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A Pair of Butts for the Vault...Ancho Chili & Red Bell Pepper combo rub...


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Joined Aug 27, 2008
...a progressive drool-view for part of my humble contribution to this week's readers.

I didn't waste any time getting these into the smoke today. My wife brought them home lastnight and I got home early from work today...apparently 18-hrs in my Q-Fridge is long enough.

We have a 200 mile round-trip drive planned for in the morning to go on a "double-date" with our new friends...shopping!!!

I'll be pushing the clock getting these pulled before we leave on Tuesday.

A bit lean on the fat-cap with one, but I'll make due:




I scored the fat at 3/4-1" spacing...this should shrink-up nicely as it renders down without pulling off to one side or to center:



Laying on my modified bakers racks, which fit onto the vault smoke chamber grates...the butts will stay on these until it's pulled pork time. If I decide to pan/tent the butts, I can fit one rack into a 12" x 18" pan and cover to steam/rest:


Ancho Chilli/Red Bell Pepper rub combo...I like the two of these rubs so much I just had to try them blended together:




Onto the 4th grate position, with a 12" x 18" baking pan of water on the first rack position for extra humidity and to catch drippings for a natural finishing sauce later:



So, we have a drip/water pan, and the factory water pan to keep things moist all night long:


Smoke is on at 3:20 pm Mountain Time @ 265-275*, and I'm layering the smoke by alternating the smoke wood every 2 hours using chips and fragments, beginning with hickory, then mesquite. I'll stop adding smoke wood after the 6th hour and let the remains take over from there. Hope my temps aren't too hot that they blast right through the stall, but not hot enough to make my time-line...I have about 18 hours total to get 'em finished. I'll probably drop the chamber temp back to 240* after 7-8 hours...we'll see what the I/T's look like at that point and play it by ear.

I think we used up our last frozen pulled pork 2 weeks ago, so this smoke is over-due.

See ya with updates later!

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Master of the Pit
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Sounds like a plan. I think I am gonna have to try slicing the fat cap on my next butt cook.


Meat Mopper
Joined Mar 22, 2010
Looks good and combination of rubs sound good. Let us know how that mixture of rubs come out.


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Joined Aug 27, 2008
I'm keeping my fingers crossed now....I've never smoked at this high of temps for any larger cut of pork or beef...BRING ON THE STALL!!!

For 8+ pound shoulders to get into the 150* range in just over 4 hours, well, they may very well just blow right on through the stall with little effort...I hope I at least get an hour or 2 to melt away the connective tissues.

Anyway, here's a few peeks after removing the probe from the grate monitoring position to checking internals.

Oh, I forgot to mention earlier, I put the heavier side of the slightly larger butt on the left hand side of the smoke vault, as it runs about 10* hotter in the upper left of the smoke chamber. This always tends to even-out the internals, even when I smoke a full packer brisket...point end in the hotter area, and I'm good to go.

They may have been crawling through a upper 140* to mid 150* stall when I probed them...time will tell the rest of story...oh, the dirty looking probe head is due to another dropped unit...
...I've ruined 1 due to water exposure (rain), and another due to a broken probe socket from a 5 foot drop while the cable was plugged in:


Ya gotta love this:




It's 9:38 pm now, so I just might get some sleep tonight. I plan on tossing them into large baking pans with a foil tent @ midnight and let them finish overnight @ 200-210*.

Yep, they were heading into the stall...ran out to take this quick shot before I sent this reply:


We're gonna be OK on this one. I thought the stall was going to fly by like a bullet, but it's doing fine.

More later...thanks all!



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looking good.


Legendary Pitmaster
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Joined Oct 17, 2009
Wow they look great! I like the modified racks, I have a similar one for the UDS that I toss in the dishwasher, works great. That rub looks great, now I need me a butt to try it out.


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Thanks fellas, it's keeping me up much later than I'd like, but it will be worth some lost sleep...I'll get all the rest I need when I take a dirt nap, anyway...at least that's what everyone tells me.

Hey meateater, the rub is pretty good on a shoulder cuts...even CSR's if you have any to try it on.

I yanked 'em out @ ~160* at 1:30 this morning...I think it was about 9.5 hours smoke time, and they went into a pair of mated foil steam pans to finish out for the night.

