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Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


I'm a big fan of cooking and more specifically slow smoking meat. Last year I decided I wanted to purchase a new smoker and was in need of a new grill as well. After doing some research and talking to a good friend of mine, who owns a Big Green Egg (egg from now on), I decided to purchase one for myself. Since purchasing my egg I've been on a mission to perfect slow smoking various meats. In this thread I'd like to talk about recipes for slow smoking food. I'll start us off with my latest attempt at doing pulled pork last Thursday night (Ready for serving Friday night).

Our victim is a 9 lb pork shoulder, some places call it a boston butt, but they are the same thing. I personally do not brine a pork shoulder, because of how much colagen breaks down into the meat I don't feel its necessary. After cleaning the pork shoulder I lay it out on the counter for a couple hours before cooking in order to bring it closer to room temperature. While the pork shoulder is resting I get the egg lit and set it up for indirect cooking at 225F (I place the meat on at 255F since we lose a lot of temperature when we open the egg). I place a drip pan under the grill grates filled with apple juice and beer. This will help keep the meat moist throughout the cook.

Now that my egg is setup and getting up to temperature it's time to make and apply the rub to the meat. I make my own rub and don't really follow a recipe, I just start putting ingredients in until i'm happy with the flavor. I typically use: Kosher Salt, Paprika, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Rosemary and Mesquite flavoring. If you plan on cooking your meat directly exposed to the flames you may want to avoid using Brown Sugar in your rub as it may cause flair ups and irregularities in your bark (The nice charred layer on the outside of the meat). I personally use quite a bit of rub on my pork shoulder but some people prefer just a dusting. Its definately something of personal preferance. After the rub is ready I apply it about 30 minutes prior to cooking. The first few coatings I really rub it into the meat and after I feel it has a good base coat, I dust the remaining rub over the entirity of the meat.

Once the egg reachs proper cooking temperature I place the meat directly over the drip pan with the fat cap up (Some people like to use a V-Rack, but I don't bother). I do a final check to make sure everything is ready to go before closing the egg. This last check is important for me because I only plan on opening the egg one time during the entire 18 hour cook and that is only to refill the drip pan in the morning. It takes a lot of patience not to look, but as the saying goes, "If you're lookin, you ain't cookin".

It should take about 2 hours per pound to cook a pork shoulder at 225F. When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 195F I take it off the egg and wrap it in tin foil and let it rest for 1 hour before serving. If you find your meat is stuck around 155F to 160F for a long period of time, don't panic. Your meat thermometer is not broken. This stuck point is very confusing at first because it will stay there for HOURS on end and sometimes even drop temperature. It's ok, this stuck point is where all the magic is happening. The collagen and connective tissue in the meat is breaking down and giving your meat all its flavor. At some point the temperature will start rising again and you can stop panicking. After the meat reachs around 170F and if i'm running out of time I will crank the grill temperature up to get it done faster. I find after 170F there isn't much I can do to mess a pork shoulder up and even going as high as 350F has not changed the results.

Once the meat has rested for an hour its time to start pulling the meat. Once the meat is unwrapped make sure you have people standing around to see you hand pull the bone out of the meat. They should be suitably impressed when it comes out super easy. You should need nothing more than a large fork to shred and pull the pork. Below are a bunch of pictures from my latest endeavor.

The Victim after applying rub:


My Big Green Egg:


This is right after putting the pork shoulder on the grill:


After its 1 hour rest in tinfoil


Hand pulling the bone out, oh ya:


Starting to pull that meat:


Pile of meat right before the natives get restless. Best not stand in there way for much longer.


Please share your slow smoking stories and recipes!

Nosthula fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2012 around 19:31

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FatmanSA
May 21, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


I hate to be the idiot at the party but:

This is not barbecue as I understand it and since you can't add coals or wood mid cooking and so smoke isn't your main cooking aid - so isn't this just slow grilling?

Which part was the 'smoking'?

Couldn't I get the same results in an oven at a low temperature?

