first smoke

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jun 18, 2007
South Fla
ok so my kids got me an ecb for fathers day
so i decided that my first smoke would be a 4lb pork butt. i found a recipe on the site for a maple bourbon brine.did that and let the butt soak for 6 home frome work and started the smoker at 1 pm but couldnt get the fire down under 250* till about 230pm.(dont ask) wrapped butt in bacon (figure what goes better with pork than ...well...pork) properly installed the butt in the smoker. then i put in the jack daniels pellets (total of 3 times)and left it alone.i maintained the smoker temp between 220*-250* for the next zillion hours. fast forward to 1130pm pork temp is 171*. at 1245am i said uncle wrapped in foil and put it in the oven at 225* and went to sleep. woke up at 545am pork temp at 193*. wrapped it in a towel and threw it in a cooler.back to nap. at 715a removed from cooler and started pulling. man this was some juicy pork. cooked perfectly. however...heres where my problems are 1.why did it take so long? 2.there was no smoke flavor whatsoever.did the bacon prevent the smoke from being absorbed? 3. the brine didnt seem to have an effect on anything either. did i do something wrong? not soaked long enough? i am absolutely thrilled that it was edible and cooked perfectly, but i am bummed because for all that work i could have put it in the oven and gotten the same flavor.

i also want to say that i love this site.i have been lurking for a while but i finally joined when i got the smoker.i have learned many things already and i think that is the reason for the butt cooking the way it wife is concerned about my obsession with the smoker. that has started to change since the first butt though. I guess its safe to say that i wont be joining the "we dont believe in cooked food " club any time ever.thanks for any help you guys can give
First off, welcome to SMF. Glad you can join us. I'm not familair with the ECB but my first guess would be that the temperature was inaccurate. Many of the built in thermometers on smokers are off and the only real way to tell is to pull out the thermometer (If you can) and put it in boling water to see if it is accurate.
Many people use the Maverick ET-73 thermometer. It has 2 probes. One comes with a clip that you can put right on the cooking grate to monitor your smoker temp, the other goes in the meat. It has a remote which monitors both temps and has alarms you can set for minimum/maximum temps; good for those overnight pork butt smokes.
Welcome aboard. First off, congrats on your first smoke being successful.Think how much worse it would be if it had been a bust. Verify your thermometers or purchase an electronic as listed in the previous post.. I recommend you use the smoking log for your first few smokes. It makes you observe and note what's going on and gives you a feel for your smoker and what you're doing.
Hope this helps.
i forget to say i have one of those et-73s because i didnt like the warm/ideal/hot thermo on the smoker when i tried it w/o meat last week.
So the ET-73 was telling you you were at 225-250?
yes sir... i even went out to look at the transmitter to make sure.( kind of defeats the purpose of REMOTE but i was excited) the smoker temp was pretty constant and i didnt open the door until the temp started moving. no peeking at all
Ding, ding, ding...................It's the bacon's fault
great idea but that prevented the butt from properly accepting the smoke,i would guess you had no smoke ring either, i'm sure you'll get the scientific reason here shortly but i gotta ask.......was the bacon burned beyond recoginition???
16 hrs is a long smoke! and what are J.D. pellets, you mean chips?never heard of pellets in an ECB? Hang in there, lotta help here, you'll be a pro in no time!
Lose the J.D. pellets!
Use chunks!
You can also use chips (don't soak them) but will have to replenish more often.
Chunks are the deal, they burn longer. Nestle 1-2 down in your fire a bit.
One thing I have learned here is that a piece of meat will only accept a certain amount of smoke and then it's done. That bacon already accepted all the smoke it's going to and you used to to wrap your butt with

Your butt should have tasted a bit like oversmoked bacon. Also, the JD pellets are a waste of money. They're like $8 for a small bag at one of the sportsmans shops around here. They're supposedly processed from old used Jack Daniels barrels. All they would probably give off is an oak smoke flavor which you can get from cheaper oak chunks/chips. If you want the burbon/whisky flavor, add some to the apple juice spray you use every hour or so to keep it moist.
any ideas why it took 16 hrs for a 4 lb butt? also maybe i did something wrong with the brine? thanks for the advice so far
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