Man, I've often wondered how something so nasty to start out can look so darn good after it spends some time in this...thing, that takes heat and wood smoke to cook it in??? LOL!!!!!!!!!!

A nice batch of drippings just happened to be waiting for me...oh, the butts look pretty good too:



I took the first one to come out and set the rack in a large foil steam pan, repositioned the shrunken pork a bit to make room for the other on the same rack, and poured the drippings into the pan along with more water...looks like I needed to go a bit deeper with the fat-cap scoring on the right-hand butt...not a bad lookin' smoke, though:


The liquids are about 1" deep, so it should last the rest of the night until I can drag myself back out of bed in the morning...I'm now wondering if I put too much added water into the pan, as I have a pretty good seal on those pans...:


Good night, my darlings...er...uh...I mean...dinner:


Man, it's way past morning already...almost 3:40 am, and I need (want) to be rolling down the highway by 9:00 am.

I'll post up the pulling Monday evening, as I'll need to hit the ground running for the highway as soon as I get it into the fridge. I don't want to miss any time on an opportunity to restock the freezer and smoking supplies. Hmm, I might make a couple sammies for the road, though.

Until then, nite all!



Gone but not forgotten. RIP
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Congratulations on a great post. Those butts look fantastic, and I like the flavor combo of that rub. It's all good my friend.


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Lookin' Great as usual Eric!

I like your double pan idea.

I just learned that trick about 10 minutes ago from one of our resident Greats!




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Yes everthing looks great so far there Eric. Now I know they will be good you have quite the track record.


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Thanks, fellas!

I just got home from our day-trip about 11:00 pm and got our perishables unloaded and safey stored, so I decided to give my aching feet a break and take up a chair...my chair in specific...you know, the one that puts me right here on SMF...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...home, sweet home.

I had a great day of shopping, a nice lunch and lots of laughs with my wife and our new friends...what more could I ask for? Nada.

When I woke up this morning, My wife was dressed and doing the make-up/hair ritual, so I knew I better get moving...FAST!!!!!!! LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!

I probed the butts just out of curiousity to see how well the 5-hr steam worked out...198-200*, and the probe fell right in like a hot knife through butter...gotta love it!

I grabbed up all my gear and supplies I wanted to get this done in a hurry, and without a rest, had the pulling finished about 20 minutes after shutting down the Smoke Vault.

Tons of liquids in the pan for tossing with the pulled pork...the butts still look pretty good too:


Right down to the squeky-clean bone, this is the way meat should pull...I gently separated and lifted out sections of the butt with a tine and placed them into the other pan to check for "the nasties" which I do my best to remove and discard: 




A nice pile o' pork:


Ready to chill in my 20* outdoor fridge:


I'll break some of this down into smaller containers when I get it tossed into some liquids, and most will get frozen for a rainy/snowy day...wait a minute...with my all-weather kitchen, what the heack does rain or snow have to do with it? HAH-HAH-HAH!!! Well, we'll be eating a couple extra meals off of this smoke anyway, and have some extra for hand-outs...(I love to share smoked meats).

This may sound a bit crazy on my part, but, thoughout this whole smoke, and even to this very minute, I haven't tasted my pulled pork...never made any sammies for the road...my wife got the first taste tonight awhile after we got home. I tossed a couple ounces on a plate and drizzled some pan drippings on it and popped it in the (gulp) nuke-box.

OK, it's back outside to the fridge for me now...dang, I gotta find out what this rub combo is like...I mean, I know it will be good, but is it going to be good enough to recommend and/or do it again? Yea, I gotta get some now!

Mmm, that was everything I could hope for. The rub combo is toned-down a bit, being a 50/50 blend of the two, and carries the flavors through pretty well with shoulder meat...the Red Bell Pepper is still there, just enough in the back ground to keep you wanting more, IMHO. I'll do this one again for sure. Wife likes it alot too, and she's had her days with smoked meats (when she can't eat it), but this was allright by her

Anyway, hope I wasn't the cause of any computer damage due to me not posting a proper drool-view alert...LOL!!!!!

Great smokes to all, and to all a good night!

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Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jul 28, 2010
Wow... just amazing looking. It's barely time for breakfast here (5am EST) and I'm already starving. ::applause::

Great work and highly inspiring!!

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