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First attemp at smokeing a Butt

SS396driver

SS396driver

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Remember there is always heat movement in the grill. I have moved my air temp probe around on the grate and it can vary by as much as 10° . So I place the probe near the meat so I can get an idea of the temp around it. I have seen my smoker drop by 15° temporarily with just a light breeze. Especially in winter
 
CentaurG2

CentaurG2

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I am using the probes to check the internal temps of the meat. Right now, I am just trying to figure out if the probes are giving a accurate reading. That is the reason all 4 probes are in the grill. I would assume that all probes placed right next to each other would give the same reading, but they don't. They do read the same in boiling or ice water and seem to be dead nutts on. While cooking, I use one probe inside the grill to check grill temp, and one probe to check meat temp. The thermometer in the lid doesn't match the probes by a big margin. I don't need precision accuracy, but if I can figure out what the lid thermometer needs to read, then it would make my chances of having repeat results more likely. Probes are reading correctly in boiling water and in ice water, but seem erratic when inside the grill. 1 or 2 degrees is close enough, but 10 or 15 degrees bumfuzzles me. Right now, my meat tastes great, it just isn't the pull apart BBQ I am looking for and I am suspecting I am not getting temps the required temperature for the pull apart. My cooking times also seem to be a lot longer than others cooking similar size portions, which shouldn't be if everybody is cooking to the same temp. I don't know what I am doing, but I am eating well trying to figure it out.
You are over thinking the whole process and relying too much on technology. Time and temp on an outdoor grill are really subjective and influenced by outdoor temps/wind/rain. You need to cook food till its done but not overdone. The above mention thermapen is an instant read thermometer that will tell you the temp of your food. They are amazingly accurate and work instantaneously. You can use it to measure the temp in a room, burgers, sugar/candy or even bread if you are into baking. Cook enough and you will get the swing of when food starts looking/smelling done. When it starts looking done, give it the test. You will eventually get to a point you don’t need the thermapen. You will know when it is done. If the pen is too dear, just use the probes you have. You only need one in the center of the meat. Cook until it is done.
 
SS396driver

SS396driver

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I am using the probes to check the internal temps of the meat. Right now, I am just trying to figure out if the probes are giving a accurate reading. That is the reason all 4 probes are in the grill. I would assume that all probes placed right next to each other would give the same reading, but they don't. They do read the same in boiling or ice water and seem to be dead nutts on. While cooking, I use one probe inside the grill to check grill temp, and one probe to check meat temp. The thermometer in the lid doesn't match the probes by a big margin. I don't need precision accuracy, but if I can figure out what the lid thermometer needs to read, then it would make my chances of having repeat results more likely. Probes are reading correctly in boiling water and in ice water, but seem erratic when inside the grill. 1 or 2 degrees is close enough, but 10 or 15 degrees bumfuzzles me. Right now, my meat tastes great, it just isn't the pull apart BBQ I am looking for and I am suspecting I am not getting temps the required temperature for the pull apart. My cooking times also seem to be a lot longer than others cooking similar size portions, which shouldn't be if everybody is cooking to the same temp. I don't know what I am doing, but I am eating well trying to figure it out.
Did you read my prior post ?
The lid temps could be as much as 50 to 75° higher than at the grate. Think of it this way summertime your house is all closed up it 80° on the first floor you go to the top of the stairs to the second floor and its much hotter . That's the nature of heat it rises and gets stuck near the lid

First thing I tell friends when they get a smoker or grill disregard the temp probe in the lid
 
muddstopper

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Of course I am overthinking things. Still the meat needs to be done and the only way to know if its done is experience, which I don't have, or checking the temp. I am doubting the accuracy of my thermometer, so I am trying to check it everyway I can. I suspect my meat isn't getting as done as I think it is hence not pulling apart. Whether one cooks low and slow or high an fast does depend on the temps inside the grill.

Did you read my prior post ?
The lid temps could be as much as 50 to 75° higher than at the grate. Think of it this way summertime your house is all closed up it 80° on the first floor you go to the top of the stairs to the second floor and its much hotter . That's the nature of heat it rises and gets stuck near the lid
Yes I read your post. I am not relying on the lid thermometer, just want to know what it says the temp is, in regard to what the actual grill temps are. This just makes it easier to glance and see if things are cooling off or over heating inside. I am hanging my probe right at the top of the meat. I have already experience what a little rain can do to the heating temps. And it is raining now, so I have moved the grill under cover.

All the pictures I posted are of a empty grill. I was experimenting with the burners just to see if I could get the temps low enough to smoke while using two burners. The grill just seems to me to be to big to get even heat using just one burner. I don't know if I am right or wrong, but meat goes on about 9pm tonite. The best I think I can hope for is going to be about 270f with both burners as low as they will go. It will either be done or burnt by morning. I will be checking a few times thru the nite.
 
muddstopper

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7.45pm. 11lb Butt has been injected with apple cider vinegar and apple juice and rubbed since 9.30am. Setting on the kitchen counter coming up to room temp. Will go on grill in about a hour. Resized_20200626_193942.jpeg
 
muddstopper

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1am, meat is looking good. grill temp, if it is to be believed, says 286f. It don't seem as hot as it has in the past. Lid thermometer says 275f so I am guessing actual temp around 250f. Anyways, meat temp says 126f and bark is starting to form nicely, I think, its darker than a stack of black cats, but I broke off a piece of bark and it tasted done and good. Added more wood chips. Rain has stopped. Might turn meat over and add more rub in a couple more hours. Nap time.
 
