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    Howdy from Texas!

    Hi, I'm Brent from Austin, (and I'm a grill-o-holic?)

    In February I got my first charcoal grill (had used propane for the previous 8 years), a Webber Performer Premium (22"). And my favorite Christmas gift this year was a brand new Slow 'n' Sear. I've grilled lots of steaks and chicken, but I wanted to try smoking some pulled pork, which was today's experiment.

    For some reason, I thought a 7.1 lb pork butt was a small cut of meat that would finish in 8 or 10 hours. However, I'm at hour 12 and meat temp is only at 175. I'm not using the Texas crutch method, just naked, dry-brined, string-tied meat.

    I'm still a fan of the crutch-less approach, but I think next time I will split the meat into two pieces to reduce the cooking time.

    I'm also a fan of the Slow 'n Sear; although next time I'll check the water level after the first few hours. It seems to be really fuel-efficient, but the side effect of that is the vent controls get to be pretty delicate. I've been using the bottom vent as a "coarse" control and the top vent as a "fine" adjust, mainly because the top vent is easier to make smaller controlled adjustments to because you can directly see the aperture size.

    I have a Thermoworks dual-port K-type thermocouple temperature measurement system for both the meat probe and the grate-level probe. I removed the temperature indicator from the Webber's lid to provide a port for the temp probes to pass through. Worked like a champ!

    I love the resources and experience available from this site, the how-to guides, the product reviews, and the science behind the madness. I am a fan of Greg Blonder's site as well. I'm an electrical engineer by trade and training, so I appreciate all of the "how it works" knowledge.

    Happy grilling!

    -B
    Last edited by Brent_W; December 30, 2015, 10:26 PM.

    #2
    Welcome Brent_W

    Comment


      #3
      Keep cooking!

      Comment


        #4
        Brent_W, Welcome to the Pit! I have the same Weber and S 'n S system you have! I had a bit of a time getting my vents set correctly until I went back to the ABC.Com site and read EVERYTHING! Some of the information on grill temp and vent mgmt. is found in the recipe sections! The other question that come to mind is what are you using for thermometers? Eat Well and Prosper! Happy New Year! 👍👍🐷👍👍
        From Fargo ND. Dan

        Comment


        • Danjohnston949
          Danjohnston949 commented
          Editing a comment
          Brent_W, Apparently my ADD is rampant this AM? I just reread your Post a noted your careful explanation on what Thermometer and Probe Routing you are using! This after suggesting you refer to the ABC.Com Site for a more careful reading? My Humble Apologies! Dan

        • Brent_W
          Brent_W commented
          Editing a comment
          No worries, Dan. I appreciate the advice and the helpfulness!

        #5
        Welcome to the Pit Brent_W! Nice setup with the Weber + SnS. I really like my Thermoworks thermometers. I have a Thermapen, Chef Alarms and a Dot. Looking forward to seeing some photos of your cooks.

        Comment


        • Brent_W
          Brent_W commented
          Editing a comment
          Fuzzy, I'm a huge fan of the thermapens as well. I have a Dot as well, but it never seems to make it out of the drawer. Thermapen is so awesome I never think about using anything else. I even have a backup in case there are any issues.

          I love them so much, I give them as Christmas gifts to my grilling friends.

        #6
        Welcome aboard! BTW We LOVE! Pics! Your cooking right now? We want to see your rig in action!

        Comment


          #7
          Welcome to The Pit Brent_W , from one Texan to another. We're glad you're here!

          Comment


            #8
            [QUOTE=Brent_W;n130782]Hi, I'm Brent from Austin, (and I'm a grill-o-holic?)



            "I'm still a fan of the crutch-less approach, but I think next time I will split the meat into two pieces to reduce the cooking time.top vent is easier to make smaller controlled adjustments to because you can directly see the aperture size."



