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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 01-22-2005, 01:16 PM   #16
JacksonsDad
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Final update....

Well, what a waste of 24 hours...between the time it took me to sand, prime and repaint my firebox lid, prepare the meat, warm up the smoker and cook my meat...it has been almost exactly 24 hours...and the meat sucks. The brisket is tough, so so taste. The pork was tough and taste was only so-so. Oh, sure, it's all edible, but I am not spending all of this time and money to have so so bar-b-que. I am having way too much trouble keeping my temps up. I am stuck using wood chunks, so I need to find a better source of fuel. Right now, the temps spike to 250, then settle back down to 180...just won't do...need to practice my fire control better...guess I should go back and do some dry runs with out wasting meat...

Speaking of meat, got this stuff at Costco...I think I'll stick to Hirsch's and spend the extra money next time, seems to make a big difference. Besides, they only had shoulders and not butts...so, again, I'll go to Hirsch's and ger exactly what I want...

Thanks to TK and anyone who offered advice...there is always next time.

PS: the main purpose of this was to portion them off and send some home with the inlaws...not so much to eat right now. I added some juice and Woody's BBQ sauce, so I am thinking (hoping) that they will actually be better the second time around. I hate to say that...but it may be true. This is also a time when I don't mind people using a little extra sauce on my meat...
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:10 PM   #17
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Wow
Lots of questions here.

What is your fuel source? Do you use lump or Kingsford?

What kind of cooker you got?

Don't sell the Costco meat short. I don't think it was the meat, or rather, the store. Sometimes, you just have bad cuts. But Costco for me is Highest price, and some pretty damn good brisket flats.

Next, at my meat market, pork butts are always labeled pork shoulder, so you still might have had, and probably did have, a butt.

Next, your cooking two tough meats to smoke at once, that need different techniques, so don't sell yourself short. You never mentioned weights, but ask anyone about pork butts and they;ll tell you they "peg". Mine (6-8#r's) usally peg aroung 152ish. Will sit there for 3 hours, then slowly climb..

Lots more to say, but need more info on ccoker, fuel, etc.

Every cook is a learning experience!!
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommykendall

3. Tong test ( I created this one) - plunge your tongs into the butt. If it explodes - its done.
TK plunges Tongs in his butt.

Ooo...even better...TK's butt explodes.

Pass it on.
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98
Don't sell the Costco meat short. I don't think it was the meat, or rather, the store. Sometimes, you just have bad cuts.
What he said. 100% of my smoking meat for the last four years has come from Costco, and I've been very happy with their quality.

Temperature control might be your biggest issue. If you are using those wood chunks you can buy in a bag at Home Depot as your only heat source, you are going to have difficulty maintaining constant temps. Try using charcoal as your main heat source, and only use the wood chunks as a source of smoke. Once you get a good handle on cooking times, temperatures, etc., then try switching over to an all wood fire.
It's difficult to learn the "art" of barbequeing AND fire control at the same time, it's better to concentrate on one at a time.

And, as TK said, you need to get your pork shoulder/butts internal temp to at least 190 if you want pulled pork. Try cutting your shoulders into smaller chunks to reduce your cooking times. I prefer to cut a 14 pound shoulder into 2-3 chunks. That way your cooking time is reduced, and you have more surface area exposed to rub and smoke.
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:43 PM   #20
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I used a little less than 1/2 bag of charcoal...tried to stick mostly with mesquite chunks...smaller than the size of my fist.

I realize Costco meat may not have been the issue...I was just fuming when I wrote all that...hate to admit it's cook and not the food.... :)

I am using a Bnadera with a baffle mod and raised fire grate.

The butts were about 5 - 6#'s each. I knew they would plateau, then rise, but inconsistent temps and an inconsisitent cook lead to so so meat. My first run with a brisket and some pork went way better. Maybe I should stick to doing ribs and brisket together and pork separate....

Y'all are right...every cook is a learning experience...unfortunately, you usually learn the most from the ones that go wrong!!

Thanks for the support, you guys are great!!
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:30 AM   #21
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also.. mesquite alone on pork aint a great choice(opinion). Its a real strong smokey wood. Hickory or oak and fruit woods do better with pork. Mesquite is a beef wood, at best i add a few chunks occasionally on butts or ribs, but usually reserver the mesquite for beef cuts. And saiko is right on, go with charcoal as your proimary heat source and add chunks of wood for flavor. Do this till ya get better at fire control. Then start going more and more wood.

heres some rules of thumb. butts and shoulders 90mins per lb, 165 for slicing, 190+ for pulling. use the feel of the meat(TK's signature tong test is good) but start checking at 190. I wrap at 180.

brisket 60 mins lb. wrap at 180 if they are not done, but some briskets may be tender at 180. Foil at 180 and checdk every 20-30 min bu stickint the probe into the flat. If it goes in like butter, your done. Again, use temps to know when to start checking for feel, but dont use temos to gauge doneness.
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:05 AM   #22
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Me, I was driving through a strip mall and saw beautiful blue smoke on the other side of the parking lot. Went over and two guys were selling Q. I waited in line and got a good spare rib samage for $5.00 smoked over apple wood. Took about 5 min. to buy and eat:D
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl
Me, I was driving through a strip mall...
Isn't that kind of dangerous? Understand it happens in Florida all the time
with all their geriatric drivers down there.
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonsDad
I used a little less than 1/2 bag of charcoal...tried to stick mostly with mesquite chunks...smaller than the size of my fist.
I think this is your main problem. When I first smoked with my bandera (after using a WSM for a couple of years) I tried using those small wood chunks as a fuel source and had the same problem. They are so small and combustionable, that it's "all or nothing": You get a big burst of hot fire, then nothing. The result is very uneven temps that are either too high or too low.

Trying using charcoal as your ONLY heat source, not wood. Only add a couple of wood chunks at a time to the charcoal bed as a source of smoke. Using charcoal is nothing to be ashamed about, watch any barbeque competition on the food channel and you'll see tons of people using all-charcoal fires.

When you are ready to switch to all-wood fires, you are going to need bigger chunks of wood that can maintain a more constant temperature. Unfortunatley, the bandera fire chamber is small for a wood fires, so you can't use chunks that are too large either. For me, the perfect size is about the size of a Foster's beer can:

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Old 01-23-2005, 08:24 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonsDad
will it over cook if I leave it in with the brisket will about 8 am (6 more hours) at a 175 - 200 degree temp? Should I foil?
Butts, brisket, loins, chuscks, I do them all the same

165, foil and back in the cooker, out at 190 and into the cooler for 2 hours or more.

butts will be like budda
That's the trick! Totally agree with Bill!
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:54 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl
Me, I was driving through a strip mall...
Isn't that kind of dangerous? Understand it happens in Florida all the time
with all their geriatric drivers down there.
I don't wanna think of Al and strip at the same time......
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