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Cooking a butt from frozen

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    Cooking a butt from frozen

    A couple of months ago I bought a 2-pack of butts and applied rub to both. One went in the smoker, and the other got tightly wrapped and bagged and into the deep freeze for two months.

    So today I needed to prepare two butts and decided to do a side by side comparison: fresh vs frozen. My IR thermometer told me the exterior of the frozen one was -3* F right before it went in. Frozen one was ~10 lbs, and the fresh one was ~8 lbs.

    Here we are now, 12 hrs. in:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20200524_112349.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.37 MB ID:	850929
    I think I have mentioned in the past that frozen and fresh butts take about the same amount of time to finish, in my experience, but here is photo evidence. 😎 The 26" kettle has been running at 250*, and neither is wrapped at this point.
    Last edited by Steve R.; September 30, 2021, 10:17 PM.

    #2
    Interesting to see them both at the same temperature. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment


      #3
      Very cool! I’ve started a few chunks that were still frozen in the center and didn’t seem to think there was any appreciable difference but always cool for someone to show some concrete evidence.

      Comment


        #4
        Perfect timing. I have some chicken quarters that still a bit frozen that I will put on the Rec Tec in about an hour. I feel much better about it now! Thx for the post.

        Comment


        • Blues1
          Blues1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Let us know how it works out.

        • Sweaty Paul
          Sweaty Paul commented
          Editing a comment
          Let us know results!

        #5
        We were just talking about cooking steaks straight from the freezer and how nice they can turn out. I guess if steaks work, why not other cuts of meat?

        Here's the frozen steak thread, in case y'all are interested -- https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...rn-that-s-cold

        Comment


          #6
          did they both hit the stall at the same time or did one stall earlier and let the other catch up?

          Comment


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            Not sure about that, but I'm thinking they probably hit the stall at the same time, since they heated up at the same rate from there. When I woke up around 9 am, they were at about 160
            Last edited by Steve R.; May 24, 2020, 11:51 PM.

          • smokenoob
            smokenoob commented
            Editing a comment
            cool! awaiting taste results!

          #7
          was there salt in the frozen rub? the effect of salt woth freezing is a point that stops me from trying that. let me know what you learned!

          Comment


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            I applied the salt separately, since there is no salt in the rub, but yes. I'm guessing some brining happened until it froze solid, and then as it thawed. No ill effect that I could tell.

          • Schwyy
            Schwyy commented
            Editing a comment
            great info, thanks for sharing!

          #8
          But they're .4 degrees different, that's something isn't it?

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup, seen it right off. lol!

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Eagle eye

          #9
          Talk about a photo finish, or nearly so. Did you end up taking them both off at the same time? Did they both eat the same?

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            They finished within minutes of each other like any other time I have cooked multiple butts. The pre-frozen one had a more pronounced bark, but that could be because I used a different rub for each.

            The fresh one was for one of my wife's work friends and I was trying to make it the same way I did the last time I cooked for one of their work functions. When I sampled both (for quality assurance purposes ), I really couldn't tell a difference, other than the flavor imparted by the rub.
            Last edited by Steve R.; May 25, 2020, 09:23 AM.

          #10
          So why am i waiting 4 days for big hunks of meat to thaw before cooking???

          Comment


            #11
            OK, I'll play dumb here, is there a method to getting a temp probe into rock hard frozen meat? Or, I surmise you wait until it has thawed some in the cooking process?

            PS: Please do not tell my wife I admitted to playing dumb :-)

            Comment


            • Steve R.
              Steve R. commented
              Editing a comment
              You know, I honestly almost made a joke in my initial post about drilling a hole. My Plan B was to wait until the other one had reached 100* or so and then insert the probe. As long as I can monitor it the last few hours, that's all I really care about.
              Last edited by Steve R.; May 25, 2020, 08:51 AM.

            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              In th various degrees of Probe Tenderness, I'd reckon' Frozen' should be purty readily apparent, an not require a thermo.
              Leastwise, that's how I'd roll with it.

            • Razor
              Razor commented
              Editing a comment
              Mr. Bones but then you can’t see that beautiful curve on your cooking software. 😉

            #12
            I was genuinely surprised. Do briskets follow the same pattern? I remember reading somewhere in here to add a little bit of time but it wasn’t much if I recall.

            Comment


            • Steve R.
              Steve R. commented
              Editing a comment
              No idea. When I do a brisket, it's usually for a special occasion, so I don't have any sitting around in the freezer. Also, I wouldn't want to risk screwing one of those up, whereas this is just one of a million effective ways to cook a butt.

            • Razor
              Razor commented
              Editing a comment
              With the way meat sales are going I have one as an “in case of emergency break glass” protein. My local a Sam’s Club had a few to pick from but nothing else.

            • Steve R.
              Steve R. commented
              Editing a comment
              A few weeks ago, Kroger had like 12 CAB briskets for $1.99/lb. and no sign saying there was a limit on how many you could buy. Not wanting to be "that guy", I got just one, with plans to give it a day or two and get another one if they were still there. In the meantime, "that guy'" cleaned them all out, and I haven't seen them for less than $6.99 since.

            #13
            This thread inspired me to cook 6 pounds of beef short ribs yesterday straight out of a freezer at 0F / -18C. The ribs were in four one-bone pieces. The butcher had stacked one pair on top of the other, so the pieces were as compact as possible when frozen.

            I cooked them on my Hasty Bake at roughly 275F / 135C average temp. I have to say I had some serious doubts when I threw this icy block of meat on the grill. It took about 1 1/2 hours in the HB before I could separate the ribs into individual pieces. After that the cook was pretty typical.

            I hadn't seasoned the ribs before freezing them. Instead I mixed salt, black pepper, and onion and garlic powder to season the meat properly and sprinkled that on the ribs whenever I turned the pieces.

            The smaller two ribs were done at 5 hours and the larger two at 5 1/2 hours. I didn't wrap-and-rest the ribs after taking them off the cooker, and I think they would have benefited from an hour or so rest. But we were hungry.

            Of the several methods for cooking beef ribs that I looked at, including Troutman's rib cooking method, it seems like around 5 hours is a pretty typical cook time for beef ribs starting at refrigerator cold. Not too shabby for starting from frozen!
            Last edited by IowaGirl; July 20, 2020, 10:20 AM.

            Comment


              #14
              Tried this the other day after a brisket cook, still had a lot of coals on the BKK and no meat thawed.
              Pulled a pork butt outta the freezer, dry rubbed it and onto the smoker.
              Fantastic results, you've taken me over to the frozen side.

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep - it sure beats waiting 3-4 days for that thing to thaw in the fridge, doesn't it? I just rinse and wet it enough to get salt and a rub to stick, and then onto the smoker.

                I've only done this with butts, yet to try it with brisket. I do have a 16 pound brisket in the freezer, so it might happen... I just won't be doing any trimming of fat if it goes on frozen.

              • Razor
                Razor commented
                Editing a comment
                jfmorris my buddy and I did a frozen brisket this past weekend. He let it thaw slightly to trim some of the fat, but it was pretty much a frozen slab of meat when it went in to the WSM. There was no noticeable increase in cooking time, and you couldn’t tell the difference between frozen and fresh.

              • Razor
                Razor commented
                Editing a comment
                I’ll add it had a nice bark and beautiful smoke ring.

              #15
              I bet you guys get a crazy smoke ring from that too. Going from frozen......

              Comment

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