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Pork Butt Cooking on the PBC 2: Redemption

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    Pork Butt Cooking on the PBC 2: Redemption

    Today I will be doing 1 - 7.25lb and 1 - 7.75lb pork butts (both bone-in) on the PBC to try and redeem myself.

    Last time I pulled the meat right before the stall and wrapped because I though my coals were out after 6 hours, only to come back and find a rip-roaring fire box after leaving the lid off for 10 mins or so. Lesson learned - "crack the stinking lid you big dummy!" (in the voice of Fred Sanford - lol).

    Anyway, since there has been a lot of conversation on mustard slathering in general, I will detail how I prep my pork shoulders with HRR and mustard. I do sort of a mustard marinate to get the vinegar in the mustard to penetrate the meat as much as possible. I do not use the mustard simply as a rub binder (although it is a good and cheap binder).

    When I need a rub binder only, I will usually use the vegetable oil because it is cheap as many others do as well. I have used expensive olive oil in the past, but it is like putting your aged Bacardi Anejo in a Pina Colada - a waste of the good stuff with no significant difference than just using the cheap stuff.

    I am going to do my best and avoid pontification where and let the pictures do the talking from start to finish.

    My game plan is to follow PitBoss' / Kathryn's / smarkley's advice and not wrap at the stall.

    Next post will be a detailed rub / mustard slather prep for how I do my butts.

    It may all be in my head, but the pork seems a bit more tender when the vinegar from the mustard is allowed to penetrate the meat. Anyway, this process gives me a consistent taste that I am happy with.













    #2
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    Pork Butt Prep:

    1. I make a batch of Huskee's Rib Rub - I add 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder to the recipe and I add the salt.

    2. Then rinse, dry and trim the fat off of the pork butts.

    3. Rub the meat with 1 teaspoon of HRR per pound. Since HHR is about 1/4 salt - there is 1/2 of what I need per pound for dry brining (total S/B: 1/2 teaspoon per pound).

    4. Make the mustard mix by adding 1/2 teaspoon per pound meat of the HRR w/ salt to a small bowl. Squeeze in the cheap yellow ballpark mustard and stir. Keep mixing and adding mustard until the mix is equivalent to the consistency of pancake batter. The salt in the mustard will give me a total of appx. 3/8 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat for brining when combined with the salted rub already on the meat; just a hair under the recommended 1/2 teaspoon per pound, but we also have to account for the salt in the mustard itself.

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    5. Spoon the mustard mixture over the pre-rubbed butts and rub. Save a few spoonfuls of mustard mixin the bowl to hit any thin areas when meat is bagged / wrapped.

    6. Put rubbed and mustard mix covered butt in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag (or wrap - but Ziplocs will not leak). Spoon on the remaining couple of spoonfuls of mustard mix over the top of the meat and / or in any thin areas. Vacuum seal bag.

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    7. Place in the fridge for as long as possible. The ones I am cooking today have been 'marinating' for appx 41 hours.

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    NOTE: Try putting mustard all over your hands for 4-5 mins and then wash off. The mustard will have absorbed into your skin for just being on your hands for a short time. You will notice it will take 2-3 scrubbings with hot water and soap to get the vinegar smell to go away. Just an example of how the vinegar in the mustard will penetrate - in theory anyway. Granted I believe human skin with all of its sweat glands make it more porous than say a pork butt, but it does give you a semi-scientific example of what we are doing to the meat by marinating in mustard.

    Next post will be getting PBC started and meat on - I will be using the standard and proven method of filling the PBC coal basket and removing 40 briquettes and putting in the chimney starter.
    Last edited by HC in SC; December 15, 2014, 10:32 AM.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, When you say "Ice Box" you mean the Freezer, right? If so, doesn't that imply that you would be freezing the meat? I though we were supposed to avoid freezing meats for quality purposes. Just curious. Great write up so far man.

    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Ice box = Fridge in this case.


      Good question though, around here it could also mean a cooler.


