Holy Whaa It's Been Awhile! Two Butts w/ Q-View!

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buck futta

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 9, 2010
Coeur d'Alene, ID
Sorry it's been so long everyone! It's great to be back, sorta... I kinda been on hiatus for the last six or seven months as I've been relocating from the Midwest to the Northwest. Alas I've come from the land of beef to conquer the land of lumberjacks with my tasty pork! Really though my Uncle has acquired my talents of cooking and restaurants to help him run his bar up here in North Idaho. It's a big change for me as the last seven years I've spent behind a desk working on computers for a living while only working part time here and there in some pizza joints.But having had a bunch of previous experience in the food service industry as a line cook, bartender, waiter and generally everything else a twenty-something decides can pay the bills for a while. All that expertise must have sounded like music to my Uncle's ears when he asked me to join his ramshackle crew and knock some heads early this past Fall.

Since I've never actually managed my own kitchen before I have seriously been busy making things work and getting food and beer costs to a respectable level. The previous crew was a joke and seemed to have had most of the profit of this two years young grill and bar lining their pockets so they had to go first. Since axing nearly the entire staff I've had to spend hours upon hours getting a new crew trained and spending countless hours ensuring they are trustworthy. Even so there is a point where you just have to let the cards fall and hope that you've made a good judgment. So far so good, I've already seen some new heads come and go through our doors but that's just how the restaurant biz is.

Now that I'm working with some decent folks I've finally persuaded my Uncle to let me do some real cooking instead of shoveling "Hormel Smoked Pork" onto buns. Cooking is what I do, and what I love so it's only right that I make sure that we're serving good product. When I came up here back in September I was a little shocked that we were literally serving Hormel's sad excuse for pulled pork. Unfortunately I have had my plate full and had bigger fish to fry at the moment than to beg my way into cooking the good stuff from scratch. My key was to start dropping food and beer costs as much as possible and then mentioning it every now and then that "We're really paying $40 bucks for fourteen pounds of weak pulled pork! I can drop that price in half if we did it ourselves!" finally the other day it stuck and here I am in the middle of winter trying to work my magic. Of coarse my giant double drum charcoal smoker is stashed away in my folk's backyard back in Omaha. And my Uncle's Char-Broil SFB unit is in my other Uncle's back yard so I am cheating!

This is the first time I've ever smoked in a propane BBQ but at least it's a decent model to try it in. I'm working on a Great Outdoors Grill with 5 burners in it, after a little playing I found that with just the center element on low it holds a steady 275. I let it burn for about thirty minutes and decided "That'll do pig" and proceeded to launch mission: "Smoke two butts". I was able to throw my tasty spicy pork butt rub together that I perfected this summer and coated up the two chunks of a eight pound pork butt that I had the butcher slice in half for me. I was going to do just a single eight pounder but when I decided to use the grill I figured it would be best to do two smaller butts.

I know I'm not going to get that Bark that is so great with a charcoal setup but so far it's going well. I have my Hickory chips wrapped in little foil pouches and my foil pans setup to catch the drippings with a couple quartered yellow onions for extra flavor. I'm also spritzing with a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar, Apple Cider Juice and Magner's Irish Draft Cider. I haven't checked temps yet but it's about that time where I should be around 145 degrees internal so I'll get to checking that right now. Just hit the five hour mark as I threw them on at 3pm and it's a quarter after 9pm now, I usually cover in foil at 165 on my charcoal smoker but since I'm working with a different kind of heat I think I'll just let them go as they are until they hit that magic 195-200 degree mark.

Sorry for the incredibly long post, but I figured I'd let you guys know how I'm doing after such a long absence.

Here are some tasty pics to make up for y'all having to read so much! Enjoy! More to come!



