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Pre-partytime prep

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, I have apparently hooked the kids on smoked stuff, so this friday we are having a party for the oldest who turns 15 and wants pulled pork and ribs.  Yay!  I am figuring on 20# of pulled pork and 20# of ribs.  My only problem is size limitations of my smoker.  I know...rough problem....  My thought is to do the butts on thursday and the ribs friday.  My question would be, which is better to do with the butts...Smoke them and fridge them intact overnight, pulling on friday?  or smoke and pull, then fridge overnight?  I'm thinking leaving them would allow for the juices to redistribute, but looking for opinions. 


Thanks in advance for any/all help!  and I will QView.  Just try not to drool on the keyboards! 

post #2 of 19

Personally I like to pull the meat after its rested but is still hot. Either save the juice in the foil and de-fat it to add back before reheating or figure on using a finishing sauce when you go to reheat.

post #3 of 19

WIng, normally if I have a similar situation I will pull the pork and then either ziplock bag it or if it is just going to be a day or so i will put it in a pan convered in plastic wrap and tin foil to seal it off as best I can then throw it in the fridge.  Just be sure to capture the juices to add back to the pan with some apple juice (I usually do a 1:1 mixture, others may disagree).  Then, you can either warm the pan back up in the oven (minus the plastic wrap of course) or crock pot it.  I have never tried to pull later, don't know how well that works??

post #4 of 19

What they said. Cook it, rest it, pull it, bag it.


I usually just buy disposable turkey pans to reheat. Put your saved drippings, and apple juice  in (or a finishing sauce), cover the pan tightly with foil and pop it into a 200° oven for about 2 or 3 hrs. till it gets back up to 150°.  Don't peak, or check the temp very often or you will let out a lot of moisture.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, I took a look at my schedule and realized that I have a soccer game tomorrow night (coach my sons team), so.....I guess I will be pulling an overnighter to get the butts done before the game.  Two 10#er's, figuring about 14 hours.  Any tips on how to catch cat naps between refuelings?

post #6 of 19

Smoke it until you wrap it in foil then once foiled stick it in the oven set at 225-250 and set the alarm on the thermo if it has one. Honestly once its in foil it doesn't matter where the heat comes from

post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by Wngsprnt50 View Post
Any tips on how to catch cat naps between refuelings?

A Maverick ET-73  

post #8 of 19

I gotta agree with the general census here. End up with the pork in a bag pulled and juice put back with the pork. The last butt's I did were from Sam's and one butt was a full load for a gallon zip lock. I let them stay in the frig for 1 day and then cut the zipper off and slid the works in a vac bag. That way when I was ready to serve, all I had to do was drop the whole bag in a near boiling pot of water. The results were fabulous, it didn't look like much until I took it from the vac bag and put it back in the pan, juice and all just like it was when I pulled it. I didn't care for the pan and foil method since I seem to dry the pork out when I do it this way.


Good luck.


What are you cookin on?

If it was a drum you may be able to get like 4 to 8 hours of sleep. LOL maybe more with the dual probe mav. I love my drum, it runs long and strong.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Have a remote thermometer I picked up today so that will help I'm sure.  As far as equipment, its a grillpro version of an ECB.  Mods are all done and did another test run with a fatty today to make sure all the mods worked as I wanted.  Got a bit hot today, but the legs I made for the charcoal pan were a bit short which allowed for too much air, so I made a bit taller legs.  Planning on pulling after cooler time, as it seems to be consensus as well as not having much time on friday to pull with everything else going on. 


Just scrolled up and saw your post Pineywoods.  That may be a good way to go, will have to see what time it is when the butts hit that point.  This is the biggest amounts I have done on this smoker, so it will all be a bit of a crapshoot, but I am not worried.  Its all a learning experience and even the "mistakes" are good!

post #10 of 19

If you really wanted to gamble you could start the butts so that they make it to foil time, aprox of course, then start the ribs a hour or two later when you put the butts in the oven and hopfully after cooler time it all works out to be ready about the same time.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

I almost bought another smoker tonite so I would be able to do this all in one shot.  Decided against it at the moment, but if this works out according to hoyle, I may be stepping up size wise pretty quick.  The family and friends drool every time i mention smoking anything so I don't think more/better equipment qould be a bad investment, possibly even building something...who knows!  Anyway, the butts are on and will try to get some qview as I go along.  Thanks for all the input!

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, I am glad I did modifications.  In particular floating the charcoal pan separate from body.  Ash was choking after 6 hours but was able to lift the body off and restart the charcoal.  Up to that point, it has been steady (when spritzing anyway) tempwise at about 235.  Looking pretty good and currently butts are about 150.  They had no trouble with 40-140 time (thank goodness).  I have decided i am not going to dho this big of a butt again on this equipment, which will probably mean more new stuff!  Darn it!

