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Behold My Butt! (2007– )

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Speaking of finishing in the oven, you often hear that meat can only absorb so much smoke, and that after it has smoked for a while, you might as well finish it in the oven. Has anybody tested this? Presumably it depends on size and weight: but how much smoke can a given piece of meat (say, a ten-pound butt) benefit from?

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I have often heard that after the meat hits 140 that it doesn't absorb any more smoke. This is a fallacy IMO. The meat will continue to absorb smoke as long as smoke is surrounding the meat. Once a good bark has formed you will get less absorption of smoke but it doesn't mean that it has stopped. The real question is how much you need flavor wise. Over smoked meat is not a good thing

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Cheap bun, killer pork, and a vinegar-based slaw using a combination of Jean Anderson and Milwaukee German ingredients:

gallery_19804_437_52285.jpg

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I'm a slaw on the side kind of guy. Just did a shoulder and a 'boneless butt' (from I great pig I've had in the freezer all winter) in the big green egg for about 15 hours this weekend (fire did die down sometime while I slept, so it was probably a bit less).

I use Adam Perry Lang's slaw recipe. Omitting the cream, and cutting back a bit on the mayo. I keep the cabbage more coarsley cut than most slaws - gives it a lot of body.

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/crunchy...d-caraway-seeds

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Okay, being a Brit I'm in a similar position to Thampik in that I've never had real BBQ and certainly never pulled pork (not even on a night out). But like any good gulletter I am willing to rectify that situation forthwith. Brand new Weber kettle, check. Thermometers, check. Charcoal, check. etc

This thread is a beast, I've read a bit of it and I think I've got the jist of what to do and the recipes I want to try out. But there are some noobie questions I hope you experts can help with, best to start well and hope to get better I reckon:

- My main question is the cut of meat as I'll be butchering a Tamworth forequarter. When you Yankees guys say Butt, I'm assuming you don't mean arse! What cut is that exactly? I know it's shoulder but how much of the neck should I leave on? On or off the bone, skin-on or skin-off. What about the back fat at the top of the shoulder? Should I tie it?

- Do I really need to brine overnight?

- When exactly should i be adding wood chips and what type of wood should I start with, oak, applewood, hickory? I've read that soaking them makes no difference but wrapping them in foil and piercing gives a more controlled realease of smoke, is that right?

Let's just hope for some good weather this weekend.

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Any chance of Photo's, please Prawn?

Am intrigued too, but haven't bought the hardware.

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Okay, being a Brit I'm in a similar position to Thampik in that I've never had real BBQ and certainly never pulled pork (not even on a night out).  But like any good gulletter I am willing to rectify that situation forthwith.  Brand new Weber kettle, check.  Thermometers, check.  Charcoal, check. etc

This thread is a beast, I've read a bit of it and I think I've got the jist of what to do and the recipes I want to try out.  But there are some noobie questions I hope you experts can help with, best to start well and hope to get better I reckon: 

- My main question is the cut of meat as I'll be butchering a Tamworth forequarter.  When you Yankees guys say Butt, I'm assuming you don't mean arse!  What cut is that exactly?  I know it's shoulder but how much of the neck should I leave on?  On or off the bone, skin-on or skin-off.  What about the back fat at the top of the shoulder?  Should I tie it?

- Do I really need to brine overnight?

- When exactly should i be adding wood chips and what type of wood should I start with, oak, applewood, hickory?  I've read that soaking them makes no difference but wrapping them in foil and piercing gives a more controlled realease of smoke, is that right?

Let's just hope for some good weather this weekend.

Prawncrackers, I'm in the UK, and have cooked pork butt recipes using regular rolled shoulder (Skin off) weighing 4 - 5 lbs with great success. I've not found any necessity to cook such large pieces as some ewcipes suggest (not necessarily here). I'm cooking them on a Weber Smokey Mountain. Although you've got a kettle there is plenty of good advice on the Virtual Weber Bullet website

Pork Butt Selection and preparation.

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That's exactly what I'm looking for Matthew, ta. Wonderful clear descriptions of which part to use and how to prepare it. I know exactly which cut it is now. It's the part I always save to make Char Siu with, though cut into strips, skewered and roasted quickly. Which is the total opposite to what we want to do here!

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On or off , skin-on or skin-off.  What about the back fat at the top of the shoulder?  Should I tie it?

- Do I really need to brine overnight?

