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New To Smoking (Need Questions Ansered)

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by marksmoke, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Got a new Masterbuilt smoker and attempting to smoke my first pork butt.

    1. Using apple chips. Do I soak them in water before adding then in the smoker?
    2. 7lb pork butt, Smoking at 250 for 8 hrs as recipe requested.  Do I add apple chips all the way thru the smokin process?
    3. When I added the chips the temp fluctuates a lot and the stablizes.   Should I worry about this?
    All for now thank you for any responses
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome Mark,

    #1  Most of us don't soak our chips. Some do.

    #2  I don't know anyone on this forum who smokes a Pork butt by "time". We go by internal temp. 

    #3  I don't know why the temp fluctuates when you add chips. How much does it fluctuate & for how long?

    Do some searching on here, before you get into trouble. Search "Pork Butt" or "Pulled Pork".

    You'll get there, but don't try to get there to fast.

    Can't help it---I'm an old guy!

  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    No need to soak chips

    Allways try to smoke to an internal temp .not a time. Go to wikis and look at pork butts.

     Don't worry about sp[ikes when adding chips
  4. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First of all, welcome to the SMF. This is the right place for good advise on smoking/grilling.

    Now about the questions.

    1.You don't have to soak them in water, that's optional.

    2.Unless you plan to foil during the cooking, keep the smoke going.No need for smoke when the meat is foiled.

    3. Anytime you add some type of fuel, the temp has a tendency to change. If it stabilizes by itself rather quickly, I wouldn't worry too much. Be sure and cook by internal temp, you can't always rely on time.

    Good luck, and remember that it's all good my friend.
  5. Thanks for your reply.

    I'll do some searching while I'm waiting.  I think I'm just worrying to much. 
  6. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper


    In my short experience, I've had pork butts about that size that took anywhere from 12 to 16 hours at that cooking temp to reach the desired internal temp of 200* - 205*. As was said above, don't do this based on time. Sometimes the butt will "stall" for a while. It will hold at a steady internal temp for a period of time, sometimes hours. This is normal and is part of the reason you can't rely on time alone.

    Good luck, and let us know how it comes out.

    PS I realized I was assuming you're going for pulled pork. If you're going to slice it, you can shoot for 195*.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
    marksmoke likes this.
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Also check into taking jeffs 5 day e course .It's free and it has alot of good info.
  8. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    All good info.   I don't wet the chips either.  Smoke it good.
    marksmoke likes this.
  9. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    marksmoke likes this.
  10. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All good suggestions here friend. As for me I say go to the WIKI look up pulled pork. There's a whole play by play note in there from a cat named meowey. Follow it & you'll never look back. Also if you want to put a cherry on top, in the WIKI look up SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce. Man Im hungry again
    marksmoke likes this.
  11. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Welcome aboard, Mark!  The only thing I'll add to all the other great information already provided is don't panic!  The butt is a very forgiving smoke and the key is maintaining an accurate chamber temp and an internal meat temp.  There is a ton of great information here on SMF to include more recipes than there is probably time left to try! LOL  Search around a little in preparation and if you have any questions feel free to post them.  No question is a dumb question here on SMF.  

    Happy Smokin'
    marksmoke likes this.
  12. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off welcome Mark to SMF. I don't soak my chips or chunks and allot of us here don't either. But for your first smoke you have chose a pork butt and I really don't think that you are get it done in 8 hours. Maybe 1.5 hours per pound and my math says.........10-11 hours at best maybe less maybe more the butt is the only one that knows right now. Now tonight or tomorrow what ever it is you will know how long it took. So you will learn to like this place for there are allot of really good folks here that would do help you with anything to do with smoking. I would also recommend that you sign up for the E-course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good techniques also. So go grab your butt and get to smoking and then don't forget the pictures (Q-view) here so we can enjoy your smoke with you.

    So Welcome To Your New Addiction
    marksmoke likes this.
  13. Thanks to all who have responded.  I have had some time to do my research and together with all your responses,  I went and got a internal thermometer and will watch this real close for 200-205 deg.  I will let you know how it comes out tonight after the party:)
  14. wylie

    wylie Fire Starter

    Hey Mark, I see you have alot of great responses. My 2 cents on how long to add wood chips. I personally don't foil my pork butts. So I add chunks for about the first 5 to 6 hours. However, that is what I like. And I use mainly hickory, which is a stronger smoke than apple. The great thing about BBQ is the trial and error everyone has to go through to find what they like. I always tell people that BBQ is an art form more than cooking. Just have fun with it and try different things out.
  15. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.[​IMG]
  16. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member


    Howdy Mark, Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

    This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

    For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.

    Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourseE
  17. Hi Mark.  I might add my 2 cents worth here.  I follow much of what the above have said.  If you want to take your time let the smoker work low and slow.  If you are in a hurry you can wrap the butt after it reaches 155-160 degrees in heavy duty foil and throw it into an oven until it reaches 200-205 degrees.  Not sure if I anybody above mentioned this, but after it reaches the 200-205 degrees, if it is not wrapped in foil wrap it, then wrap an old towel around it and place in a cooler for a couple of hours.  After this time the butt will fall apart when you take it out of the coolers.  I have put 8-10 lb butts on my smoker at 6-7 in the morning and had them ready for a midafternoon tailgate party by doing this.
  18. Welcome. I am also new to the world of smoking but I have learned a few things in the past few months. First every smoker seems to be a little different, some loose a little heat when opened, others loose a lot, internal temp is the best way to tell when it is done not time. Second, relax because your cooking at low temps there is room for error, without hurting the food. Just make sure the temp doesn't get to hot and your OK, if it gets to cool the only thing that happens is it takes a little longer to cook the meat, and that is not a bad thing. You will get a lot of great advise here, from some wonderful people, so don't be afraid to ask. Third and most important, have fun with it. Life is to short not to have fun.
  19. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Magic,
    The red highlighted part may be OK after 140˚ internal, but you must get from 40˚ to 140˚ in no longer than 4hours for safety reasons.

  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good catch and if I can add this.

    Some people remove the Butts for a while to come up to room temperature, YOU NEED TO INCLUDE THIS TIME to the 40-140 rule. And get your temps high before adding the meat and work down from there.