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A story of Butts and Bones

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Post Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:28 am
Longmill well done
well done

Posts: 2667
Location: North Carolina
A day in the life of a smoker.....

The story begins before dawn on 8/28/05. Crawl out of bed at 4:00 am. On the way to the kitchen, swing by the PC and start the boot. Then, head for the coffee maker. First sip of coffee..... ahhhhh there's still some life in these old bones.....

Nurse on that cup of coffee while catching up with all the good folks here on the board. Type a few replies, read a few more posts. Grab that second cup of coffee. Ahhhhh, that's even better now. Ready to face the world at 5:00 a.m. :!:

Head out back, hook up the lights and start getting ready for a day at the pit. Cleaned up the ashes from yesterday's grilling session. (Pork chops, grilled eggplant, and grilled peaches -- man it was good but this is another day.)

Set up the CG for low and slow. Minion method in the SFB. Water pans in the main chamber on the lowered charcoal pan. Used the side burner to fire up a dozen coals to get started.

6:15 am - Put the butts on the grill. Large one was approx 9.5 lbs. Smaller 8.75 lbs. Total weight of the cryo pack was 18 lbs. 2 oz. These were slathered with mustard and coated with Steven's basic rub the afternoon before.

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By this time, the world was just beginning to wake up in my neck of the woods.
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All is peaceful and quiet. My favorite time of day to be outside.

The other folks in my house are sound asleep. Time for another cup of coffee. That side burner comes in handy again.

Morning progresses....... time to shake the others for breakfast outdoors. I set up a Coleman stove with a griddle for whole wheat pancakes. The side burner hit the spot for sausage (soy based) and eggs. Stuffed myself. 8) While it was tempting to take a nap, it was time to check on what the CG was doing.

9:30 Grate temp at 228 - knock down the ashes and throw on another chunk.

Time passes.....

12:10 Added a package of neckbones (3.61 lbs) to the warming rack. Butt temp at 154.
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This was a test to see what would happen with neckbones on the smoker. No prep other than washing the night before and a dusting of black pepper before putting them on the grate. (No longer adding chunks to the SFB, so there'll be no additional smoke flavor.)

2:00 Spray butts and bones with apple juice/cider vinegar mix. (1.5 c apple juice .5 cup cider vinegar). Butt temp at 154.

2:30 Pulled off the bones. Butt temp at 165.
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These are destined to go into beans, cabbage and such in the future. Had to nibble them to see what the flavor would be like. With this much rendering to get out the fat, the flavor is similar to cracklings. The meat is chewy like bark. With a light dash of salt, they made a good snack. Similar to the first pickings around the edges when doing a whole hog.

I'll definitely be doing some more experimenting with these. They go on sale around here fairly often. Planning to try different sauces, rubs, smoke, etc., as well as doing them for the original purpose.

Now the waiting begins in earnest. Plateau time. But there are ways to pass the time. Here's one of them. Guess who this fellow is....... :wink:

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While twiddling my thumbs, thought I'd share another use for the side burner.
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3:20 pm - temp 168
5:30 pm - temp 181
6:30 pm - temp 185
6:30 pm - temp 188
8:00 pm - temp 194
8:15 pm - temp 195

At this point, checked both butts with the instant read. The smaller one without the probe was at 200. Some parts of the larger were at 200, as well. Pulled them off the CG at 8:25.

Wrapped them with foil and towels. Shut down operations outside and went in to put up my feet for a while.

9:30 pm unwrapped those packages to start pulling.
Image They sure smell good. Uhmmmm, some good nibbling, too!

Well, folks, if you've stayed with my story this far, here's the end result. Mixed in some more of the rub and added Georges BBQ sauce (vinegar based).
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Those two pans total 8.75 lbs.

Made myself a sammich and my last cuppa java for the day.

Well that's my story and I'm sticking too it! :o

Hope you enjoyed my sharing a butt and bones tale with you.
Longmill
CharGriller Super Pro SFB
Charcoal GOSM
Sunbeam gas grill

Post Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:37 am
chunk well done
well done

Posts: 694
Location: Bluemont, VA
great job. those look taste. thanks for sharing!
bbq galore bar-b-chef, charbroil silver smoker, weber smokey mountain, weber one touch silver, and weber smokey joe.

Post Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:15 am
Seattle-Q well done
well done

Posts: 439
Location: Kirkland, WA
Great time line and story of your day and thanks for sharing, everything looks outstanding.

Post Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:29 pm
SmokeyDan medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 99
Location: West Hills, CA
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.........

