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Featured Pulled Pork for a Party.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by xray, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Well, my wife wanted me to smoke some pulled pork for MY birthday at the end of the month. It was a perfect weekend weather wise to break out the OKJ Highland, so who was I to say no.

    I figured 30 people would show up so I smoked 3 butts. Here they are rubbed with @chef jimmyj Carolina Q dust. My favorite rub to use on pulled pork. I just add some Lawry’s seasoning salt and omit the white pepper (I never have it on hand) Rubbed the night before:

    OKJ is humming along. My side to side temps stay within 10 degrees of each other the whole cook:

    Sneaking a peak, decided to spritz with ACV and water:

    After 6.5 hours the bark is looking good so each butt was placed in a foil pan with a can of cherry dr pepper and foiled. I’m usually not a wrapper but I didn’t want to babysit and fuss with the OKJ all night. Plus this pulled pork will be served 3 weeks from now, so I wanted the drippings to add back to the pork once it is reheated.

    Once wrapped the pork finished probe tender within 2.5 hours. All 3 butts finished within 10 minutes of each other. After a 2 hour rest, pork was falling apart and shredded:

    Vacuum sealed for later. It was my first time trying the food saver expandable bags, they worked great:

    On the day of the party, I will reheat the pulled pork in the Sous Vide and transfer it over to a crockpot for serving. Pork drippings were defatted and frozen as well. I will add the reconstituted juices back in.

    As for the day of the party, I’ thinking of smoking 2 trays of bbq beans and mac and cheese. Maybe some cooler corn on the cob and potato salad.

    Hope it turns out well and thanks for looking,

  2. @xray looks great! Can you tell me more about your mods. you can send me a message if that's better. I don't want to derail your cook thread. It looks like you did every mod but I'm most curious about the tuning plates you used and where you got them.
  3. phathead69

    phathead69 Smoking Fanatic

    Mail carrier must have lost my invite, could you resend it with date and time.
    cardsfan and xray like this.
  4. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Master of the Pit

    Damn Joe that PP looks awesome! I think your quests are in for a real treat! Make a couple of jimmy j's BBQ sauces to go with it and really blow them away.

    Funny I do the same thing on my birthday...smoke a whole bunch of stuff and invite the family over. My wife thinks I'm crazy for doing that on my own birthday but gives me an excuse to fire up the smokers and cook what I want instead of going out and paying out the ass for mediocre food.

    Toss in some moinks and ABT's for the party too!

    chef jimmyj and xray like this.
  5. krj

    krj Meat Mopper

    Looks great! I hope you have better luck with those expandable bags than I did. We had problems with getting them to seal properly and stayed sealed.
    xray likes this.
  6. smokerjim

    smokerjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looks delicious, your going to have a lot of happy guest.
  7. If you're anything like me, it's a legit excuse to do 12oz curls the entire cook too!
    cardsfan, xray and SmokinVOLfan like this.
  8. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Master of the Pit

    Lol your damn right!
  9. PorkBones

    PorkBones Fire Starter

    Beautiful bark! That's a lot of tasty looking PP. Nice rig, BTW!
  10. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Thanks and no problem! I’ll just list out the mods here no need for a message. Don’t apologize for the derail, you could talk about the price of tea in China if you want, lol

    My mods:
    1. Baffle plate, I purchased this from bbqsmokermods for $89 (well it was my Xmas present)
    2. Latches for the cook chamber.
    3. Nomex gasket on the CC and FB openings
    4. Charcoal basket (bought expanded sheet metal and made myself)
    5. High temp RTV sealant on opening between FB and CC. Also where the FB bolts together and on the exhaust.
    6. SE connector on the left side to pass probes through, instead of pinching the wires on the door.
    7. Turned firebox grate 90 degrees so it sits higher ( my thinking is more airflow underneath the coals plus it’s easier to clean out the ash during longer cooks)

    The baffle plate works extremely well, it is made out of heavy gauge steel. If I’m building a big fire the FB side will heat faster and I’ll have about a 20 degree temperature difference....but if you maintain w steady fire, your side to side temps will be pretty even.

    I’ve tried wrapping the two grill grates that come with it for the FB in aluminum foil. I wrapped them and used them as a deflector inside the CC, it didn’t work.

