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Planning First QVQ Cook for Work Picnic

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    Planning First QVQ Cook for Work Picnic

    Work has given me the opportunity to share my BBQ with my work buddies finally, so I'm taking advantage of it. I thought pulled pork sounded best (someone else already is bringing brisket). Probably just one butt (anywhere from 6-15 pounds).

    The main challenges are the 3pm start time, and the fact that the picnic is 45 minutes away from where I am. I understand there is a grill there, but I am not sure of its condition, and no electricity.

    The easiest solution is QVQ. I smoke and sous vide the meat to ready before the picnic, and then smoke for 2-3 hours to 140 IT and having it ready by 2-2:30pm or so to drive over. That way, I don't have to worry about trying to smoke something overnight or in the middle of the night and not having the meat ready in time.

    I was more or less going to follow Polarbear777 's approach here with some mods for pork (using MMD instead of BBBR), and probably adding some more MMD before the last smoke.


    It does seem like the group has settled on 135 for 72 hours for traditional pulled pork texture. Per Potkettleblack 's latest notes, I am not going to worry about going over 135 for the final smoke if I can generate a good bark.

    If the Joule fails (mine did the first time I did brisket midway through the 72 hour cook), I would shock and refrigerate, then smoke the usual way to 203 at the best time I can figure. Ideally, the partial sous vide would have reduced the stall time, so it'd be easier to finish cooking on the day of assuming I get up at 5am.

    I would not shred the pulled pork until service, but instead store it in a aluminum foil pan with foil and towels for the trip over.

    I am a bit concerned about the purge (see https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ss-and-failure ) . I plan to lightly salt with kosher and use MMD, so that seems to be okay for just throwing the purge in unfiltered before I drive over.

    Items I plan to bring with me for the trip:

    Aluminum pan/towels
    Chafing dish ( https://www.webstaurantstore.com/cho...76CHAFKIT.html or https://www.webstaurantstore.com/cho...FOLDCHAFE.html ) Any thoughts on disposable versus SS?
    Serving utensils
    Water for chafing dish
    Meat shredders
    Disposable gloves
    2 Black Swan BBQ sauces + bottle of Meathead Carolina Gold

    Plates, fork/knives/spoons, and napkins will be provided. No beer allowed.

    Anything that I am missing or that you would tweak?
    Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 1, 2021, 08:56 AM.

    One thing I’d tweak…..that silly No Beer Allowed rule.


    • IFindZeroBadCooks
      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
      Editing a comment
      Facility rules, not mine!

      Sad though for sure.

    IFindZeroBadCooks you're going to inspire me to finally take the sous vide plunge!


    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      Me too. I got a sous vide setting in our insta pot.
      I guess I should read the instructions.

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      bbqLuv Instructions are for sissy’s. Do what I do.
      1. Unbox product and throw instructions away.
      2. Spend hours trying to assemble product.
      3. Cuss, scream and holler cause nothing works right.
      4. Walk away pissed off and grab a beer. Alcohol always helps with product assembly.
      5. Consume several more beers for the next attempt.
      6. Start your second attempt at assembly….to no avail.
      7. Cuss, scream and holler even louder than the first time
      8. Have wife retrieve instructions out of garbage

    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      "Birds of a Feather"

    Smoking it with cherry and oak wood chunks of course


      When I did this last time I did QVQ pulled chuck. I did the final smoke on site (I brought my PK original). People were amazed how I cooked that in a little over an hour.

      most grills they have onsite are either park charcoal grills or gas grills. You’d need to do indirect to finish a QVQ.

      The problem with transport is that if it’s straight smoke you are putting it in the cooker at ~ 200F so that will stay hot for hours. With QVQ you aren’t going above 140, so you won’t get much cooler hold time.

      if they have a gas grill you can probably finish Q indirect. If they have a big park style charcoal grill you can get really big disposable aluminum pans (turkey size or bigger) and build a coal fire under one side of an inverted pan and get a somewhat indirect heat on the other side.

      if you have to finish at home I’m sure you can drop in a cooler at 140 and it will be ok for an hour. You should wait to pull it until you are there so it doesn’t get too cool but if it does you can always warm it up a bit on-site.


