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Sous and smoke pulled pork

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  • josht138
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 213
    • Marietta, GA (Greater Atlanta)
    • Weber Genesis E-330 (AKA Big Paperweight)
      22" Weber Kettle Premium
      26" Weber Kettle One Touch
      Slow 'N Sear
      Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5" (pre-2008)
      Anova Sous Vide
      (2) Maverick ET-733s
      Thermapen MK4

    Sous and smoke pulled pork

    So I did a pulled pork a few weeks ago. 24 hrs @165F and then straight to smoke for about 90 mins to 2 hrs. That time I had very tender meat with not so great bark and little smoke flavor. I read some suggestions to smoke from being cold to get the smoke to stick.

    So round 2... I went about 22 hrs @165F, then straight into the fridge where it stayed for about 12 hrs or so. Then I smoked it between 225F and 260F for 4 hrs. When i pulled it the IT was 185. The bark was solid. The smoke flavor was likely not much better than last time. The one down side is that the meat was nowhere near as tender.

    I'm thinking that 4 hrs may have been too long for smoke or maybe I should have went into an ice bath when I pulled from the bath or maybe I need to go at a lower water temp.

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  • DWCowles
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 9760
    • Smiths Grove, Ky
    • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

    #2
    Sous vide-b-que looks awesome

    Comment

    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 11463
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        SNS
        Pizza insert
        Rotisserie
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        Chefalarm
        Dot
        lots of probes.
        CyberQ

      #3
      I heard or read somewhere that you can actually just smoke the meat at around 225* for 10 or more hours and it will turn out with great bark and a smokey flavor. I'm not sure though - it could just be an internet rumor.

      Comment


      • josht138
        josht138 commented
        Editing a comment
        Good advice
    • Breadhead
      Banned Former Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 1

      #4
      I've done that cook twice for no other reason than to experiment. I had no guidance, I didn't copy any recipe, I just combined all of my BBQ experience with what little I had learned about Sous Vide cooking to that point, with the help of the Modernists Cuisine cook book on SV cooking.

      When planning the cook... My first thought was what do I do about the stall? Will there be a stall? So... I decided I would SV the butt to 180°. Thinking that's generally past the normal stall temperatures.

      Then I thought about how long it was going to take in the smoker for me to get the bark texture that I wanted? Knowing I would put it in the smoker at about 38°.

      Then i thought about how am I going to get the smoke flavor I'm used too? So i decided an ice bath would be best after taking it out of the bath tub then putting it in the fridge overnight. That would allow me to put a cold clod of meat in the smoker, which smoke will adhere to best.

      Then i thought... Do I cook to temperature (203°), probe softness, or do I cook to the look of the bark? Then I put my Thermapen probe into the meat, while cold, just to see where my starting point was. It had a long way to go.

      I fired up my large BGE to 240° and put my pork butt on and put in more wood chunks than normal, all in one bunch right over the small fire. Thinking they will burn off in about one hour, not to be replaced with more chunks. I normally smoke at 225° but I thought the hotter temperature would build the bark faster. There was no stall. It did take a while for the meat temperature to increase because the starting point was 38°.

      The end result was I smoked the butt for about 5 hours and got the bark color and texture I wanted and the meat was probe soft at that point and it was 205°. I got plenty of smoke flavor and the meat was moist and tender.

      I will repeat that cook when time is an issue, entertaining guests, where I MUST serve it on time. In fact that's the only way I'll do that cook under those circumstances. I like knowing that it's about a 5 hour window so I can accurately plan.👍
      On the other hand... A 14 to 16 hour full packer cook is no problem either.

      Difference in food taste, texture, moisture? It's about a push. Most people would never be able to tell the difference.

      Fire & Water is a perfect marriage... I think Meathead implied.😆
      Last edited by Breadhead; September 19th, 2016, 12:56 AM.

      Comment


      • josht138
        josht138 commented
        Editing a comment
        I also had no stall in my cook which makes sense when you see how much it rendered while in the bath. I was considering a lower temperature but hearing that you had success at 180 bath temperature changes my mind.

      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        Breadhead - how long in the bath?

      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment
        It was about 15/18 hours but you can be flexible on time in the bath tub.
    • BBQCentralShow
      Greg Rempe
      • Jul 2014
      • 367

      #5
      I heard if you add 2 cups liquid smoke and use a crock pot vs. Sous machine you really get authentic flavor and smoke ring. I think the website was www.crockpotbbq.com.
      Last edited by BBQCentralShow; September 19th, 2016, 06:40 AM.

      Comment


      • josht138
        josht138 commented
        Editing a comment
        No bark though... c'est la vie.
    • Koy Schoppe
      Charter Member
      • Feb 2015
      • 147
      • Greensboro, NC
      • Name:
        Koy

        ​Location:
        Greensboro, North Carolina

        Grills:
        22" Weber + Slow N Sear
        Pit Barrel Cooker

        Thermo's:
        iGrill 2
        Thermopop

        Drinks:
        Mainly beer, preferably local: Karbach, Southern Star, Lone Pint, and anything else made in Texas!

