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Smoke application time vs thickness for pork butt

Jcarter93

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Hi all, I have a question for you.

Assuming the following:

•9.5 lb pork butt
•running a masterbuilt analog smoker 15x15x30 box
•With holes drilled for venting, verified good smoke from AMNPS
•running off auber PID at 225 overnight for ~16-18 hours, no foil wrap
only filling the AMNPS tray once


Would you personally light both ends to get more smoke for a shorter time (~5hrs) or would you light one end for lighter smoke longer (~10hrs)

Why?

I ran my seasoning run on this new smoker last night. With one end lit I had that TBS just misting out the smoker. With both ends it was much thicker TBS. So I'm looking for opinions on how to light up the tray my first set and forget smoke.

Thanks in advance
 

TNJAKE

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Only one end......light both and you'll have way too much billowing white smoke inside your mes
 

Jcarter93

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Only one end......light both and you'll have way too much billowing white smoke inside your mes
So theres no benefit to a heavier smoke for a shorter amount of time?

I ask because I've heard that after a few hours the meat gets up to a temp where it stops taking on smoke.
 

smokerjim

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I normally light both ends in my mes 30, but I do run it with mailbox mod.
 

TNJAKE

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So theres no benefit to a heavier smoke for a shorter amount of time?

I ask because I've heard that after a few hours the meat gets up to a temp where it stops taking on smoke.
Meat never stops taking smoke. You can certainly over smoke something. The problem with lighting both ends is the amount of smoke that will fill your mes because it isn't designed with very good airflow. The smoke will stay inside and become stale giving the meat an acrid taste
 

SmokinAl

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What Jake said!! ^^^^^^^^^^
Al
 

Jcarter93

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Meat never stops taking smoke. You can certainly over smoke something. The problem with lighting both ends is the amount of smoke that will fill your mes because it isn't designed with very good airflow. The smoke will stay inside and become stale giving the meat an acrid taste
Alright, I guess I'll do just the one end. Thank you
 

SmokinEdge

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So theres no benefit to a heavier smoke for a shorter amount of time?

I ask because I've heard that after a few hours the meat gets up to a temp where it stops taking on smoke.
This only pertains to the smoke ring. At around 160* the myoglobin in the meat turn grey and cannot be reversed. The pink ring comes from nitric oxide and carbon monoxide released in the smoke bond with the myoglobin and fix the pink color, much the same as when using nitrites, only more superficial on the surface.
So, even though the formation of the pink ring stops at around 160*, flavor continues to build in the form of bark and that smoke flavor continues to build. Personally I would light one end and smoke longer, but you may need to do it both ways to find out which you prefer. No replacement for personal experience.
 

thirdeye

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In my experiences you don't need to actually see smoke to taste it on your food. But a visible thick white smoke is full of particulates that can precipitate out on the meat resulting in bitterness. Usually, a light white or barely visible blue smoke coming from the top vent is what you are after. Maybe your venting modifications changed the characterizes of the draft and airflow, but in the long run... learning the combination of seasoning, heat, time and smoke flavor that suits you is what makes barbecue, and smoking meats so wonderful.
 

zwiller

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I needed to see TBS to know what it was. It is very typical to go too heavy when you first start. I did too and the results were still tasty but rough and a little bitter. Besides visually, I also really on smell. I want the smell to have a clear wood note and not just a general smoke/fire pit type smell. Fortunately, the tray makes this far easier to achieve. Heck, I could never pull it off in my gasser with chunks or chips. I usually get 12-14hrs from the tray but nowadays I cut my butts in half to speed things up for my schedule and done around 8 typically.

 

thirdeye

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That's a good video, and it's fair to say all cookers are slightly different. Getting your nose near the top vent is also a good indicator. This is typical of a good cooking fire on my Egg.
fXGGfSc.jpg
The exception to the TBS rule are drum cookers because in addition to your flavor wood.... little flavor bombs of fat drip directly into the coals. The smoke is always white.
eXsOs2T.jpg
 

pineywoods

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Many have given you good advice. Meat will continue to take smoke in as long as smoke is applied. The smoke ring stops forming at about 140 degrees but it continues to take in smoke flavor. Lots of us like the smoke ring and feel we need to see it when in fact it adds no taste. Light one row of the AMNPS as was also said light blue smoke or no smoke and just the smell of the wood burning we call this TBS. If you can smell the smoke/wood so can the meat. It's a case of more is not better you always want TBS.
You will also read or hear about leaving the meat out to come to room temp, remember what I just wrote about smoke ring well the colder the meat the longer time below 140 for the smoke ring to develop. No don't start with frozen meat :emoji_laughing:
 

SmokingUPnorth

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Man post like this about TBS make me remember the first video I send my dad when I was “smoking” a leftover turkey leg on in an old charcoal grill. Took a video opening it up and just saw nasty smoke pour out. I thought I was a bad ass smoker….. I’m pretty sure he told me I was an idiot haha. I wish I would have found this forum when I was 18
 

jcam222

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Many have given you good advice. Meat will continue to take smoke in as long as smoke is applied. The smoke ring stops forming at about 140 degrees but it continues to take in smoke flavor. Lots of us like the smoke ring and feel we need to see it when in fact it adds no taste. Light one row of the AMNPS as was also said light blue smoke or no smoke and just the smell of the wood burning we call this TBS. If you can smell the smoke/wood so can the meat. It's a case of more is not better you always want TBS.
You will also read or hear about leaving the meat out to come to room temp, remember what I just wrote about smoke ring well the colder the meat the longer time below 140 for the smoke ring to develop. No don't start with frozen meat :emoji_laughing:
Great tip on the meat temp. I used to set mine out to come up to room temp. I definitely get more smoke ring putting the meat in cold.
 

Jcarter93

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Many have given you good advice. Meat will continue to take smoke in as long as smoke is applied. The smoke ring stops forming at about 140 degrees but it continues to take in smoke flavor. Lots of us like the smoke ring and feel we need to see it when in fact it adds no taste. Light one row of the AMNPS as was also said light blue smoke or no smoke and just the smell of the wood burning we call this TBS. If you can smell the smoke/wood so can the meat. It's a case of more is not better you always want TBS.
You will also read or hear about leaving the meat out to come to room temp, remember what I just wrote about smoke ring well the colder the meat the longer time below 140 for the smoke ring to develop. No don't start with frozen meat :emoji_laughing:
Thank you, that was very well put.
 

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