanging around this website.
post #13 of 21
Nice job! Looking forward to the finished qview.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

Disaster sat in...oven on fire, burned fingers...

The second butt finally came up to 165. Pulled and wrapped it...in the oven. A few minutes ago the first butt hit 205 in the oven. All is well. Little did I know how things were fixing to go downhill...

I was ready to pull the butt and towel/cooler it. Suddenly the dogs started barking and I noticed a police car in the driveway.PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif I slipped out the back door and around to the driveway where I met the office. He was interested in buying our Allegro Bus (motorhome). ...so we talked for a while...then got back to the kitchen.

The temp was now at 215. I hurried to get it out of the oven. Obviously I didn't have the pot holder protecting all my fingers. As I slid the butt (on a small cookie sheet) out of the oven, two fingers made contact with the pan and I pulled faster. The pan slipped off the edge of rack and the butt then fell off the cookie sheet and onto the electric element (which was red). Suddenly juices started flowing and the next step was fire. I guess there was enough grease in the juice to ignite. Now the police officer is back knocking on the door, dogs barking, oven on fire, fingers burnedicon_eek.gif...now the juice is running out the oven, under the oven. Who knew that one foil wrapped butt could contain at least 5 gallons of flamable liquid!

In the end...I added another layer of foil, cut a small slit in the top of the original two layer and added some recovered juice and an ounce of apple juice. The second butt is now at 185. Hopefully it's removal won't be as exciting!biggrin.gif

PS...I will need to add remove dog slobber from the oven door and floor to my list of clean up duties. however...they seem to be enjoying it and are doing a good job!biggrin.gif
post #15 of 21
I hope I don't have quite the adventure when I pull mine out! I got mine in the oven right now. But since I put them in, I've actually lost 3 degrees. What do you have your oven set at? Or anyone else who does this, (finishes your butt's in the oven) what temp do you set the oven at?
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am running at 250 in the oven. That seems to be the temp that is most recommended on SMF.

This has been almost more adventure than I needed. Wife just got home about 30 minutes ago... wondering what the smoke smell was in the house. Dog still licking the stove door and floor... All of this is so very hard to explain!

Second Butt is now at 201. Hopefully just a little longer and it can join it's little flamin' friend in the cooler. Getting ready to start on ABT's for tomorrow.
post #17 of 21
thanks for the reply. That's what I ended up settling with was 250. I'm up to 177 internal now. Startin to smell just a little smokey in here. Gonna make up some finishing sauce to have ready once this stuff gets pulled (with hopes that it actually does pull!!!)
post #18 of 21
LOL, don't feel too bad, everyone has an adventure at some point. You just had yours really early in you smoking obsession.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
The second butt is now in the cooler. 12 hours 45 minutes. No fire this time!

I made the finishing sauce earlier. Man... that stuff's got some kick. I think the ACV brings it out.
post #20 of 21
Glad you and the butt survived bet that was fun to explain to the wife biggrin.gif Have a great party and don't forget the rest of the Qview
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