For the newer smokers interested in doing pulled beef, this should give you some additional insight on methods. Many here prefer doing pulled beef with a chuck, and I will agree that it is one of the better cuts for this purpose, due to it's higher interior fat content. Just look for the fat when purchasing your victim...the more fat, the better.
There are a few differing methods to get the beef to a fall-apart consistency, and one of the most comonly used methods is to wrap the meat in foil after reaching 160-180* internal temp (depending on who's doing the smoking), and continue cooking in the foil to an I/T of 200-205* (or higher), then rest for a few hours while wrapped in towels (some will place the wrapped meat in a cooler for added insulation).
I have a different method which I'll outline further as this smoke progresses. Instead of bringing the meat to such a high temp, I opt for reaching 160* I/T, foiling (panning and tenting in my case), and holding the meat @ chamber temps of 180-185* for several more hours (this can take 10-12 hours for large cuts such as a 14-18lb brisket). Instead of taking the I/T to more than 200*, you are holding the temp until the meat reaches a probe-tender state...internal temperatures are no longer monitored during this process.
For today's smoke, I tossed together some Ancho Chili/Jalepeno Rub lastnight for the larger 4lbr, and some Red Bell Pepper Rub for the smaller 1.75lbr (recipe is found in the Wiki)...this one will be for the less adventurous eaters, of course.
I'll do these up for a little Bbq fest we're having Tuesday afternoon (08-10-10), so I'll get these pulled and chilled for a reheat late in the morning.
Anyway, we're just into the Brinkmann Gourmet @ 10:00 am Mountain Time after resting for 9 hours in the fridge with rub and poly wrap (yea, I was up late last-night). Hickory smoke for the first 4 hours, switching to mesquite for 1.0-1.5 hours afterwards, a wet pan and a target grate temp range of 220-240* for today's smoke. The lower end of this temp range will be where I'll try to stay...the lower & slower, the better:
The RBP really transforms itself nicely when given enough time...this is one of my general purpose rubs which is very mild, naturally sweet and packed with flavor:
The Ancho/Jalepeno rub still has a somewhat drier look, but I layed in on rather heavily with this larger cut of beef, and it has tons of powders which soak up the meat juices rather quickly...it should develop a great bark before the smoke is over:
If that last pic looks good to you, then you may want to get this recipe in your folders:
Ancho Chili / Jalepeno Rub
4 Tbls Kosher Salt
2 Tbls Spanish Paprika
1-1/2 Tbls Black Peppercorn, freshly ground
1 Tbls White Pepper powder
1 Tbls Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tbls Jalepeno, freshly powdered
2 Tbls Ancho Chili, freshly powdered
1-1/2 Tbls Onion, freshly powdered
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
In about 8 hours smoke time, the small RBP rubbed chuckie should be panned/tented and into a holding chamber. The larger Ancho/Jalepeno is a fairly thick cut, so I don't expect to see it come out for at least 12 hours. That's just been my past experience. I don't go by weight, I go by cross-section (thickness). Also, with a charcoal fired smoker, chamber temps will make swings on me...maybe I need to build a UDS???
2.75 hours into the smoke, and time for some checks...back later with more.
Edited by forluvofsmoke - 8/9/10 at 4:39pm