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Thinking of smoking a pork shoulder from frozen...

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  • Attjack
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    • Aug 2017
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    Thinking of smoking a pork shoulder from frozen...

    Someone recently posted that they found smoking from frozen took a similar amount of time. This sounds really convenient. My question would be what about dry brining? I always dry brine 24 hours ahead of the smoke. But I can't see it working the same on a frozen cut of meat. Would I have needed to dry brine before freezing for this to work out?
    Last edited by Attjack; June 12, 2020, 12:20 PM.
  • BFlynn
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 839
    • Third Coast

    #2
    I normally thaw and then dry brine. You could make do both at the same time.

    If you're smoking from frozen, I guess I'd use a rub witb salt or add salt and skip dry brining.

    But I've never tried it

    Comment

    • Steve R.
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 2315
      • Elizabethtown, KY
      • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

      #3
      I do the dry brining/applying rub prior to freezing, and it cooks in the same time frame as an unfrozen one. If you prepare multiple butts at the same time to freeze, you only have one mess to clean up and you always have one ready to go on short notice.

      Comment


      • Dadof3Illinois
        Dadof3Illinois commented
        Editing a comment
        So do you brine for say 12-24 hours then add rub, vacuum seal and freeze? I have a butt in the fridge I’m not going to be able to cook this weekend and this could be a chance to try this process.

      • Attjack
        Attjack commented
        Editing a comment
        My plan is to just dry brine and freeze and add the rub on the day of the smoke.

      • Steve R.
        Steve R. commented
        Editing a comment
        Dadof3Illinois, I will sometimes just use a rub containing salt, or I will apply the rub just before sealing it up to freeze. Day of the cook, I take it out of the freezer, plop it on the grate and wait.
    • Andrrr
      Club Member
      • May 2019
      • 332
      • Wisconsin
      • WSM 22”
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      #4
      I could probably dog through threads but what kind of effect does it have on bark formation?

      Comment


      • Andrrr
        Andrrr commented
        Editing a comment
        I figured that smoke ring had to go pretty deep

      • Bogy
        Bogy commented
        Editing a comment
        I get great bark!

      • BFlynn
        BFlynn commented
        Editing a comment
        I just put a chuckie on the freezer before reading this thread. May try to smoke that from frozen if the smoke ring goes deeper.

        So yall haven't seen a difference in moisture in taking fresh meat, salting it, freezing it, and then smoking frozen.

        Does pork butt work bc it has so much internal fat? Would other cuts dry out from the refreeze?
    • Bogy
      Club Member
      • Mar 2016
      • 594
      • North Central Iowa
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      #5
      I don't take a shoulder straight out of the freezer, but I will take it out and probably have a half to an inch on the surface kind of defrosted when I apply the salt. Its not going to go a whole lot further than that anyway. IT is usually under 30 F when I start smoking.

      Comment


      • Attjack
        Attjack commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, that's what I typically do as well. I like the idea of pre-brining and then being able to go from the freezer to the rub to the smoker.

      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        Yea he's right, you get maybe an inch of penetration so pre-brining then freezing should work. Or thawing the outer layer then brining. Choices, choices !!

      • Andrrr
        Andrrr commented
        Editing a comment
        Did you ever try pulling it from the freezer and dry brining of “X” amount of time? Maybe run it under water quick out of the freezer to get the salt to stick? Just trying to come up with some weird ideas because this method has my interest. I would dry brine before freezing but it’s so nicely cryovac’d that I don’t want to jeopardize it
    • wrgilb
      Club Member
      • Jan 2018
      • 200
      • Santa Cruz, Ca. area

      #6
      Has anyone tried injecting before freezing. What were the results?

      Comment

      • Rocinante
        Club Member
        • Dec 2019
        • 106
        • Knoxville, TN

        #7
        This is good. I have two 10# butts in the freezer now and have been dreading having to thaw before cooking. Kind of like the Turkey at Thanksgiving, always a pain. I rubbed mine before putting in the freezer, so a little time saved there.So, it will take just about the same time as thawed, yay...

        Comment

        • ecowper
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 3262
          • Maple Valley, WA
          • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
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            Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
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            Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


            Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

          #8
          Got two butts in cryovac in the fridge. Sort of ran out of time to do anything with them like I planned. So, dry brine and freeze is what is gonna happen. Great idea and one of the reasons I love the Pit!

          Comment

          • Ahumadora
            Club Member
            • Oct 2015
            • 2068
            • Pilar Buenos Aires, Argentina

            #9
            Yep. I just cook pork butt from frozen. Wet the outside for the salt n rub to stick.

            Comment

            • smokin fool
              Club Member
              • Apr 2019
              • 1764
              • Mississauga, Ont

              #10
              I never have any luck at all cooking from frozen
              i thaw everything at least over night

              Comment

              • BFlynn
                Charter Member
                • Oct 2014
                • 839
                • Third Coast

                #11
                Thinking about how to get hangers from the PBC through a frozen meat hunk..... Could freeze with the hooks in, or get the drill out.

                Comment


                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  BFlynn I was thinking the same about the temp probes....drill a pilot hole then tap for the probe????

                • BFlynn
                  BFlynn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Drill baby drill

                • Attjack
                  Attjack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  For the temp probe just wait until it thaws on the smoker. One gripe I have about my XR50 is that when I thaw a pork butt for 24 hours or so sometimes it's still frozen inside and if I probe it the low alarm goes off and there's no way to turn it off.
              • jfmorris
                Club Member
                • Nov 2017
                • 3009
                • Huntsville, Alabama
                • Jim Morris

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                #12
                I cook from frozen if I don’t have advance notice before deciding to make BBQ. I take from the cryovac, rinse, and wet it a little to get salt and a rub to stick. No time to dry brine in those cases. Cooking from frozen adds a couple hours to the cook in my experience, and I add the food probe after it smokes for a couple hours.

                To be honest, I’ve had some really good butts done this way, and don’t think the lack of a dry brine mattered much.

                Comment


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Attjack Dry Brine Believer..... could be a song by the Monkees, but probably before your time!

                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've had that stupid song from the Monkees (Daydream Believer) going through my mind since I read that comment yesterday, but with the lyrics changed to Dry Brine Believer....

                • Attjack
                  Attjack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Now I'm going to have it stuck in my head 🤣

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