Going to try my first butt tomorrow :)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mummel, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Prep (enough rub???):

    AMPS (dont understand why it jumped rows last time, this looks fine to me):

    Lock and loaded:

  2. Looking Good

  3. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Ok so my AMPS basically went out.  It was burning, but with the tiniest of smoke trails.  I had to finally open the door completely.  It looked like the top part of the row was burning, with the bottom row not burning (the non ashed pellets formed like in a triangle shape if that makes sense).  I had to relight it with my propane burner. 

    So I pulled out the loader a bit more.  See the pic below.  It was out probably half this before.  I just relit it and lets see what happens.  I will take a vid shortly of the smoke coming out.  I dont think it's enough smoke but I would like to hear what you guys think.

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
  4. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    The smoke looks slightly like the vid that daRick posted.  Not as visible, but similar.  Seems to be burning now. 

    UPDATE: At the 2 hour mark, Im at 113F internal.  Seem about right?
  5. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Hey guys. Things are looking up. Smoke is holding nicely now. I used my headlamp in the dark and I can clearly see TBS now. Very excited. The butt looks fantastic. I've burned through one row in the AMPS. I'm 5 hours in and internal temp is now 162F. Guess I'm close to the stall. Time for bed soon and let's hope I wake up to the best butt ever! Thanks for the help.
  6. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    4am update:

    Internal temp = 185F
    Smoke = none (don't know how long it smoked for but at 11pm I still had another AMPS row left, so maybe ~8 hours?)
    Other = closed vent 80% and sealed chip loader buy putting it out of the dump position
    Maverick 733 temps = high of 241F and low of 219F, constant throughout the night, I set an alarm for 210F-245F and it never went off once in the night.

    Back to bed!
  7. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Guys! The butt was awesome. It came out perfectly. I was so happy.

    Of course, rookie mistake. I was trying to close the MES back up after removing the grid with the butt on it, and ended up dropping the grid. My heart stopped as the pork basically shattered. But then I smiled realizing it was completely FOTB :)))) I was able to salvage it.

    The party was in full swing and in all the commotion I forgot to take pics. Really wish I would have. It was pitch black on the outside, but moist and super soft in the inside. It looked burnt, but in fact the bark was delicious and contained little fat. My guests chomped it with purpose haha.

    Thanks for all the help. Glad I finally hit a home run!
  8. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    Just remember what you did this time: cook temp, cook time, etc. because your next butt will be completely different! Lol.

    Well not compleatly different, but enough to where we rarely give cook times, as they differ much.

    Don't forget to burn off your smoker to clean it so it doesn't mold
  9. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I did leave it in a cooler with towels for 3.5 hours. It finished right at 8am and I pulled it at 203F. We only ate at11:30am so I had no choice. But it was still great!!
  10. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I use a lot more rub than that on large cuts. 
  11. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I used cooking oil vs mustard so I think a lot of it dissolved into the oil but it still there.  The crust was perfect though.  The brown sugar makes a huge diffs.  I forgot to add it on my ribs.  Never again!
  12. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Oh an something else worth mentioning.  I'm very impressed with the Costco Butt two pack.  They come with the shoulder bone removed, very little fat (no fat cap), and go for $1.89 / lb.  Very good value IMO. 
  13. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    The Costco by me also sells them bone-in which I prefer over boneless. The hold there shape better since they haven't been hacked up and pulling on the bone is the best way to test if it is done.
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    FOTB? All I could find on it was Fresh Off The Boat which wouldn't apply here.

    So the AMNPS went out sometime overnight? Was it a cold night where you are? I only smoke during the daytime and when I smoked a beef brisket for 11 hours a couple of weeks ago all the pellets in my AMNPS were gone at about the 9 hour mark if not before. I think that if all pellets fail to burn in the AMNPS it's still a matter of inadequate airflow. The fact your pork butt was fully cooked means that the smoker heat wasn't an issue.

    I've only had the AMNPS jump a row once and that was when I had massive heat inside my MES 30. Did you load the pellets too high that previous time? It looks fine in the photo you posted. The pellets are piled a little high around the corners in my opinion. When you saw where the pellet smoker burnt out, was it at one of spots where a row turns into next one or was it mid-row?

    Just so happens I'm smoking my first pork shoulder (that's what we call 'em on the West Coast in most supermarkets) tomorrow. Still deciding on which pellets to use but I might go with pecan and apple. I'm going to use a commercial rub instead of making my own. Have no idea how long it will take so we're already got a Plan B for dinner. The pork shoulder is less than 4 lbs so it should be a piece of cake to get done within 12 hours. The beef brisket was only slightly heavier than that.

    I love Costco meats and $1.89/lb is a really good price for boneless pork shoulder. Of course many BBQers insist the bone-ins are more flavorful and I would agree. However, I've no problem with not having to deal with a bone. When it comes to good steaks, that's another story.
  15. You only need smoke till ~140 degrees internal temp.  Why not fill it all and light both ends to get more smoke before the meat stops taking it?  I would go with Cherry, you'll get a sweeter taste.  Hickory will give it a more hammy or bacon taste.  Of course, you could always do a mix of the two.  
  16. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Is this true?  I was wondering about how many hours meat actually takes on smoke.  A data point like this would make things a lot more simple haha. 
  17. So I've read.  I suppose it could be a factoid, but I've heard it many times.  Some say that continued smoke, after a certain point, is actually a negative.  I don't know about that, either, but I have smoked all the way through and I have smoked just till between 140 and 160 and I don't know that I could tell the difference.  I think there really is no point in smoking after it hits 160, in my opinion.  
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  18. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    That might be a bit of bad info. Wood burners (i.e. offsets and reverse flows) are smoking the entire time since their heat source is the wood itself. 
  19. Understood, and some say that is why they wrap with foil or paper(one of the reasons), but I have smoked the whole way through and haven't noticed anything bad. It might have to do with color?
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I disagree. You don't smoke a pork butt to medium rare. You need to smoke it to around 200° IT to break down all the collagen and connective tissue and to render out all the fat. That's what gives you a moist, tender pork butt with nice bark that shreds easily into pulled pork. Like beef brisket pork butt/shoulder tends to stall at 160° and that's when it's your choice to foil it with foil juice or leave it naked until it's ready to resume its upward temp climb.

    Keep in mind that it's great to estimate the hours needed to smoke a pork butt/shoulder but it's done when the IT says it's done, again at around 200-205°.

    And there's no need to light the AMNPS from both ends. One tray can give you up to 11 hours of smoke which is more than enough for an average pork butt. If not, you can always refill a row or two and re-light it. The great thing about an MES is that if you have it set up right, it's basically set-it-and-forget for hours on end. I'm smoking my first pork shoulder tomorrow and I figure it's going to go well.

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