- When exactly should i be adding wood chips and what type of wood should I start with, oak, applewood, hickory?  I've read that soaking them makes no difference but wrapping them in foil and piercing gives a more controlled realease of smoke, is that right?

If the meat you buy has a bone leave it in, it really doesn't matter and removing it is a pain. Definitely leave the fat on, put it on top while you cook and it will add moisture to the meat to keep it from drying out. I have never brined pork, only poultry and have never had a problem. Put the wood chips in immediately when you start cooking meat. That's the most important time and it's when the meat will absorb the most smoke, later on it won't absorb the smoke flavor. Putting the wood chips in foil is a good idea and I personally do soak them for a couple hours before using them. Everyone has their own way of doing things but this is how I do it with good results.

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If the meat you buy has a bone leave it in, it really doesn't matter and removing it is a pain. 

Is that true? Doesn't the bone conduct heat and make the interior meat cook more evenly?

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If the meat you buy has a bone leave it in, it really doesn't matter and removing it is a pain. 

Is that true? Doesn't the bone conduct heat and make the interior meat cook more evenly?

I'd think so, and I can't imagine going through the trouble to bone a bone-in uncooked. In our family, when I pull the pork, there's a fight over who gets to gnaw the meat off the bone. I don't think anyone would be all over gnawing off the bone if it was raw! Likewise, why bother taking the skin off in advance (smoked pork skin is our house is the smoker's reward)? And, the idea of removing the fat cap, well, it's heresy!

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The consensus from the Google hive mind is that the bone does conduct heat better than the meat, so helps the butt to cook (slightly) faster. However, McGee says:

The ceramic-like minerals in bone give it double the heat conductivity of meat, but its frequently honeycombed, hollow structure generally slows its transfer of heat and turns bone into an insulator.

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The consensus from the Google hive mind is that the bone does conduct heat better than the meat, so helps the butt to cook (slightly) faster. However, McGee says:
The ceramic-like minerals in bone give it double the heat conductivity of meat, but its frequently honeycombed, hollow structure generally slows its transfer of heat and turns bone into an insulator.

From what I've understood about them, because of their structure bones diffuse the heat rather than concentrate it. I think the "hive mind" assumes the bone is a solid so it will capture, store and radiate heat into the meat which is incorrect.

Which is one of the reasons why you're not supposed to take a temp reading near the bone (in birds or otherwise)...you may get a lower reading.

The bone does, however, impart flavor into the meat.

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I awoke yesterday at 7:30 with the sky leaden with the constant threat of downpour - perfect British BBQ weather!! Here are some photos of my Brummie Butt:

gallery_52657_5922_371993.jpg

Two hours in:

gallery_52657_5922_6824.jpg

After resting (looking very unpromising):

gallery_52657_5922_351728.jpg

Hallelujah moment!

gallery_52657_5922_94724.jpg

In the end i butchered a 6.5lb piece of meat and cooked it for 9 hours. It was pretty amazing and everyone was truly enamoured of it. Special thanks to Snowangel for helping me out and i'm looking forward to my next cook out already.

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Glad your butt turned out so nicely, and glad I was able to of help, and prove that yet again, the Trusty Old Kettle can indeed provide a fabulous meal.

Do, tell, however, about sides, sauce, buns, beverages, etc.

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Okay some more details. The butt went onto the heat at 8am and i topped up the coals every 2 hrs or so. I kept the temp at the grate hovering between 125-150C, the meat stalled at 70C at about 2pm. My guests arrived about 5pm and i pulled he meat off just as it was rising to 80C at 5:30pm. I was worried that i might not have left it for long enough but when i put the gloves on to pull the meat apart after resting it broke apart very nicely, phew.

As the star of the show was resting i grilled 30 Assam prawns (big ones 8-12 size head-on beauties) and a dozen or so small masala mackerel. Had those with a simple cucumber and tomato salad and minty yoghurt. The prawns were particularly good, there is something about the smell of charred prawn shells.

We had the pork in some shop-bought soft batch rolls. To accompany there was home-made coleslaw and potato salad. Sweetcorn, and three different sauces; Carolina red from the VWB website, shop-bought Jack Daniels stuff (surprisingly good) and some insanely hot Jamaican style hot-sauce.

It was everyone's first taste of real bbq and certainly it won't be our last! Great stuff.

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I'm inspired, PC, and have just pulled a butt from the freezer. I have a ton of applewood (friend owns an apple orchard).