I've done leg of pork sortof the same way in my electric oven at home for the same cooking time and goddam but it looked exactly the same?

*fake edit* this may be because I don't understand what an 'Green egg' is.

FatmanSA fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2012 around 18:06

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


A big green egg uses lump charcoal (not to be confused with charcoal briquettes) as its fuel source. Lump charcoal is wood that has been partially burned and contains none of the fuels and other non wood products that go into briquettes. As well as lump charcoal I use large pieces of smoking woods for different flavors depending on taste. Additional smoking wood can be added throughout the cook but is completely unnecessary. In other words the food is being smoked for the entire duration of the cook. In the above run I cut back on the amount of smoking wood but it was still used. If you look closely at the edge pieces you can see the presence of a little less than a quarter inch of smoke ring which is about where I like it. It had a good but not overpowering smoke flavor.

What makes the big green egg different than traditional smokers is its construction material. It is made entirely of ceramic and very well sealed so that it retains the heat from the burning wood very well and can cook for very long times with very little fuel. Additionally because of this construction material it keeps very consistent temperatures. It will hold temperatures better than an oven while being a true smoker. As an example, I was able to keep the grill dead on 225 for 18 hours without messing with it. It can cook about 30 hours on 1 load of wood.

Edit: The beauty of the egg is its ability to cook low and slow as well as super hot for things like searing steaks.

TLDR: A Big Green Egg is a real smoker.

Nosthula fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2012 around 18:58

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004


big green eggs are nice. I made some of the best barbeque chicken legs of my life last year, on a friend's egg. I'd like to attribute their success wholly to my brine and rub, but they really were juicier and more evenly cooked than I normally get with my brinkmann electric smoker. (condos :shakesfist: )

anyways, I'd submit that you actually do need to use soaked smoking wood in whatever heating contraption you have in order for the food to qualify as 'smoked' or 'barbeque'. the smoke should be slow, steady, and be 'drawn through' the meat (IE, fresh air needs to be entering somewhere, with smoke exiting the other end) otherwise you're just baking, in my opinion. but, the big green egg is definitely capable of smoking.

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

Nosthula posted:

As an example, I was able to keep the grill dead on 225 for 18 hours without messing with it.
Isn't that a digiq though in your second photo? Cheater!

To emphasize what you said about the temperature getting stuck around 155-160F, here's a graph from my grill controller showing the plateau around 170F:


I love my big green egg too, I use about 4lbs of charcoal to cook 15lbs of boston butt which takes about 14-18h on the smoker. I don't soak my wood when cooking with wood chunks because all it does it make the surface wet, but if I use chips (for fast cooking things) I definitely soak them.

We used to have a smoking thread. I'm not sure if there is a new one though.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


The smoking wood I typically use is whole pieces and not chips and will smolder for an entire 18 hour cook without being replaced or soaked. If you are using smoking chips then I agree you would want to soak them but when you use large smoking woods you do not want to soak them at all, at least in an egg.

Edit: Wow totally beaten by CapnBry. And yes CapnBry, I use a DigiQ. What controller are you using that gives you that level of telemetry on your cook temperatures. Is it a stoker?

Nosthula fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2012 around 22:20

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004


CapnBry posted:

Isn't that a digiq though in your second photo? Cheater!

To emphasize what you said about the temperature getting stuck around 155-160F, here's a graph from my grill controller showing the plateau around 170F:


I love my big green egg too, I use about 4lbs of charcoal to cook 15lbs of boston butt which takes about 14-18h on the smoker. I don't soak my wood when cooking with wood chunks because all it does it make the surface wet, but if I use chips (for fast cooking things) I definitely soak them.

We used to have a smoking thread. I'm not sure if there is a new one though.

hey tell us more about your comptroller project. I trolled your website for a while and dug up some of your source files and project log, but I need more detail! does it work? is it finished? is it ethernet enabled?

pkid
Jan 30, 2005

I was raised on the dairy, BITCH!

