This cook turned out ok and provide a few lessons. The large butt was de-fatted, cut into three chunks, dry-brined plus rubbed with creole seasoning, and then smoked a long time with the initial 3 hours with full grey smoke and the middle 3 hours of light blue pecan smoke. With no wrap after the stall and a long time in the MES it had a firm dry bark.
12/01/2017, 8:30 pm – Trimmed fat from an 11.04 lb. pork shoulder and wound up as three chunks. Sprinkled on Creole Seasoning then table salt rather heavy to dry brine overnight — added like a serving that needed a lot of salt. Covered with plastic wrap on a baking sheet and back in the refer to smoke tomorrow.
Heated Passila dried peppers with seeds in a cast iron skillet to dry and crispy. Chopped into about 1/2″ rings, ground in the blender then sprinkled on the chunks. Preheated the MES set at 250 and let it coast up to 270.
12/02/2017, 7:30 AM – Put in the chunks and smoked at a grate temp of 245 with both ends of the Amazen Tray burning with pecan pellets mixed with CookinPellets Perfect Mix (no do like much) mixed 50/50 to help get rid of the Perfect Mix.
Smoke until the stall and the pellets burn out.
Wrapped in foil with more creole seasoning and a 1/4 C of ACV in each foil pack. Cooked in the oven at 250 until IT is 200 then tested for doneness; i.e. table knife inserts like into warm butter.
11:30 – Amazen tray had burned out as it jumped to the center track and all three had been burning; i.e. a steady flow of grey/blue smoke since about 9:00. Went with the girls to buy a Christmas tree.
12:30 – Refilled one slot with only pecan pellets, lite it and inserted it at this time into the MES. Inserted a temp probe into the one that was the average thickness. IT was 160.
1:30 – IT was 167 with a thin blue smoke stream.
3:30 – IT was 187 with a thin blue smoke stream
4:30 – IT was 196 with a thin blue smoke stream
Kelley and the girls left and Mary and I went to the Pam & Bob Hughes Open House. Stayed longer than expected so pulled the meat at 8:30 PM. The timer had been set at 10 hours and started at 7:30 so it must have shut down about the time we left for the Hughes.
So, it set inside the slowly cooling MES and the bark dried out to a chewy almost crunchy state. But, even though the long cook should have left it falling apart, it is not. Keep in mind this was never wrapped.
The flavor of the bark is mild with a lot of smoke but not smutty. There is a slight heat or spice from the peppers in the creole seasoning and the fresh ground dry pasilla peppers.
Next Time – Do not leave it on so long. Once it hits the stall pull, wrapped and finish in the oven. Well…not so quick…read the comments below.