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Behold My Butt! (2003–2006)


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Michael,

A couple of thoughts... cooking with the bone in won't change the cook time (really) but will add flavor to the PB. I started using boneless and likely won't go back after cooking bone-in. Besides, its on the really cool list when you can pull the bone out cleanly right in front of your guests before shredding - drool matts are usually required.

Brian

Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

A question for my fellow butt-smokers ...

Have you ever had a stall at 150°? I'm smoking a 12lb. butt as I type, and I am most definitely at the stall ... either that or three electronic thermometres have all broken at 150° :raz:

Another question ... I picked up these butts with the hock attached. I've removed it and am smoking it with the butt. What to do with it? Split pea soup? Flavour some baked beans? A midnight nosh with a nice porter?

A.

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A question for my fellow butt-smokers ...

Have you ever had a stall at 150°?  I'm smoking a 12lb. butt as I type, and I am most definitely at the stall ... either that or three electronic thermometres have all broken at 150°  :raz:

Another question ... I picked up these butts with the hock attached.  I've removed it and am smoking it with the butt.  What to do with it?  Split pea soup?  Flavour some baked beans?  A midnight nosh with a nice porter?

A.

Arne, while I typically have a stall somewhere in the 160's, I have had them earlier and later. Don't worry. And, if you fear that all of your thermometer's have broken, go by what I did before I even had a termometer -- the bone wiggle test!

And, to the hock. Any of your ideas work. I've also put the meat into omelets and frittatas, but my favorite way to eat them is standing over the sink!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Arne, while I typically have a stall somewhere in the 160's, I have had them earlier and later.  Don't worry.  And, if you fear that all of your thermometer's have broken, go by what I did before I even had a termometer -- the bone wiggle test!

Oh I've wiggled the bone alright! :shock: This was just a little early. My thermometers are all fine :biggrin:

And, to the hock.  Any of your ideas work.  I've also put the meat into omelets and frittatas, but my favorite way to eat them is standing over the sink!

Hock? What hock? The dogs & I just finished it with a couple of Stellas!

A.

ps - It's snowing in Vancouver. No big deal for you Susan I know ... but it's the first snow of the season for us.

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ps - It's snowing in Vancouver.  No big deal for you Susan I know ... but it's the first snow of the season for us.

Oh, sure, she's the Queen of the North-but now I know what the real deal is. Hell, I could probably live up there. It's not so bad, at least not the way that they do it.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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ps - It's snowing in Vancouver.  No big deal for you Susan I know ... but it's the first snow of the season for us.

Oh, sure, she's the Queen of the North-but now I know what the real deal is. Hell, I could probably live up there. It's not so bad, at least not the way that they do it.

I don't need no stinking house for ice fishing! (Peter is at a birthday party this weekend. On Mille Lacs. Ice fishing. The boys, according to the dad, have landed several nice perch.)

Arne, I didn't think you'd have any trouble figuring out what to do with that hock.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Arne, I didn't think you'd have any trouble figuring out what to do with that hock.

Would you???

gallery_16561_287_417757.jpg

The aforementioned hock.

Being a good smoker, I had also planned to smoke a mess of chicken thighs. Alas, Costco did not have any on Friday, so we picked up 3 fryers instead. A little butchering, brining and smoking later ...

gallery_16561_287_225927.jpg

We snacked on this while we waited for the butt to reach temperature. It was okay as we kept ourselves entertained watching repeats of Canada winning medals #22, 23 & 24 in Torino.

gallery_16561_287_63431.jpg

Shredding served another purpose ... warming up my hands after retrieving the but from the cold & snowy outdoors. :laugh:

gallery_16561_287_205365.jpg

We were also delinguent in our bun-shopping duty this week (Olympics and all), so J whipped up a batch of cornmeal buns. (Imagine her reaction when I told her I'd just posted a picture of her buns in the internet!)

gallery_16561_287_78924.jpg

The plated dinner. The "fries" in front are yam that we baked with some dried chilles and olive oil.

A.

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Beautiful stuff, Arne. Nicely done.

I too smoked a butt this weekend. Sorry I don't have any pics, but it did turn out well.