I recently bought a Kamado grill (the same as the Big Green Egg, but Kamado is primarily what they're known as in Australia).

I've only cooked on it a couple of times.
I killed a rack of ribs just prior to xmas by mis-reading the instructions and cooking it low and slow but on direct heat instead of indirect. They were so burnt that they we're totally inedible.

I did correct the error I made the next time around though and had some success using the 3-2-1 method.

I find the stoker units interesting. On one hand, I think its kind of cheating regulating the temperature that way, on the other hand, when I did the ribs, keeping the temp stable was incredibly hard and I can understand why you'd want some help with it.

Hollis Brown
Oct 17, 2004

It's like people only do things because they get paid, and that's just really sad


pkid posted:

I recently bought a Kamado grill (the same as the Big Green Egg, but Kamado is primarily what they're known as in Australia).

I've only cooked on it a couple of times.
I killed a rack of ribs just prior to xmas by mis-reading the instructions and cooking it low and slow but on direct heat instead of indirect. They were so burnt that they we're totally inedible.

I did correct the error I made the next time around though and had some success using the 3-2-1 method.

I find the stoker units interesting. On one hand, I think its kind of cheating regulating the temperature that way, on the other hand, when I did the ribs, keeping the temp stable was incredibly hard and I can understand why you'd want some help with it.
My favorite reason for the stoker is to be able to just go to sleep at night and wake up and re-fuel. I don't really think it's necessary for shorter smokes but might as well use it.

Edit: A little off topic, but can anyone recommend a good tomato based barbecue sauce?

Hollis Brown fucked around with this message at Jan 20, 2012 around 01:31

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


I find the temperature control devices invaluable for low and slow cooks. I started looking into them for the simple fact that I have people over every Friday night and cook for them. Because I work on Friday baby sitting the Big Green Egg is not possible for me. Having a temperature control device allows me the freedom to slow smoke briskets, pork shoulders and ribs without having to take a day off of work. For regular grilling such as burgers, steaks and chicken I do not use the temperature control device. I find that any grilling where you have to open the grill relatively frequently does not benefit from a temperature control device.

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

mindphlux posted:

hey tell us more about your comptroller project. I trolled your website for a while and dug up some of your source files and project log, but I need more detail! does it work? is it finished? is it ethernet enabled?
I haven't been updating my blog at all, I've got 10 different articles half-written and I never seem to have time to finish one. The project is continuously progressing though.

Overview:
The project is called HeaterMeter on GitHub and has expanded from the Arduino + WiShield + Breadboard to be mated with a WRT54GL router which provides the WiFi and logging. Arduinos just don't have the power to store a lot (50KB) of data and serve up web pages. The AVR still handles all the grill control and has an LCD and buttons on the front, but the router running OpenWrt handles all the network connectivity web serving and logging.

The insides look something like this, the small HeaterMeter board can be pulled out and built into a standalone device with no network connectivity for a price of probably $50 (plus probes).


And looks something like this in action


Writing for OpenWrt is somewhat cumbersome and even jumping from the 2KB of RAM on the Arduino to 16MB of RAM in the router, I still am constantly running out. That's why I'm extremely excited for the RaspberryPi which I've already started designing an addon board for. It would replace the router as the web host and data storage. For $25, it doesn't have built-in WiFi, which is a requirement from my point of view, but I'm hoping one of the cheap $10 USB wifi will work with it and not be too obtrusive.

I feel that automatic temperature controls are incredibly useful. It does feel like cheating, not going and tweaking vents slightly every 30-60 minutes, but dammit I like to sleep and drink!

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


Foiling your meat when it begins the plateau stage can significantly lower the cook time. A recent study found that the "mystery" behind the plateau was really just the meat sweats. Literally!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig...y_b_987719.html

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

PainBreak posted:

Foiling your meat when it begins the plateau stage can significantly lower the cook time. A recent study found that the "mystery" behind the plateau was really just the meat sweats. Literally!
Wow thank you for linking that article. I have always be skeptical of the rituals we use when doing long BBQs, mostly because everyone has their own bible. The sponge experiment sold me and then the water-pan-in-the-oven was akin to the Plateau Higgs-Boson.

