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Help!
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An-Jo_Nanny Offline
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Post: #1
Help!
Ya'll please don't laugh...still don't know what I'm doing yet. I got my vertical smoker yesterday but need info on where to start...gotta start somewhere. Couldn't find anything on the internet that I could print an instruction booklet. I want to use the butts for samples at the markets which is going extremely well right now for the bbq sauce. I'm sure sales would increase with a mouthful of pulled pork to sample. If anyone can help I would appreciate it much! :oops:
06-25-2007 09:30 AM
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Post: #2
Re: Help!
Here are my thoughts....

I'd start with learning how to get a fire going in your smoker, and what it takes to maintain the temps at 225-250... If you don't have a charcoal chimney, go to Home Depot or Lowes or Walmart, and get you one and learn to start your fires with one (don't use charcoal lighter)... Do a "practice run" or two with no meat until you learn how to start your fire and/or manage the the temp... Use a good charcoal to get started (I really like The Original Charcoal - Rancher that can now be found at most Home Depots compared to Kingsford or Royal Oak - althought they are good, too....) Every smoker is unique in this aspect - and unless you understand this, you are going to have a tough time I don't care what else you do... Allow time for a fire to start and achieve and level off at 225-250 (you can't do it in 10-15 minutes)... Make certain you have a good/decent pit thermometer as well (check it against some boiling water to know)

When you get that down - and/or if you already have that down - it's time to get cooking... Get your fire going.... While the fire is starting, take your butt (I get good ones at Sams and/or sometimes at Albertsons - look for a 6-7 pound butt with the bone-in), wash it, trim it down as closely as possible (butts have a LOT of fat)... If you don't know how to trim a butt, you might call T and make a trip to his restaurant one day to learn... Then rub your butt... Lots of rubs out there (and or cookbooks with recipes for them)... Find one you like and rub that butt good... Once your fire has leveled at 225-250, add a chunk of wood or two (your choice - pecan, apple, hickory, etc.) and put your butt on... Then add a chunk or two about once an hour (avoid too much smoke)... At 225-250, you can figure it will take 1.5 - 2 hours per pound to cook... Avoid the temptation to open the smoker to "check" things - let it smoke... At about 1/2 way through your "projected" cook time, you might want to turn the butt over... At about 2/3 way through your "projected" cook time, start taking/checking the internal temp of the butt using a meat thermometer (yes, you are going to need a pit termometer and a meat thermometer... Lots of different meat thermometers out there... That is a post in itself... I use a ThermaPen, but you want to look/talk around about the different types/brands of meat thermometers)... At 165 internal, I remove the butt and wrap in heavy duty foil and place back into the smoker until I reach an internal temp fo 195, and the bone is "wiggly"... When the internal temp is 195 and the bone is loose, I will remove the butt, place it in an ice chest. and let it "rest" 30-60 minutes... It is then ready to pull... Key thing is to reach that 195 temp and that the meat has a "softness" to it (as will be demonstrated by touch and/or the bone being pretty "loose" - I have seen butts hit an internal temp of 195 and still not be "done", so watch for a softness to the meat)... Also, avoid checking the temp near the bone, too, as it gets hotter than other areas of the butt while cooking...)

That is how I go about things... Others will do it a little differently I am certain, and hopefully they will share some of their tips with you as well...

Best wishes!! 8)
06-25-2007 11:39 AM
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