I brined it overnight and smoked it over a mixture of cherry and hickory at approximately 225 F for about 12 hours. Since the air temp here was about 25 F, it was a bit of a fight keeping the temperature up. It turned out well and was delicious but I planned poorly and was removing it from the smoker at almost midnight last night.

No hock here but I did have 2 small pieces of belly (I'm curing some bacon and had some bellies which couldn't quite fit into their 2-gallon ziploc baggies) and they were sensational. They were also brined for a while, before being hit with a minor dusting of rub. Then, into the smoker they went. When they came out they were so tender and sticky-gooey I could barely contain myself. :wink:

Aaah, there's nothing quite like a good, weekend smoke! :smile:

=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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Great stuff Arne.

A stall at 150 is not out of the ordinary... however frustrating when you expect it higher... i.e., in the 160's. The point though in all of it is to wait for it to break and wait, wait, wait until you get that hunk o'meat to 190 when shredding is easiest. It looks as though you hit that with the nice shred.

If you have any left overs and you're tired of smoked meat sandwich after sandwich - make yourself the best tasting grilled cheese ever with some nice soft-sourdough (or french) with cheese and the pork. Yum!

Cheers

Brian

Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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It turned out well and was delicious but I planned poorly and was removing it from the smoker at almost midnight last night.

HAH! I know that feeling well! I hafta remember that my butts always seem to finish 2 hours later than I think they will (blame it on poor note taking) and it's better to have the butt finish sooner than later. The kids were pretty hingry when we sat down to eat at 8:30!

A stall at 150 is not out of the ordinary... however frustrating when you expect it higher...  i.e., in the 160's.  The point though in all of it is to wait for it to break and wait, wait, wait until you get that hunk o'meat to 190 when shredding is easiest.  It looks as though you hit that with the nice shred.

Well this is another "experience" I can add to my repetoire. It was wierd ... the stall just came way earlier than any previous smoke. I knew that I needed to ride it out. I just usually see it at around 170.

Live and learn! And smoke!

A.

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No hock here but I did have 2 small pieces of belly (I'm curing some bacon and had some bellies which couldn't quite fit into their 2-gallon ziploc baggies) and they were sensational.  They were also brined for a while, before being hit with a minor dusting of rub.  Then, into the smoker they went.  When they came out they were so tender and sticky-gooey I could barely contain myself. :wink:

Ronnie, I see smoking in the future this weekend. As soon as my husband fixes the crankshaft seal on my car, I also see picking up some small pieces of belly at the local Asian market (they don't have the big honkers) and sticking them on the smoker in my future. The thought of those bellies...I can barely contain myself.

Arne, very nice. Mouthwateringly beautiful!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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gallery_16561_287_78924.jpg

The plated dinner.  The "fries" in front are yam that we baked with some dried chilles and olive oil.

A.

Perhaps a dumb question, but your picture with the fries got me thinking. Has anyone smoked potatoes (or other tubers)? If so, how?

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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My husband and I regularly do Carolina style pork barbecue on the Weber for our Yankee friends and ex-pat southerners.

One thing that always helps is to brine the pork butt for about 8-12 hours before smoking. This gives you a beautiful smoke ring on the crusts. Also, you just need to give those boys more time (7 hours has been the barest minimum and 8-9 hours produce a much better 'cue) and less heat. Those temp spikes are hard to controll, but it helps a little if you add some cool water, beer or ice to the liquid in your drip pan as you add more charcoal.

Since natural lump charcoal tends to burn hotter than briquettes, we add a few of the briquettes along with the natural lumps to slow them down a bit and control the temp spike.

I did eventually cut and past your butt picture onto a new page. A Very, very pretty butt!

However, I can tell it needs more time because of the whitish cracks in the crust. Those need to be dark mahogony red-brown. Don't worry about the blackening of the crust. It's delicious anyway.