muddstopper

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5:30am. Resized_20200627_053414.jpeg temps, Resized_20200627_053353.jpeg The grill temp read 254f before I opened the lid. Pulled a piece of the bark just to sample, ummmm, umm, good! Wrapped in foil and put back on grill. The meat almost was pull apart ready, but the bone isn't loose yet. I'll check it again in a few hours and it may be there.
 
muddstopper

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Just pulled off grill and placed in cooler. 11:20am. I didn't try to pull the bone out, the meat wouldn't hardly hold together to put in cooler. Temp probes said 192f, but I have lost all faith in this thermometer. I will be buying one of those pen probes before the next go around. It looks like a 11lb butt cooked for 14hrs with my grill turned as low as it will go is the timing I will be looking at in the future. I have two smaller butts in the freezer I plan on trying next. Probably be the 4th of July. I have tried a bite of the bark and it was good. I mixed two different rubs and not sure how I feel about the second one. Seems to have a little more garlic than the first brand I tried. When all pulled and mixed together it might be just right.
 
medalist

medalist

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I have a Weber larger kettle grill.
I use it for both grilling the usual but also for smoking. Look up "snake method" on YouTube. This is how I smoke kingfish with overnight brining.
Keeping a low temp (200) is not hard with snake method.
Having a good instant read meat thermometer is a good consideration.
 

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muddstopper

muddstopper

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Meat set in a cooler for just over 1 hr. I wanted a pic of the finished butt, but the wife wanted a bite. So she unwrapped the meat and started digging in. Heres a pic of the leftovers. We had already eaten most of it. Resized_20200627_175401.jpeg I believe the head count was nine that had partaken from the butt. No complaints so I guess it was a success. Bone pulled clean and you couldn't pick the meat up without it falling apart.
Next butt will still be trying different things. I don't care much for the pecan/cherry wood chips. Apple is much better. I also don't care much for the new rub. It was good, but I just like the other brand better. I will have a new instant thermometer for the next one. Also discovered I don't care much for the bulleye sauce. It is alright, but I ate most of what I had without any sauce. The bigger thing I need to change is trimming off more of the fat. I had to scoop off way to much while pulling the pork. With the loss of fat, I also lost bark and flavor. Neighbors cats will eat well tonite.
 
SS396driver

SS396driver

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All my probes are thermoworks I check my smoke thermometer(made by thermoworks) with the thermo pen instant read . Well worth the investment. I take as much fat off as I can. Whether its pork or brisket the fat keeps the smoke from the meat. The only thing I dont trim it off of is pork bellies. Ok now I need to do bellies drizzled with homemade maple syrup 20200626_163055.jpg
 

CentaurG2

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Meat set in a cooler for just over 1 hr. I wanted a pic of the finished butt, but the wife wanted a bite. So she unwrapped the meat and started digging in. Heres a pic of the leftovers. We had already eaten most of it. View attachment 838985 I believe the head count was nine that had partaken from the butt. No complaints so I guess it was a success. Bone pulled clean and you couldn't pick the meat up without it falling apart.
Next butt will still be trying different things. I don't care much for the pecan/cherry wood chips. Apple is much better. I also don't care much for the new rub. It was good, but I just like the other brand better. I will have a new instant thermometer for the next one. Also discovered I don't care much for the bulleye sauce. It is alright, but I ate most of what I had without any sauce. The bigger thing I need to change is trimming off more of the fat. I had to scoop off way to much while pulling the pork. With the loss of fat, I also lost bark and flavor. Neighbors cats will eat well tonite.
Bullseye on already smoked meat might be a bit much. You will probably start hearing Reggae music. Most grocers have a wall of BBQ sauces. Give anyone a try. Sweet Baby Rays is popular here but it is mostly sugar. I like Stubbs original but it is very tomato based. You can also make your own. The aforementioned Busha Browne jerk seasoning is super on pork, chicken or fish.



http://www.bushabrowne.com/product_jerk_seasoning.php
 
muddstopper

muddstopper

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There is a BBQ place in Spencer NC. Right out side Salisbury. The name of the place is Steves BBQ. They used to have the best BBQ sauce I ever ate. I haven't been there in several years. At one time it was located right at the edge of the town, then it moved closer to the interstate. I will say my opinion was the bbq was better when they where in their old restaurant. Anyways, the BBQ was more a Lexington style, not none of the thick tomato or mustard/vinegar sour crap. I wish I had the recipe, but I don't ever pass that way anymore, and I don't know anybody to ask to see if they can get it. I think I will look up Lexington style bbq sauce and see what pops up.
 
muddstopper

muddstopper

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Well, I had boston butt bbq again this week, wife cooked it in the oven. Took a fraction of the time to cook and don't tell her, but it wasn't near as good. Tried the baby rays bbq sauce, pretty food stuff. Anyways, bbq 4 weeks in a row, I think I will give it a rest for a while. I'll do a couple more practice smokes with smaller butts and may try another big one for Labor day.
 
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