Now it makes me wonder about using a smoker after the first couple hours at all. I usually foil at about the 8 hour mark and this is basically saying that I could be done by then if I foil at the two hour mark. Astonishing!

Ok now what about ribs and the 3-2-1 method? 1-2-and-a-half-1 anyone?

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


My mind is officially blown. I am definitely going to try this the next time I cook a shoulder. Wonder how much time I need to account for using this. 1 hour a pound maybe?

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

Nosthula posted:

My mind is officially blown. I am definitely going to try this the next time I cook a shoulder. Wonder how much time I need to account for using this. 1 hour a pound maybe?
Yeah me too, I am excited to check it out. I was planning on doing some live pit testing of some new code in my HeaterMeter this weekend, so I think I'll throw a small (6lb or so) butt on the grill to see how it works! I never have a problem finding friends who will eat my test meats.

Also, Nosthula, I hope you don't find my post accusatory about the digiq-- it was just supposed to be a joke and conversation starter. Lots of posts in this forum about sous vide and I feel like the ATC is like bringing technology to the smoker in a similar way. Lookout Harold McGee, we're, crashing your BBQ!

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


No worries CapnBry, I recognized you were just making a joke. I have thick skin so it's O.K. I've always been willing to make myself a butt of a joke simply for the sake of comedy. Let me know how your experimental batch goes. I didn't cook this week for my Friday get together and the natives are already restless. I'm as eager as you to find some results based on these new findings. I may do one this weekend myself and will post back if I do.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

Hightech Hillbillies ITT.

I am constantly on the fence about buying an Egg. I would love to have one but I feel my current deck is lovely enough that I wouldn't use it enough.

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

Progress report! At the grocery store they only had 5lb butts and I was all "pff that's not a man's piece of meat" so I got a whole one instead, 8.41lbs. It went on a 225F big green egg at 9:45am with a simple rub. Seven hours later, at 4:45pm it was at 154F so I wrapped with aluminum foil. The two green lines in the graph are two food probes.




code:
9:45am  36F
10:45am 59F moving 23F/hr
11:45am 95F 36F/hr
12:45pm 117F 21F/hr
1:45pm  130F 13F/hr
2:45pm  140F 9.5F/hr
3:45pm  147F 6.8F/hr
4:45pm  154F 6.8F/hr
I would normally be looking at another 8-10 hours from this point so let's see what happens.

Too right about the high-tech hillbillies though. I've always had an affection for electronic circuits because my dad (a flight technician on a Navy P3-C) assembled a bunch of small projects with me as a kid. I'd wanted to pick it back up again and learn about microcontrollers but didn't really know where to start. When I got the idea for an electronic grill control (which initially was envisioned as something you'd hook a full PC up to) it seemed like the perfect place to start. It is a lot of fun and a real conversation piece when I have people over for a BBQ.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


drat that is looking great. I can't wait to hear the results. Around noon today I decided I wanted some ribs so cooked two slabs of spare ribs today. Too exhausted to post all the details and pictures, I'll post them tomorrow. Between cooking ribs and trying to finish my hard wood flooring project for the house I am completely out of gas.

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

After wrapping in foil, the slope of the temperature started rising again after about 30 minutes. It dipped as low as 6.2F/hr, but did not enter the plateau at all! I was excited about the success of the experiment until about 3 hours later when it was clear the temperature climb was slowing again. Eventually, it did plateau except this time at 190F.

One food probe hit 190.3F then slowly started going down, the second was at 188F and climbing 2.1F/hr. The foiled butt had filled with liquid to the point it was leaking out of the seams everywhere.