        Cooks for:
        Wife, 2 kids (9 & 5), 2 doodle dogs, and whoever smells the smoke and comes on over

      #6
      When I did my sous vide pulled pork, I went 24 hours at 165, just like you did. Then overnight in the fridge. At that point, really the meat is done. It is pull apart tender already. So when it goes into the smoker the next morning, it is all about adding flavor while preventing it from drying out. So it needs to be cold going in (to get the smoke to "stick" as you mentioned), and don't let the IT get above 165ish. I kept my smoker at about 200 for 5 hours or so, and it turned out great with nice smoke ring, and great smoke flavor.

      Like Breadhead mentioned, it is great technique for when time is a factor (either lack of enough time, or need to be done at a specific time).

      Comment


      • josht138
        josht138 commented
        Editing a comment
        I'll try that next time. Although last time I did this I went directly from the bath to the smoker and went about 90 mins to 2 hrs with smoke and it was super tender edge to edge. I think I even had the temps in the smoker around 275 to 300. I'm not sure what the final IT was though.
    • Atalanta
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 430
      • Barnsley's Ford
      • Grills: 22" Weber (wood handles) (another Weber on the way), Lodge Sportsman "hibachi"
        Smoker: None yet, part of why I joined
        Thermometer: 10+ yr old Taylor digital thermometer with remote
        Sous Vide: Anovo Imersion Circulator (1st gen)
        Coffee Roaster: Hot Top Coffee Roaster
        Adult Beverages: Fighting Cock Bourbon, Leinny Shandy, Troegs Mad Elf

      #7
      Now I'm a smoking n00b here, but I thought I read that smoke sticks better when raw than cooked. Or am I confusing "raw" with "cold"?

      Comment


      • Koy Schoppe
        Koy Schoppe commented
        Editing a comment
        I think cold is the key...

      • Ernest
        Ernest commented
        Editing a comment
        Cold meat.
        I do the SV+BBQ On all tough cuts that would normally take 10 plus hours on smoker.
        Will never go back
    • josht138
      Charter Member
      • May 2015
      • 213
      • Marietta, GA (Greater Atlanta)
      • Weber Genesis E-330 (AKA Big Paperweight)
        22" Weber Kettle Premium
        26" Weber Kettle One Touch
        Slow 'N Sear
        Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5" (pre-2008)
        Anova Sous Vide
        (2) Maverick ET-733s
        Thermapen MK4

      #8
      Ernest I don't know if I'll never go back, but it's been fun experimenting. I am planning a lunch cook for my team at work and their families. I was going to do pulled pork since it's so cheap so I've been testing to find the best method. Cooking in the bag and then leaving it in the fridge after the cook is very convenient. Especially since the morning of the cook I can grab all of the food, smoke it for what I think will need to be around 3 hours, and I got a full nights sleep without worrying about the cook or if my deck is on fire.

      Comment

      • rfeustel
        Club Member
        • Nov 2015
        • 4

        #9
        Anyone do it the other way? Smoke to 170. Fridge. Then sous vide at 185 for 24 hours, finishing with sous vide at 200?

        Comment


        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          I did it that way once for a lunch for about 25 colleagues on a bike trip. It came out quite nicely, though not much in the way of bark. Here's the note I kept: Smoked 3 hours at ~225, then 18 hours sous vide at 176F. Yielded 53% by weight.
      • EdF
        EdF
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 3157
        • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
        • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
          Karubeque C-60
          Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
          TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
          Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
          Thermapen
          Thermapen Air
          ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
          Thermoworks Hi temp IR
          BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
          Various other stuff

        #10
        OK, yesterday's experiment: two picnic shoulders that I boned so I could fit them in the SV bags. I wanted to try out Potkettleblack 's method of SV-ing at a lower temp, to go for meat that could be sliced or cubed and added to other dishes (there are only two of us here):

        So, into the tub at 145 for 20 hours with small amount of seasoning . I'd have done 140 for 12-18 in retrospect. I'll say why later.

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        Then ice bath for about 20 minutes, drain a huge amount of purge into a bowl, dry, 2-3 (closer to 3) hours in the KBQ at ~240.

        I lost a few pics along the way, but this is one of the two.

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        So, it was really dry, but tender, with decent bark. I realized this morning that I usually add the purge back in when I pull shoulder, so to be fair, this should have been served in some kind of sauce.

        Next time less SV temp and time, lower the KBQ a wee bit to account for its convection effects. Then, see what happens!

        In the meantime, we have to figure out what to put all this meat into. Oh, bummer!

        Comment


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          I'd go down to 135*. Maybe 36-48. Then shock and fridge. Then smoke to bark.

        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, was looking forward to your comments. I assume the principle is mainly 1) slower raising of heat leads to less moisture shedding, 2) less chance of overcooking after a refrigeration?

        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Mostly. The refrigeration also goes with what Meathead and Doc B have said about smoke adherence. Better to colder meats and most smoke flavor in the first hour of smoking from raw.
      • Michael Brinton
        Club Member
        • May 2016
        • 263

        #11
        Definitely be sure to follow the shock and fridge advice. You don't want to throw hot food in your refrigerator. It will raise the temperature on everything in there.

        Comment

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