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Howdy from Chicago/Utah

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    Howdy from Chicago/Utah

    Hi all! Excited to be part of the Pitmaster Club :-) I've been BBQ'ing for about 5 years now, but since I discovered AR about a year ago my game has definitely been stepped up a few notches! Always more to learn though, and many thanks to Meathead and the team for this amazing site.

    I live in Chicago and I've done most of my BBQ'ing on an EOS from Klose. However, my parents have a place out here in Utah and the wife and I have been spending more and more time out here lately. Up until now we just cooked on a COS that my dad picked up a few years back, but just yesterday we took delivery of our brand new MMS-48 from Myron Mixon Smokers (thanks Dad!!).

    In the last week or two I've done a 15lb whole pork shoulder and a 15lb ribeye roast on the COS, and thanks to Meathead's tips they both turned out absolutely amazing, although it was quite a battle keeping my temp where it needed to be. I even made some fantastic burgers out of the rib cap meat/fat I trimmed off the ribeye roast.

    Last night I just couldn't wait to break in the MMS-48 so I did just 1 lone rack of baby backs to get a feel for it. Since they weren't going to be done until late I decided I would try the texas crutch for the first time ever, with the brown sugar/squeeze butter/honey treatment I keep seeing on BBQ Pitmasters to go for more of a 'desert rib' flavor profile. Now I don't know if it's the new pit with it's built in water pan, the crutch, or just that I finally listened to MH's tip about the right way to test when a slab is done, but this was by far the best rack of ribs I've ever made. The tenderness and juiciness was just out of sight...a nice firm bite but the cleanest bones you ever saw once the eating got done. I was pleased with the flavor as well, although the crutch definitely had an impact on the amount of bark I was able to get.

    So...today is the real first cook on the new pit. I've got 4 slabs of Baby Backs and 3 St. Louis cut spares dry brining in the fridge right now. I've got my MMD ready and a batch of KC classic inspired sauce I made yesterday. Haven't decided yet if I'm going to crutch some or all of the racks today, but certainly happy to hear any tips and suggestions!! And I'll try and get some pics uploaded later today if this is the right place to put em.


    Don, welcome to The Pit and good job on the smoker! Sounds like you like ribs the way I do, with a sweet vibe. Here is how I do mine, if you're interested. I do not ever crutch, but that butter honey mix sounds like it would be delicious for sure. I eliminate the crutch since I like the drier ribs, with the moisture inside and the delicious seasoned bark. Most crutch for that wow factor and time saving affect at competitions, but it's just such a hassle you'll probably find you don't need it.

    When you get a minute, check out Pit Boss' Welcome and Announcements channel, as well as the tips posts in that channel. These will help you navigate around here and learn how to set up your signature, as well as the best way to post some nice big bragging pictures here of your cooks and your smoker! Enjoy and thanks for the support!
    Last edited by Huskee; August 27, 2014, 11:02 AM.


      Thanks, Huskee! The extra sprinkle of brown sugar before they go on the pit may be a great way to get the sweetness I'm looking for without sacrificing the bark. I wanted to try the crutch at least once and it was easy enough doing just 1 slab, but yeah as I think about trying to do 7 slabs at a time later today, it doesn't sound fun.

      Btw, the small tree in your charcoal chimney is just awesome! I've been using these 6" splits you can get from fruitawoodchunks.com for most of my cooks the last year or so, but now that I've got this new giant pit I think I may need to find a source for some proper logs.


        You're welcome! The brown sugar gives a great bark since it melts into a great glaze and compliments my rub nicely. It's still salty, savory, but has that "is this dinner or dessert?" vibe to it. Best of all worlds IMO.

        Fruita offers 12" splits on some of their woods. You can even have 500lbs delivered for what it's worth. If you have a source to get your own that's great, I have lots of apple trees so I use mostly apple but I buy my other types from Fruita. Just ordered a 50lb box of 12" peach splits...peach wood smoke is heavenly.


          Ah, thanks for the tip. I was looking the other day on their site to see if they had any bigger logs but I must have missed em!

          I've been getting the mixed box with equal parts cherry, peach, and apple. Definitely love that peach smoke! As soon as I work through the 50lb mixed box I just got I see an order of 12" peach splits in my future :-)


            It appears maybe half their woods come in 12" splits, all the real common ones do and some niche ones. The ones that DON'T are almond, grape, nectarine, pear, mohogany (ironwood) and mesquite.

            What's your favorite so far? Do you use particular ones on certain meats?


              Cherry was my favorite for a while, but when I learned that Mixon has won 180 grand championships or whatever it is on nothing but peach I figured I better give it a try. Although what I've been doing for pretty much every cook lately is starting with a mix of peach and cherry in the early stage when the meat is taking on more smoke, and then moving to the apple for the latter part of the cook.

