1st Smoke ever Pork Butt

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by topfuel, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    Well I made it thru my first ever smoke. I had a few issues, but all in all the end result was above average I'm guessing.

    MES Gen 1 + Amnps + Maverick 733.

    I smoked from 9:45pm to about 3pm the next day. 

    I'm not sure what to say with regards to the temp ? 

    First question :

    I used the maverick as one probe for air temp one for meat.

    With the MES 30 Gen1 set to 225 the air temp never made it above 212.

    Not knowing much of anything I increased the unit to 235 to get the air temp up to 225.

    I left it there for 4 hours before opening the door to insert the meat probe at which gave me a reading of 135 degrees.

    Now at this point the Amnps had extinguished itself so I relit both ends actually and filled the wood tray in the MES and went to bed at around 2.

    Woke up at 530 A.M. to go check on the MES and the AMNPS was all ashes and the meat was at 161 degrees.

    I filled the AMNPS back up with pitmasters choice let burn for 10 or so and filled the MES chip tray. Headed back to bed.

    Got up at 9 the Temp of the meat was 164... so I had a stall going on, so not wanting to foil/cover, I turned to unit up to 275 and kept feeding it chips for smoke.

    After about another hour the temp started to climb up to about 175 I turned to unit back down to 235 for another 3 hours with the IT climbing to 181 with this in mind I was trying to hit 203 by 3pm.

    So at approx. 1PM I pulled butt out and put in foil pan added bout 6 oz of apple juice and covered with foiled put back in MES at 275 and it reached 203 at 2:53 pm.

    Removed from smoker drained off the apple juice put in cooler for 2 hours.

    5PM Shredded the Butt with my bear claws and added my finishing sauce.

    Above average I' guessing.

    Couple questions now.

    1. What should the air temp read compared to where the temp is set ??

         Example - MES was set to 225, the air temp would be 212 ?

    2. How do I get more smoke. I burnt basically two full trays of the AMNPS

         *Plus I used Pecan and JD Chips in the MES tray.

         * Smoke taste was decent but not nearly heavy or thick like we want ???

    3.  How can I get a harder and more bark buildup ??

    4.  With the unit on 275 the air temp inside was a high of 262 but leveled off at 259 ??

    Any input is much appreciated and Ill post my rub and finishing sauce plus pictures below when I get them uploaded.

  2. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    Here is my madeup RUB. It it very good but I think its missing something....check it.

    1 cup    Dark Brown Sugar

    3/4 cup Organic Refined sugar - supposed to help with bark production ?

    1/4 cup & 1TBSP Sweet Hungarian Paprika

    1/4 cup Garlic Powder

    1/4 cup Onion Powder

    1/4 cup Black Pepper

    1 TBSP Smoked Paprika

    3 TSP Season All

    3 TSP Ground Mustard

    3 TSP Famous Daves Rib Rub

    3 TSP Rosemary Powder

    2 TSP Ground Ginger

    2 TSP Pink Himalayan Salt

    1/2 TSP Cayenne Pepper

    1/2 TSP (Tan) Curry Powder

    1/4 TSP Tumeric

    I think it made about 40oz of rub.

    Also my finishing sauce I whipped up is as follows. Approx.

    1 1/4 Cup organic Ketchup

    1    Cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

    1/4 Cup Organic Apple Juice

    3 TBSP Organic Stone ground Mustard

    1 TBSP Garlic Powder

    1 TBSP Onion Powder

    1 TBSP Famous Daves Rib Rub

    1 TBSP My meat rub

    1 TBSP Mustard Powder

    2 TSP Hungarian Paprika

    2 TSP Black Pepper

    1 TSP Pink Himalayan Salt

    3 oz of Dr. Pepper. or so

    Heat to boil, simmer for 10 or so.

    I also added some of the pan apple drippings. (minimal)
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Couple questions now.

    1. What should the air temp read compared to where the temp is set ??

         Example - MES was set to 225, the air temp would be 212 ?

    Go by the MAV. Temp at the meat is most important. This may be different than what the MES reads, adjust accordingly.

    2. How do I get more smoke. I burnt basically two full trays of the AMNPS

         *Plus I used Pecan and JD Chips in the MES tray.

         * Smoke taste was decent but not nearly heavy or thick like we want ???

    You can either light both ends of the AMNPS and reload when needed. Or switch to 100% Hickory, a stronger wood smoke than Pitmasters.

    3.  How can I get a harder and more bark buildup ?? Skip the Foiling. Smoking the whole time gives the most Bark. You can also cut the Butt into smaller pieces to get more Bark. Last smoke I did was 2 8Lb Butts. I cut them into 10 Fist sized pieces. They took about 6 hours to get to 205°...LOTS of Bark!!!

    4.  With the unit on 275 the air temp inside was a high of 262 but leveled off at 259 ?? That is probably going to be normal for your MES...JJ
    topfuel likes this.
  4. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

  5. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

  6. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    I will prolly cut the next butt into Two pieces to get more bark. and I used 100% hickory pellets the first tray then pitmasters the second tray.  What is the strongest wood smoke for the AMNPS ?
  7. I try to smoke all my Boston Butts naked just for the Bark. Cutting the Butt in half will give you more bark but may not reduce your smoke time much. The reason is not the weight but the thickness of the meat.