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Hey man.. it's great to have you back and good to see that you are doing well and making it happen. Those butts look great and you know how we like the qview around here

Jump right back in as you have time!
Wow sounds like you have been busy. Glad that you got him to let you make the PP. Cant wait to see how it turns out.
Hey Buck,  Glad to have you back, those Butts look pretty good, how did the chips in the tin foil so did they generate enough smoke???  If you get a smoker that you can use, and can turn out our kinda BBQ, I can see the profits and patrons going up all ready.  I know that your not a big propane fan but you might want to check out the Master Forge 2 dr. Propane Smoker, it cost about $150.00 bucks and you can order one from the Lowe's web site I don't think they have Lowe's Stores up in the Northwest.  I got myself one for Christmas but have not got to use it yet, been too cold or I have been sick but plan on using it week after next if I have to do it in the snow.  This Smoker has a lot of room and with a Maverick ET-73 Remote thermostat and thermometer you don't have to stay with it as much, it burns wood chips in a box just above the burner and has a built in removable water pan.  Looks like a good one for commercial use to me.  Again, enjoy your new job and I am sure you can get the place packed if you turn out butts like the ones on the grill.  Take care look forward to hearing more from you my friend!

Welcome back Buck !!!

One of the good things about not using charcoal, is you won't be using any lighter fluid---Much easier on the hands & arms!

Good luck with the new gig....taking over & cleaning house isn't easy but sounds like you're doing it. Leading by example is a good way to go and hopefully the new crew will rise to the challenge. Turnover is a real pain in this industry....hang in there. I'm thinking the smell alone of your PP wafting through the neighborhood will start bringing them in. Restaurants get in your blood, as you know, even if you bail out for a while they will drag you back in....more of a lifestyle than a job. All the best...

Now the butts look great so far and a Big SMOKING MEAT FORUM Welcome to you.
Thanks for the support all!

It really has been a big pain to get everything in working order but I can tell you it's been a hell of a lot better lately.

Alas like I thought I got almost no bark as I had some temperature issues last night. I ended up letting the butts hang out in the oven all night. I awoke to a butt that had nearly no smoke ring with a slight hickory flavor. Unfortunately there wasn't much for smoke penetration, I started to struggle keeping a straight temp about 1am so I threw it all all in the oven at 225 and hoped for the best!

I awoke at 7:30am and found the pork to be doing fine at 190 degrees so I killed the oven and went back to bed. I expected my alarm to awake me an hour later bur instead i awoke about a quarter to 10pm!

Luckily the meat was perfect! Like I predicted no bark but it was mighty tasty! So juicy! nothing like it I've tasted!



Looks good for a grill. If you are going to continue to use the grill look into getting a A-Maze-N Smoker for the grill. 
Haha, yea I'll have to consider that Bmudd. Though I think this will be the last time I slow cook PP in the gas grill. I'll have to drag my Uncle's charcoal smoker down to the restaurant soon I think. Luckily the winter has been pretty mild here and I think we'll be seeing spring time sooner than later. You won't be hearing any complaints from me about the weather that's for sure, anything is better than the arctic tundra of Nebraska!

I'll have to look into that Master Forge VirginiaSS, I wonder if they make a model for natural gas hookup. That would be nice since my kitchen here was setup for a BBQ joint and has $55k in exhaust hoods that barely get used. Hell we have a freezer and ice machine under one of our hoods just because there wasn't a better place to put them!
Good for you! Sound's like you'll be packing them in when the word gets around. Keep us updated.
 What part of Idaho if you don't mind?
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Way up North, Coeur d'Alene to be precise.

Looks like a few users have made the conversion on the Master Forge smoker from Propane to NG. I'm not sure I would want to do that for my restaurant though. If it goes up in flames I highly doubt that a modified smoker would be covered in the insurance policy! o.O


 Coeur d'Alene, been there many times,beautiful country. That's my retirement spot someday. I ran a BBQ joint many years ago that had a custom built smoker indoors, since you have that elaborate ventilation system this might be a option. I'm not sure how much your looking to smoke on a daily basis. This was a stick burner with NG starter. I can draw up a sketch if  to give you an idea if you want.
I'd appreciate that Meat Eater, really I don't need anything incredibly elaborate yet. Something that could fit 8 butts would be great since we only go through 2 eight pounders a week right now. However this summer I wouldn't be surprised if we double or triple that amount. So having a bit of capacity would be nice, but we don't need a ton yet. I plan on doing some ribs and brisket this summer too if things work out.

Nice to hear you've been through CDA, I was born here actually but moved to Omaha with my folks back in '91 so allot has changed. It's a great city and you're dead on it really is some beautiful country. Even in the winter, I went with my uncles and a bunch of their friends on their annual new years jeep run last month and we drove up one of the mountains through 3-4' feet of snow with about 12 Jeeps and the views were absolutely astonishing!


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