              I have learned that I don't like mesquite at all, and that hickory is OK but not my favorite. Definitely have a lot more to learn/experiment with though as far as other woods and the effect on different cuts of meat. Although I have the impression getting the fire burning well is much more important than the wood variety.


                I didn't know Mixon won championships on peach wood, that's interesting. I do not follow that stuff, especially folks with mouths like him. I just do what I find works through trial & error and some tips from others. I tried peach based on a video I seen on YouTube where a guy happened to use it and I though I'd try it. Makes sense though, it's very apple-like in that it's versatile, good with salmon, beef, and chicken. I know a guy who says you should never use apple on beef or pork, it's only good for salmon and other fish.... that might be a bit of a prejudice w/o all the facts though. I think apple (and peach/apricot/nectarine) work great on pork & beef too.

                Usually what matters most is your rubs and techniques and not the wood used. But as an EOS user who cooks with logs, this is where types of wood makes much more of a difference to you & I.

                I like to use oak and/or pecan on beef. Beef can take a harsher smoke, but in limited amounts. It's easy to oversmoke beef and make it taste like jerky. Just a kiss is all it needs. it does well with the sharper flavor of stronger woods though if that makes sense. I tend to use more charcoal for heat and limited amounts of pecan/oak. I've done all logs (apple) with beef and it was great too, but again, apple is more mild so the end result wasn't oversmoked.

                I like to use apple (or peach or apricot) logs on chicken & pork. Pecan, oak, hickory tend to make chicken taste like deli lunchmeat to me, sharper smoke flavor, and is less favorable to my palate. Still good, just not the profile I like.

                Pork for me is the same as chicken, except I would also use cherry on it or a mix of apple or peach & cherry.

                This is all subjective though. Some guys might read this and think 'I hate apple, I only use hickory and oak and it's great on chicken'! Another offset user here regularly uses mesquite and seems to prefer it, but that might not be the most popular choice. Some guys drink cream in their coffee, some black, some drive a car, some a truck.
                Last edited by Huskee; August 27, 2014, 12:36 PM.


                  Very interesting thoughts on the wood/meat combos, thanks for sharing Huskee!

                  Yeah Myron is a Georgia boy which seems to be his main reason for being monogamous with Peach wood, as you say there is a lot of subjectivity lol! He does have a big mouth for sure, but it does make for good TV. Although I have to say, the first season of BBQ Pitmasters where they followed the teams around the competition circuit was really awesome and I like the more recent format a lot less.

                  Anyway, I've got my spares on the pit now. Although I've just been informed by the women in my life that we need to have dinner earlier than planned tonight...so seems like as good a reason as any to give the hot and fast approach a shot on this new H2O pit. I'm thinking I'll run it around 300 for the first 1.5 - 2 hours for the spares, and then take it down to 225-250 for the last 4 hours when I put the BB's on.


                    Alright Huskee I just read your tips for how to share pictures, so here are a couple more to test out if I've got it right.

                    baby backs dusted in MMD and some extra brown sugar -

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                    on the pit along with the spares and some poblano and jalapeno peppers that I'm going to puree into some of my KC classic inspired BBQ sauce -

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                    And, leftover BB's from yesterday for lunch! Sort of like a rib appetizer for the rib main course later, does it get any better??

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                      Magnifico! The difference between the two picture postings is great to see. Big pics are easier for everyone!!


                        Hey Don. Welcome!


                          Hi, Jon. Thanks! Happy to be here :-)

                          Well here is the final product from yesterday... everyone said they were the best ribs they ever had but I was a bit disappointed. The flavor was great but I think I overcooked them just a bit. For the first time the night before with my test rack I had tasted what I think is that perfect rib tenderness I've only heard about, and now I can't go back. This batch, they were just *a bit* mushy. Not a lot, but a bit. For several reasons my pit temp was a little all over the place during the cook (I was detained from tending my fire just when the weather changed), but I think I just left 'em on too long. I did the bend test and got a small crack in the surface, but not a large one. But I just don't think I have my feel dialed in yet for what that is supposed to look like. Ah well, next time I'll nail 'em.

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                          On the positive side, the flavor was really great. Huskee's tip on the brown sugar dusting was very nice, and I think the modifications I made to MH's KC classic sauce came out very well. I added a bit of grape and raspberry jam, per a recipe from my uncle, and also smoked a few poblano and jalapeno peppers that I blended into the sauce.

                          I've got big plans to do a brisket and possibly a pork shoulder as well tomorrow. Another shot at glory :-)



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