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.
By this time, the world was just beginning to wake up in my neck of the woods.
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. 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.
12:10 Added a package of neckbones (3.61 lbs) to the warming rack. Butt temp at 154.
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.
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.......
While twiddling my thumbs, thought I'd share another use for the side burner.
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.
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).
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!
Hope you enjoyed my sharing a butt and bones tale with you.