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    Just getting started question

    I splurged this spring and bought a large BGE, a Fireboard 2, a CGS large adjustable rig, and a whole lotta meat. Ive generally learned how to manage the grill temps with or without the Fireboard 2 and etc.

    The difficulty that Ive run into has been in my foray into pulled pork following the instructions from here. The thing is, the cooking times have been *long*. The first time I chalked it up to me not knowing what I was doing. This second time however, I was patient: for the first 21hrs the the grill temp was 225-230F and the meat slowly went from 48F to 180F. After that I, basically gave up, raised the temp up to 300 and pulled the meat off at 204F ~4hrs later.

    While the pork butt from Sams Club is large (~10lb) and bone-in, I was expecting around 15hrs or so. The texture after that was also a bit mushy so it definitely went too long. The crust was also a bit too tough. It all tastes good however so no real loss but Im not sure what Im doing wrong here.

    So, I was clipping the ambient probe onto the grate a couple inches to the side of the meat. The meat probe was well away from the bone and near the top. Am I measuring at the wrong place(s)? Should I actually be setting for a higher temp? Something else entirely?

    thanks!
    stephen


    #2
    First of all welcome from Virginia! Secondly, you are going to get all of the help you need right here with this group.

    Each piece of meat is surely different. Question, I would have initially is did you wrap?

    Most of all, keep trying and dont give up!

    Comment


    • shepner
      shepner commented
      Editing a comment
      Nope, I didnt wrap. I want to get the basics sorted out before I add too many variables.

    #3
    Welcome from TN. Like DavidNorcross mentioned, every piece of meat is different. Your probe locations sound perfect. A couple years ago I had one that stalled for around 4 hours, I ended up wrapping it and finishing it in a 275 deg oven and it was fantastic.

    Comment


      #4
      Don't have an egg but really its pretty much all the same. 225* is just a guideline number. Big hunk of meat like that I'd cut in half. More bark = more flavor. You can also run temps up to 250* or 275* or even higher towards then end. Welcome to the Pit!

      Comment


        #5
        Originally posted by shepner View Post
        The difficulty that Ive run into has been in my foray into pulled pork following the instructions from here. The thing is, the cooking times have been *long*. The first time I chalked it up to me not knowing what I was doing. This second time however, I was patient: for the first 21hrs the the grill temp was 225-230F and the meat slowly went from 48F to 180F. After that I, basically gave up, raised the temp up to 300 and pulled the meat off at 204F ~4hrs later.

        First off, welcome.

        Second, IGNORE THE 225F recommendation. Aside from pellet grills which seem to produce more smoke at lower temps, there is zero advantage to smoking at 225 over higher temps. All 225 does is make the cook longer (again, pellet grills aside). Smoke between 250 and 300 and you'll be fine and the cooks will be shorter.

        On very large butts in the 10+ pound range, you can also divide it into 2 or 3 sections, then dry brine and rub them all. The reduced thickness will make the cook shorter as well.

        Comment


          #6
          I agree with the above advice on ignoring the 225 thing, I do butts in the 280-320 range regularly.
          As mentioned nothing wrong with finishing in the oven when your in a jam.
          Practice makes perfect.

          Comment


            #7
            Welcome!

            Like the others have said, most things can be cooked hotter than 225, especially when you’re in a time crunch.

            One of the best temps I got starting out was not to get too fixated on a certain temperature (aka 225). Let the cooker settle in where it wants to and let it ride +/- 25-30 degrees or you’ll pull your hair out adjusting your vents to chase the temp.

            The other thing you pick up after a while is cooking by "feel" versus a "done temperature". For instance once you hit 180 on a butt, start probing it every once in a while until it feels like you are sliding a skewer into a jar of peanut butter (Credit Harry Soo). That’s when it’s done versus hitting 203, etc. The same can be done with brisket, chuck roast, etc.