What kind of wood did you use?

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I used Hickory though i do have some Oak too. I'll use that next time but everything else will stay the same. Actually saying that, the next time i hope to use better quality pork. My butcher couldn't get his hands on any of the rare breed stuff that i usually love to cook so had to make do with some very ordinary pork. I think with a big hunk of Old Spot it should be a great improvement.

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It's hot here in MN. So, time to smoke me some pork, which is ready to go (I will score the skin before putting it on). I've got a mix of apple, hickory, and maple. I usually do only apple, but since Pipes is not home this summer, I will simply use what chunks I have.

So, on the checklist:

charcoal: got it

thermometer: got it

squishy buns: got it

slaw: well, Peter's in charge of that

beer: 24 pack of Miller

It's hot, I'm going to smoke some pork and I've got beer = life is good. Best is, that we head to the cabin on Thursday evening with leftover butt.

P. S. My butt is still sort of frozen.


Edited by snowangel (log)

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It's hot here in MN.  So, time to smoke me some pork, which is ready to go (I will score the skin before putting it on).  I've got a mix of apple, hickory, and  maple.  I usually do only apple, but since Pipes is not home this summer, I will simply use what chunks I have.

So, on the checklist:

charcoal:  got it

thermometer:  got it

squishy buns:  got it

slaw:  well, Peter's in charge of that

beer:  24 pack of Miller

It's hot, I'm going to smoke some pork and I've got beer = life is good.  Best is, that we head to the cabin on Thursday evening with leftover butt.

P. S.  My butt is still sort of frozen.

I'm sure the heat wave will warm your butt. Happy Smoking, Susan, Happy Smoking

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I have to say that the single best thing (not including friends) about being back in America for the summer is having my smoker back! I've already done chicken and salmon, next up: butt.

I wouldn't use oak to smoke with, though. It's pretty acrid. Fruit wood is best, and me, I use cherry.

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I've been smoking now for about 5 years and have accumulated 4 different smokers...love pulled pork, I do it Eastern NC style, definite vinegar based. While you can give approximate times for weight of the shoulder (butt) I find that sometime the meat just wants to hang out at the plateau. I've already had a plateau for almost 4 hours. Once it releases though it's usually not that much longer! Here are the sauces I do for my pulled pork. I don't brine, I rub a plain yellow mustard all over the butt then sprinkle with my rub. The mustard will not leave a flavor, I do this with ribs also, helps hold the rub. Preferably do this the day before, let the rub sit over night in the fridge...next morning butt on the smoker, I use apple and cherry combo, sometimes add some maple in there. You don't wan't white billowing smoke, just a nice thin blue coming out of the stack. Moisture in the smoker seems to help the smoke ring. Anyway, smoke it until it reaches about 205*, then foil and let rest (in a cooler) for at least half an hour. While resting, here's the sauce...

Prepare the pulled sauce (not finishing sauce)

This is the sauce you add to pulled pork after it has been smoked and pulled.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup hot water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

PREPARATION:

Combine water and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Combine with remaining ingredients. Set aside until needed. We will be using this sauce in a few minutes.

Time to Pull:

Get some serving forks. Unwrap and PUUULLLLLL (hehehhe)

It will fall apart. Be mindful to break up the bark as well. It adds so much to the dish if you do this.

NOTE:

The Bark is the outer crust that is on the pork butt. The spraying with apple juice/water combined with the

heat/smoke has created this deep colored crust. This crust has so many layers of flavor. It is this

dimension in taste that makes your pork one of legend.

Preheat a really big pan to med heat on the stove:

Add all the pork into the pan over low heat. Once all the pork is in the pan, slowly add some of the pulled sauce liquid you have set aside. Stir and evaluate. Remember, the sauce will change in terms of visible moisture while it is in the pan. Add liquid until you like the texture. For me, it is at the point where the pork is shiny and there is the slightest, and I mean slightest, sauce in the bottom of the pan, neither dry nor soupy.

The Finale:

the Finishing Sauce:

This table sauce is a classic combination of cider vinegar for sour, brown sugar for sweet, tomato for color, and cayenne for heat. This recipe uses the Carolina preferred vinegar based sauce. I find that it enhances the flavor rather than changing it.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer while stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and serve warm. This sauce is for people to add to pulled pork if they wish. Serve this on the table as an option for your guests.


Edited by shellbellc (log)

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