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Behold My Butt! (2003–2006)


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I have two butts rubbed and injected as we speak ready to be smoked this evening through the night untill tomorrow afternoon. I've noticed that none of the pictures here have shown butts with the skin in tact. Did I buy the wrong thing? Either way, I scored the skin with a razor blade so the rub could penetrate. I removed it completely on one of them for comparison purposes. What say you guys about it; skin or no skin?

President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife went out of town on a big shopping trip. Alone at home, except for the dogs, what to do?

Butt, that's what!

A foggy and humid morning to start

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On the top is a six pound boneless butt. The bottom rack has two hunks of "country style ribs" I went to my localmarket this morning as they had spares on sale in the "value pack" However, they had none value packed at that early hour. The meat guy offered me these at the same price. As far as I know country style ribs are just a cross section cut of shoulder. Pretty much the same as butt. However, it was a good price and the guys there really are square with me so I got them

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A little smoke and a lot of fog makes this tough to read, nice smoking temp. The WSM will hold this a long time

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188, this boy is out of the stall and almost done

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looks pretty good as well

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These are the country style ribs. I took them off and they are currently resting in some foil. I left the butt on for a little while more and when it comes off and I get it pulled I'll show some more pork

Goofy gratuitous dog picture, Arlo the dog at leisure

gallery_12506_1417_376431.jpg

Edited by lancastermike (log)
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Nice butt, boys! I too did butt yesterday, along with my usual mess of chicken thighs.

I did it spur of the moment, so didn't brine, and I only had 8 hours before dinner, so last night we had succulent chunks of butt in =Mark's sauce, while the rest of the butt hung out on the smoker for another couple of hours to be pulled later. That sauce is so good that it's really hard for me to make any other. It's so good as to make a rub superfluous. My whole family loves that stuff.

I didn't take any pictures, because, well, my butt is my butt and pretty much always looks the same. However, the sun was shining, I sat out by the smoker drinking French rose and sniffing the cherry wood-scented air, and thought "I'm having an eGullet day."

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gallery_12506_1417_628039.jpg

When it falls apart on the way from the WSM to the kitchen it is a good sign

gallery_12506_1417_361151.jpg

Pulled and ready to eat.

I guess Abra is right. These butt pictures look alot like my other butt pictures. Still, I love making it, eating it and talking about it. Wonderful stuff that butt

Edited by lancastermike (log)
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I have a question.. Anyone ever get into wrapping your butt in cheese cloth? I have done it a few times and liked the results.

What about the cheesecloth results do you like? I always do skin on shoulders, so I can't see that cheesecloth would make a difference.

Beautiful butt, Mike, and Abra, I'm sure yours is a thing of beauty, as well. It's been way too long since I smoked a butt. And, Abra, you are absolutely right about that sauce. Christmas and birthday wish-lists from my friends all include jars of this stuff. Sauce crack they call it.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I wrap skin on shoulders in cheese cloth soaked in olive oil.. It leaves the shoulders a gold brown.. Instead of black.. Another layer of oil has never hurt nobody :biggrin: The cheese cloth allows the smoke to go through...

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Nice looking butt Mike. How did you serve the Country ribs?

I'm gonna smoke some spareribs tomorrow.

Does anyone else think the new Kingsford suck?

I wrap skin on shoulders in cheese cloth soaked in olive oil.. It leaves the shoulders a gold brown.. Instead of black.. Another layer of oil has never hurt nobody  :biggrin: The cheese cloth allows the smoke to go through...

Is this some kind a Eyetalian thing? :biggrin:

Seriously though, Daniel, you haven't mentioned how you like your new smoker. Now that you've used it, would you recommend it? Was it easy to maintain temperatures? Anything you don't like about it? Please tell.

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Does anyone else think the new Kingsford suck?

Over on the Weber Virtual Bullet site they are all but apoplectic about this. Frankly, I don't see the big deal. It certainly starts faster. A chimney of the new is ready much sooner than the old. I have had no trouble at all maintaining a good temperature.

And I have not seen a reduction in total time that the fuel lasts. Yesterday when I took the pork off the WSM after 10 hours I still had time left. It would have gone for another couple of hours without re-fueling.

So to me, it has been a non issue. I know others feel it has made a big difference in long cooks

The country ribs I just whacked up into individual ribs. Not like eating spares. Tasted much mor like the butt than spares. Very good stuff though.

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Nice looking butt Mike. How did you serve the Country ribs?

