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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 09-24-2013, 12:58 AM   #1
castlepines
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Default Ah, so THAT'S What "Probe Tender" Means...

Decided today to do only my second pork butt ever. I had a blast doing the first one and was looking forward to my next. I started thawing it in the fridge on Friday and it was ready to go on Sunday night. Injected it Sunday night, rubbed on Monday morning and got it on the WSM at 9:15am. I had a weird feeling I would be called into work tonight, and sure enough that was the case.

After getting the call I quickly jumped in the shower with the Mav showing q-temp at 264 and internal temp 187. I figured I would start checking tenderness at about 195. Well, 30 minutes later I get out of the shower and the internal temp is showing 205. CRAP! Run downstairs and check the tenderness...it feels mushy. Mushy everywhere except for a small section right in the middle, right where I have my Mav temp probe. That part still had a small bit of resistance.

Now, at this point in my new hobby, I know that the meat is ready when it's "probe tender"...but I don't know what that feels like. But now I do. Because I had to get in to work, I talked myself into the butt being ready. With ribs, they say a little resistance when tearing it off the bone is a good thing. I talked myself into it being a good thing when there is probe resistance with butts. I took the butt off the smoker and let it rest for about 45 minutes and then started pulling. Wouldn't you know it, all of it was perfect...except the part in the middle that I mentioned earlier that had some resistance. The rest of it separated nicely and looked great. But that part in the middle? When pulled it still showed some white, fibrous-like material between the shreds. It looked like it hadn't quite broken down enough during the cook, even after showing 205 on the temp. Two huge learning points right there. It wasn't nearly as tender as the rest of the butt.

So, while I know that butts are done when they probe tender, I now know what probe tender feels like: mushy. Really kind of mushy. Great learning day today.

Last edited by castlepines; 09-24-2013 at 02:11 AM..
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Unread 09-24-2013, 01:16 AM   #2
AussieTitch
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That's how it worked for me my first aha moment, good one mate
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Unread 09-24-2013, 01:42 AM   #3
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I did 4 shoulders on Saturday for a party and probed 3 out of 4. 3 were good so the 4th had to be right? Started pulling it and be danged if it wasen't even close to done about half way thru. Glad you had your aha moment!
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Unread 09-24-2013, 04:52 AM   #4
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Now you know and you'll only produce the awesome pork now!
Great job
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Unread 09-24-2013, 07:52 AM   #5
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It does make a lot more sense once you experience it. Like most things in life!
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:01 AM   #6
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I have been telling my friends that started bbqing. That once you get probe tender once, you will know what to look for each and every time and put out some consistently good bbq.

My first two briskets were both a little undercooked. The 3rd one I nailed the probe like butter and since then, I have always gotten the texture right. But it was a complete ah ha moment where you could see the light bulb come up over my head and turn on.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:04 AM   #7
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Nice job castlepines.

P.S. It is good to see someone from Erie on here. I worked in Erie for years and moved from Sandy Lake about 2.5 years ago. I can't wait to see some pics of snowy cooks.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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That part in the middle is what we call the "Gray" Muscle. It's the last to cook, and it's usually stringy...

That's is why it's critical to probe several places. I start with the money muscle.
Once you get it...you got it. :)
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:10 AM   #9
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Now you know what it feel like it's time to man up "Brisket"

And there are those nay sayers who call me (insert favorite derogatory remark here) But you have found and proved that I am right.

BBQ RULES FOR SUCCESS

YOU CAN NOT COOK GREAT BBQ ON A CONSISTENT BASIS BY COOKING TO AN INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OR BY TIME ( XXX MIN PER LB) YOU MUST COOK BY FEEL! For Brisket it must pass the poke test(probe like soft butter in the thickest part of the Flat) Ribs pass the Bend Test, Pork Butts when the bone wiggles loose. These are the only reliable methods to ensure that your cook will be a success. There is one exception to these rules and that is Poultry which must achieve and internal temp of 170 deg in the thickest part of the thigh and 165 in the breast.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
And there are those nay sayers who call me (insert favorite derogatory remark here) But you have found and proved that I am right.
If we're not a nay sayer, can we still insert our favorite derogatory remark? I mean, **** ******* ******!!!
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Unread 09-24-2013, 08:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Now you know what it feel like it's time to man up "Brisket"

And there are those nay sayers who call me (insert favorite derogatory remark here) But you have found and proved that I am right.

BBQ RULES FOR SUCCESS

YOU CAN NOT COOK GREAT BBQ ON A CONSISTENT BASIS BY COOKING TO AN INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OR BY TIME ( XXX MIN PER LB) YOU MUST COOK BY FEEL! For Brisket it must pass the poke test(probe like soft butter in the thickest part of the Flat) Ribs pass the Bend Test, Pork Butts when the bone wiggles loose. These are the only reliable methods to ensure that your cook will be a success. There is one exception to these rules and that is Poultry which must achieve and internal temp of 170 deg in the thickest part of the thigh and 165 in the breast.
I thought he was a blowhard until he posted some of his cooks.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #12
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Default $$@,??((;::

You $$&&&;;;.:: simple #%^€><|<€£^ no count >>%%^*>#}},.

No offense :-)
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Unread 09-24-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dajogejr View Post
That part in the middle is what we call the "Gray" Muscle. It's the last to cook, and it's usually stringy...

That's is why it's critical to probe several places. I start with the money muscle.
Once you get it...you got it. :)
I noticed this as well, it doesn't seem to taste as good either. Do most try and get this tender, or will it sacrifice the rest of the meat getting there?
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Unread 09-24-2013, 10:56 AM   #14
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Yup, there's that one stubborn spot on a butt, and it has to be probe tender or the butt isn't completely ready.
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Unread 09-24-2013, 03:54 PM   #15
castlepines
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Thanks Brethren. Definitely an "aha" moment for me. Maybe I'm getting cocky but some brisket might be next.
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