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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 01-30-2011, 09:32 PM   #1
BDAABAT
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Default Challenging cook day

So.... interesting cook today. I'm a noob and am attempting my second Boston butt ever. First butt had to be pulled before the desired temp because I ran out of time. Had guests over and needed to eat. Today, no guests. Got up and got busy early (for a Sunday). Had the 7# butt on the cooker as of 8:15AM. Decided to try some Bovine Bold rub, broke out the injector for the first time and shot in a mix of Bovine Bold and apple juice.



Out of the wrapper, rubbed with care...


Had some temperature control issues initially... on a gas cooker! Temps were initially stable (appearing) at ~ 230. Then, they climbed to over 300 in ~ 45 minutes! Nope, I hadn't made any adjustments to the burner... I think I just decided things were stable too soon. After checking the cooker regularly for ~90 minutes with the temps staying stable, thought I had things under control at ~ 225. Next time I check ~75 minutes later, temps are at 165. What the fark!?!?!

Rookie mistake: ran out of propane.

Got the backup tank going and temps soon went back to ~ 230 for much of the rest of the day.

The butt went into a serious stall... butt temps hung out at 159 for ~ 3.5 hours. They finally got to 175 after ~14 hours. Unfortunately, I had to shut things down for the night. Arrggh!!!!

Here's the just-out-of-the-cooker pic.



I didn't try tooooo hard, but the bone seems pretty adherent...didn't budge. Seems consistent with the butt having an internal temp of lower than 200. I do NOT have this pulled pork thing down... yet.

Fortunately, the fattys did fine:


So did the mac n cheese:


So... two butt's, two extended cooks... still haven't gotten to the final desired temps where the meat falls apart. I think next week, will have to start this whole process at 9PM the night before in order to get the thing cooked all the way. Of course, with a new can of propane.

Bruce
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Unread 01-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
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Bruce,

You have a budding foundation starting to grow... don't give up.
The results show you're working towards the right direction.

Keep going!

[edit - at that time/temp... wrap and take it inside to the oven to finish off.]
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Unread 01-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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I must admit I once had the same problem. But after researching here and following the great advice of many Bretheren I foiled and coolered and had the most amazing butt EVER! As bandit mentioned keep working at it and you will soon hit the nirvana of a perfect butt. Just remember to keep an eye on that propane.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. No worries! I'm persistent. Just need to start early (like, the night before..), AND I need to remember to check the propane tank BEFORE starting to cook . If it's done sooner, can just wrap and cooler if needed.

I would have loved to take the time to finish it today, but I gotta clean up and get to sleep. So, I just finished cutting it up and packaging it for the fridge. The process provided the opportunity to sample the porky goodness. The verdict: Not bad! I can SEE where the flavors and textures are heading and I'm really liking where they're going. Will see if I can get there next weekend.

But, for this week, I've got a fridge full of butt, a large (BJs sized) fatty (plus the other fatty in the freezer), and a decent amount of Mac and cheese. Not only that, I got to go sledding with my son while the butt was cooking! And, I learned some things along the way. It was a pretty good day.

Bruce
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Unread 01-30-2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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Don't give up! Keep on cooking!
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Unread 01-30-2011, 10:52 PM   #6
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For the next cook foil the butt at 160 and it will help get through the stall quicker.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
For the next cook foil the butt at 160 and it will help get through the stall quicker.
+1. That can really help cut down the stall gap.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 10:58 PM   #8
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When I cook a 7 pounder in my large BGE, it always takes 13-14 hours at a temp of 220-240. I put it on at midnight, stabilize the temp and go to bed. Sounds like you are having temp stabilization problems though.

Keep at it! The finished product is well worth it.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 11:06 PM   #9
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Your getting there and there is always the mac and cheese which looks excellent. It does take some time and there is a learning curve. I like to cook at 270F or so to speed things up. But, that is just me.
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Unread 01-31-2011, 07:53 AM   #10
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It's not unusual to get a long temp stall between 150 and 160. I smoked a 10 Lb. butt Saturday that sat at 154 for 3 hours. My total cook time was 16 hours and I foiled for 1 1/2 hours to speed things up. It is hard to time when you have guests. You can however start way ahead of time and if it gets done too soon, take it off, foil it, and put it in a cooler wrapped in towels or a blanket. It will stay hot for hours. Don't give up. When you nail it, it will be worth it
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Unread 01-31-2011, 11:25 AM   #11
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Default blasphemy

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Sometimes if I am having trouble getting through the stall or am in a hurry or just want to take the easy way out after I foil the pork butt I throw it in the oven to finish. Just leave the probe in it and let it ride to 195-200ish.
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Unread 01-31-2011, 06:57 PM   #12
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Thanks all for the advice and encouragement!

This weekend, will start the process at ~ 10PM on Sat, hopefully get the temps stabilized before going to bed, re-check in the morning. Will plan to load up the smoke box, make sure that I've got enough propane, and give it a whirl. What could go wrong? :D

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Unread 01-31-2011, 06:58 PM   #13
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BTW: Chopped up some of the pork, mixed it in with some of the Mac N Cheese, added some BBQ sauce + sriracha for dinner tonight. YUM!!!

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