I'm gonna smoke some spareribs tomorrow.

Does anyone else think the new Kingsford suck?

I wrap skin on shoulders in cheese cloth soaked in olive oil.. It leaves the shoulders a gold brown.. Instead of black.. Another layer of oil has never hurt nobody  :biggrin: The cheese cloth allows the smoke to go through...

Is this some kind a Eyetalian thing? :biggrin:

Seriously though, Daniel, you haven't mentioned how you like your new smoker. Now that you've used it, would you recommend it? Was it easy to maintain temperatures? Anything you don't like about it? Please tell.

I think the old kingsford isnt the greatest.. I prefer like Cowboy Charcoal or definately a lump wood variety.. I was impressed that a place like Loews had some good brands...

I only used the new smoker once.. Its pretty good.. I was working without a thermometer for the smoker, so I had to watch it pretty closely.. My hand was a good indicator..It also had a side firebox which meant one side is definately hotter then the other.. I just had to shift the meat around more. But there might be a problem if you wanted to fill the entire thing with meat.. The box is just too hot and the long barrel design has the heat move from left to right. Everything should be put completely on the other side away from the box especially the ribs.. But it seemed to remain at a fairly even temp... It has a nice cooking surface and also has a grate where you can grill some burgers on the firebox side while waiting for your meat to smoke.. I also like how the whole thing can be turned into one large charcoal grill if you want to..

Overall for 130 bucks, its a good value.. This is just another stepping stone in what I hope will be a long string of smokers.. My ultimate goal is to have a Backwoods Smoker and a Green Egg, oh and a backyard! :biggrin:

Its a party!

Edited by Daniel (log)
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I've never been a fan of Kingsford, either. I greatly prefer lump and generally use Royal Oak brand. It burns hotter and faster than briquettes but has a much "cleaner" flavor, for lack of a better description.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I've never been a fan of Kingsford, either.  I greatly prefer lump and generally use Royal Oak brand.  It burns hotter and faster than briquettes but has a much "cleaner" flavor, for lack of a better description.

=R=

I have used both lump and Kingford. For grilling the lump gets hotter and is great. In the smoker I think the lump can get to hot. Can you really taste a difference Ron? I know for meat smoked with hardwood added to the charcoal I cannot. I won't argue the point, perhaps my palette is not discerning enough. Lots of BBQ contests have been won with Kingsford. I'll use whatever works, I am not wedded to Kingford,but it does the job for me.

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For me.. Lump is better.. Tasting the difference or not for long periods of smoking, there is no need to use something I like less.. I know lump is a better product, so why not use it and support them.. Whats the worse that could happen..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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For me.. Lump is better.. Tasting the difference or not for long periods of smoking, there is no need to use something I like less..  I know lump is a better product, so why not use it and support them..  Whats the worse that could happen..

I have yet to use lump, but my kinsford has been running a little cool lately so it's time to experiment.

shhhhh (no jinx)... guess what?

I'm joining a competitve bbq team!

Does anybody have experiance with competition? I'm so psyched!

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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I have used both lump and Kingford.  For grilling the lump gets hotter and is great. In the smoker I think the lump can get to hot.  Can you really taste a difference Ron? I know for meat smoked with hardwood added to the charcoal I cannot. I won't argue the point, perhaps my palette is not discerning enough. Lots of BBQ contests have been won with Kingsford. I'll use whatever works, I am not wedded to Kingford,but it does the job for me.

I agree. I used to dutifully buy a 20 lb bag of hardwood charcoal to grill with, because, you know, it burns hotter. That is, until I read the Cook's Illusrtated test that showed that equivalent volumes of hardwood charcoal and briquettes burn at the same temperature, with briquettes having the advantage of burning longer, which is nice when you're smoking.

After briquettes ash over, I honestly can not taste a difference between them and hardwood, although I admit, I have never done them side by side. I always found that a chimney starter full of hardwood charcoal was not really enough to do serious grilling, so I used to spread lit briquettes on the bottom of my Weber and then cover them with a big load of hardwood charcoal, sort of turning my Weber into one big chimney starter. Now I just use briquettes, which work fine. For high ceremonial grilling, I build a wood fire, which does impart a nice flavor and is just loads of fun.

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I've never been a fan of Kingsford, either.  I greatly prefer lump and generally use Royal Oak brand.  It burns hotter and faster than briquettes but has a much "cleaner" flavor, for lack of a better description.

