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How I got my butt kicked the other day

char buddychar buddy Posts: 562
edited 6:47PM in EggHead Forum
I'm one of the newbies who came aboard this spring and I've been cruising along doing good with good newbie stuff - hamburgers, pizza, steak and the occassional rib. Lots of high temp stuff and a few experiments with low temp stuff. I can light a fire pretty good. I can keep a fire hot. [p]I was starting to get the hang of keeping a fire low and slow when fate intervened. My wife brought home a pork shoulder and said "grill." I looked up the the Elder Ward recipe and thought I'd give it try. Well, its been two days since this all started and I can now say that it's been quite an experience - one I won't soon forget.[p]First off should pork shoulders, or butts, or whatever they are come wrapped up in cord or string? If so, should you cut off the string before grilling? I decided the latter was the wiser course, but I'm still not sure whether this was a true shoulder. [p]Second off, it wasn't a good idea to load up the egg at midnight alone. Holding a flashlight while sorting out lump sizes was a little hard. Vacuuming out the egg just as the neighbors went to bed probably was not a mistake. Then making sure the big pieces didn't cover up the fire box holes was kinda hard.[p]Third off, doing a butt before figuring out how to get a steady 200 degree dome temp was not smart. Every 15 minutes or so I had to readjust one of the vents, before I finally guessed that I wanted a tiny little crack on the lower vent and a tiny little opening on Miss Daisy at the top. And to tell you the truth I'm still not sure.[p]Fourth off, going to bed was also a mistake. I should have stayed up all night watching Al roker re-runs, while monitoring my fire. When I woke up the next morning the grill had gone out and I had to re-light. [p]Fifth, I probably shouldn't have invited company over for dinner on my first try with a butt. After the jokes about the egg and how its several polders on the front gave it a strange resemblance to a miniature nuclear device were finished, I took the butt of the grill just as the internal temp crept over 170. I couldn't risk delaying dinner until the temp got to 200. Despite the jokes, the smells coming from the egg were too strong to fight off.[p]Sixth, I also learned that even an egg mistake is better than what happens on most gas grills. To my surprise the butt was a big hit, even though it didn't pull worth a darn. [p]Seventh, I probably should have turned to the forum sooner once I noticed I couldn't hold my temps steady. [p]Eighth, I have caught up on my sleep and I think I'll try ribs next. Now if only Mr. Toad would post his new rib recipes.....

Comments

  • Bama FireBama Fire Posts: 267
    char buddy ,
    What a great story![p]When I first started EGGing last August, I posted several stories that basically painted me as a chicken with its head cut off -- running her and there, adjusting, drinking, stirring, opening, closing, basting.... Well, after nearly a year, I'm much more comfortable with the green beauty. such delicious food -- and so forgiving![p]Keep us posted![p]Bama fire

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,961
    char buddy ,
    I did my first butt a few weeks ago and can sympathaize. The secont through the 1,000,000th are a piece 'o' cake.
    Haven't tried Mr. Toads ribs but, his pork roast is great! Give Cat's Ribs a shot! Unusual flavor that EVERYONE seems to love. The receipt is in the receipt file
    Carey

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,961
    char buddy ,
    I did my first butt a few weeks ago and can sympathaize. The second through the 1,000,000th are a piece 'o' cake.
    Haven't tried Mr. Toads ribs but, his pork roast is great! Give Cat's Ribs a shot! Unusual flavor that EVERYONE seems to love. The receipt is in the receipt file
    Carey

  • ChiefChief Posts: 154
    Bama Fire,
    Coming north this weekend for Father's Day. Can't seem to located smoking pellets down here...is there a place in Bham? Also, I am picking up a small BGE in Ozark..they are having a sale on them. [p]Bob

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    char buddy ,[p]I am of the opinion that you do not have to "sort" lump. I don't and won't - I have had no problem going 20+ hrs either. You also don't need to vac it out.[p]I don't like to go at 200 deg for anything in the Egg. That temp is just too hard to hold reliably. Shoot for 225 min and your life will just be so much easier. [p]String around a pork shoulder - I haven't seen that. Wonder why they would use that - normally it is used to hold a piece together but never saw one on a shoulder. Now I have seen them on a salt or sugar cured ham - I think you would know the difference. [p]Tim
  • Bama FireBama Fire Posts: 267
    Chief,
    I can't say that I've ever looked for smoking pellets. Plenty of wooks chips, fewer chunks.[p]Sorry I can't be more help![p]B~F

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Tim M,
    Maybe it was a boneless?
    R&J

  • ChiefChief Posts: 154
    Bama Fire,[p]Thanks for the help. It is finally raining in PC after 2 months!!!! We needed it to grow more bikinis.[p]War Eagle

  • Bama FireBama Fire Posts: 267
    Chief,
    I didn't realize that there could ever be a shortage of bikinis in pc beach. Interesting![p]

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,404
    Tim M,
    R&J has a point. You never know! I got a boneless picnic that was in a net sack. A boneless shoulder might be tied together to hold the pieces in place. [p]When I fist read CB's post, I thought it might be a loin roast. But when he said the results were good with a lo/slo I fingered in must be a shoulder. In which case the strings should be left on.....or removed, and seasonings added inside, then re-tied.[p]Enjoy your birthday tomorrow!!
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
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  • Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
    char buddy ,[p]Definately a boneless pork butt. It's damned close to impossible to find bone-in butts in Seattle but I see their web-accoutered versions everywhere. They're mostly used in French, Mexican and Hawaiian recipes from what I've seen either chopped up or braised and slow-baked.[p]Trick to gettin' the slow temperatures is simple.[p]1.) Fill Humpty with a buttload o' lump. A few inches past the top air holes.
    2.) Crack a brew or pour a coupla fingers of your favorite mash beverage.
    3.) Light that fire.
    4.) Watch the temp like a hawk for 20 minutes or so only stopping to refill your beverage or ponder what a lovely day it is and how well you're going to eat the following day even if it's crappy.
    5.) Soon as the temperature hits ~200 close Miss Daisy and the bottom vent to a sliver. We're talking a SLIVER on the top and maybe the width of a a couple of quarters on end give-or-take on the bottom.
    6.) At this point you can probably go to bed. Realistically you're starting to enjoy your beverage and realizing you're a perfectionist so you'll watch it some more.
    7.) Don't worry if it heats up to as much as 275 over time, it'll come back down if you don't open the vents. I'd love to have a time-laps video of some of my butt cooks as the temp seems to randomize every time I check. Up, down, up, down, up, down.[p]In defense of Elder Wards method of stacking I used it the first two or three times I made pulled pork and finally tried without when, like you, I realized it was too dark and I was friendly with Mr. Beam's eldest statesman Mr. Noe to fiddle with it under a new moon. EW's method burned through the night. Just pouring the lump in did too sometimes. But not always.[p]Whenever the lump goes out during the night when you discover it re-light using the same method. Hey you'll be up by then and probably checking it a couple times per hour to make sure it doesn't happen again.

  • char buddychar buddy Posts: 562
    Seattle Todd,[p]Thanks Seattle for answering my many questions. The info on how to handle fluctuations sounds priceless. I can't wait to try again. BTW, do you still start on a shoulder late at night?
  • Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
    char buddy ,[p]Not unless I'm off work that late. Too much torture smelling it all day the next day but not being able to dig in until later at night! =)
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