      Most times those are called "cooler boxes". Lol

    #3
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ID:	39862 Sounds yummy. One thing I started doing is when the butts hit 160 or so and stall, crack the lid and bring the pit temp up to at least 330 and make them suckers sweat it out (you can literally hear them sweating it out ). It solidifies such a good bark I can wrap around 180, and really need to since they are so dark, then take to 200 or so. I did 3 that way Friday. AWESOME.

    This was right when I got home. Pit temp was down to 226, time to bring on the heat.

    Comment


    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Jerod, did you rest those butts at all? If so, how long did you let them sit to stop the carryover cooking before wrapping to rest? And then how long did you let them rest in your fancy schmancy cambro (can you tell I have cambro envy? ) ?

      Thanks,
      Kathryn

    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      I am still too chicken to hang butts. Thanks for the advice on the stall push - I will do just that!

    #4
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    Followed standard process for PBC fire basket loading and lighting.

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    Got my apple wood ready - I put on all at once and do not add any more during the cook.

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    Butts on and rebars re-installed per PBC instructions.

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    After closing lid with the meat on the temp would not rise above 200, so I cracked the lid a bit for about 10 minutes and temps climbed quickly to 300. I put lid back on at 300.

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    Currently PBC is rocking out at a steady 275-290.

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    Time to catch up on all of the Live at Daryl's House shows on my DVR - hopefully there will be some good stuff, I have never heard of most of the peeps featured.

    Also time to get to work on the other "Essential Supplies" from the refrigerator pic above - its almost 11 am.

    I will monitor and record the temps hourly - hopefully this dude is on cruise control for a while!
    Last edited by HC in SC; December 14, 2014, 09:57 AM.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Why wait till 11?

    #5
    Looking good. I've separated butts and hung each piece with one hook without any problems.

    Comment


    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      So far, so good. At the stall I brought the pit up to 340 and covered. Have had to carburete the PBC a few times when it got close to 200, but otherwise good.


      Just checked about 20 mins ago and were pushing 180. Lid cracked and pushing 250 or so. Hope to be pulling off to rest soon.


      Really appreciating your smoke stack mod at this point, but 15 lbs of solid meat is a lot to ask to run on set and forget mode.

    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      I was running B & B under a layer of Kingsford. The meat definitely goes into different modes when cooking over the coals. When a barrel full of briskets hit the stall, I had temp drops of 30-40 degrees. That is where the alarm on a Maverick comes in handy.

    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes sir, you got that right. I had a drop off of about 40 degrees at the stall and had to keep the lid cracked the remainder of the cook. I think I'll try the competition Kingsford on the next big, long cook.

    #6
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    Ok - here's the rundown.

    PBC kept on a chooglin hard for about 8.5 hours and then the fire was dead.

    Both butts were still 180 at the thickest parts; some parts were up to 191.

    From what I have read had I used Kingsford Competition, they might have both completed out on the PBC.

    They are both now covered and in the convection oven at 250 degrees for the last hour or so to finish up.

    At the end of the day this cook went much better with more than twice the poundage of meat.

    I had to crack the lid several times to jumpstart the fire; in fact the last two hours I left cracked to maintain a steady 250 degrees. Noah really should mention this in the instructional videos - I am going to shoot an email over to them for feedback on the lid cracking that MUST be done - especially with a full load of meat. The instructional videos give a "set and forget" feeling to the user; although WAY less maintenance than a traditional slow smoker for sure.

    I am very pleased with the performance of the PBC with this amount of meat, and so far no unforced errors on the day.

    Both butts barked up very nicely and the bark I peeled off of the PBC grate was like pork candy!

    Like Ernest and others have said in a few posts - definitely Kingsford Competition for the long cooks in the PBC to maintain high heat longer.