            Welcome to the Pit! Here's a heads up,on your plan. The thickness of the meat determines cook time. Cutting a butt in half will have little effect on your cook time unless you cut it long ways. I am not sure how the butt would cook then.
            Last edited by LA Pork Butt; December 31, 2015, 12:13 PM. Reason: Quotes

            Comment


            • Brent_W
              Brent_W commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the notes, LA! I'm running Pulled Pork Experiment #2 tomorrow morning, and my roast shapes are closer to long cylinders than squat cubes, so I think they should cook faster by your logic. That and they smaller pieces of meat: only 3 lbs and 3.5 lbs respectively.

            #9
            ​Welcome to The Pit Brent_W! Congrats on the new gear, you will love the SnS the more things you cook with it. Check out our recipe on ABCbarbecue.com for pork butts for some pointers on doing them on your kettle. You'll notice we recommend wrapping, but after the stall, if you want to keep the time down below 12-16hrs...since that's what they can take going unwrapped the whole way. Many times pitmasters will go unwrapped if they have the ease of a SIFI (set it and forget it) cooker, like a pellet smoker or something where they can literally walk away and the thermostat keeps things in order.

            I like to always cut my butts into ~4lb hunks, and even they take double digit hours when unwrapped on a kettle. Pit Boss likes to hit the heat up toward 300 when the stall happens to shoot through it, then back down when it pops out of the stall.

            Anyway, thanks for your support here!

            Since this is your first post, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos.

            Also, it's very important that you add the domain AmazingRibs.com to your email safe list in case you are ever drawn as our monthly Gold Medal Giveaway winner!

            Hope to hear & see more from you!

            Comment


              #10
              Welcome Brent_W! We're glad you're here.

              Comment


                #11
                Welcome Brent_W ! I ask the butcher for a butt 4 to 5 pounds. 8 to 10 hours is usually what it takes for me to get to 190 degrees inside. The temp I smoke at varies from 225 to 250. I try to smoke on a day when there can be a lot of room for error. As in a day off the following day. A late feed is much more relaxing then.

                Comment


                • Brent_W
                  Brent_W commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Having the butcher cut to spec is great advice! Thanks!

                #12
                Originally posted by SaturdayShoppe View Post
                I ask the butcher for a butt 4 to 5 pounds. 8 to 10 hours is usually what it takes for me to get to 190 degrees inside. The temp I smoke at varies from 225 to 250. I try to smoke on a day when there can be a lot of room for error. As in a day off the following day. A late feed is much more relaxing then.
                I'm 100% with you on everything you just said!

                Comment


                  #13
                  Thanks again for all of the great advice and the warm welcome!

                  I thought I'd give you guys an update on how the above experiment ultimately turned out.

                  So earlier I wrote:

                  For some reason, I thought a 7.1 lb pork butt was a small cut of meat that would finish in 8 or 10 hours. However, I'm at hour 12 and meat temp is only at 175. I'm not using the Texas crutch method, just naked, dry-brined, string-tied meat.

                  That note was about 10:30pm Austin time (8:30pm website time). Around 3:15 am in Austin my meat temp was still only around 179 deg F, but I had to call the experiment "done", because I was "done" with staying awake.

                  I pulled the butt off the grate, brought it inside and let it sit on a cookie sheet for about 10 mins. In my head, I heard Meathead's voice saying, "sliced pork butt is also good..." giving myself some consolation for missing out on classic pulled pork goodness. I also estimated that because of the duration that the interior temp held at 175 it was sufficiently safe to eat.

                  However, I thought there was still some hope, so I got out my bear claws (still unused in original packaging), grabbed them firmly, and plunged them into the butt...

                  And they sank in like butter... I pulled... more butter... pull pull pull pull..... piles of delicious moist pulled pork started materializing before my eyes! The proof is in the pic below. And the taste was heaven!

                  I also added some additional pics that I took of my setup. I wish I had taken a pic of the roast right after I removed it from the grate and before the pulling began, but I was too crestfallen (and sleepy).

                  So what happened? How could I have gotten pull-able pork with a meat temperature of only 179 deg F?