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No hock here but I did have 2 small pieces of belly (I'm curing some bacon and had some bellies which couldn't quite fit into their 2-gallon ziploc baggies) and they were sensational.  They were also brined for a while, before being hit with a minor dusting of rub.  Then, into the smoker they went.  When they came out they were so tender and sticky-gooey I could barely contain myself. :wink:

Aaah, there's nothing quite like a good, weekend smoke! :smile:

=R=

Ronnie, how long for the pieces of belly? Skin up or down? I'm thinking of adding them to the smoker this weekend.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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No hock here but I did have 2 small pieces of belly (I'm curing some bacon and had some bellies which couldn't quite fit into their 2-gallon ziploc baggies) and they were sensational.  They were also brined for a while, before being hit with a minor dusting of rub.  Then, into the smoker they went.  When they came out they were so tender and sticky-gooey I could barely contain myself. :wink:

Aaah, there's nothing quite like a good, weekend smoke! :smile:

=R=

Ronnie, how long for the pieces of belly? Skin up or down? I'm thinking of adding them to the smoker this weekend.

I just left them on until they reached 190 F. Since they were smaller, thin pieces they didn't take nearly as long as the butt. I actually removed the skin before I brined them. My advice is to rotate them every now and then while they're smoking.

=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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  • 3 weeks later...

Am planning on dropping a big pork shoulder on the grill this weekend, and want to brine it before hand. Preferably with something particularly funky. I was thinking a coca-cola/water brine, or maybe thyme scented tea brine. I want the pork to taste like BBQ at the end of the day, but I'd like to mess around a bit with the brining process before rubbing it and putting it on the grill.

Many thanks

William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"
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I've had lots of good luck with brining pork shoulder, although normally for conventional slow cooking rather than smoking (I live in NYC).

How (in)direct is your heat going to be? Unless you have an on-the-side smoke box, I would be cautious about using something with a lot of sugar like Coca-Cola. I'd be concerned that the sugars would burn long before you were ready to take that sucker off the heat.

One thing you can always do is make tea by boiling various herbs and other flavorings (say, sage, thyme, rosemary and garlic) and then using the cooled "broth" as the liquid portion of your brine. Not sure how well that would stand up to smoke, but there's only one way to find out.

Another idea would be doing a citrus brine. Use lime juice and orange juice (plus some water, if you like) as the liquid component of your brine.

--

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A strange man...very strange actually, has just dumped a very large truckload of unsplit cherry and oak in my yard...Whose hungry????

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

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Arne - that's just a gorgeous meal, and smoked in the snow. Sorry I missed it while you might have still had some leftovers.

Pyewacket - I have that doh! feeling about your tip to add a cool liquid. How come I never thought of that?

Rooftop - you are so lucky to be able to get fruitwood delivered. I can't even figure out where I can go get some with a station wagon.

Next up for me, smoking the bacon that I have curing in the fridge at the moment. Susan, since you're ahead of me on that one, I'll be watching yours with interest. Lots of pictures, please!

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Abra, you'll see pictures tomorrow!  I pulled the bacon off just before I put burgers on, and I think that the bacon will slice more easily when cool!

Yes, but the skin will come off more easily when warm. Can't wait to hear how it turned out.

=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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Heat will be indirect, but due to the size of the grill not as indirect as one might like. Agreed that too much sugar can be an issue, and I know this first hand from flare ups, but typically many BBQ rubs already have some brown sugar in them.

The more I think about it the more a thyme and garlic tea sounds like it might do the trick for the brine's liquid.

Any other suggestions though would be much appreciated.

William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"
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William,

My two bits on brining pork... go for it and be adventurous however a couple of things I've learnt:

- sugars, even dissolved haven't added to the flavor as much as I expected - I've generally dropped them from the experiment - save them for glazing, basting and finishing sauces

- herbs, root vegetables etc are great and add flavor however make sure the flavor is "dissolved" in the brine liquid - if not the flavor stays on the outside of the pork... make a tea from dried herbs or simmer all the ingredients, chill and then brine - all of these add to the complexity of flavor

- citrus - great for short brining times - i.e., chicken/fish - not as much for something that you wanna cook for a lengthy period of time - the acids will make the outer portions of the meat mushy; the flavor will not penetrate as much as salt or other flavors

Good luck and let us know the results

Brian

Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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