    I'll have final pics, stats and meat yield after the pork reaches 190-195 in the oven and then rests for an hour or so.
    Last edited by HC in SC; December 14, 2014, 04:56 PM.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Just a question, Why don't you just add coals to the fire? Thats what I do when I need longer cooks, seems to work fine for me. I usually add about 10 to 15 coals at about the 4 hour mark and then I have enough fuel for about 12 hours. Just put them in gingerly so ash doesn't go flying everywhere. I hope I'm not coming off as push, telling you how to cook. Thats not my intention, as I am far from an expert. I'm just letting you know what I did to remedy this problem. Love this write up

    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      At this point I just wanted a level set to see what I can expect out of a full basket of Kingsford blue.


      In the future as I get more comfortable with the PBC and being able to anticipate drops, surges, etc I will adjust the bottom vent, add more coals as you suggest, maybe over fill the fire basket, go back to lump or something else after getting a good foundation.


      In the meantime I am going to try the Kingsford Competiton or the B&B if I can get my hands on some!

    #7
    8 hours was the max for me with Kingsford. I'm glad I have that B & B locally. You can go 10 hours with that stuff, and probably cook some SLC ribs, if you can get the temp to tame back down.

    Comment


    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Looks like Camping World carries B&B from their retail store locator. I pass a Camping World on the way to work, so I'll be stopping in.


      I bet they can order it even if they don't stock it since they are a B&B retailer.

    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      When I tried Kingsford Competition, it burned longer but not hotter.

      I like Jerod's idea of layering...maybe for longer cooks I'll try Kingsford Competition under a layer of Kingsford Original.

      Ernest uses Ozark Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal which I can get from Amazon but is pretty pricey compared to Kingsford that I can get locally. I'm going to do a comparison of Ozark Lump with Kingsford Original for short (chicken) cooks and see how they compare. For longer cooks, I wish I could find some of Jerod's B&B charcoal.

      Kathryn

    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Awesome - thanks Katherine. I am not sure I have the chops yet to go back to lump and its inconsistencies.

    #8
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    Totals:

    Total yield from larger butt: 3.99 lbs pulled pork
    Total yield from smaller butt: 3.94 lbs pulled pork

    Total cook time: 10 hours (8.5 hours on PBC then 1.5 hours covered in foil in a 250 convection oven)
    Total meat rest time before pulling: 1 hour

    Taste: On par with some of the best I have done. Excellent bark by letting it stay open in the PBC thru the stall.

    Takeaways:

    1. Need better charcoal for longer cooks. Will try either Kingsford competition or B&B next 8+ hour cook. The only other way around this may be to cut up the butts as Huskee and others have suggested.
    2. Cracking the lid multiple times made the coals last longer. Cracking the lid as soon as meat was on was essential to get above 200 out of the gate. Jerod's smoke stacks mod seems even more impressive after all the lid-cracking today!!
    3. Will continue with the Huskee Rib Rub / mustard slathering as described above - the bark was like pork candy! (Hope you can see the sugar crystallization on the bark pieces in the pulled pics - it tasted incredible and still had moist interior meat).
    4. Will continue NOT wrapping at stall as all of the PBC experts suggested - they were 100% dead on. The bark was much more pronounced without wrapping at the stall. Jerod was also spot on about ramping up the temps to 330+ to help push thru the stall.
    5. Just about 8lbs of jam-up barbeque! 6lbs is already double freezer bagged and vacuum sealed in 1.5 lbs each quart Ziplocs; the other 2 we will eat and share tonight with our neighbors.

    Thanks to all for following and the advice.

    This was definitely a confidence builder on the PBC for me!

    Comment


      #9
      That lid crack lets out a lot moisture, the build up is really too much of a good thing during the stall, especially with 17+ pounds of butts, or 40+ pounds of brisket.

      1. Less moisture equals better bark development
      2. Less moisture equals less vaporization of water which cools the crap out of the barrel

      GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD lookin' pork man!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        I am thinking to to some type of vent hole in the lid of the PBC - sort of like the adjustable damper on the UDS kit.

        I am thinking smaller holes and magnets like you used on the sides. I'll give it a few more cooks with less meat to see how it performs and do some more homework.

      #10
      Very VERY nice, HC! You are doing good things!

      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! I'm starting to get my arms around the PBC's capabilities. Each cook gives me more knowledge and confidence with this cooker.

