First time butt with pellets

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nygiant

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So I have cooked plenty of pork butts on my weber smoky mountain. Have always turned out great. Now that I have gotten a recteq, I am still new to it. I have done ribs, chicken thighs, wings and they’ve all turned out good. Want to do the pork butt and have a question.

I still want to get a good smoky flavor. We all know the pellet smokers deliver a lot lighter smoke flavor. Can I use the extreme smoke setting for the first two hours or so, or do I need to go out and buy a propane torch and smoke tube and do it that way?
 

BrianGSDTexoma

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I did my last brisket on smoke setting for 2 hours and came out with a nice smoke. Never will get that WSM smoke but I started coming around to the lighter smoke or at least that what I'm telling myself. I even quit using the tubes.
 

nygiant

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Ok good to hear that. Yeah, I wouldn’t expect the Weber smoke taste, but want it more than what the food I have already cooked had. Guess everything I’ve been doing has been on the higher temp setting side and the pellets are just providing heat and not smoke.
 

JIMSMOKES

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I run my pellet on smoke setting (180) for 2 hours along with a smoke tube packed with pellets and wood chips. I also keep a smoke tube going the whole cook or until I wrap.
 

Smoking Audi

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I want to say we do pork butts at 225 or so for about 4 - 5 hours when it stalls then wrap in paper and turn up the temp to get up to 201 IT. Its an OK smoke at that temp and you can always add more smoke with a tube. Our tube has about a 4 hour burn until its done.
 

nygiant

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I run my pellet on smoke setting (180) for 2 hours along with a smoke tube packed with pellets and wood chips. I also keep a smoke tube going the whole cook or until I wrap.
OK good to know. I think I’m going to try it on the extreme smoke setting first which I believe sets it at 180°. Go for two hours and see what the final product taste like. If it’s still not “smoky enough“ in my opinion, maybe try the smoke tube.
 
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nygiant

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I want to say we do pork butts at 225 or so for about 4 - 5 hours when it stalls then wrap in paper and turn up the temp to get up to 201 IT. Its an OK smoke at that temp and you can always add more smoke with a tube. Our tube has about a 4 hour burn until its done.
Yeah that’s what I was thinking I just want to get that good initial smoke taste and I believe most pellet smokers, or at least my recteq, puts out the most smoke under 225. There is an “extreme smoke setting“ which I believe puts the smoker somewhere around 180° to 200° I figure maybe let it go for two hours like that and then crank it up. If I’m doing this in the evening as an overnight cook, shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think I’ll need a wrap due to the stall because it’s gonna go all night anyways.
 

nygiant

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On a sidenote, with food safety in mind which I am definitely paranoid about, can you use the extreme smoke function on chicken? Wings or even thighs or boneless skinless chicken breast? All of those are pretty quick cooks that I do around 350° anyway to get crispy skin (minus tff skinless breast). Cooked prior to posting this, they were good but lacked a smoke taste. Is it possible to do those at a lower temperature for say 30 minutes to an hour or is that dangerous and just need to put the smoke tube in and cook at the 350° temperature?
 

TNJAKE

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On a sidenote, with food safety in mind which I am definitely paranoid about, can you use the extreme smoke function on chicken? Wings or even thighs or boneless skinless chicken breast? All of those are pretty quick cooks that I do around 350° anyway to get crispy skin (minus tff skinless breast). Cooked prior to posting this, they were good but lacked a smoke taste. Is it possible to do those at a lower temperature for say 30 minutes to an hour or is that dangerous and just need to put the smoke tube in and cook at the 350° temperature?
Thats safe to do as long as you get the chicken to 140° within 4 hours or better
 
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DougE

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I run most cooks on the Camp Chef on the lowest setting for the first hour or two for the smoke (unless it's a short cook time), then kick the temp on up. I usually kick it up to about 275° for butts, brisket, etc.
 

sandyut

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180 for 1-2 hours then kick it to 275. thats the way I do them on my rec teq RT-700. turns out great every time - boneless or bone in.
 
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civilsmoker

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The smoke setting will help but won't give the same level of overtone.....

you can try this (repeat from another post).... use a small wire basket or smaller coal starter and light up some coals once well lit add a chunk or two for the first 2 hours of the smoke. This will help add the heavy smoke overtone you are looking for...... it will do two things, one it will add a little heat to the chamber so your pellet will burn "slower" so less clean (ie more smoke) second the charcoal & wood smoke will circulate in the chamber to do its magic.....
 

SmokinAl

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All of the comments are very interesting to me, since I just bought my first pellet pooper. I have smoked a brisket, ribs, beans, steak, & ABT’S. So far the smoke flavor has been quite good. However I can see that with a big thick piece of meat like a butt, you would want to put more smoke on it. I guess I’ll have to try one for myself!
Al
 
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gmc2003

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The smoke setting will help but won't give the same level of overtone.....

you can try this (repeat from another post).... use a small wire basket or smaller coal starter and light up some coals once well lit add a chunk or two for the first 2 hours of the smoke. This will help add the heavy smoke overtone you are looking for...... it will do two things, one it will add a little heat to the chamber so your pellet will burn "slower" so less clean (ie more smoke) second the charcoal & wood smoke will circulate in the chamber to do its magic.....
The idea of adding charcoal to the pellet smoker is interesting. I wonder if the added heat from the coals would cause the pellet smoker to snuff itself out. My thought is that the charcoal is using more of the oxygen to burn and the pellet smoker is releasing pellets at a slower pace. Both could contribute to the pellet smoker extinguishing itself mid cook.

Chris
 

nygiant

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The idea of adding charcoal to the pellet smoker is interesting. I wonder if the added heat from the coals would cause the pellet smoker to snuff itself out. My thought is that the charcoal is using more of the oxygen to burn and the pellet smoker is releasing pellets at a slower pace. Both could contribute to the pellet smoker extinguishing itself mid cook.

Chris
Yes you make a very good point. I imagine it would have some effect on the temperature probe inside and they are very sensitive. I know with a recteq it really doesn’t vary 1° up or down it is so good. I think the charcoal would give off a lot more heat than just the pellets burning in a smoke tube. But again, I’m just guessing. I’m sure the smoke tube could affect temperature as well depending on where you place it.
 

civilsmoker

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The idea of adding charcoal to the pellet smoker is interesting. I wonder if the added heat from the coals would cause the pellet smoker to snuff itself out. My thought is that the charcoal is using more of the oxygen to burn and the pellet smoker is releasing pellets at a slower pace. Both could contribute to the pellet smoker extinguishing itself mid cook.

Chris

Yes you make a very good point. I imagine it would have some effect on the temperature probe inside and they are very sensitive. I know with a recteq it really doesn’t vary 1° up or down it is so good. I think the charcoal would give off a lot more heat than just the pellets burning in a smoke tube. But again, I’m just guessing. I’m sure the smoke tube could affect temperature as well depending on where you place it.
Adding a full batch would mess it up for sure.

I'm talking about 3 or 4 coals, just enough to fire a small wood chunk for the profile (ie similar to a pellet tube). The fire pot air for the pellets is blown in with the fan so the fire pot will still burn and the positive pressure will keep enough air flow to keep things alive.
 

schlotz

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Interesting idea re: using charcoal. Personally, I use hickory pellets in the smoker and add a tube with mesquite if I want more smoke. Hardly use the tube anymore. The smoker provides enough on its own and the meat get flavored nicely.
 

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