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, The butts are done!  11 and 12.5 hours.  As said elsewhere "in its own good time".  I am amazed with how these turned out.  I had done one other smaller picnic on this smoker, and while it was good, these two are amazing by comparison.  After resting, the bone just slid out clean and I couldn't even lift them to put them into their pans without them falling apart.  couple minutes of hand pulling and done.  as most of the process was after midnight, I only have pics of finished butts and pulled in the pan.  Enjoy!  I know everyone else will.


Oh yeah...I did decide to pull the ttrigger on another unit.  Went to local Meijer and they had a Smoky Hollow propane 34168 on clearance for $100.  Will put together, season, and christen very quickly.  Still have 20# of ribs to do tomorrow!



Ready for foiling!






Fully rested and ready to pull




Pulled and ready for fridge.  Really hard not to eat until tomorrow (unless sneaking pieces during pulling doesn't count)

post #14 of 19

(unless sneaking pieces during pulling doesn't count)


That's just tasting before serving.  Pit masters duty!


Great looking pulled pork.

post #15 of 19

Just as piney said, once you get to the point where you foil your meat, just finish it in the oven. Seems like a lot of people are saying pull the meat once it comes off the smoker then bag it and use it the next day, but i have tried both ways and personally think it is juicer and better overall if once you pull it, you put the whole thing in the fridge, put it in the oven the next day or even 2 days later, warm it back up and then pull it.

post #16 of 19

Great looking butts, thanks for sharing the Qview!  Congrats on the new smoker too!  

post #17 of 19

I have a little secret for you on the Smoky Hollow if you find that your temps run too high on the lowest setting.  I had this problem, and I learned a fix from somebody else who had the same problem.  Turn the knob back to High, push it in, and then turn in the direction of Off.  You'll see the flame go down.  Keep turning towards Off until the flame goes lower than what you see on your Low setting.  It's sensitive, but I can set it at 230* reliably every time (compared to 275*-300* I get on Low).  I used a bit of my wife's nail polish to mark the sweet spot.  I've even set it at 130* and probably could go lower if needed.  Unfortunately, it is not entirely set it and forget it (for me, anyway):  Somewhere at about 1-2 hours in the temp spikes pretty quickly.  I think it has something to do with the wood and/or the water pan heating up.


Another potential caveat:  My Smoky Hollow built-in thermo is terribly inaccurate and, worse, it is inconsistently inaccurate.  I have pro grade thermometers that all measure approximately the same temp.  They will indicate no change in temp, but the built-in will fluctuate +/- 30* throughout the smoke.


I use it all the time for short smokes (<3-4 hours).  For long smokes, I use my WSM which is truly set it and forget it for at least 5 hours.


Originally Posted by Wngsprnt50 View Post



Oh yeah...I did decide to pull the ttrigger on another unit.  Went to local Meijer and they had a Smoky Hollow propane 34168 on clearance for $100.  Will put together, season, and christen very quickly.  Still have 20# of ribs to do tomorrow!

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip..may have to check that one out.  During seasoning, I was able to keep temps, from one of my digital therms, at about 230.  hopefully loaded up it will stay about the same. 


 Another potential caveat:  My Smoky Hollow built-in thermo is terribly inaccurate and, worse, it is inconsistently inaccurate. 

 Fortunately, I research pretty much anything I invest time and or $$ in, so I did read that from several folks.  Its funny how it seems like none of the smokers original therms work worth a crap.  The one in the Smoky Hollow spiked real fast to 300, with my digital climbing over about 15 minutes to 275.  Once I turned the burner down and settled the temps the digital was at 230, with the door therm at 325.  At least it seals the hole for now.  It looks like a good place for a fitting to run my digital wires through so it may be getting a new look soon.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ribs turned out great!  Was very glad I did buy another smoker.  I fired both up and they were both full.  The main slabs I did on the new Smoky Hollow and the came out real nice.


These are a couple racks ready for foiling.



Final product




Some of the goodies that I did on the Charcoal.





I was pleasantly surprised with how nicely the Smoky Hollow did.  It was about 90 deg. outside and with burner on low and vent wide open it kept temps at 230 all 6 hours.  I did realize after that I could use a bit more chips in the smoke box, but I was still on the charcoal mindset and  would rather be a little light on the wood than too heavy.  I think this smoker will be a great one to use come winter since there is alot of ability to increase the temps. 


All in all it was a great success!  Birthday girl was very happy (even gave me hugs!  Hard for 15 y.o. to do lol) and everyone was quiet.  Best of all....I made enough to have more today and possibly some tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone here for helping make this birthday party a success for her by simply posting whether it was on this thread or others.  I have gained a ton of info and hope to be able to continue as well as pass along.


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