Did my first smoke yesterday! Pics Included!

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by rybro, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. rybro

    rybro Newbie

    Hello everyone!

    The name is Rybro. I'm 28 years old from the heart of the states, Iowa. I currently live with my long time girlfriend and our new baby boy of two months! I have always been an avid griller, doing mostly steaks and pork chops as my specialty. The science behind the food has always fascinated me, I have to know EXACTLY what is happening and why. BBQ has always been a fascination of mine. Now, that I am more settled I am able to pursue some of my life goals and passions.

    I use a 22 inch Weber Kettle charcoal grill. I bought the Slow-n-Sear Plus from Adrenaline BBQ off of amazon in order to use with my Weber. I took a few weeks leading up to my first smoke to do as much research as possible. I hope to someday to buy a more permanent smoker, but as a rookie I thought I would start small until I get my bearings. 

    So Sunday, I did my first smoke. I decided on an 8 pound Boston Butt since they are so forgiving for a rook. I decided I wanted more of a bark and figured their was enough fat inside the butt to keep it moist and flavored. I trimmed a lot of the fat, including the cap, off of the butt. I did a dry salt brine for about 18 hours. Then, applied basic mustard along with a basic rub (garlic powder, brown sugar, paprika, and so on). I let the rub marinate for a couple hours while my grill/smoker was coming down to temp. My goal was to keep the temp anywhere between 220F and 245F. I'd say I hit a few good runs where the temp stayed right at 235F. I used mostly hickory with a little bit of apple. I did not use the minion method because I was using briquettes. I would add fully ashed briquettes when the time meant for it. I have a pretty strong palette, and can usually pick up the off taste non-ashed briquettes can potentially give off. I added wood for about the first 6 hours, then stopped. I started the smoke/cook at 7:30 am, I ended up being pressed for time at the end due to my family coming over. Stalled at 159F and ended up cranking the heat up 280F to finish. Did not want to foil and ruin the crust. I had to pull the Butt at 198F @ 6:45 pm, I was pushing for 205F. It rested for 45 minutes before I pulled, was hoping I could let it rest for several hours. Next Time! Total of a 11 hour smoke. It turned out much better than I thought.

    I struggled with the temp at times, dropping below the 220F mark. I suppose my next run will be a little smoother since I have a better grasp on controlling the temp. I probably won't change a thing except for maybe smoking at a slightly higher temp, like 240F - 250F. That seemed to be a zone that I was able to easlily hit and manage. Any tips or suggestions are welcome! See the pictures below to see my process and how things looked!

    A look at the butt before it has even been touched.

    Got the rub on for a 2 hour marinade before it goes on.

    My setup. Weber Grill with a Slow-n-Sear. The other grill is 

    meant for lighting charcoal. I also use a Maverick dual probe


    Mid smoke. I think it was at about 145F internal at this point.

    Finished product before the pull.

    Bone came out clean.

    Get in my belly!
    seenred, disco and mike5051 like this.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]   to SMF!

    Glad to have you aboard!

    Nice job on the butt. The PP looks amazing!

  3. frankly

    frankly Fire Starter

    Looks great!  I have an 8.8 pound butt I wanted to do this weekend but the weather was miserable so I decided to hold off...  I've done them on the kettle in the past but going for the MES 30 smokin' this time at a higher temp (275F) with no wrapping.  We'll see how it comes out Thursday!
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome from SC, Rybro. It's really good to have you here on this great site. Your butt looked delishous. It's always good to keep a log of your cooks, so you can look back to see what you want to change.

    You said that Iowa was the center of the states. I assume you mean geographically, since everyone knows that South Carolina is the center of the BBQ world.

    Good luck and good smoking. Joe
  5. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Howdy Rybro and welcome to our group!  Qview on your very first post??  Your gonna fit in great around here!  [​IMG]

    That pulled pork looks like it turned out terrific!  What a successful first smoke...nicely done!

    Point to you for a great introduction!

