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Category: Cooking/Grilling/Smoking

New Attempt At Smoked Pork Butt

Since this year has not been very productive for me as far as perfecting my smoking skills, the fact that I had the chance to try smoking pork butt is a golden opportunity for me. If you read my previous post, Experimenting With Offset Smoker, then you know that I tried my hand at cooking with only wood yesterday. You also read that it ended up turning into a raging inferno.

Once the smoker cooled down and the fire became manageable, my wife and I decided to try smoking a pork butt again. I have tried this once before and it didn’t turn out well. So I decided that since I had the chance, I would give it another try.

Earlier we bought a couple of pork butts when they were on sale so we thawed both and got them ready with my wife’s homemade rub. By this time the smoker had reached a manageable temp of around 225° – 250° and the butts went in to cook.

What you see here is what the pork shoulders looked like after about 4 hours in the smoker. Because pork shoulder needs to cook for a looooong time, like brisket, I decided to cook these pork butts the same way I now cook brisket. When I thought they had enough smoke, and I used mainly oak with some sugar maple this time, they got wrapped in foil and put into my electric smoker set at a very low heat to finish cooking overnight.

I must say, when I pulled the pork shoulders from the electric smoker and let them rest for a couple of hours, the end results were pretty much what I was expecting. The aroma of the pork butts filled the kitchen. When the foil was opened, the shoulders looked perfectly cooked and literally fell apart when We started to pull it apart. The pork butts came out just like briskets have and I know we will be enjoying this meat when the hankering for barbecue hits.

The one thing I have learned through my journey to perfecting my barbecue skills is that you can read everything you can on the Web, but you should only use it as a guide. If nothing else,I have learned that I just need to adapt what others preach as bbq gospel to suit me, my needs and my equipment. No where I read that the rules for getting good barbecue are etched in stone. The fun is experimenting and learning from your wins and failure.

I have also learned that my worst backyard bbq is better than no bbq at all! It may not be perfect, but it’s all good in the end.

New Brinkman Offset Smoker Mods

brinkman-mods

So this is new Brinkman offset smoker leaks heat and smoke like nobody’s business and here is what I did to try to resolve some of the issues.

Because there are no real lips around the lid of this puppy, laying down a bead of high-temp silicone around the lip is a waste of time. So what I am trying here is to loosely roll up some aluminum foil the width of the ends of the smoker. Next I just kind of laid it in place then closed the lid down so that it will hopefully form some kind of a seal.

foil-mod

Unfortunately, I would not recommend this smoker because of the fact that the way it is designed really sucks and this thing is going to really require some modifications if you have any hope of sealing it up. And since I already paid for it, I will continue to work with it see if I can get it to produce the kind of results I am looking for. But I sure wish I knew what the engineers were thinking when they dreamed up this design for this offset smoker.

Be sure to check back for my further adventures with this particular Brinkman offset smoker. It ought to be a in interesting ride – if you know what I mean.

Still Working With Offset Smoker

Well, over the past couple of months I have been fighting with this Brinkman offset smoker and trying to get good results.

Want to take a guess as to who has been winning that battle? LOL

Anyway, I think I need to back up and regroup a bit.

What I can get out of this smoker now is plenty of smoke. What I cannot get out of this smoker yet is a more consistent cooking temperature. When I smoke – regardless of whether it be ribs or a chicken or a brisket – I am shooting for a cooking temperature of right at about 225° and I am just not getting that.

I do think I am about done with smoking for this season. So between now and next season I will figure out what I am doing wrong and how I might go about correcting these problems. I have to figure out so I can get the consistent barbecue that my family as come to love and expect.

Over the winter I will figure it all out so check back next season to see what happens next.

New Backyard Offset Smoker

brinkman-offset-smoker

So this is now May, 2015 and I broke down and bought a new Brinkman offset smoker from one of the local Big Box stores. After I got it all put together and out on the back deck, I got busy with the task of seasoning the new smoker. Once that was done, I has to do some additional research to learn how best to to utilize this particular smoker.

Now this new smoker is not one of them expensive jobs that professional pit masters love to brag about. Instead, this is just a cheap backyard smoker that should serve our needs for a few years. What I have learned while I was seasoning the new Brinkman smoker is that this thing leaks like crazy. I have also learned that this puppy looks like it was designed by a 5-year old and because of its design, sealing it up is going to be a chore in itself.

So I guess the next thing is see what I can do to get this thing to seal up beat as well as what is going to be the best way to control the heat and smoke. I have a feeling that this new offset smoke is going to require some modifications – how extensive these mods are going to have to be is yet to be determined.

If you are interested in my progress and/or want to know what kind of modifications I end up having to do to get this offset smoker sealed up, be sure to check back and follow my posts here.