View Full Version : First Meat to Cook

05-25-2012, 12:57 PM
I got to thinking today, been actually considering this for a while. What is the best meat to cook?

I mean, really, I am as guilty as anyone of pointing folks to pork butt, or fatty's. But, is it really all that easy, or that much easier, to cook a pork butt over a brisket? Or a chuckie?

My logic:
1. Most folks are using UDS, WSM, Kettles or BGE's for their cooks now, the quality and heat control on these cookers is terrific. It just isn't that hard to hold 250F to 275F on a cooker anymore.

2. Quality lump or briquettes, minion method, fire baskets etc...all these ways to heat and add smoke to a cook, it isn't like learning to run a stickburner or open pit anymore. We all have access to high quality fuel.

3. Meat is a lot easier to get ahold of now. Choice beef and quality pork is everywhere. Baby backs are no longer a mystery meat, you can find them anywhere.

4. Foil and butcher paper, panning, instant read thermos, remote alarms, guru's and stokers. I mean, there are so many tools and techniques and so many tutorials available now. If you just followed the instructions on this site alone, you have all the information you need to make a very good to great backyard brisket or great ribs.

I am starting to think, if what floats your boat is brisket or ribs, do some research here, no need to look elsewhere, and give it a shot. Butts, as I see it, are no easier to do great, and no harder to get wrong.

05-25-2012, 01:03 PM
What is the best meat to cook? Why, ALL of them.

05-25-2012, 01:05 PM
Seriously though, I need no other resource than this place, as you observed.

05-25-2012, 01:18 PM
You have a point I guess although many, including myself, have & will say Butts. I suppose because they will take about any heat you throw at them and still turn out respectable. If you happen to over cook them a bit of AJ can moisten them back up. Undercooked then chop or slice. Maybe the more important reason I say Butts is the cost. Since they are generally cheaper, if you do muck up it's not $40 worth of dog food. But! I would also say that if you started with ribs or brisket or chicken and focused your attention on them then you could say there's really no difference. Cheers!!!

05-25-2012, 01:23 PM
That's what I've found and thought as well.
When someone seems amazed that I built the UDS and cooked a great brisket and some ribs for the party I just think to myself - "thank you BBQ brethren" (and some other sites that help too).

They don't realize it's not that dang difficult. Just takes time, patience, and learning how to use the tools that are readily available to anyone.
I remember my 1st brisket. I was nervous, but all went as expected and it was good. Not "amazing"...but dang good. I've gotten better with every cook.

I've still never done a fatty though...gonna have to do that this summer.

El Ropo
05-25-2012, 01:40 PM
I suggest pork loins to people who are new to smoking. They're simple, don't take all day, and taste wonderful. Less than 2 hours and you have some tasty food. No worries about rubbery skin as with poultry..

The only way to mess them up is overcook them, which I try to warn people about rest time and temp carryover and all that stuff. Makes for great sammy meat, and it's real meat, not like that stuff in the deli section of the stores.

Pull them out of the heat just a tad below 140, rest and enjoy. Doesn't get much easier.

05-25-2012, 01:50 PM
I suggest to people chicken or ribs, because they are easy to get, don`t take all day and you can impress with them early. If the first thing I cooked on my POS offset was a butt it would have taken all day and night and cost me the price of the cooker in charcoal and I probably would have given up right there.

05-25-2012, 02:27 PM
I love brisket i am cooking one with a nice rub and purple pork sauce that i got in this week cant wait to try it out

05-25-2012, 04:43 PM
I agree with the butt. Because it is forgiving.
I did chicken, for a couple of reasons:
1) It was cheap less than $1 a pound
2) I have experience with fire company BBQ ( different than smoking)
3) I could not believe everyone complaining about the prep time (yeah it did take a while)
4) I like chicken

BUT...if I had to do it over again, it would be Pork butt.

Happy Hapgood
05-25-2012, 05:19 PM
And just to add to landarc's OP:

Up until about 2 years ago, I could ruin meat with the best of them. Had done the overcooked steaks, burgers and just about anything else that hit my cheap grill. One day I said "I can do better than this" and started researching resources from folks that were way better than me. Bought a couple of decent rigs and went to learning them. Then came trying new thing's, Fatties, Brisket, Boston Butts and ST. Louis ribs. There were some total failures butt it slowly stared getting better. Now I'm still no pro but Family and Friends are sure enjoying my Q.

If I've learned nothing else it's, 1. It's done when it's done and 2. Know your cookin' rig.

This site is a tremendous resource.

05-25-2012, 06:57 PM
How I see it...starting with a nice pork butt around 10 pounds or a nice choice grade packer around 12 pounds.

Holds true for both:
1. Can be cooked at temperatures ranging from 210F to 350F successfully.
2. Can be cooked with or without the use of foil.
3. Does not require mopping, injecting or brining.
4. Needs to be cooked to somewhere around 200F to 210F to get done.
5. Will probe tender when it is ready to come off cooker.
6. Needs nothing more than salt, pepper and maybe some seasoing salt.
7. Can always be made into chili if you screw up.
8. Is best with a 2 hour rest in a cooler of cambro.
9. if underdone, appears to be dry and tough, if overdone, appears either mushy or falls apart into stringy shreds.

Most common mistakes of both meats:
1. Pull from cooker too soon. Usually at 190F to 195F for some reason.
2. Overthinking process with too many techniques not designed to work together.
3. Lid is opened too many times during cook.
4. Meat is not rested.

I don't see that many differences between the two cuts of meat.

Midnight Smoke
05-25-2012, 10:09 PM
Hotdog's, it is pretty hard to get one just right but once you do, everything else is a piece of cake. :wink:

05-26-2012, 12:09 AM
I've thought the same thing for a long time, but for some reason people can usually nail pork pretty quickly, but most struggle with brisket for some reason. I have no farking idea why that is, to be quite honest, because my expereinces were not like that.

As far as a fatty goes...that really is simple. I think it is cheating to start with one though. That's like starting with a farking burger.