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General advice needed

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    General advice needed

    So Friday, around 7pm, I will be serving Brisket and Pulled Pork to 25-30 people at a family gathering. I am still pretty new at this, having great success with side and back ribs, rolled loin roasts, and turkeys; mediocre results with Pulled Pork (haven't planned cooks well enough to take the meat past 190) and no experience with brisket.
    I have a 15lb AAA Brisket (Canadian equivalent of Choice with a few extra restrictions) and a 16lb Pork Shoulder. Assuming a Faux Cambro period of 1-4 hours, I am going to plan on finishing the cook by 3pm, which gives me a solid 2-3 hour buffer in case something goes wrong. Doing my best to keep temps in 225-250 range on a 26 inch kettle, two water pans and very little lid lifting. I have an open air shop to deal with weather, I am bunking at the cook site, and plan to start the cook some time around midnight.
    A) What would you budget for time?
    B) What do you do when your minion burns down, remove the meat and rebuild?
    C) Any other watch outs from experience?
    Thanks guys.
    Jeff

    #2
    A) always budget 1.5 hours per pound of meat. And if you are truly concerned about the timing crutch it all around 140* IT to avoid a bad stall. And remove it from the foil around 180* IT to allow it to harden the bark again (IT = internal temp)

    B) My minion hasn't ever burnt all the way down during the cook. If you ran into that problem you could rebuild it. But adding more coals during the cook would be the best solution. Unlit coals right on top of the lit ones.

    C)The biggest thing is patience. you will see the temp rise quick to start, and then slow way down. Plan for the worse timing and crutch to help make your timing work.

    Comment


      #3
      A) I think your time sounds good. You'd be giving yourself approx 15 hrs to cook the brisket? Sounds like plenty. Keep in mind the longer you hold a brisket the more you risk it getting to that fall-apart stage. If that doesn't matter to you so much the better.

      Pork butt fares best when held even longer. The longer you keep it in the faux cambro the better.

      B) If/when you notice your temps dropping, start another half chimney or so of charcoal. Once you coals are ready, then rebuild your minion based on how long you got the first time and how long you anticipate the time remaining. It should only take you 3-5 minutes to remove the meat and rebuild, this time will affect the meat VERY little if any. This is what I would do anyway.

      C) For the best results, cut your pork butt into smaller chunks. This will allow more surface area for rub penetration, smoke penetration, and bark. I rarely cook pork butts over 3 or 4 lbs. If I get a big one I make sure to halve or third or quarter it. My results are so much better doing this FWIW.

      Beef doesn't fare quite as well with heavier amounts of smoke like pork does. If you plan to cook both meats together in the same cooker, I would advise you stick with a mild wood like apple for instance. What wood were you planning to use? Or just plain charcoal?

      Comment


        #4
        I was thinking a mild wood would definitely be the way to go. Here's a thought though - I could go mild until the crutch, then hop it up with some mesquite for the uncovered butt. I could spray the butt to moisten it and help the smoke stick. Thoughts?

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          #5
          Every time I read these posts I say to myself "Man, I am glad I bought that Yoder!" I love putting it on the night before and not even thinking about it till morning when I have to make sure and check the pellet hopper. But I am impressed with what a great job everyone else does...

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            #6
            I am sure I will flesh out the equipment in my life in time, but I can honestly say the Weber is one of the few purchases I have ever made without a single second guess or a hint or remorse.

            Comment


              #7
              When I first started reading this, I became a little worried about both meats on a 26" kettle. Size not being an issue, I'd consider cutting the butt in half, at least.

              Mesquite can be...strong, careful with it on pork.

              Comment


                #8
                Well, 3 hours in. Man it was tight to get it to fit. Brisket sitting at 99 and rising. Letting the butt ride with no thermo for now. Cooker sitting at 214 but not much room for the probe between the meat so I think it's a little hotter. Couple beers in and a buddy to sit with. Gonna stay up until the crutch I think.

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                  #9
                  I'm looking forward to the next update.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Brisket is at 201 making final prep for fobro. Pork will get crutched if need be. Pretty tired LOL.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You got this man... Coffee up its almost go time.

                      Comment

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