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Category: True Barbecue

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.

More Of The Brisket Battle

bird-brisket
Okay! So this time we’re doing a couple of small briskets and a couple of whole chickens. And I am hell bent on winning this battle. LOL

So . . .

If you have been following my posts, then I can tell you that I got things started the same way I did last time. Now if you haven’t been following my posts (shame on you!), then you need to read back over the past few post so that you are up to speed about this battle of which I speak – type actually.

This time I maintained a pretty steady supply of oak and maple wood on the charcoal which produced a nice supply of smoke. I was actually even able to maintain the cooking temperature pretty much between 225° and 250° throughout the cooking process. After about 3 hours and the whole chickens has reached 165°, I pulled them from the smoker and wrapped them in aluminum foil while they cooled.

I continued to smoke the small brisket until just before dark. At that time my wife and I wrapped the briskets in aluminium foil and moved them over to the electric smoker. I left them in the electric smoker overnight at a very low heat. Actually, I never even checked the temperature, but the controller was turned up just high enough to get the heating element to fire up the first time. So I am guess that maybe it was around 100° all night long.

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Brisket on the Brinkman Offset Smoker

whole-brisket

So here it is July and I am going to try smoking a beef brisket on the new Brinkman offset smoker. We hit the one of our local meat shops and picked up this beautiful hunk of meat. After getting it rubbed down real good with my wife’s favorite blend of spices, it hit the smoker.

I let the brisket cook for about 10-12 hours. I put this to cook on a load of charcoal and with hickory chunks. I think this might have been a mistake on my part. After smoking it for the 10-12 hours, we wrapped it in aluminum foil and let it cook for another couple of hours all while fighting to keep the heat in the 225° – 250° range. This was not an easy task due to the fact that this Brinkman offset smoker is so poorly designed that trying to maintain a constant heat is going to be nearly impossible, I believe, for the average backyard pit master.

finished-brisket

So once I finished the brisket, or so I thought, I let it rest for more than 30 minutes (got distracted-LOL). Once the foil was opened, I got to say that I thought it looked pretty sweet. However, once we cut into it, I found that it had very little smoke ring and was not cooked to the level of tenderness I was shooting for. My wife and I both had a taste of the brisket and I was not happy with it at all. It was still tough and had almost no smoke flavor to it.

sliced=brisket

Well, after this mess, I guess its time to go back to the drawing board. I need to figure out if I did something wrong – other than not letting it cook long enough. Was not being able to better maintain a more consistent heat the problem? Is this offset smoker really that crappy that I may never be able to get a decent level of smoke and tenderness? I guess only time will tell, but I will keep on plugging away at it.

Be sure to check back soon to see if I can get anything useful figured out on this Brinkman offset smoker. Hopefully I will have some better news by then.

First Official Smoke Of 2015

Sunday was the first official smoke of the 2015 season and I have to say, I am more than a little disappointed in the overall results.

20150413_175926For the first smoke of the year I cooked a 4-lb pork loin and did it in my electric smoker. I set up my little home-made chimney hoping it would give the pork more of the smoke flavor that my wife and I are looking for.

What a let down!

I got the smoker going at an average temperature of around 225° and got 5 briquettes going in my little chimney. Once all five of the briquettes were hot, I added a few small chunks of oak for the smoke.

Initially, the oak started producing what looked like a pretty fair amount of smoke, but it didn’t last long. Seems that maybe the dog food can I used for the chimney might be way to small to give me the amount of smoke I am looking for. Plus, this little can required a lot more attention than I expected. Because I had no clue what to expect with this experiment, I didn’t really pay as close attention to the smoke as I should have. I did learn the hard way that I probably needed to be adding wood more often than I was.

So in hind sight, aside from the chimney being too small, I think the problem was mostly my fault for not paying closer attention. I am thinking that I will try this one more time and use a larger diameter can so I can get a couple of more briquettes and much more wood. If that doesn’t work for me, then I guess I will be looking at either buying an offset smoker or building a vertical smoker from scratch.

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