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itschris
07-23-2007, 08:16 PM
First, I want to thank everyone once again for the great advice and I need to give a special shout out to Smokin Gator.

The butts took almost 14 hours, but it's my fault for poor planning and jamming the rig full of stuff. I made the standard Renowned Mr. Brown, some baby backs soaked overnight in an apple cider bath, and a big fatty stuffed with Gruyere and diced Granny Smith apples.

Everything turned out good... not stellar, but I took away a lot of good knowledge. The family and neighbors loved it however so at least I've surpassed the Sonny's BBQ threshold by a long shot. Along with the fatigue, since I never really went to bed... there was some stress, but it was effectively mitgated by an excellent 1997 bottle of cab. I have to say that I was giddy as hell when I finally got to experience what I've read you guys talking about when the you wiggle the bone and it comes free. That was nice moment and I figured things had gone right. I didn't do things quite like I planned... I didn't foil like I wanted, but overall it went well and the advice I was given really paid off. One thing in particular was that one butt was ready at about 190... the bone practically fell out just sitting in the smoker. I'm glad for getting that tidbit of info since I was so concerned just with temps to begin with. I actually spend some time poking the meat all over to get an idea how it should feel for future refrence.

Here are my takeaways from yesterday:
The Mr. Brown recipes just has too much pepper for me. Some of the bark had a very bitter peppary taste to it. I think I definately like the sweet and smokey rubs that I'm more used to and have perfected to my taste over the years. I think next time I'll definately inject as well. I'd like to give the interior meat a bit more flavor so I'll see how that goes next time.

I've never soaked ribs and doubt I'll do it again. I think the vinegar broke the meat down too much. It had an odd texture that I didn't care for. I did offset the vinegar with one of my favorite rubs and the flavor turned out pretty nice. I'll have to toy with that combo more... maybe lean the sauce towards the vinegar side with the sweet rub.

The fatty was awsome though I think I need to use a different type of sausage. It retained the decidedly breakfast taste to it... but it was in fact gone in about 20 minutes as the "taster" prelude to the bbq.

Other things I learned...
- I don't need two 8lb butts for 7 people. Don't know what I was thinking there and just made everything crowded. The pulled pork in the pic is just one butt after my brother already dove in like gang busters while I wasn't watching

- Do not under any circumstances dump unlit coal atop lit coal. I had uncontrolled white smoke for a solid 5 minutes and had to lift all the lids until it dissapated. Perhaps that added to the bitterness I experienced. I'm still having trouble getting the wood chunks not to pour out white smoke either when I add them. I've been putting one or two heated chunks every hour or so.

- As ash builds up... it gets harder to maintain temp and it appears to not last as long as it does with a clean firebox.

- Despite how excited you are... do not grab a large 205 degree pork with your bare hands. :lol:

itschris
07-23-2007, 08:18 PM
oh yeah... that platter is about 20 or 21 inches in diameter!

Pig Headed
07-23-2007, 08:31 PM
Lookin' good Chris. Every cook is an experience from which to learn and enjoy.

itschris
07-23-2007, 08:36 PM
This my 3rd attempt and I'd say this one was a solid B, so things are getting better. I did learn a lot, but I can't imagine how frustrated I'd be by now if you guys weren't here to lend a hand. I know it's old hat for a lot of you, but if you can remember starting out... it's actually kinda complicated and a bit stressful at times because you want to do good since you're investing so much time. You guys have accelerated my learning curve dramatically, however, and made this a lot more enjoyable starting out.

Ron_L
07-23-2007, 09:30 PM
I've never soaked ribs and doubt I'll do it again. I think the vinegar broke the meat down too much. It had an odd texture that I didn't care for.

Remember... Acid (like the vinegar) can cook the meat. Ceviche is fish that is cooked by the acid. A little vinegar splash to hold the rib on may be OK but an overnight soak would be too long.


- Despite how excited you are... do not grab a large 205 degree pork with your bare hands. :lol:

It's important to learn something each time you cook! :biggrin:

Smokin Gator
07-23-2007, 09:36 PM
Wow Chris... that all looks great. Those ribs look way better than the first batch you did and the pork looks very nice and moist.

Great job!!!!

keale
07-24-2007, 01:27 AM
You can FEDEX the leftovers to me, I'm ALL out of leftover que-bone dry!
Looks great! I know it tasted great also!

iceboxbbq
07-24-2007, 06:42 AM
nice job

icemn62
07-24-2007, 07:04 AM
Congrats on a winning cook. I do remember what seems like so long ago when I got started out. The Brethren will help you over hurdles, and be there for you during those long late nite / overnight cooks.

You are not the 1st nor will you be the last to reach out with our bare hands and grab some BBQ'd meat. It looks cool to the family to see you walk past carrying a roast in your bare hands, so don't let them know you are burning yourself. They will laugh at you. {been there done that}

Sounds like you are doing what i should have done years ago and you are keeping notes on the cooks you are doing. If the family likes what you are putting on the table, your BBQ is good!

DaChief
07-24-2007, 07:05 AM
I think all in all a job well done. We all continue to experiment and learn from things we do as well as from advice from others. Doesn't sound like any of your guests had any intention of walking away from the Q!

Papa Hogg
07-24-2007, 07:57 AM
Food looks great itschris, we all continue to experiment that what makes this hobby so fun, and even eating your mistakes is usually a good thing :biggrin: . You can try to marinate your ribs in apple juice with some onions & your favorite rub as well. As for injecting the PB try the Chris Lilly pork injection it is really good. As for moving large pieces of meat around & on & off your pit you need to invest in a good pair of gloves if you have not done so already...


Congrats again

itschris
07-24-2007, 07:57 AM
It was all good and Nancy and I enjoyed leftovers last night. Our daughter ate half a plate of the 7 cheese lobster mac & cheese we made which is about 427 calories per bite and each fork full weighs about a 1/4 pound... after that... she was done... "Stick a fork in me" she said, so she was done with eating after that.

I learned a great deal just over the past 3 q's and I've taken copious notes. I have to say that I was surprised with the vinegar bath... that was derived from supposed "championship winning recipe" though I can't imagine how that would win over serious rib testers. Granted the family and friends love it... but they also love Applebees Riblet Basket.

Markbb
07-24-2007, 09:33 AM
Just remember when ever somebody revels a trade secret they always leave out a important ingredent or step such as your vineger merinade, like this pit master smoking with wet oak....you can see a curve by the rotation of the ball:!:

CarbonToe
07-25-2007, 08:15 AM
I've never soaked ribs and doubt I'll do it again. I think the vinegar broke the meat down too much. It had an odd texture that I didn't care for.

I've never soaked them in vinegar either. The closest I've done is marinated in an oil/acid mix for an hour or so and then removed dabbed dry and slathered & rubbed for a few hours prior to smoking. This works quite well but now I don't bother with the marinade step.

The food does look good though, have you lined up your next cook yet? :razz:

itschris
07-25-2007, 10:03 AM
Considering that we still have a quite a bit of leftovers... I brought some for lunch for the 3rd time... I still have a hint of smoke eminating from my pores and hair... and Nancy has a honey-do list a page and half long...

... it's likely the smoker will sit idle this weekend. I do think my next smoke will go a different direction though. I just ordered a USDA Prime Rib Roast that I'm thinking of trying out on the smoker. I'm gonna go very light on the smoke, but just do the slow cook over the lump. I think it'll have a great flavor. I gotta do some more research, but I think that the next thing.