Overall View


Last Hour Zoom


Some Meats


It seemed to be pretty close to done despite falling short of 195F where I usually take it off the BBQ. Flavor seemed alright too. I'm a little on the fence about the idea still though. Clearly it does speed cooking time, but I'd prefer if it didn't hit that stall at the end. If I would have had my wits about me I would have opened up the foil and let it go open for an hour just to see if it went down further or finished up. Overall cooking time was 12.5h.

code:
8.41lb bone-in boston butt
9:45am  36F
10:45am 59F moving 23F/hr
11:45am 95F 36F/hr
12:45pm 117F 21F/hr
1:45pm  130F 13F/hr
2:45pm  140F 9.5F/hr
3:45pm  147F 6.8F/hr
4:45pm  154F 6.8F/hr -- foiled here
5:45pm  160F 6.6F/hr (bottomed out at 6.2F/hr)
6:45pm  170F 10F/hr
7:45pm  178F 7.6F/hr
8:45pm  183F 5.2F/hr
9:45pm  187F 3.5F/hr
10:15pm 189F 2.1F/hr

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


I have a theory... I think by foiling the butt, you didn't lose enough water weight to go above 190F while maintaining a cook temp of 225F. Outside of the foil, the water would be evaporating much more rapidly. If you raised your temperature to 240, I think you'd hit that magic 195F...but that "magic" number might have changed, since you've changed your method...

I theorize the meat is at least as tender at 190F when compared to non-foiled, and it's possibly juicier. Since you'd mentioned the foil was full of the expelled liquid from the butt, the foiled hours were essentially a braise, which expedites the conversion process of collagen to gelatin.

I've kept a close eye on your HeaterMeter project, as I've often thought about doing the same sort of thing. Ultimately, I ended up building my own makeshift electric smoker out of a Weber Bullet knockoff, the element from a hotplate, and a rheostat. I can run it half-height anywhere from 200F - 350F, and full-height from 200F - 250F. For the smoke portion, I use the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker, and either pure hickory pellets, or a blend of whatever fruit wood is appropriate for the smoke. I've lost the ability to create amazing smoke rings, but gained the peace of mind that comes from being able to turn something on, and walk away for 10 hours at a time.

Stringent
Dec 22, 2004

The internet is the universal sewer.


Hollis Brown posted:

Edit: A little off topic, but can anyone recommend a good tomato based barbecue sauce?

Repost from YOSPOS, but I figure it might come in handy here.

I'm from North Carolina, and my parents grew up in Lexington. Here's my grandmother's BBQ sauce recipe and her BBQ slaw recipe for lagniappe.

Sauce:
4 cups (946mL) white vinegar
2/3 cups (142mL) sugar
1 1/2cups (355mL) Heinz ketchup (any ketchup is fine, Heinz is best)
Juice, pulp and rinds of one lemon
1/2 stick of butter
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper and Texas Pete to taste

Mix all the ingredients and simmer 2-3 hours until desired thickness.
Keeps forever so if you want to double the recipe go for it.

Slaw:
1 head of cabbage, grated
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup (118mL) sugar
Texas Pete to taste

Add those to a mixing bowl and mash them together with your hands.

To this add:
1/4 cup (60mL) white vinegar

Mix again

Then add:
1/2 cup (118mL) Heinz ketchup

Mix again and you're done, add any of the ingredients you feel might be lacking to taste.

Will keep almost indefinitely in the refridgerator, but it's best fresh.

Stringent fucked around with this message at Jan 24, 2012 around 13:10

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


I decided to do some spare ribs on the spur of the moment on Saturday. I didn't have enough time to do a low and slow so I opted to cook them at 325F. I started off by brining my ribs in Vinegar and Apple Juice (Is it really still called brining if I dont use a salt water mix?). Since I was limited on time I only brined them for an hour and a half, but typically I try to brine them for at least 12 hours. While the ribs are soaking I set the Egg up for indirect cooking at 325F. In the drip pan I once again use Apple Juice and beer which is my favorite. I then apply the same homemade rub as outlined in my pulled pork recipe. Once everything is ready to go I place the ribs on for an hour and a half.