=R=

I have used both lump and Kingford. For grilling the lump gets hotter and is great. In the smoker I think the lump can get to hot. Can you really taste a difference Ron? I know for meat smoked with hardwood added to the charcoal I cannot. I won't argue the point, perhaps my palette is not discerning enough. Lots of BBQ contests have been won with Kingsford. I'll use whatever works, I am not wedded to Kingford,but it does the job for me.

I agree that for smoker use, lump can get too hot. It's a difficult ride which needs to be tweaked and monitored frequently.

That said, I can definitely tell the difference between finished products using Kingsford and lump. For me, it shows up as an aroma -- or lack thereof -- during the cooking and in the food. It's subtle but noticeable. That said, I'd use Kingsford in a minute if I couldn't easily get my hands on something else. I used to use it regularly and I loved it. It was only after I tried lump that I realized it liked it better. And that was only because I'd run out of Kingsford and had nothing else on hand.

I also have access to Royal Oak's foodservice brand of briquettes (Chef's Select) which I also prefer to Kingsford for the same reason -- they have a cleaner aroma. Again, I'm not trying to diss Kingsford here. The fact that so many contests are won using it, likely says more about my failings than Kingsford's. I think the difference is similar to preferring one type of wood over another when smoking -- neither better -- just different than each other.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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For me.. Lump is better.. Tasting the difference or not for long periods of smoking, there is no need to use something I like less..  I know lump is a better product, so why not use it and support them..  Whats the worse that could happen..

I have yet to use lump, but my kinsford has been running a little cool lately so it's time to experiment.

shhhhh (no jinx)... guess what?

I'm joining a competitve bbq team!

Does anybody have experiance with competition? I'm so psyched!

I'm on a competition team. We actually entered our first Kansas City BBQ Society event last month. Man, did we learn a lot that first contest! Lots of great teams there. It was the Kentucky State Finals.

We are also singed up for an event in Indiana in August. I was thinking about chronicling it on this site. I wonder if anyone would be interested.

If you have any specific questions let me know.

By the way... based on that contest, lots of the competitors with big smokers use whole logs which they burn down to coals. Lots of people also use Kingsford.

I have always used Kingsford for heat, accented with whole logs of hickory and cherry for smoke. We have a Lang 60 trailer smoker and hardwood lump burns way too fast in a big smoker. There is just too much oxygen in a large fire box.

I wlll try and post a few pictures from that competition.

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Here are some pictures from the competition that I mentioned in an earlier post:

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This is the Lang 60 smoker

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This is a shot of the inside of the somker

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Pulling the pork

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Pulle pork (placed 12th out of 27, not bad for first contest)

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Brisket (placed 15th out of 27)

This was a great experience. I hope you all enjoy it.

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Does anyone know how long you can store =Mark's sauce in the fridge before it goes bad? (I'm just using a plain old Rubbermaid. It's not processed in a jar or anything like that.)

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Does anyone know how long you can store =Mark's sauce in the fridge before it goes bad? (I'm just using a plain old Rubbermaid. It's not processed in a jar or anything like that.)

MelissaH

I would think you could keep it for at least a month. I've made that sauce before and thats how long I kept it and it was fine. I've made other bbq sauces and they keep a long time too. I think the vinegar and sugar kinda preserves it.

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Does anyone know how long you can store =Mark's sauce in the fridge before it goes bad? (I'm just using a plain old Rubbermaid. It's not processed in a jar or anything like that.)

MelissaH

I would think you could keep it for at least a month. I've made that sauce before and thats how long I kept it and it was fine. I've made other bbq sauces and they keep a long time too. I think the vinegar and sugar kinda preserves it.

We're now going on about two weeks, and it still looks and smells fine. However, I tend to heat it up to a simmer before using it after the first day, just to be sure anything in it is good and dead.

I'm wondering if it would totally overwhelm duck, that honored common companion of pig. After all, a WSM has two racks!

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I'm wondering if it would totally overwhelm duck, that honored common companion of pig. After all, a WSM has two racks!

I think it would go well with the duck. I have smoked duck on the WSM and it turned out fine. Did you get rid of that smoking contraption you had the trouble with last year in favor of the WSM?

Edited by lancastermike (log)
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I'm wondering if it would totally overwhelm duck, that honored common companion of pig. After all, a WSM has two racks!

I think it would go well with the duck. I have smoked duck on the WSM and it turned out fine. Did you get rid of that smoking contraption you had the trouble with last year in favor of the WSM?

