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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
bigfredlab
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Default First BBQ - Need Help

I'm new to the forum. I have lots of experience in Grilling, but over the weekend I made my first step into the land of the Q.

I bought a Outdoor Leisure Smoke Hollow vertical smoker and christened it by smoking some pork. However, it only came out OK (edible but not great). I understand it takes time to master the art form, so I would like to learn from my 'mistakes'.

I made a 4.25lb pork shoulder that had been brined in an apple cider brine. I smoked it for just over 6 hours at approx. 210 degF using wiskey oak wood chips. The outside 1/2 inch was OK, but the middle was cooked, but not falling apart good.

I also made pork short ribs that were cooked for about 3 hours at 210 deg. They came out tasty, but tough.

Both were mopped with a apple cider and oil mop every hour.

What can I do to achieve 'fall apart' pork?
What mistakes did I make?

Thanks,
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
Offthehook
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210 is too low of temp for starters and 6 hours isn't long enough to get it tender. I would get the BBQ at least up to 250.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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Also cook it until probe tender and take it to close to 195 sometimes.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Hey Big Fred and welcome. To get some good pork, follow some real basic rules.

1.) Lose the brine and mop sauce
2.) Cook at 225*-275* you choose. Lower heat longer time, really doesn't change the outcome
3.) Cook until a wooden skewer probes through everywhere like a hot knife through butter. Forget about tempurature. Also forget about time. Pork is like a new baby, they'll come out when they are ready.
4.) No sauce, NONE, NADDA......get a nice cheap bun, and pile that pulled goodness on there and enjoy
5.) Simple is the best. Then you can build form there.

Keep going brother we're her for ya............
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:19 PM   #5
bigfredlab
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Thanks, off the hook & bluesman

So a little too low and not long enough. Can't wait to try again!
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfredlab View Post
Thanks, off the hook & bluesman

So a little too low and not long enough. Can't wait to try again!
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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welcome to the forum.

Like the other fellas said, PROBE tender. NOT a specific temp.

I am impatient and tend to foil after several hours, and I am hooked on technology (wireless temp probes), but only use that to get me close. I use a bamboo skewer to verify butter soft.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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As already said, the BBQ basics are

Rub meat
Place on smoker
Smoker temp should be at least 225 and works best up to 275, but can even be up to 300. At higher temps, you'll want to be careful about burning sugar in the rub.
Cook until probe tender. A temp probe or skewer should slide in with little or no resistance.
A good rest time will only help your situation. You can hold cooked meats for HOURS wrapped up in foil and towels and placed in a cooler.


Personally, I prefer sauce on my pulled pork. I just don't sauce until it's on the sammich.

I also use foil a lot during cooking. There's no right or wrong here. Do what you like. Some foil, others never do and some (like me) do when the mood or the need demands it.


There are only really a few big hard fast rules to BBQ:
1. If you're lookin, you ain't cookin. Keep that lid closed. Mops, bastes, spritzes will only lengthen cook time. The benefits are usually outweighed by the negatives.
2. Tenderness comes only with the proper rendering of connective tissue and flavor gets better when the fat renders out. These things both take time.
3. It's done when it's done.


Good luck and welcome.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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Yes... need a little more temperature and time.

The below post was describing a larger butt... altho times might be shorter based on size and temps.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...40&postcount=3
Quote:
Here's the deal with butts. Running with low and slow in the low 200 range... may take 12-16 hours overall.
The key is not just the finished internal temp, but what is the overall texture/density of the meat.

When butts cook down... you're cooking a bundle of muscles/fibers surrounding a few bones and a shoulder ball and socket joint.
Its a bunch of connective tissues which holds it all together.

There's a time during the smoke ... (around 155-165) - which is where you're at right now - will see a physical transition inside the meat. It will appear the thermometer will stop and "hang" for a few hours... and that's normal. The slow heat will be dissolving the connective tissue over a long time... slowly dissolving into collagen and gelatin.

After that time period... about 175 and hotter... check with the bone "wiggle" test. ... should feel like a very, very loose tooth. What you're seeing is how much of the connective tissue freed up around the bone. It will start to free up. if not... let it ride a bit longer. For deeper aspects... use a long thin rod/probe (a thermo stem works, too) and press into the center of the meat... feeling for density of the meat lightening up. The probe should slide "like soft butter" easy all of the to the center of the meat. If you do hit resistance... not ready yet. Utimately... somewhere between 195-205... checking for texture/tenderness with the probe.


Short answer: that's what is known as "It's done when its done".
The meat will tell you when its done.

To ourselves... could be a 12-16 hour process.

Good luck on your run... you can do it!
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Last edited by BBQ Bandit; 02-19-2013 at 11:22 PM..
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Unread 02-19-2013, 10:24 PM   #10
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Good advice from the pro's, follow their lead.

The only thing I can add is;

1. Don't over-think the task and make it difficult for yourself. Keep it simple.

2. Use the wood sparingly, don't worry if you can't see the smoke. Thin invisible blue smoke is what flavors the meat. Good smoke should be smelled, but not readily seen.

Good Luck
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Unread 02-19-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
Good advice from the pro's, follow their lead.

The only thing I can add is;

1. Don't over-think the task and make it difficult for yourself. Keep it simple.

2. Use the wood sparingly, don't worry if you can't see the smoke. Thin invisible blue smoke is what flavors the meat. Good smoke should be smelled, but not readily seen.

Good Luck


Yes and yes and yes.

And use chunks of smoking wood instead of chips. Chips will work well for grilling but the chunks will last longer mixed in with the charcoal.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 11:35 PM   #12
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Go by internal temp, not just 6 hours. If you are smoking at 210, its gonna take longer than 6 hrs to smoke that puppy. Get some bbq books and read up, its how I learned. Also, understand that bbq is work if you want to do it right. I happen to think the work is fun and rewarding! Good luck! Also, there is no right answer for anything. There are many ways to get it right, just find what you are comfortable with.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 06:57 AM   #13
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Ya know the great thing about practice & experimenting is all the Q the family (and you) get to try the feedback on what they like.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 07:21 AM   #14
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I started on the smoke hollow about 6 years ago and I found 225 to be a good temperature in there for most things.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 07:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommyboy48 View Post
Go by internal temp, not just 6 hours. If you are smoking at 210, its gonna take longer than 6 hrs to smoke that puppy. Get some bbq books and read up, its how I learned. Also, understand that bbq is work if you want to do it right. I happen to think the work is fun and rewarding! Good luck! Also, there is no right answer for anything. There are many ways to get it right, just find what you are comfortable with.
Bigfredlab, good start, and welcome. I completely understand your start. Way back when I started there wasn't this web-thing. I had to read books, and came away with the idea that the lower, and the slower, the better. I too had to learn the hard way that nothing is farther from the truth.

Funny thing about cooking in that 210 range, because pulled pork doesnt happen until it's usually 195 minimum internal temp and more like 200-210. It's REAL REAL REAL tough, if not impossible, to get the internal temp of meat that high when that's the cooking/air temp.

For this reason, they've all said above look at 225 as an absolute minimum to be effective, and really look to cook in that 240 - 270 range. If it goes up to 300, dont worry except for perhaps the sugars, but that's not always the case depending on lots of factors (like which sugar you're using). I used to really sweat keeping a very tight temp range. Dont do it. Dont sweat that. Set it in that 250-260 range and let it cook with some variances up and down. You'll get good fall off the bone tender pulled pork at roughly 1 hour per pound, give or take.
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Last edited by Lake Dogs; 02-20-2013 at 08:53 AM..
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