After the ribs have been on for an hour and a half at 325F I take them off the Egg and baste them with honey. I then wrap them in foil and place them back on the Egg for about an hour. After an hour I take the ribs off the Egg and pull the drip pan and plate setter off the Egg and set it back up for Direct cooking. Once the Egg is ready to go again I take the ribs out of foil and put them back on to finish up. While they are finishing up I slather them in Sweet Baby Rays, although i'm going to have to try Stringent's sauce recipe.

I don't have my camera with me at the office, i'll try to post the pictures when I get home tonight.

CapnBry
Jul 15, 2002

I got this goin'

Grimey Drawer

PainBreak posted:

I have a theory... I think by foiling the butt, you didn't lose enough water weight to go above 190F while maintaining a cook temp of 225F. Outside of the foil, the water would be evaporating much more rapidly. If you raised your temperature to 240, I think you'd hit that magic 195F...but that "magic" number might have changed, since you've changed your method...
I think you're right. I think I got to a point there was so much liquid, so close to boiling that it was starting to escape and cool off the product. I think next butt I'll try going with a 225F pit until the butt hits 150F, foil, and up the temperature to maybe 240F.

I forgot to weigh the final product, mainly because I had been drinking all afternoon. Like my friend Todd's mother, I bet the butt retains more water weight.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


Do you think it would help to remove the foil after the meat clears the typical stuck point? I will probably be starting a butt this weekend and I am interested in experimenting with the foiling method.

wernox
Mar 26, 2001
Forum Veteran

My wife got me a Rock's Stoker for Christmas and it finally got here right before the super bowl. I have a WSM, so my biggest hurdle so far has been adjusting to "dry" smoking without the water bowl.

My first ribs were good, my first Brisket was struck down when I blew a circuit breaker sometime between midnight and 4:00 AM (I think one of my kids left an electric blanket turned on in the room adjacent to our patio). Today's pork shoulder seems to be going ok.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


Can't wait to here the results. Sorry to hear about the brisket, I've been wanting to do a brisket again for a while but I always end up doing a pork shoulder when I want to do long cooks. I think I would be heartbroken if I lost a brisket like that.

For my friends super bowl chili cookoff I tried to get fancy and do pork shoulder chili. I was really expecting it to come out amazing but I really didn't account for the smoked pork flavor dominating the chili. It was good but not great. Lesson learned.

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Nosthula posted:

Can't wait to here the results. Sorry to hear about the brisket, I've been wanting to do a brisket again for a while but I always end up doing a pork shoulder when I want to do long cooks. I think I would be heartbroken if I lost a brisket like that.

I bought a Brinkmann electric smoker recently and the first thing I tried was a brisket. I love brisket, being from Texas, but they just don't have it at bbq joints here in Mississippi. Big mistake. It was cooked, and had decent flavor and a decent smoke ring, but it was tougher than the bottom of my boots. I did a turkey last weekend and it turned out great.

Going to try a pork shoulder from my local butcher this weekend, probably following this and probably wrapping in foil when I get to 150 per this, which seems to be a very well written article about 'the stall', something I have definitely noticed in my very limited smoking career.

edit: my smoker didn't come with an ambient thermometer. Do you guys have any recommendations? I have a digital probe thermometer, but I want something to tell me what the temp of the smoker is.

PuTTY riot fucked around with this message at Mar 1, 2012 around 21:50

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

TECHNICAL Thug posted:

I bought a Brinkmann electric smoker recently and the first thing I tried was a brisket. I love brisket, being from Texas, but they just don't have it at bbq joints here in Mississippi. Big mistake. It was cooked, and had decent flavor and a decent smoke ring, but it was tougher than the bottom of my boots. I did a turkey last weekend and it turned out great.

Going to try a pork shoulder from my local butcher this weekend, probably following this and probably wrapping in foil when I get to 150 per this, which seems to be a very well written article about 'the stall', something I have definitely noticed in my very limited smoking career.

edit: my smoker didn't come with an ambient thermometer. Do you guys have any recommendations? I have a digital probe thermometer, but I want something to tell me what the temp of the smoker is.