Yup, I did. The WSM is still sitting in its box downstairs, largely because I was away for the past week. Our town's annual Harborfest (read: a town of 18,000 people suddenly mushrooms into a town of 100,000 from Thursday through Sunday) starts tomorrow, which means that since we live on the west side of town and all the supermarkets are on the east side, we'll be doing a food shopping run later today. I plan to include whatever pig butt the store has, since I didn't plan so well this time around. My experience last time has me a little leery of chicken thighs, but I think I may try some of them again. (The only ducks we ever see here are frozen, and more often than not they need to be special-ordered because they don't show up very often.)

As far as other supplies, the hardware store a mile or so down the road has chimney starters and charcoal, so that's easy to get to any time. I still have some hickory chunks left from the January misadventure, and of course there's the applewood I rescued from the neighbor a couple of weeks ago that just needs a hatchet and/or chainsaw.

I'm thinking Minion method, started at a reasonably early hour in the morning so I can make sure everything goes OK the first time. We probably won't be going much of anywhere this weekend.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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OK, I'm ready for a first go of pig in my WSM! Cooking will begin tomorrow morning with the Minion Method, although I'm hedging my bets and not planning to eat the goods until Saturday.

I put the WSM together this morning. It went together remarkably easily, a complete opposite of the POS allegedly gas-powered thing that I wouldn't recommend to anyone. When we got my parents a Weber gas grill last summer, as we put that together out on the deck, my mom kept exclaiming over how perfectly everything fit together, and all the parts were there, and the holes were drilled in the right places, etc. etc. etc. I felt a little like her this morning. The directions were clear, and even though my husband usually appropriates this part of any process, I got to do this one all by myself, completely unaided after the phone call to help me locate the socket set (which I prefer to an adjustable wrench when all the nuts are the same size, as was the case here).

At the grocery store yesterday, I procured two pig shoulder roasts, skin-on, bone-in; one 3 pounds and the other 3.5 pounds. (They didn't have anything bigger than about 4 pounds, which I didn't think would be enough to potentially serve 6 or 8 people, and these were the two closest in size.) I also got a pack of chicken thighs, a little under 5 pounds, also with skin and bone.

This morning I got a chimney starter and a bag of Kingsford briquettes at the hardware store. I also picked up a pair of "fireplace gloves" because I've been looking for them for a while, and I'm thinking they'll be good to have around the oven!

I have four (count 'em!) probe thermometers. I also have an analog dial instant-read thermometer, which works reasonably well inserted into a cork in a vent to measure chamber temperature.

My plan is to do the pig "naked" but to brine the chicken. Pig will go with =Mark's sauce, and chicken will likely be wrapped in rice paper with shredded cucumber, cabbage, and whatever other vegetables look good, and eaten with a SE Asian-style dipping sauce. (The chicken is a practice run for what I'd like to do with duck.) Since there should be plenty of chicken, I'm also going to plan to have vegetables around for a chicken salad.

Now, the questions:

1) Chicken on top rack and pig below, or the other way around? (I've come up with arguments both ways. The top rack's likely to be hotter and get the chicken out of the "danger zone" faster, so the chicken should go on top. Or, the chicken should go on top because it's smaller and will get done faster, and will be easier to remove if it's up top. But the chicken's more likely to drip germy juices out, especially if it's been brined, so to prevent cross-contamination it should go on the bottom.)

2) Skin up or skin down? (For both chicken and pig)

3) Do I need to put thermometers in both hunks of pig, or could I just put one in the bigger hunk and figure that when it's done, the smaller one will also be done?

4) How much charcoal? The Virtual Weber Bullet page says that the Minion Method works really well for long cooking sessions. But everything I'm cooking is on the smaller side, so do I really need to load up the entire charcoal chamber to be ready to go for 18 hours? I don't want to run short, but I also don't want to wind up with a huge pile of flaming coals and nothing more to cook. It's going to be hot tomorrow, so I'm guessing that the 20 coals in the chimney starter, as recommended by the Virtual Bullet site, will be plenty.

5) Any recommendations on where and how to apply wood for the smoke? I'll be using commercial chunks of hickory that I've had since New Year's, because I haven't had a chance to hack down the applewood logs into chunks yet.

6) Finally: would I be putting anything at risk if I started things going in the morning, stayed home to watch it till noon or so, but then went out for a couple of hours around lunch? I don't want to burn anything!

There are already plenty of cold beverages in the fridge. Did I mention that Saturday, there will be beer brewed at our house? :biggrin:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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