    Mesquite is the strongest normally used. It is normally used during short duration cooks. I agree with all of the chef's advice

    You will do well with hickory or even oak. the Pitmaster is Hickory  Maple and Cherry. It is not a heavy smoke. My last Butt was with OAK. it was good.

    I see you Bought a all natural Butt. !.49 for all natural is a very good buy. Cutting a 10 pound butt will help. You might check with the meat man and get a couple small butts like what are sold for a Crock pot.

    Every one has a temp they like to smoke at It's either low and slow or hot and fast. We can debate temps for days. I like 240 , Not hot and fast or low and slow. It speeds up the smoke as compared to 225 and since I cook them un foiled till they come off in 16 or so hours they render well. Once Again just another Opinion.

     Oh by the way look up the Chef's finishing sauce and give it a shot. I use a amended version that is like what you might find in Virginia.   Jted
    topfuel likes this.
  8. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    Time isn't a problem.  I just want overwhelming smoke. 
  9. It is a well known fact that smoked meat will taste smokier the next day. You might try that also   Jted
    topfuel likes this.
  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    1. Can't recall if you have the MES 30 or 40. It makes a difference when it comes to monitoring the interior temp. There's no set rule as to how different the temp on the MES display will be from real life. I go by what the ET-733 says and adjust the controller from that. I may have to adjust it several times over the course of the smoke. After a few hours with my MES 30 Gen 1 the controller temp will settle down and remain relatively close to the ET-733 display. When smoking a roast of some sort I always have the BARBECUE probe clipped to one rack on the left side of my smoker. The FOOD probe is inserted into the meat on the right side of the smoker and on a separate rack.

    2. If you want a smokier taste I'd recommend something other than JD pellets, just from what I've read about them. Pecan is supposed to give off a milder smoke than hickory so it won't be so "in your face". If you want a stronger smoke taste use hickory or oak. However, I cold smoked some salmon and some cheeses a few weeks ago, first using alder wood pellets. Never used alder before and had a hard time keeping it lit in my AMNPS. I combined the alder with apple wood pellets and voilà! The apple pellets kept the alder pellets burning and I ended up with very smoky salmon and cheeses, maybe too smoky for some tastes. And I only smoked for about 4-5 hours. And remember if you're opening and closing the smoker door a lot you'll lose both heat and smoke that way which will then have to rebuild themselves. You don't want heavy or thick smoke. When people complain that they don't like smoked food because it tastes harsh and bitter, they're talking about over smoked foods. Smoke should always enhance the food, not overpower. What you think is too light smoke may be what someone else thinks is delicious.

    3.I'm still working on that myself. I think the answer is to leave the meat unfoiled for a longer period of time. Foiling serves to keep meat moist and tender but it does it by steaming the meat inside the foil. Steam softens the bark. The trick is to experiment with your smoker with different temps and foiled/unfoiled times. I look at every smoke as a learning experience and one to sharpen my skills and knowledge.

    4. Don't go by the temp on the controller display screen. Remember that the MES 30 can and will exceed 275° even if you don't want it to. If it does you've got minor or major problems to deal with, After you've calibrated your ET-733 use it for your temp reference. I use the ET-733 to adjust the MES controller to where I want the set point to be.
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your pork shoulder/butt prices are similar to those in my area. All your photos look great. It looks like the shoulder should have absorbed plenty of smoke flavor but then I can't taste it online.
  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hard to say if you're missing anything from either recipe because there are so many different ways to go. There are guys who love to add coriander, Sugar In The Raw, celery salt, allspice, you can go nuts with the different flavor profiles. I'm the type of guy who has to work from a recipe; I don't have the patience to experiment with different ingredients and tweak the amounts of each one used. That's why I'll never develop and bottle my own line of dry rubs and sauces.

    As a personal bias, I don't believe in using anything from Famous Dave's. When I buy something off a store shelf, I look at the list of ingredients and look for all natural stuff without any HFCS, additives, artificial flavors, trans-fatty acids, and stuff like that, nothing that shows the company went cheap when formulating the product. I've been given a number of commercial dry rubs and bought some commercial marinades and sauces. Stubb's is among my favorite brands but in some products even they went cheap. Instead of using a commercial rub in your recipes why don't you pick out the flavors you like from the Famous Dave's stuff and buy those spices and seasonings at the store and add them to your recipes?

    Stay in the kitchen and keep creating dry rubs and sauces of your own. I've a few favorites I've gotten from cookbooks. I can't do it from scratch like you but I can tweak recipes to give it my own spin or if I don't have enough of some components.  
  13. topfuel

    topfuel Fire Starter

    I've looked all over for a rub recipe mine is missing something for sure it's good but not quite there. I need some more links to rubs. And my mes 30 1 has to be up to 240 to get 225 temp on my maverick.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My MES Gen #2.5 is the opposite. I have to set it at 215° to get 230° on my Maverick. No big deal, as long as you know what to set it at to get what you want.

    I use Hickory Pellets, and only light one end.

    Maybe this will help some:


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