      One of my favorite parts of pulled pork is all the bits of bark mixed in. I worry the QVQ method would diminish the bark. Not completely of course, but reduce it a bit. Pulled pork reheats so well that I’d smoke it ahead of time, pull, vac seal, and reheat for service.


      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Could this be the same excuse I need for a vacuum sealer? I agree it reheats well, but I am kinda excited about doing QVQ now.

      The way I would do this cook, is to prep the pork butt the whole way, QVQ or traditional, vac seal it hot, shock it down, fridge it. Day of service, reheat SV to 145-150, crack the bag, pull, and serve. That's how I do them for work, but I'm reheating and serving in an office. No Vac Seal, no problem. Big Ziplock, archimedes method of vac seal should be sufficient. No electric on site, and no way to do it on your car battery... then we have issues... nothing insurmountable though...

      If I didn't have a way of reheating on site, I'd either do the finishing Q at home ahead of the trip, and then faux cambro the intact butt all the way to the park, then shred on site for service. If I didn't have the ability to do the Q on the day of service, I'd still bag and reheat, probably with SV, faux cambro for transit, and pull on site.

      For me, the best pulled pork is freshly pulled, and the best brisket is freshly sliced.


        Thanks Potkettleblack .

        The plan is to do the final Q on the day of service in the morning/early afternoon, drive it over in a cambro, and shred for service. I will bring along some charcoal in case I have the ability to heat onsite. I will see if I can learn anything more about the grill there so maybe I could drive over early to finish.

        I ordered a Cambro GoBag insulated pizza delivery box, a Choice disposable chafer kit with fuel etc, and a micropore heat pad(8" x 12") from https://www.webstaurantstore.com/ , so I think I am all set.
        Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 2, 2021, 07:41 PM.


          Also ended up grabbing the $100 Foodsaver deal out of Costco once I realized my pork butts would not fit in 1 gallon freezer bags.

          So, between the delivery bag, chafing dish, heating pad, Foodsaver, and Rubbermaid sous vide container, this is an expensive picnic.

          It is also possibly the greatest idea ever to get a bunch of new sous vide tools. Sweet.

          I realize the Foodsaver reviews here are kinda mediocre, but if I use it enough for it to break, then I will upgrade. Also, Costco could very well take it back if it fails.


          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            I think the Foodsavers are generally OK for light, occasional use. I have a Nesco in that same price range and it's fine. If I did a lot of vacuum sealing or did a lot at once I'd want something better but there's kind of a gap in the market between $150 and like $450.

          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            I do a ton of vacuum sealing. When you are prepping or putting away 12-20 lbs of food, having multiple failures in a row is no fun.

          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            I actually managed to get all of my meat in freezer bags after I trimmed it so I will return it shortly. Not sure why it was so difficult the first time but trimming off the fat cap must have been just that inch or so of clearance.

          Not that you need it now but for long term storage good vacuum sealed stuff easily lasts 2x longer in the freezer than stuff in freezer bags.


          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, I'd like to get one eventually but waiting for a situation where it becomes a need. And, I have an opportunity to upgrade the brand.
            Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 17, 2021, 07:32 PM.

          Smoked and into the bath
          Attached Files
          Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 18, 2021, 03:21 PM.


            I'm loving this topic...



              Looks great so far. Can't wait for the post about your co-workers gobbling it all up and looking for more;


                Don’t be alarmed if the water gets cloudy. Smoke particles can permeate the bag even if you have a good seal.


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I never knew this, but it explains a lot. Several times I smelled or felt that the sous vide bag must be leaking due to this, and ended up double bagging some things.

                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  double bagging for long (24 hour+ ) cooks is a good precaution, though. Not for the smoke particle reason but because bags fail.

                Update pic. Smoked it with 3–4 chunks of wood the first time so planning on another 2-3 chunks on Sunday.

                Yeah, you can see the water is cloudy but as the seals are holding, I am not concerned. I am just glad the Joule didn’t crap out on me like last time.
                Attached Files


                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You may want to give the Joule a good clean afterwards, following theJoule cleaning instructions in the app. We've had a discussion here before about whether the smoke particles/components that filter through can damage a SV heater, and the consensus of opinon was that all would be fine. I just clean my Joule after a QVQ cook to feel good about it.


                • IFindZeroBadCooks
                  IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks. That is a good idea. I will do that today.


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