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Doing my first smoke this weekend

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by reti, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. reti

    reti Newbie

    Not sure this is new-thread worthy but I'm quite excited about it! Going to do my first boston butt this weekend. Reading around it sounds like pork is a good meat to start with as it's less heat sensitive. Desperate to try some beef short ribs and brisket but I will demonstrate some patience until I'm able to keep the temp where I want it. 

    Shopping List:

    4kg Aussie Heat Beads [£6.29 a bag]

    57cm Weber Kettle [£40, second hand but barely used. Thanks gumtree]

    2kg Boston Butt [£20 Ouch..London prices and from a butcher Gordon Ramsey goes to]

    British Oak - I couldn't find a seller close so got some from Amazon this time around []

    Inkbird IBT-2X [£25 Cheap bluetooth dual probe thermometer]

    Going to use the "Fette Sau" dry rub, I ate at their restaurant in NY and it was fantastic. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fette-sau-dry-rub-56389836

    Expect it will take 6-7 hours. Weather looks a bit sketchy, I assume a little rain here and there wouldn't matter too much if I leave the smoker under a tree. Also wondering how a cold day will affect the temps, may need to open up the vents a little more than usual?

    The weber I have has 3 unique vents on the bottom, rather than the one handle that controls them all. Does anyone have any experience with this model with regards to getting the temperature right? 
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Reti

    This is certainly worthy of a new thread [​IMG]. You made a good choice with the pulled pork. It will give you practice at a good long smoke and is actually quite forgiving too. Just remember that with the pork it is not just about getting it up to temperature (85-90 C) but also ensuring that it has sufficient time for all of the fat ans cartelage to render. Once you get it up to temperature wrap it in foil and place it in an insulated box for a couple of hours before pulling it.

    The secret with maintaing the temperature of the smoker is to bring it up to temperature slowly and dont keep opening the lid. Trust the thermometers. Remember the saying... "If you are looking you are not cooking".

    Heat Beads - good choice

    Weber Kettle - I recommend that you use the snake method

    Oak is great - Just place a few lumps on top of the unlit coals

    InkBird IBT-2X - great thermometer. Take care that the probe leads di not lat directly over the coals or they will burn through. They are only rated to ~250 C

    Weber Vents - Start with them all open. As the internal temperature reaches 3/4 of target temperature then gradually start to close them down until the target temperature is reached. Leave the top vent completely open until you have got a better feel for the temperature control. If I were cooking I would arrange the vents so that one was under the meat and the other 2 were under the snake. Keep the one under the meat closed and only adjust the ones under the coals. Place some foil on the cooking grate immediately over the coals and keep the top vent located on the opposite side of the smoker to the coals. This will ensure a more even distribution of the heat in the chamber.

    Don't forget that we like photos [​IMG]
  3. reti

    reti Newbie

    Pretty happy at my first crack at this. The meat came out fantastic, and was well received by everyone that tried it. Had an epic stall at 160 degrees, stayed there for 4-5 hours before I finally decided to crank the heat up from 225-250 (temps in Fahrenheit sorry) where I had it, to 280. Ultimately took too long to do this and it was getting late, and people hangry so had to finish it in the oven wrapped in foil for an hour. 

    There was a lot of running back and forth trying to keep the temp in that range, although by the end I had it pretty much sorted. I'll know for next time that I need to leave the vents open less than I was expecting. 

    Weather didn't play ball and was raining on and off all day - don't know to what extent the the humidity affects that evaporation process, but it can't have helped that stall? Think I probably should have cut a bit more of the fat cap off the back too. 

    Reading around it sounds like wrapping the meat in foil during this stall period is practically a defacto standard to speed up the cook? 

    Reheated on Sunday night for a second meal and it was every bit as good as the first time around. 

    Next up beef short ribs, maybe this Saturday.

    You asked for photos!

    The snake - probably could have used more wood in the end as I noticed that a lot of the time no smoke was coming out the top. 

    Coming up to temperature. The inkbird is pretty awesome, although the app could do with a few improvements.

    The 2kg boston butt is in.

    Playing with the vents to get the temp right.

    The meat probe reports we're cooking!

    The great British summer BBQ.

    The last hour in the oven :(

    The finished product.

    The second night of pulled pork.

    How was the smokers weekend? Maybe I'll come next year.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  4. Inkbirdbbq

    Inkbirdbbq Newbie Sponsor SMF Premier Member

    inkbird thermometer let you do good meal