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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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Unread 07-24-2013, 05:11 PM   #16
mr_magicfingers
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OK, so here's where it starts.

Went to our fabulous local butcher and tried to explain what I wanted from a pork shoulder, ie a butt. Told them that I wanted a shoulder with the blade bone in and the hock cut off. This is what he gave me









Looks like I got a whole shoulder. Not knowing how to butcher this to just get the butt out, I looked on here and it was suggested that cooking the whole shoulder is a good alternative. So I sharpened up my knife and had my first go at butchery, trying to take the skin off while leaving as much fat as possible.

I think I managed to butcher it in every sense :).



However I do now have the skin in a single piece which I hope to turn into some lovely crackling by rubbing with EVOO, salt and pepper and cooking on hot coals when the rest of the shoulder is done.

I've given it a slather with some EVOO and then rubbed it with Ray Lampe's #67 BBQ rub which I made a tub of this afternoon.



It's now sitting in the fridge until the morning when I'll give it another rub and leave it out for half an hour while I set up the kettle with a snake of lumpwood charcoal and hopefully have it on the heat by 8am.

UNLESS, there are suggestions here to try and butcher it down into smaller sections to just get the butt out, though I'm not sure I'd know how to do that well.

I should add that I was amazed at how cheap this was. The shoulder weighs 17lb and cost me £35 (about $50) This is prime local pork, raised on an open farm less than a mile from my house. In London, where I used to live, this would cost double that :)

Tune in tomorrow for the next episode in 'The Mad Englishman Attempts Some American BBQ'
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Unread 07-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #17
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I would cook as is - that is an amazing chunk of pork and the bones are just going to add extra flavor. It looks to me like you have a pretty healthy portion of rib meat - certainly no problem (that stuff is very tasty) I'm just trying to figure out the cut 'cause I want one! If it were me, I would be watching internal temps, but I would cook to probe tender. I can't wait to see the outcome.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 01:53 AM   #18
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Here we go then. Up early, took the shoulder from the fridge and gave it another coating of rub.

Out to the kettle and put in two bricks then surrounded them with good lumpwood charcoal, topped with 2/3 apple wood and 1/3 hickory.



Added a pan on to the bricks to catch juices and to fill with water.



Lit a few coals in the chimney and tucked them into the corner.



Put on the grill.



and finally added the shoulder and a thermometer at grill level.



Now we wait to see how this cooks and whether I can hold the temperature low enough.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:25 AM   #19
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Good luck Let us know how it turned out
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:58 AM   #20
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After 1:30 the temp's currently hovering around 140C/280F with the lower vents closed almost completely and the top vents wide open. Bit higher than I'd like but not unexpected given that it's a kettle.

I might wrap in foil after a few hours if the temps climb at all, just to keep it moist and stop it burning too much. We'll see what it does.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swine Spectator View Post
code3rrtt,

How are you setting your vents?

The Swine Spectator
My top vents wide open, bottom vents 1/8 to 1/4, sometimes gotta play with those depending on wind and such.

KC
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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:07 AM   #22
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Set up looks good. Good luck. Beautiful piece of meat.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code3rrt View Post
My top vents wide open, bottom vents 1/8 to 1/4, sometimes gotta play with those depending on wind and such.

KC
Thanks, I'd seen your details on another thread when searching, with the vents wider than barely cracked, the temps start climbing quite sharply. Might be the lumpwood charcoal I'm using rather than brickettes.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_magicfingers View Post
Thanks, I'd seen your details on another thread when searching, with the vents wider than barely cracked, the temps start climbing quite sharply. Might be the lumpwood charcoal I'm using rather than brickettes.
For this method, if I am looking for a real consistent temp I will use the briquets. They seem to work nicely because of the consistent size/shape. It can be done with lump, but I find you get pretty wide fluctuations in your temps.

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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:22 AM   #25
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When I saw the lump charcoal and the amount of it, I figured you would be running hot. No worries really, you're still in the neighborhood but it will finish quicker if you maintain that heat(obviously). My guess is you will have to add coals eventually and backtrack your snake as it burns along. Lump burns much faster. Just use less coals next time.

Personally, I would wrap it when you have the right color on it. I know a lot of guys here don't but for pulled anything it does help speed things along and will almost guarentee moist product.

If you get done way ahead of schedule, wrap it in foil(if you didn't during the cook) and place it in a clean cooler with some dry towels on top. It will keep HOT in there for 4+ hours. Then you can pull it out later to shred closer to eating time.

That is a awesome peice of meat you have there too by the way. When I saw that I just said "Oooh, that's gorgeous".

Looks like you are going to knock this out of the park. Thanks for posting your journey on this, I have found it fun to follow.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:41 AM   #26
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Progress.

So, I managed to wait 2.5 hours before cracking the kettle open. Managed to keep the temps stabilised between 120-130c/260-265F. Half the charcoal snake had gone.



I put the lid back on, let the temps stabilise again and left it for another 2.5 hours.

After 5 hours I opened it up to find most of the snake gone, but with bits of charcoal remaining here and there.



I cleaned them out



and reloaded with charcoal and some more wood chunks, topped up the water in the tray



and put it back again.

The temps spiked up to 180C and are back down at 160C and I'm hoping there'll drop a bit further. Will give it another couple of hours and check the internal temp and possibly wrap in foil, depending on what the temps do. I've been please so far with how stable the temp has stayed without climbing too far.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 06:47 AM   #27
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Can you edit a thread title? Thought I might change it to reflect the actual cooking.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:09 AM   #28
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Got the temps back down to the 120's and stable, then after a while found them dropping and the charcoal was going out. Opened up the vents again, gave a prod and a few deep breaths on the coals and we're rolling again.

Internal temp currently at about 150F so we've a couple more hours to go before wrapping and going for the final stretch. 7.5 hours in so far.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #29
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You have a fine thing going right there!!
Definitely and interesting take on a butt... Maybe just how I looked at it, but sure looked like the back side of a rib section in there?
From what you have put into this cook, you should be pleasantly rewarded.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:09 AM   #30
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And if you are getting low on charcoal in a bit you can foil and finish at similar temps in the oven..
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