Foiling @150-160 works well. For a 7 pound shoulder, I'd use maybe half a cup of apple juice mixed with a bit of rub. Take it out of the foil at about 190-200 and let the bark crisp up a bit by smoking it naked.

As far as ambient temps, the cheapest way would be to get an NSF certified oven thermometer (the kind with a big dial and a metal body) and put it on the same rack as your meat. If you want to get fancy, Maverick makes a good probe thermometer.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


Pork shoulder is way more forgiving than doing a brisket. Honestly as long as you don't mind long cooks its probably one of the easier pieces of meat to smoke.

It sounds like what you are looking for is a pit probe. I've never looked into them as a standalone product but if you are in the market for a digital controller they all have pit probes. Of course these devices are a bit of an investment. I think the cheapest one I have seen is around $140 (BBQ Guru's PartyQ) and that only gives you pit temperature control. I personally use the BBQ Guru's DigiQ DX2, which gives me temperature control of the pit and food temperature monitoring. Other people in this thread may have input on other pit probe products.

Edit: I don't know much about it but the "Maverick Wireless BBQ Thermometer Set - Maverick ET732" is a pit probe and meat probe set. It seems to run about $59 on amazon.

Nosthula fucked around with this message at Mar 1, 2012 around 22:35

PuTTY riot
Nov 16, 2002


Nosthula posted:

Pork shoulder is way more forgiving than doing a brisket. Honestly as long as you don't mind long cooks its probably one of the easier pieces of meat to smoke.

It sounds like what you are looking for is a pit probe. I've never looked into them as a standalone product but if you are in the market for a digital controller they all have pit probes. Of course these devices are a bit of an investment. I think the cheapest one I have seen is around $140 (BBQ Guru's PartyQ) and that only gives you pit temperature control. I personally use the BBQ Guru's DigiQ DX2, which gives me temperature control of the pit and food temperature monitoring. Other people in this thread may have input on other pit probe products.

Edit: I don't know much about it but the "Maverick Wireless BBQ Thermometer Set - Maverick ET732" is a pit probe and meat probe set. It seems to run about $59 on amazon.

Yeah, the brisket was a bad choice. The turkey I did last weekend turned out really good. These thermos are out of my budget right now (I paid like $60 or so for the smoker itself), so I'm probably going to get an oven thermometer like Mach420 is talking about. If I drop some money into a thermometer I want it to be able to do the graphing and stuff that has been posted in this thread.

Mach420
Jun 22, 2002
Bandit at 6 'o clock - Pull my finger

TECHNICAL Thug posted:

Yeah, the brisket was a bad choice. The turkey I did last weekend turned out really good. These thermos are out of my budget right now (I paid like $60 or so for the smoker itself), so I'm probably going to get an oven thermometer like Mach420 is talking about. If I drop some money into a thermometer I want it to be able to do the graphing and stuff that has been posted in this thread.

Yea, the fancy stuff is definitely fun to play with, but unless you want computer graphs or the ability to wirelessly monitor the temps from a base station inside the house while the smoker is outside, a 4 or 5 dollar oven thermo or long stem fryer thermo are all you actually need.

If you have a smoker without a glass window, I would suggest drilling a small hole into the side of your smoker just below the food grate level, and using a long stem fryer thermo. Otherwise, you'd have to open the smoker to see your temps, and that's bad. Only use a stand-up oven thermo if you have a smoker with a see thru window like some electrics have, or have some way of seeing the thermo without opening it.

Mach420 fucked around with this message at Mar 2, 2012 around 00:05

rigeek
Jun 12, 2006


Brisket is never a good choice for a first smoke; it's very difficult to get right and not very forgiving at all. Ribs are a good first smoke, they only take (on average) ~5 hours. Pork butts (shoulders) are very forgiving (it's almost impossible to gently caress up a pork butt). Sounds like your brisket just wasn't cooked enough. It's easy to undercook one .. there is also no "right" temp to say it's done .. you have to poke it with the probe until the probe goes into the brisket like a knife through soft butter, then it's done. Lot of people say foiling is a "Texas crutch" but if you foil as soon as it breaks plateau, until around 190, you're guaranteed a tender, juicy brisket, just about every time. gently caress the haters that are against foiling.

