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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 10-05-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
bowden21
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Default first attempt at a Boston Butt this coming weekend

I will be making my first attempt at a Boston Butt this coming weekend. I will be smoking 2 of them for about 15-20 people. I am using a rub that I found online. I am going to rub it and let it sit overnight before I cook it. I plan to use the Minion Method for the charcoal. I was going to wake up at 6am and smoke until about 6pm, but I see it could take longer (We have an 8 pm football game on TV that I need it ready for).

I now think I will start it around 10 pm on Friday night and leave it up to the BBQ gods through the night (I plan to get up once to check on everything).

I need some advice though: Briquettes or lump for the Minion Method? What kind of wood chunks should I use? Should I only use the chunks for the first 2-3hours of cooking? Will I be ok only getting up once overnight? Any good sauce recommendations?

Also, any other advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
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Bonzi!!!! Have a good time and get a soft pillow :)
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Unread 10-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
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If your using the ECB I would check on it often. I dont have any exp with one personally but from what I've read their not very reliable, esp. without mods. I would get to bed early, get up at 3-4am and get things going, using briquettes for the minion method mixed with about 3, maybe 4 chunks of wood depending on size. Cant go wrong with hickory IMO, but you can overdo it. Just make sure you have a nice blue smoke before putting them on. Whats the weight of the butts? Generally the rule of thumb is 1.5 hours/lb at 225F. A good sauce to start with if your looking for homemade is: 1cup ketchup, 1/3-1/2cup cider vinegar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1T rub, 1T Worcestershire. You can add 1/4-1/2cup drippings to it if you wanna really wake the flavor up. I suggest doing it.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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If it were me I would do an overnight cook that way you have a larger timeline window. I cooked 3 shoulders in my UDS this weekend totaling about 20lbs and put them on at 9pm and pulled them at 10:30 am running on average 250* I did the Minion using Kingsford-comp. I chose pecan and oak as my woods.

Bought them to an internal temp of 190-195* and they pulled really well. I foiled and put them in a cooler for about 3hrs..

I would think using your cooker you need a good remote thermometer that will monitor cooker temps. You can use probe to check for doneness in the morning.

I inject and sauce with a South Carolina vinager sauce and build a sammie that consists of the pork, shredded cabbage and the sauce.

Have fun. The shoulders are pretty forgiving. You will do just fine
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Unread 10-05-2009, 06:22 PM   #5
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Just get them to 190 at least and wrap and let sit for an hour. Give yourself an extra hour or 2 just in case they are stubborn. Good luck!
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Unread 10-05-2009, 06:31 PM   #6
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I would go with a load of briquettes, use the minion method, start early in the morning, grab sleep where you can, you will need to pay more attention to the cook since you are using a Brinkmann. I hope you can find time to punch some holes in the charcoal pan to increase airflow, lots of holes, so the ash does not smother the coals.

I would use one fist sized chunk, or two smaller chunks for a first cook of a butt, the smaller size of the Brinkmann will concentrate the smoke flavor. If you have time, take a look at Deathamphetamines thread on Brinkmann mods, as you are going to want to do some of those to make long cooks easier and more enjoyable.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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You've gotten some good advice. Might I suggest you keep a journal of your cooking. Size of meat, cooking temps and meat temps at 30 minute intervals. This will help you to learn how the different cuts of meat cook along with give you some good information to look back upon when things don't work quite like you want.

Keeping track of rubs, injections and sauces for the various cooks is also useful.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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I can get my Brinkman to maintain temp for 4 hours usually. That is with a foil gasket around the lid, a grate in the fire bowl, 1 inch above the bottom. I haven't poked holes in the fire bowl, but am thinking about cutting out the entire bottom since I have a grate in there. I use the water pan for butts because it is almost impossible to run low without it. Slice an apple in the water pan or use apple juice and water in the pan. I have also used beer.

It has been a long time since I did a butt on my Brinkman, but I use it all the time for fatties, steaks and I cook most of my chicken on it. Good luck. I think I would get a really good rest the night before and start around 4 am. You are going to need to be around almost all the time to monitor temps. You can probably get in a little nap after your first coal reload.

Best of luck, don't forget the pics.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I would use one fist sized chunk, or two smaller chunks for a first cook of a butt, the smaller size of the Brinkmann will concentrate the smoke flavor. If you have time, take a look at Deathamphetamines thread on Brinkmann mods, as you are going to want to do some of those to make long cooks easier and more enjoyable.
True dat.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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I wouldn't think about doing an overnight with an un modded ECB no matter how much coal you use. Get some airflow to it. I am going to be doing my first overnight tonight with two briskies but my unit is heavily modded. Just did 4 shoulders on mine, took over 14 hours with temps ranging from 200 to 250ish. Good luck bro!!
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Unread 10-05-2009, 07:23 PM   #11
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Here are the links :)

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=70025

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=70141
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Unread 10-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #12
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I am going to make some mods to it this week and will give it a go this weekend.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 09:44 PM   #13
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Picked up 2 8 lb. butts tonight. Getting excited. I am going to mod my grill tomorrow and then fire her up on Friday.

I have a couple of questions. Fat cap up or fat cap down? Also, any good rub recipes? I have plenty of spices in the pantry so I am interested in trying my own.

Thanks.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 09:57 PM   #14
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Get a good night sleep get up early and watch it all day. Keep it simple salt,pepper,garlic,paprika,sugar,nutmeg oak and apple or peach wood chunks.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 09:59 PM   #15
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Bowden, I'd get up early and cook through the day. you have options at the end of the cook. Once past 140ish, the smoke ring is done, after that you're really going for cooked. I wouldn't hesitate to smoke them to 5pm, see where they are and then consider using the oven at 300 to push them to done. They are very flexible and forgiving. 8 pounders at 225 to 250 should go 10ish hours. As for fat cap, it's a toss up, but I prefer up for home, let the fat soak down through the meat. Once wrapped in foil, maybe adding a little juice, sugar and honey, put them meat down so they soak in the juices. Good luck. Scott
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