                  I think my air temperature was correct. That reading is taken about 3" from the roast, and the thermocouple sits in a holder that clips onto the grates, so it's floating in the air about 1" above the grate on the indirect side.

                  However, I think my meat temperature was wrong because I didn't put the probe in the correct place. I inserted the probe essentially through the roast, so the tip was almost poking out the far side. It was comfortably far from the bone, but I think it was too far past the center of the roast to give a reliable reading of the internal meat temp. I kinda think this should have given an artificially higher temp reading, but maybe the evaporation at the meat surface was cooling the probe?

                  If you guys have any opinions on this I'd love to hear them.

                  Early tomorrow morning (flame on at 6 am) I'm trying Pulled Pork Experiment #2, with an 8.1 lb roast that I've de-boned and cut into one 3.5 lb piece and one 3 lb piece.

                  I'll figure out how to set up my signature tomorrow too

                  Thanks again for the warm welcome!

                  -Brent

                  Comment


                    #14
                    That is some awesome looking pulled pork. What was your pit temp? Sounds to me like your pit temp may have been lower than you think it was and the butt just hanged out at 175 F internal for so long it got tender.

                    How are you liking that shiny new Slow 'N Sear?

                    Comment


                    • Brent_W
                      Brent_W commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks, PB. I think you may be right about the pit temperature. If you look in the last pic, you can see where I was measuring it. The thermocouple was held in a grate clip about 1" above the grate. The measurement was taken about 1/2 way between the side of the dome and the meat. That may have been more of a "hot spot" than I thought. Maybe I need to get a thermal imaging camera...

                      I was pretty good at regulating the temp between 220 and 230 deg F, mother hen'ing it about every 10 minutes until it stabilized for a few readings, then every 20 mins.

                      I just now put the meat on for Experiment #2, which I'll post pics for later. In this experiment, I added in the Maverick wireless temp sensors, so now I have 2 pit temperature measurements in addition to one meat probe per roast, so a little more visibility into what's happening under the dome.

                      And I'm loving the Slow 'N Sear! I had a "failed" experiment 2 nights ago when cooking some chicken breasts for fajitas. I was trying a reverse sear technique, but either I didn't cook them long enough or my temp wasn't hot enough during the indirect phase and they came out kinda rubbery. However, the searing worked amazingly well, and they looked beautiful! I was impressed with how hot the searing area was and how long it maintained temp. I need to go back and refresh on Meathead's cooking methods for chicken.

                      Thanks again for the insight!

                      -Brent

                    #15
                    Brent_W that rubbery chicken sounds like you may have overcooked it. What was the final IT?

                    Comment


                    • Brent_W
                      Brent_W commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I may have overcooked it, but my thinking is I probably didn't cook it enough. I moved it from the indirect side to the sear side around 160 deg F and seared each side for about 1 minute. I didn't take the temp after the sear, expecting that it would probably not go much higher than 165 with only 2 mins under high heat. I probably should have made the measurement anyway.

                      After taking the chicken off the grill, letting it sit, and then cutting into it, it looked like parts were not quite done. Some parts were delicious, but the "possibly not cooked enough" vibe I was getting turned me off. I tried to salvage it by microwaving the pieces individually at 60% power for 1:30 to 1:45, just to bring up the temp (the grill had cooled too much to use by then), and it was probably the microwaving that gave them the rubbery texture.

                      I should have mentioned, these are pre-seasoned boneless skinless chicken breasts for fajitas (they are injected with brine solution). I normally cook them using a medium direct heat over a thin bed of coals, which cooks them quickly and browns them nicely. You do need to be concerned about consistency in the thickness to make sure that the pieces cook evenly, but that is solved easily by trimming them appropriately or moving the thicker bits to the areas of hotter coals.

                      I'll try the reverse sear again next time for practice.

                      Thanks!

                      -Brent

                    • David Parrish
                      David Parrish commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Keep trying. Practice makes perfect! Shoot for a final IT of 160F after the RS and Sear.

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