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new to smoking/ questions about pulled pork

leggomieggo10

Newbie
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Joined Jan 1, 2011
Hey guys, whats up.

Ive been slowly researching over the last few months about how to smoke and rubs and what not. well for xmas i got my first smoker, nothing fancy at all, its a vertical brinkman smoke and grill. Last week i smoked for the first time. I chose chicken because it wasnt to expensive loss if i screwed it up. i smoked it about 4 hours. the smoking thermometer on the smoker stayed right under the "ideal" range. i used my own rub (pretty much your basic, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic and onion powder, chili powder and cayenne) it was good, a little spicy but nothing horrible. overall i think i couldnt have done any better for the first time. chicken was tender and delicious. i cooked it to and internal temp of 165-175 for all pieces ( breast, wings, thighs). i was very satisfied.

now that i feel better that i wont screw it up im wanting to do pulled pork next, i realize its a big step but i think i could do it. my questions are, in my research of how to smoke pulled pork. alot of people are injecting the pork with a liquid i think, what is the liquid and what does it do, i also read you should put the rub on and wrap it and let it sit overnight in the fridge, is that correct? also i read a couple post where some people put apple juice in a spray bottle and sprayed the pork like every hour or something, whats that about?

an than finally the part where its been cooked and people wrap it in foil than a towel and than put it in a cooler, is that a cooler with ice or just a cooler lol.

sorry i need alot of clarification i know, please help and thanks in advance
 

alblancher

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My oh My,  I've been reading this forum for a while now and the questions you ask have ignited a lot of discussion.  To be honest there are no yes or no answers to your questions.  The best you can hope to do is read some of the threads and get enough information for you to give it a try.  Some say spraying the pork during cooking does nothing but let the heat out of the smoke chamber.  Some inject the pork butt, most just do a rub and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Most do let the butt sit in an ice chest wrapped in towels to hold the heat. 4 or 5 hours at this stable temp goes a long way to giving you a nice tender pork butt.

There again, there is no one way to do this.  Congrats on the chicken.  To me chicken is a bit more difficult than pork.  Nothing wrong with your ECB, many of us started with and still use them.

Welcome to the forum

Al
 

smokinstevo27

Master of the Pit
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Joined Aug 17, 2010
Boston Butt is easier than chicken. Its very hard to screw up. 

1. Read the label or ask the butcher if the butt is enhanced. If it is injecting in my opinion is overkill beacuse the meat company has already done it. I personally avoid enhanced meats like the plague because I find them overly salty.

2. I've done side by side comparison spritzed vs non and cannot tell a difference. I will tell you that it is fun to spritz and will get people salivating but I can't tell the difference in the final product taste wise.

3. The cooler YES YES YES. Cooler that sucker for a couple hours. I'll give you two reasons why. First beacuse you can't ever put a time on when a butt will be done, I start early if we want to eat it that day. With the cooler you can keep the butt hot for hours and it will be ready to eat as soon as you pull it or slice it. Second, like any meat you want it to rest so the juices redistribute, you will have a better product this way.

4. My ECB was the best 40 bucks I ever spent, sure i'll upgrade someday but I've learned a lot on the "little ECB that could"
 

raptor700

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I'm with Stevo, The only thing I would add is when smokin' a butt the average time is 1½hrs per # @ 250º

Remember, your first bird came out great! Just imagine what your first butt will be like
 

rickw

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 I don't inject shoulders, just a nice rub of your choice. I do spritz them and I do think it gives the bark some nice caramelizing. All that sugar in the mixture, apple juice and Captain Morgan, has to add to the bark.  I take it to 165 then foil, adding more of the mixture when foiling. After that take the pork up to 205 and let it rest in the cooler for a couple hours.
 

pineywoods

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Welcome to SMF glad you joined us. Don't forget to stop by the Roll Call section and make a thread. Here's a link to a good thread on smoking butts

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/57139/basic-pulled-pork-smoke  

As was said some like to spritz and others don't people need to try both ways and see which they prefer. You can inject them if you'd like or try it without first so when you do in the future you have something to compare it to. I like the rub the butts the night before then apply another coat of rub just before they go in the smoker. You put the foiled, toweled meat into a warm dry cooler to let it rest and this allows the meat to redistribute the juices in the meat.

A butt is a very forgiving smoke so go for it.
 

scarbelly

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Welcome to SMF - some great advice here from several guys. Glad to have you here with us. Just keep reading and enjoy the ride  
 

carnuba

Smoke Blower
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Joined Jul 12, 2007
yer hooked!

a word of advise, go to your local home store

and pick you up 2 thermometers and mount

the in the ecb at rack level, don't trust the gauge

that came with it.

oh, and don't let the water pan run dry
 

mballi3011

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First off Welcome Leggo to SMF. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Welcome To Your New Addiction  
 

leggomieggo10

Newbie
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10
Joined Jan 1, 2011
Thanks everyone for the responses. I think ill start with just a butt with no injection or spritz and see how i like it with just rub on it.

 but for future i do plan on "spritzing" is that just pure apple juice in a spray bottle??