PhotoKirk
Jul 2, 2007

insert witty text here


Please allow me to add my poorly updated site to this thread: https://www.peppersandsmoke.com

BBQ tutorials and such. I need to rebuild my galleries, I had to pull them after I got hacked by the Turkish Muslim Hacker's Alliance. (!?)

Pork butts are the best meats to learn about smoking. Very forgiving, very tasty. Leftover pulled pork makes great breakfast tacos.

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


PhotoKirk posted:

Please allow me to add my poorly updated site to this thread: https://www.peppersandsmoke.com

BBQ tutorials and such. I need to rebuild my galleries, I had to pull them after I got hacked by the Turkish Muslim Hacker's Alliance. (!?)

Before I make your 100% bacon burger I will be sure that my wife knows who gave me the recipe, so that when I die she can come exact my revenge. I know I shouldn't make it but I cannot resist its siren call.

wernox
Mar 26, 2001
Forum Veteran

Nosthula posted:

Before I make your 100% bacon burger I will be sure that my wife knows who gave me the recipe, so that when I die she can come exact my revenge. I know I shouldn't make it but I cannot resist its siren call.

It sounds incredible....curse my recently removed gall bladder.....I'll never get to have one.

Flying Fortress
Oct 23, 2008



I'm glad to see a new smoking thread! I consider myself a student of bbq, and I have spent the last 4 summers learning and refining my smoking technique, and I recognize the fact that I will continue to practice and learn and try new things. It is such a rewarding hobby!
I started a number of years ago with a cheap, lovely store bought smoker, just to see if I had the patience to pursue this method of cooking. Despite my crappy smoker, I found that I really loved doing it. A couple of years ago I ditched my store-bought unit and made an Ugly Drum Smoker, which has worked very well for me. This spring it is due for a bit of an overhaul; I need to make a new basket for the charcoal and wood, as well as some other minor improvements.

For anyone who is new to this, I have a piece of helpful advice. Keep a bbq journal. Record times, temperatures, what worked and also what didn't. Make note of what kind of rub you used, what kind of wood, etc. I have found this ongoing record to be a great resource, as well as inspiration when I look back at my first half-assed attempts and compare them to my mostly successful recent smokes.

I really hope this thread turns into the meat porn extravaganza the last one did!

Edit: Also, as cool as the electronic gizmos above are, they are by no means essential. A lo-tech approach works just fine.
Not knocking your computer stuff, guys, I'm sure it works awesome. But I'd hate for anyone to get discouraged because they don't have access to that sort of thing.

Flying Fortress fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2012 around 14:56

Nosthula
Mar 23, 2009


I hope my posts about the electronic gizmo's didn't come across as implying that they were in any way necessary. I certainly did not intend for them to come across that way. Smoking meats is an art that ultimately doesn't require much more than wood and meat.

Friday is my Father's birthday and hopefully he wants me to slow smoke ribs, a Boston butt or a brisket. I haven't done a low in slow in a couple weeks and i'm getting the itch! We definitely need some more pictures to slobber over.

I really like your idea of having a journal. I'm going to have to do that myself, because I know my Rub has evolved over the years and because I make my rub flying by the seat of my pants I can't recreate some of the older attempts.

Flash Gordon Ramsay
Sep 28, 2004



Grimey Drawer

I didn't expect a thread about smoking meat to contain so many graphs. I'd try smoking some meat myself, but my CCNA has expired.

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niss
Jul 9, 2008

the amazing gnome

I'll have to remember to take some pics of my smoked chicken this weekend. I always smoke off a bunch on sunday to eat all week, usually leg quarters or thighs. Usually cook it for about 4 hours or so @ 225F, always comes out fantastic and super moist.

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