  6. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Nice job! Great first smoke!
  7. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the site!  "Point" for some awesome Q-view!  That looks amazing![​IMG]

  8. Hi Rybro!

    [​IMG]  That is a really pretty lookin' Butt! Just looks so Yummy!

    I agree with keeping a log on your cooks!
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Rybro and welcome to the forum. I used to work on and off in Marshalltown and so got to see quite a bit of Iowa.

    The 22" Weber is a versatile beast as you found out. It is great for grilling, smoking and cold smoking too. Your pork looked really good - well done [​IMG]

    A couple of observations and questions from your smoke...

    The Slow 'N Sear looks like a handy unit. I had not seen one before. The water trough being used as a heat deflector is good - I usually use foil and a water pan under the meat.

    If you followed the lighting instructions on their Web site you were actually using a Minion/snake combination. If you simply used all fully ashed briquettes from the start in combination with continually adding wood this was almost certainly why you had difficulty finely controlling the temperature. Every time you lift off the lid it will take the smoker time to get back into balance.

    The briquette taste is a problem with the cheaper supermarket briquettes but if you buy the more expensive restaurant grade briquettes you will not get any taste from them. They also last a lot longer and so work out cheaper overall. With good briquettes and lump wood for flavouring then you should be able to keep the Weber at a steady 220 F for 7-8 hours without much adjustment.

    You do not need to trim off the fat during the cook as it does help to adds flavour to the butt and keeps it moist. The bark will form as a layer on top of the fat anyway and it is easy to retain the bark layer but also to remove the fat layer underneath when pulling.

    Trust me [​IMG]  ... Next time use good quality briquettes, close the top vent to 1/4 open and manage the temperature with the bottom vent and your temperature control problems will go away.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  10. rybro

    rybro Newbie

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome! I hope to do another smoke in a few weeks! I have a little 2 month baby boy that has been keeping me busy. 

    Wade, I ended up just adding ashed charcoal everytime. I didn't follow their instructions due to my briquettes. I am going to order some better charcoal and try the minion method next time! Any specific recommendations? The water resevoir on the Slow-n-Sear is great for keeping the temp down. I also placed a water pan under the Butt to help, but mostly to keep my grill a little cleaner.  As for wood, I used Western wood chunks. I 100% like the log idea! I will make sure to track everything! I appreciate the tips everyone!
  11. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    South Carolina huh!? I guess that Texas style offset gives it away. [​IMG]
  12. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    +1 on the cheap briquettes. I have found even Royal Oak brand briquettes are a black "chalky" smoke. Now in their defense, they work well in starting a long smoke. Meaning use them to get things up to temp and then add the better ones to smoke. It will save you money. Now in terms of the water pan with the kettles, I like to use the water pan offset from the meat and I position the vent over the meat so the flow goes in that direction. The smoke coming out does have moisture in it. It has worked very well. I am not sure about those fancy sear thingamajigs but I can tell you that you he has everything he needs just by the pictures. Spending more money is not going to improve what he has done.
  13. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Actually, it's from Oklahoma. :grilling_smilie:
  14. ammaturesmoker

    ammaturesmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Doesn't surprise me considering the handle is mounted on the same side as the wheels.
  15. :th_HaHa7_ani:
    That's pretty funny, right there...

  16. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Actually, it's not. The wheels are on the FB end of the CC. The handle wraps around the stack on the opposite end. It was built exactly like I designed it. My specifications, my design, my plans. It was fabricated by Craig Bell at Bell Fab in Owasso, OK. Craig is a great guy and builds a great smoker. I have had mine for a year and a half and I love it. It heats well, holds heat well and the temp differential is about 5*.

    Thank you for your interest in my smoker.
  17. garvinque

    garvinque Meat Mopper

    [​IMG]and [​IMG]Nice Que.

    Let the Fire due the Work!
  18. She's a fine looking rig, Joe! Makes me miss the ole' offset that I had...even if it was a Chargriller!
  19. [​IMG]   Good morning and welcome to the forum, from another hot day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

  20. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Perfect Pulled Pork, Rybro!

    Points for a great first smoke.


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