Ive planned sunday for my pulled pork day.

ill def, be installing some meat thermos on it, I agree, i think the thermo on the smoker is rather jumpy and inaccurate.

rickw, you stated you did a apple juice/captain morgan mixture for spritzing.. any chance you could detail that for me. it sounded intrested. thank you

Thanks again everyone, lots of info here. wish me luck!!
 

smokinstevo27

Master of the Pit
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Joined Aug 17, 2010
When I do it I use 2/3 AJ 1/3 cider vinegar.
Thanks everyone for the responses. I think ill start with just a butt with no injection or spritz and see how i like it with just rub on it.

 but for future i do plan on "spritzing" is that just pure apple juice in a spray bottle??

Ive planned sunday for my pulled pork day.

ill def, be installing some meat thermos on it, I agree, i think the thermo on the smoker is rather jumpy and inaccurate.

rickw, you stated you did a apple juice/captain morgan mixture for spritzing.. any chance you could detail that for me. it sounded intrested. thank you

Thanks again everyone, lots of info here. wish me luck!!
 

pineywoods

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Many of us will use a mix of 3 parts Apple Juice to 1 part Captain Morgans Spiced Rum. Once it has been in the smoker 1.5-2 hours we'll spritz about every hour with that mixture. Good luck with the smoke and post Qview for us
 

iadubber

Meat Mopper
195
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Joined Jan 7, 2008
a word of advise, go to your local home store

and pick you up 2 thermometers and mount

the in the ecb at rack level, don't trust the gauge

that came with it.

I was going to say the same thing. Get yourself some accurate thermometers and maybe an et-73
 

leggomieggo10

Newbie
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Joined Jan 1, 2011
thanks, an ill def keep you posted up on sunday.

one more question do i smoke the butt until its completely done, one person mentioned smoking it than finish in the oven. what would be the difference and why would you take it from the smoker to the oven??
 

hoyamannn

Newbie
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Joined Jan 3, 2011
thanks, an ill def keep you posted up on sunday.

one more question do i smoke the butt until its completely done, one person mentioned smoking it than finish in the oven. what would be the difference and why would you take it from the smoker to the oven??

leggo, I did my 1st smoke this weekend and did pulled pork.  I basically followed the direction in the pork sticky to a "T" and mine turned out incredible.  I got the internal temp up to 190 degrees and wrapped it for 45 minutes before pulling it apart.  With my VERY LIMITED experience, I would suggest finishing in the smoker.
 

smokinstevo27

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I have used the oven for a couple different reasons. When you have another butt or some other meat that has to go in the smoker and the butt has taken all the smoke it will take its fine to finish it in the oven. Another reason would be saving on fuel costs. If you have one that takes 15-16 hours you can run through some charcoal and that aint cheap. At a certain point the meat will stop taking smoke anyway so why not finish in the oven? Lets see if any ultra purists jump on me haha
thanks, an ill def keep you posted up on sunday.

one more question do i smoke the butt until its completely done, one person mentioned smoking it than finish in the oven. what would be the difference and why would you take it from the smoker to the oven??
 

shoneyboy

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 (First of all this is was intended to offend anyone that prefers their type of smoking, it was just my way of looking at it)  leggo,  Welcome to the SMF site.  From all of my readings, the one benefit of finishing it in the oven would be is to save on wood, gas (Propane) or electricity, depending on what type of smoker you have. When smoking meat  you have a window in which what you are smoking will accept smoke ( It will vary depending on what type of meat it is, how thick it is and many other factors that you will learn over time). Once that window closes there is no need to add any more smoke because you are just wasting wood. So some people will bring the meat inside to finish it in the oven. There you are in controlled of the cooking environment more that you are outside. My smoker is propane fired and that is one advantage of a propane or electric smoker is that you are not using as much wood as a smoker that uses only wood (Natural Smoker)  to keep the temperature up. Now the other side to that is that I have an added cost of having to buy propane to heat my smoker, so in some cases depending on the cost of wood it can be a wash, it may be more expensive or cheaper depending on the cost in your area . I just like having the control that I have using propane. The propane or heating element is doing the heating and the wood is used to add a smoke flavor and not so much used for heating. I prefer to smoke whatever I'm working with for several hours, then, depending on what it is,  I will not add anymore wood and just basically allow the meat to bake in the smoker to bring it up to the desired internal temperature.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but it’s been working for me for a long time and I have had many happy eaters with no complaints yet…… Well that's my 2 cents hope it helps Shoneyboy 
 

coffee_junkie

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I didn't read all of the replies, but the first few failed to mention that you are using the cooler to keep the meat hot, so no ice is needed. A cooler will work both ways...hot or cold.
 

leggomieggo10

Newbie
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10
Joined Jan 1, 2011
yea one person said not to use ice lol. i was confused until he replied.

well guys i got a  little over 5lb boston butt, its not enhanced. and i will just smoke it till its completely done.

since its not enchanced do you guys suggest injecting it??and if so what do i inject and how do i inject??
 

smokinstevo27

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In my opinion you don't really need to inject, but many here do. Either way you will have a great meal. I do occasionally inject chicken if I don't brine it first. You can get a injector at most chain grocery stores, Walmart etc. Just make up a liquid of your choosing and inject in several spots on the butt. Just make sure the liquid is reasonably thin beacuse its a pain in the butt when the needle gets clogged. Pork shoulder is so fat laden and flavorful on its own that I choose not to inject or brine. This subject is going on in several posts right now.
 
yea one person said not to use ice lol. i was confused until he replied.

well guys i got a  little over 5lb boston butt, its not enhanced. and i will just smoke it till its completely done.

since its not enchanced do you guys suggest injecting it??and if so what do i inject and how do i inject??
 

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