      #11
      OMGoodness, HC. Pure pork perfection. Congrats and thanks for all the great info!


      Kathryn
      Last edited by fzxdoc; December 15, 2014, 07:22 AM.

      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! You guys were so right about not wrapping at the stall!

      #12
      They look awesome. While maybe not an expert, I almost never wrap. Never run out of coals, keep more moisture, knock 3-4 hours off the cook. It's all about what works for you though!

      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks John - if it wasn't for you guys helping me out on the last cook's AAR (After Action Review), I wouldn't have known to just crack the lid when the temps went south. Each cook on the PBC is getting better.

      #13
      Awesome post HC! I'm really glad you tried the unwrapped pork butt cook on the PBC. I knew I'd make a believer out of you

      Also this is just one awesome thread. There's a lot of good experience represented here.

      One thing. I have to disagree the Kingsford Competition is going to give you a better cook time/temp profile. Check out this article. I can say from personal experience cooking a butt on the PBC with Kingsford Competition that I got the same results as John (John Dawson wrote the article I linked).

      Finally, that's some good looking Que!
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      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the tip. Hopefully I can get my hands on some B&B briquettes. The only authorized dealer of B&B in the area is a Camping World in North Charleston - I am planning on swinging by today to see if they stock it.

      #14
      Agree with Pit Boss. Very nice writeup. The is the kind of thing The Pit is about!

      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks - I certainly wouldn't have gotten the bark that I did w/o the HRR.

        That stuff is like magic pixie dust for pork my man!!

        It has a sweet and salty with a hint of savory from the cumin, garlic and onion.

        The chile powder, cayenne and black pepper are at perfect levels - the dash of chipolte powder I add gives just just enough heat.

      #15
      Thanks for the assists and advice from all!

      I suppose I got into wrapping at the stall when using the ECB - it saved me from re-doing the fire box with fresh coals, and by that point up to the stall the coals were already changed at least once, so it was more of a laziness thing; then I saw Noah doing it on his pork butt how-to video, so I just continued wrapping on the PBC as well.

      After this experience I will definitely not wrap at the stall and will push the temps up then like Jerod instructed - it worked out great! If I only had another hour or two of hot fire in the PBC I could have skipped the convection oven part (or if I sectioned the butts like has been suggested by Huskee, Kathryn, smarkley and others).

      There was so much good, crispy bark on these two butts I probably ate a good 1/8 pound of bark while they were being pulled. The mustard coupled with the HRR made a true candy-type substance that was in-freaking-credible. It was so rich with the melted pork fat I could have made myself sick on it. The interior of the meat was just as tender and juicy as it has been when I have wrapped at the stall.

      NOTE: So the wife pulls out the BI-LO (another large supermarket chain here in SC) ad from Sunday's paper last night when we were done pulling, packing and stowing the meat from these 2 butts, and lo and behold: "Bone-In Pork Butts $0.99 / pound through Tuesday - 9 to 11 lbs; limit 2". Looks like I'll be picking up a couple more on the way home to rinse, trim, rub, slather, wrap and vacuum seal for next weekend! I need to swing by Camping World and get the scoop on B&B; if not I'll try the Kingsford competition which is readily available at WallyWorld and Lowe's.
      Last edited by HC in SC; December 15, 2014, 10:36 AM.

      Comment


      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks PitBoss. I went by Camping World today and all they carry is B&B lump. Small bags for 7.99.

      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        I picked up some Rockwood lump charcoal today to try for short hot cooks like chicken (thanks, Ernest). $1.25 per pound. I read some online reviews and they're good. I can't get B&B in this area, or Ozark Oak.

        Kathryn

      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah - I'm out of luck on the B&B also. Camping World here in N. Charleston only carries the small bags of B&B Lump; the guys said they could not get B&B Briquettes even on special order.

        I'll give the Kingsford competition a shot - maybe mix them with the blue bag.

        At least I have a good baseline of 8 hours with Kingsford blue.

        I also cannot get Ozark or Hasty Bake....

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