    I also tried using a 3” aluminum elbow to bring the stack down to grate level. This gave me more problems and seemed to restrict my airflow. When I ordered my baffle plate, I emailed the guys at bbqsmokermods about the elbow, they told me the elbow wasn’t needed because the plate is designed for it...so I chucked the elbow and it’s been good ever since.

    My biggest problem with my smoker seems to be the fire being choked out when I close the damper on the FB or the lid. So I smoke with the damper door completely open and the exhaust stack opened completely.

    Also if you look at the picture, I keep FB lid slightly cracked with the poker. Once I get a good fire on the wood, I close the lid...but since I make a smaller fire, the lid is ajar a lot. I add a quarter split every 15-20 minutes.

    I’ve found it easier to maintain and feed a small fire rather then build a bigger fire and try regulating with the damper since it tends to smother the flames.

    Sorry for the long windeness.
    uncle eddie and sauced like this.
  11. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Well if he/she/ or x shows up, I will send a container home for you.
  12. I just ordered the longhorn version of baffle plate from that website. I also keep the door on the right of the FB completely open. I am back and forth on the charcoal basket. One of my issues with it is some of my splits wont fit without chop sawing them so I can't sit them flush into the basket. I'm also not 100% sure that it's getting enough air so currently I am going without it to see if it's actually better or not.

    I also turned my FB grate 180 so it would sit higher and I got one of those scraper tools. That def helps burning a cleaner fire. I have a water pan too which has helped stabilize things. I'm going to see how I like these plates and see where I'm at. I can already maintain pretty good heat but there is a large difference from the right side to the left side.

    Where did you get the SE connector? Is that on the same website? I probably should look into that next.
  13. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    The SE connector is a Service Entrance cable connector. Any hardware store will have them in the conduit section. I bought mine at Lowe’s, I don’t remember if I bought a 3/4” or 1” size. Buy a bigger one if you run a lot of probes, especially the probes that are angled. You will need the extra space to turn and finagle them in.

    The locknut is usually sold separately

    I also thought about ditching the charcoal basket because I need to cut some splits to fit. I ruined a miter saw doing this. Maybe I’ll try it on the next smoke.

    Since you ordered the baffle plate, try running it without the water pan to monitor your temps. Also since you could maintain a decent fire, I think the baffle plate alone will alleviate your side to side temps. As for using a water pan for moisture, that’s entirely up to you. I don’t really believe in it but that’s an argument for another post...I do however use a sand filled pan to control temperature swings in my MB propane smoker and that is because of opening the door more frequently to add wood. Since the food and heat source are in the same location as opposed to an offset.

    I’ve thought about extending the exhaust but I’ve settled into a system that seems to work for me, so I may not modify further.
    banderson7474 likes this.
  14. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Thanks John!! There’s a Carolina mustard sauce on the forum I really like making. I’m also gonna give @Sammybones peach habanero sauce a try. And then I’ll just grab a store bought bottle of regular bbq sauce for the less adventurous eaters.

    It was my wife’s idea to have me smoke for my birthday party. I ribbed her about having to cook my own food on my special day! Lol! But I would rather do that and have something different than ordering pizza or eating the same old food pierogis, sloppy joes etc etc...plus I hardly ever have a lot of people over so it will be a nice change of pace.
  15. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Thanks!! I left a lot of excess at the top because I usually pinch the bag in the container lid when I Sous Vide, that way the bags not floating close to the circulator.

    I think the excess allowed me to fold the creases nicely where they go into the sealer. I also triple sealed them....but I am definitely checking the seals on them. I can’t risk a catastrophe at this point.
  16. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    It took me a minute to realize these were ounces. I saw curls and my mind read lbs....I was like “who the heck exercises when smoking “...not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    But yeah, it was 85 degrees, humid and no shade in my driveway...I definitely knocked back a few Genny strawberry lemon cream ales!
  17. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Thanks PorkBones! It was a little soft since I wrapped but still tasty!!
    PorkBones likes this.
  18. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The pulled pork looks great. Should be a great party.
  19. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Thanks Gary, and thanks for the like.
  20. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    That's some great looking pork! I have the same smoker and did the same mods including the same convection plate and that OK Joe puts out some really good bbq. Nice job!!
    banderson7474 likes this.