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New To Smoking (Need Questions Ansered)

marksmoke

Newbie
5
10
Joined Oct 19, 2010
Got a new Masterbuilt smoker and attempting to smoke my first pork butt.

Questions:
  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
 

Bearcarver

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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!

Bearcarver
 

eman

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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
 

richoso1

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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.
 

marksmoke

Newbie
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Joined Oct 19, 2010
Thanks for your reply.

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

pokey

Meat Mopper
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Joined Jul 15, 2010
Welcome!

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:

eman

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

sqwib

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

Questions:
  1. Using apple chips. Do I soak them in water before adding then in the smoker?   Some do because they feel it keeps the wood from burning up too quick, but in my opinion the first bit of white stuff coming off of the wood chips is mostly water vapor if soaked. What works for me, if I am using chips is to reduce the air to the chips, you can accomplish this by wrapping chips in foil then poke a couple times with a fork, no air... no combustion.
  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? The first several hours you will get what is referred to as a smoke ring after the meat reaches a certain temperature you will no longer get a smoke ring, however you an still impart smoke flavor, this is up to you...how much of a smoky flavor do you want it to have. And as others have stated, its done when its done. Will you be slicing the pork or pulling it, do you want a heavy crusty bark formation on the outside?
  3. When I added the chips the temp fluctuates a lot and the stablizes.   Should I worry about this? Only if the recovery time is excessive, and what I mean by that is if your temps take more than several minutes to recover.
This is only one opinion and there are many different opinions, some good advice has been given and you need to decide what works for you, this takes time and practice.

Good luck and have fun with it!

All for now thank you for any responses
 

realtorterry

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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
 

deannc

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Joined Jun 13, 2010
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'
 

mballi3011

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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

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Joined Oct 19, 2010
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:)
 

wylie

Fire Starter
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Joined Oct 13, 2010
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.
 

meateater

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Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

 
 

beer-b-q

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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
 

huskerchef01

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Joined Oct 26, 2010
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.
 

magic4u

Newbie
20
10
Joined Oct 12, 2010
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.
 

Bearcarver

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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 too 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.
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.

Bearcarver
 

sqwib

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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.

Bearcarver

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.
 

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