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A smoking Northerner - first attempt at "local butt"


Smoke Blower
Joined May 5, 2007
Wow, I'm not sure too many of us exist.....and I'm just a newbie so I don't count yet as someone who has years of practice and mad skills.
I was reviewing this site for a few weeks before I decided to sign up and ask my own questions...

Anyway, my name is Jeff....live a few miles outside of Boston. I grew up in the country of Pennsylvania so I have a love of all things BBQ'ed and smoked outside in a pit. I grew up attending many pig roasts and outdoor BBQ's with my very large, extended family.

I have very limited space in the 'burbs of Boston but I make due. I've got the very basic Brinkmann's model below.

This past weekend was my first true test and thanks to the helpful advice from all of you here, it was a smashing success! I had two Boston butts totally 18 lbs. pre-cooked. My co-worker had a graduation party and she recruited me as the "master griller". ANYONE can throw some burgers/dogs on a grill, but I wanted to do something special so I decided on the hog.

I first brined them in brown sugar and salt mixture for a few hours on Friday after work. I swabbed off the excess water and proceeded to rub them (cinnamon heavy, with many other typical spices). I started the bad boys about 10 PM on Friday night. I stayed up until about 4 AM tending to my fire of charcoal and hickory wood from Lowe's. At that point I was exhausted and figured it would be best to start keeping a constant temp because I wasn't 100% sure what was going on in the smoker, the temp of the meat had only climbed to like 125 F. I ended up finishing them in the 240 F oven the rest of the day after I hit the plateau in the smoker itself, squirting apple juice every hour or so in the oven after they had been wrapped in foil. The pieces FINALLY got done around 2 PM Saturday afternoon and I let them rest for 45 min after (party started at 5:00). I took them out of the oven at 190 F and 195 F respectively. I still have no idea why one was hotter than the other, they looked to be about the same size. Even though I didn't reach the 200 F mark, they both pulled ok....the cooler one being a little tougher than the other. I put finishing sauce (from this site) on the pan of meat once I had them all pulled and proceeded to make my own sauce. I was most impressed by the smoke ring I ended up with after just 6 hours in the smoker!

Anyway, I've already been asked what my "secret" is and for recipes! I was even impressed with myself, considering this is the first time I had ever tackled a piece of meat this big on my own. Duh people, the secret is the time spent making a masterpiece....not really in the ingredients themselves.
I think I'll be asked back again as "master griller" for more events in the future. Now that it is FINALLY warm enough here in Boston to tackle my new endeavour, I can't wait to begin my next piece!! I've even got a good friend of mine into this just by showing him what I did over the weekend....he went out and bought his own smoker yesterday! HAHA.

Again, thank you to all for showing this novice the ropes....you've made me a fan and I can't wait to try fish, ribs, you name it next. I hope to include pictures of my own for future posts. Where did I put that digital camera anyway....

-Jeff (age 29) aka BostonBBQ


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 24, 2007
Good for you, don't give up the secret!
Now you've got all kinds of new bbq respect!


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 17, 2006
A big welcome to you Jeff. You need to find that camera so we can see the awesome stuff you'll be smokin'!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 22, 2007
welcome to SMF... from a Jeff to another Jeff... boy we are taking over this board..lol


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2006
welcome to SMF jeff and congratulations on a very successful first smoke. now that your hooked you have to feed our addictions with some food porn.

By the way what part of pa.?

bbq bubba

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 12, 2007
There's a lot more us us northern smokers than u think, welcome jeff


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 7, 2007
Welcome to the forum Jeff. It is always nice to see a plan come together. Congrats on your success.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 16, 2006
Welcome to the SMF
Good going on that smoke.


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Welcome Jeff -

You'll learn all kinds of neat little tricks here from master Qers!

PS - Don't let a little cold stop you from smoking, just find something to block the wind a bit!


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Apr 5, 2007
Welcome to SMF. After all the dedication to the first smoke and attention to detail in your post, you're not a noob. You're just "fresh". Good job.


SMF Events Planning Committee
Joined Apr 17, 2006
Welcome to SMF Boston BBQ!!! Sounds like your first butts made the crowd happy.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 17, 2005
Funny you should mention northern smokers ... I live in Canada and you live farther north than me


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 21, 2006
welcome to smf. another jeff; we need some more chris' to join up, lol.


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 13, 2007
Wow what a start for your new smokin' hobby..........aint it nice to be the hero ?

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