Smoking a Big Butt

April 30, 2016, Saturday. Ambient temp is 78° and 100% humidity waiting on the rain.

Thursday before – The 10.78 pound Boston Butt has been thawing in the refer since Wednesday so Mary pulled and salted it with Kosher salt.20160429_193346

Friday evening – Rubbed it with coarse-ground black pepper and granulated garlic.

Saturday, 5:15 am – Pulled Butt from refer. Rubbed fatty end (the one with the round bone showing) with Stubbs Hot Pork Rub to see how different the bark will be from the end with only SPG.

While the MES Preheated – Modified one end of a small cookie sheet to allow the door to close and fit snuggly as a baffle above the chip box and to shield the box probe on back wall and direct heat to center of chamber. Set the two Thermoworks probes so the ends were about 3″ from the side walls on the 2nd rack. During warm up the probe over the chip box read ~20° more than the box probe and ~30° more than the probe on the other end of the same grate. As the box and internals warmed up the and settle down the three readings came together within 5°. But, when the coil came on the one over the coil would climb higher but then come back down. The cookie sheet shield caused the box probe to be the slowest responding and that seemed to help.

Smoke characteristics: Thin white hickory smoke that was consistent for the first 5.5 hours during which the MES was not opened.

6:30 – Put Butt in MES40 and fritzed with water/Apple Cider Vinegar (1:1). Positioned air probe on side opposite coil within about 4″ of door. Lite AMNZTS lying on bottom bars filled 3/4 with hickory pellets then shaken down to level. Filled alum pan under butt 1/4 way with very hot water from the tap. All set and locked down by 6:50.

8:00 – Air probe is 242° and MES is 244°. MES takes longer to come up to 250° to cut off likely due to water in pan that is just below the MES probe. The water must be keeping the box cooler and causing the coil to have to heat longer. Should have put in boiling water. Have not opened it since 6:50. Rain finally got here but only lasted 30 minutes then ambient temp fell almost 10°. Bright sunny skies with lower humidity.

12:40 – First time to open it after almost 6 hours. TBS stopped within the last 30 minutes so tube smoker 3/4 went for 5.5 hours. Temps have been very consistent either side of 250°. Inserted ChefAlarm meat probe and IT was 178°. All water evaporated awhile ago and fat is simmering.

2:45 – IT is 180° and still in stall so wrapped and put in oven set at 275°. When reinserted IT probe it only read 173°.

3:55 – IT is only 183° so reset over to 300° Convection as we want to eat about 6:00pm.

4:15 – Seems to be heating fast so reset to 275°.

4:33 – ChefAlarm alarmed at 295°. Turned oven off and left it in there.20160430_180830

5:30 – The IT rose to 202° the stopped so turned oven back on to 275 and by 5:30 it alarmed at 205° so turned off oven again and left it in.

6:00 – Ate a great meal of semi-pulled pork (left it in large chunks), Aaron Franklin’s cole slaw and beans (with my twists) from his BBQ Manifesto book. I added 3/4C of the pork drippings and leftover CSRs chunks from last weekend. Also for the first time ever ground dried and roasted-in-a-skillet Ancho Chiles to use in these beans. They were OK and likely better tomorrow.



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