            Comment


            • HawkerXP
              HawkerXP commented
              Editing a comment
              +1

            #8
            Welcome from the California Delta. And great advice so far. I've had a butt run 20 hours and the approx. same size from the same butcher bought at the same time run 16 hours. Meat has a mind of it's own. Practice and enjoy the results.

            Comment


              #9
              Hopefully you're noticing a theme in the comments above. The whole recipe thing is about guidelines, not absolutes. And part of the challenge when you're starting out is learning that the well intentioned advice of we others are subjective/opinions/personal preferences. You used the expression "too tough" to describe the crust/bark. Some people crave that..........maybe........your "too tough" is a subjective thing with no standard of measure to clearly define how "tough" it is. All of that is neither good nor bad, it just is. It's a learning process that evolves your ideal from practice, experience, and experimentation. That last one is my favorite, but it is more enjoyable by having done the prior two. You, and those you feed, determine how successful you are. And, if you're like many of us, you will be your own worst critic. Look forward to reaching that balance where your guests/family are happy with each iteration of your growing knowledge while you work on to improve each time in order. It's a grand and glorious process of learning, progressing, achieving..........work at enjoying the ride.

              Comment


              • klflowers
                klflowers commented
                Editing a comment
                You really are our Uncle aren't you... Great advice

              #10
              I have nothing new to add to the great info above, so welcome to The Pit.


              Comment


                #11
                Thanks everyone for the big welcome!

                >You used the expression "too tough" to describe the crust/bark. Some people crave that..........maybe........your "too tough" is a subjective thing with no standard of measure to clearly define how "tough" it is.

                Fair point. I defined as 'too tough' when I was having trouble getting the claws through and having a fair layer under which was closer to jerky which isnt what I was aiming for. This only happened in a couple places so Im guessing I found the hot spots. Unfortunately, it was ~1:30am and I wasnt exactly paying close attention to determine such things at that point. Next time

                >The whole recipe thing is about guidelines, not absolutes.

                Yup. When starting out, I *do* like to follow the instructions until I can get the base skills in place and then tinker: Make changes, observe the results and adjust accordingly. For many years now Ive enjoyed food science stuff and have generally just viewed it as a form of Chemistry. Most of my cooking tends to somewhat intuitive but really is using known good base principals in different combos.


                So theres a common theme about raising the temp. If I hadnt received any feedback, and hadnt been reading so much, my next attempt would have been 250-275F but with as much emphasis Ive seen for "225F", I was second guessing myself.

                When I eventually graduate to trying a brisket, is it safe to assume that it really does need to be closer to 225F?

                Comment


                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I roll along, bout 275°~ish, regardess of proteins, if'n that's any kinda useful help to yerself

                  Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!

                  Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!
                  Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 26, 2021, 08:17 PM.

                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Panhead beat me to it. Franklin does 275 and if it's good for him...

                  NOW... brisket has grades, unlike pork. When most people here talk about beef, we're talking about choice or prime grade, not select (grades go from Prime to Choice to Select (best to worst). More important than grade is marbling. Look for lots of fat striations throughout the meat vs layers of fat around it. Well marbled brisket seems to cook faster and you want to check it sooner (185 or so).

                • klflowers
                  klflowers commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I tend to stick at around 225 to 250 on my wsm cooks, only cause that is what I have been doing for years. Aaron who does 275 lol

                #12
                Greetings and welcome from North Carolina.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Welcome from St. Cloud, FL. Like others have said try turning up the temp to 250 after an hour at 225. Mine aren't usually that large (about 6#) but give it a go again and let us know how it turns out. At times, if I wrap I will turn up the heat to 275 as I am braising at that point but always try to let it rest for an hour minimum after probe tender. Have even finished two in my pressure cooker that came out great too. Good luck!

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Man I think every smoke I do lasts longer than what I’m told it will take or what I think it will take.

                    My absolutes: death, taxes, and maybe another hour.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Well Hello from NW Oregon,
                      Happy grilling to you and PBR too
                      Long live BBQ.

                      Comment

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