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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 12-13-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default What ever doesn't kill you...

What ever doesn't kill you...Makes you a better cook?

Well, this weekend was going to be bone chilling cold, but my wonderful wife requested pulled pork for her birthday. How could I turn that down? (I also desperately needed an entry for the Virgin TD, since it was my idea and I'm running out of time )

I was a little worried because I'm still learning my drum and I planned on mixing in several new variables: 1) It was going to be windy and cold cold, 2) I was going to use a 16" terra cotta pot diffuser, 3) and I was switching from K to Royal Oak bricketts that I got cheap from Menards. I was wise enough to get up earlier and start the drum at 5:00 am rather than doing an overnight sleep. So, how did it go?

Here's my beautiful 7 lb pork butt from the neighborhood polish grocery store.


I do a quick vinegar wash, light coat of mustard, and then rub. This time I'm using Lee Ann Whippen's Pig Powder.


It then got wrapped in saran wrap for about 18 hours, until it was ready to go into the drum. I was worried about the temps and the recommendation I got was just to fill it up and not worry. So, I filled my UDS basket up with (almost) everything I had. It had about 4 lbs of K and 14 lbs of RO bricketts (~18# total), and probably 9 chunks of hickory. (no photo) It took probably 40 mins to get the drum up to about 235* and nice sweet blue smoke. So, on went the butt. It looks so small lonely the big drum.


I watched the temps for about 15 minutes, then went back to bed. It was chugging along pretty good until about 12:30, when the temps started to fall off. I opened the vents up some more, shook it the drum, and that helped for about 45 minutes and then the temps started to drop again. I shook again, and stuck a steel rod through a vent to shake it, and nothing was working. Around 2:30, with my temps dropping to around 200*, I decided it was time to take the meat off, remove the diffuser, and check the basket. Wow! The ash was up to the bottom of the grate and 3/4 of my charcoal was gone. I dumped some of the ash in to the bottom of the drum and added another 4 lbs of charcoal to the basket. Reassembled, got the drum temp back up, and put the meat back on in foil to protect it from some bad smoke. I probably lost an 30 mins in this process and the meat dropped about 8* in temp.

The pork took off again and was moving along, but started to really slow down as I approached 195*. Then, the drum temps started to drop again. It was around 5:30 pm at this time. So I started to get the oven ready to take over if needed. I pulled the pork and the bone was wiggling. Oven averted! So, I gave it another layer of foil and let it rest for an hour.

The results:





Very tender and moist, great smoke ring. Pulled very easily. Then plated up with some of my wife's homemade applesauce (yum!) and a macaroni salad. Pretty tasty. I had enough sandwiches so I could try Blues Hog Blue, Blue/Red mix, and Stubb's sauces. (Love the Stubb's.)




Oh, and here was my charcoal basket after I was done. Not much left of 22# of charcoal. And here I was hoping the RO bricketts would have less ash.


I think I'm going to see if I can find some welding blankets before my next below freezing smoke. I'll also probably raise the basket 1/2" and maybe even remove the pan to give me more room.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:19 PM   #2
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At least you salvaged the food and it didn't get ruined, so it could have been a lot worse. Good save. I still to this day have not found a briquette I am satisfied with the amount of ash from. I guess I'm just too picky there.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
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Oh my, that looks so succulent! Would love some of that, pretty much right now
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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that looks great! While I like a nice black butt the color on yours is beautiful, good work!
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
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Nice job there, i was thinking about tossing something in the drum today,but the single digit temps and wind chill factor in the minus degrees made me think twice about it. I am going to fire the drum up sooner or later.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
At least you salvaged the food and it didn't get ruined, so it could have been a lot worse. Good save. I still to this day have not found a briquette I am satisfied with the amount of ash from. I guess I'm just too picky there.
I started with lump and switched to K based on price and because I couldn't taste a difference. I did notice a huge jump in ash, but until now thought it was an acceptable tradeoff. Lumps burns faster and tends to take up more room in the basket. So, I'm not sure if I would have gotten 12 hours out of a basket full of lump? I guess I need to try that too... So many experiments to try!
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:37 PM   #8
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Nice save! Pork looked great!
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ---k--- View Post
I started with lump and switched to K based on price and because I couldn't taste a difference. I did notice a huge jump in ash, but until now thought it was an acceptable tradeoff. Lumps burns faster and tends to take up more room in the basket. So, I'm not sure if I would have gotten 12 hours out of a basket full of lump? I guess I need to try that too... So many experiments to try!
Well, I do not have a UDS, but as a prior Kingsford user in my WSM's, I can say that Royal Oak lump can not match the burn time of Kingsford in a Minion Method burn in a WSM, no way, no how. With the K, I could actually go 24 hours or even longer in my WSM's. With Royal Oak lump I get 8 to 12 hours. The reason I switched to lump was the ability to adjust temps (a real pain with K) and the ability to cook at higher temps. So you're on the right track looking for a longer burn with briqs. There are some slow burning lump brands though, Wicked Good is the longest burning I have ever tried. B&B is available in a number of areas and also burns a lot longer than your average lump. Both of these are kind of pricey though, and I do not use them regularly because of this. Go with what works for ya! I would still use K if I could get the heat and the response time. The comp briqs do both of these, but they are more expensive than the lump I get similar results with, so that's why I do not use it.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:40 PM   #10
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Looks fantastic! I'm pretty sure pulled pork is my favorite 'cue. Homemade applesauce sounds great as well.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:45 PM   #11
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Oh, I thought I should mention not all briqs burn longer. The ones that claim to have more hardwood and less "filler" than K burn faster. What makes K burn so long is the filler they add, it works to retain heat and slow the burn. I'm pretty sure RO briqs are among the kind that are more hardwood and less filler.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:54 PM   #12
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That looks better then things I've been doing, I like the diffuser plate in my uds
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Unread 12-13-2010, 10:35 PM   #13
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Pork looks great, and so does the apple sauce. Congrats to you and Mrs. ---K---
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Unread 12-13-2010, 11:39 PM   #14
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Man, that's a beauty piece of pork shoulder!
(and I mean BEFORE the cook! Nice marbling!!)

And AFTER the cook, it sure don't look too shabby either!!!
Nice color! Bet that applesauce is tasty!


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Unread 12-14-2010, 12:17 AM   #15
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Good lookin' eats right there! Yeah, cooking in the cold is a beotch for sure, but a welding blanket wraped with a packing quilt will do wonders on your drum.
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