.....that does it!!!! I'm off in search of some butts to cook.

Post Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:36 pm
missing link well done
well done

Posts: 630
Location: houston

Longmill It can't get any better than these pork butt are right now Thanks for shareing. I have a whole chicken smoking right now an i'm just can not wait any more to eat. Time to go out an them out see yall later.

By the way this is my first cook on my cg. wish me luck.
Missing Link.
Have Fun and keep it Low and Slow.


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Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:53 am
Longmill well done
well done

Posts: 2667
Location: North Carolina
Thanks guys! Your kind words are much appreciated.

Here's a tip that I forgot to include in the post above.

I wanted to push this cook, as I hadn't planned on doing butts that large. So I tried to keep the grate temp in the 230-240 range. One time I let the charcoal get a little too low in the SFB. When I raked the live coals to the main chamber side there weren't as many left as I would have liked. Knew I'd get a pretty hefty temp drop.

So..... loaded the vent side of the SFB with more charcoal, overlapping some of the lit in the middle. (My version of Minion.) To keep the temp up, added a scoop of Cowboy lump on top of the live coals. The lump lit quickly, thus feeding more heat into the main chamber. By the time the Cowboy burned down, Minion was well on it's way with the fresh charcoal.

Plan to do this as routine from now on to keep the temp dip recovery time much shorter.

Hope this tip is useful for someone.
Longmill
CharGriller Super Pro SFB
Charcoal GOSM
Sunbeam gas grill

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:41 am
chunk well done
well done

Posts: 694
Location: Bluemont, VA
that's a good idea. i have had that problem in the past and will have to remember this.
bbq galore bar-b-chef, charbroil silver smoker, weber smokey mountain, weber one touch silver, and weber smokey joe.

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:15 am
zippy medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 231
Location: Staten Island New York
They look great. I think it's time for lunch now.
Kenmore 4 burner
Char-broil 18 1/2 kettle

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:11 am
kiltedcook well done
well done

Posts: 305
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Excellent timeline Longmill. And the results look great as well. I did a 5.5 - 6 pounder on Friday. I started it at 1am then went to bed. Got up to check at around 5, shook down the ash and added a few fresh coals and some more chunks. I went back to bed and got up around 9 and repeated the 5 oclock procedure. At noon we were heading to the zoo so I did another shakedown and addition. We returned for the zoo at about 5 and I wrapped the butt infoil and a couple of towels. After an hour of sitting I pulled it. I modified some sweet baby ray's with some apple juice, molasses, and a little of my rub. Slathered some of the sauce on top of a sandwich and it was definately good eats.

I gotta get a digital camera...
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Char-Griller Super Pro w/SFB

Barbequed Haggis Anyone?

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:12 am
johann well done
well done

Posts: 352
Man, I have to stop reading all these stories. They are like torture for a man on a diet!
Course cooking butts and picnics myself adn watching everyone else enjoy the food doesn't help.. Just have to keep telling myself they are practice runs, so when I do finally get to eat in october I'll be good at it. heh heh

Good job LM!

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:22 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
That was a great story and very well illustrated. Good thing I didn't get to it until after lunch. :wink: Thanks for sharing LM. 8)
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Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:48 pm
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

Longmill, Very nice account of your cook. Thanks for including us.
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Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:25 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Great story, pictures and results. Thanks for sharing.

I have a question: I noticed the foil wrap around the braided cable of your remote read thermometer probes. Why do this? Minimize cleanup, protect from the heat...inquiring minds would like to know. Thanks.

Jim

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:55 pm
bbquy well done
well done

Posts: 409
Location: Ct
Wow, great story and pics!! Thanks for sharing. :D
currently: Jenn-Air 48,000 btu gasser, CG-Outlaw w/sfb, (3)Weber 22" Performer Gold, Weber Q

Post Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:35 pm
Longmill well done
well done

Posts: 2667
Location: North Carolina
Once again, thanks everyone for your replies. Much appreciated. I'm glad you've enjoyed my tale of butts and bones.

Jim -- I read somewhere that wrapping the cable in foil will do all the things you mentioned. So, I tried it for this cook. I've been a bit concerned about the potential for the lid to damage the cable. And, I knew I would be running this cook at a grate temp higher than I normally do for a low and slow.

One fringe benefit that hadn't been mentioned is that it keeps them from getting tangled, too. :wink:

Again, thank you.
Longmill
CharGriller Super Pro SFB
Charcoal GOSM
Sunbeam gas grill


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