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Picnic/Chunk-o-Chest Combo

Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Howdy!
Getting geared up for a combo lo-slo cook this weekend, and thought y'all might be able to steer me right. Picked up a 5 lb. brisket, and an 8 pound picnic I want to cook simultaneously for my neighbor's party on sunday. Planning on cooking indirect at 250 for the duration.[p]My thinkin' is that the picnic will take 18-20 hours, and the chunk-o-chest probably 12. Does that sound about right??[p]Also, I haven't done a whole picnic before, and the lower end has some skin on it. Should I score the skin to allow the rub to penetrate better? Remove it altogether??? Just leave it alone??[p]Exciting stuff, these overnite cooks are. Thanks for any ideas.
NB

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Comments

  • Nature Boy, Son, you are going to be the hit of that
    party! What kind of smokin' wood ya gonna use? Big Al

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    Big Al,
    Hope to get some folks drooling...we'll see!
    Smokin woods eh?? I haven't even decided what rub or marinade yet! [p]I've been itchin to try this mulberry wood that RhumAndJerk brought when he visited. Maybe that or some cherry.
    Maybe a tad of hickory for some kick. Love that hickory...especially the smell while it smokes![p]Cheers!
    NB

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  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Nature Boy:[p]Folks have been very complementary about various woods, but there is just something about pork and hickory or oak . . .
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  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Nature Boy,[p]Mulberry mixes nicely with hickory - bet it would be good with oak too. Can't beat those fruit 'n' nut blends, for my money.[p]Your proposed temp & timings sound sensible to me. I've never done a picnic, but I'd try scoring the skin. Keep us posted on your decisions and progress.[p]I'll miss seeing you in Atlanta -[p]Cathy
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  • Nature Boy,[p][p]<font color="#0000A0">I usually use picnics for my pulled pork. If you're talking about the skin or rind that's all the way over top of the fat cap and wrapped around the bone, I'd recommend removing it with a very sharp knife. Be sure to leave as much of the fat on as possible underneath, though. Then cook with the fatty side up for the duration. Since we're talking favorite woods here, I have to recommend sugar maple mixed with a little pecan for pork. I always add a big bunch of sugar maple chips and some pecan chunks at about 150F and let the temp creep up from there. Since you're doing beef, too, hickory might be the way to go. Pecan and maple tend to get a little lost with beef . . .</font>[/p]
    [p][sp][/p]
    [p]<font color="#0000A0">MikeO</font> [/p]

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    MikeO,
    I have plenty of pecan wood. No sugar maple, though we have one growing out front that is ready to have some lower branches pruned. I DO have some seasoned red maple branches I could use if that would work. Whaddya think???[p]If my time estimates are correct, the picnic will have 6 hours in the egg by itself before the brisket. I could always start with the maple and pecan, then use some hickory when I put the chunk-o-chest on. By that point, the pork should have a little crust, and probably won't take on too much hickory.[p]BTW, the skin is only around the lower part that looks like where the lower leg starts...but I haven't removed it from the package yet, and there could be more skin. I will remove it like you say.[p]Thanks for the tips.
    NB

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    Cat,
    Thanks! Nothing like options. I like your "fuit n nut" theory!
    I am really bummed I can't make Atlanta. Will we see you in Maryland next April??[p]Mulberry and hickory or oak sounds great. Can't wait.
    Maybe mulberry and oak (or maple) for the butt, and mulberry and hickory for the chest.
    Or pecan and maple....dang. Half the fun is makin the selection.[p]Cheers
    NB

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    djm5x9,
    Good point...I have definitely noticed that....especially with hickory, which is one of my faves.
    You still planning on firin' up some squid at the fest??
    NB

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  • Nature Boy,
    I put my vote in for Apple, an Apple/Oak combo or just plain hickory.[p]As for Rubs, I would be inclined to leave them out. You could simply use just salt, pepper and/or Paprika. Heck, through in some Turbindo Sugar for crusting and you are there. With a lot of people to feed, there are many different spice tolerance levels. You could offer various sauces that would account for many different flavors.[p]I would leave the skin on pork. I do not know why, it just seems right. If you were cooking a whole pig, you would not remove the skin.[p]Where did you say the party was? My cousin is getting married in Williamsburg this weekend and we are making the drive. [p]Happy Smoking,
    RhumAndJerk

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    RhumAndJerk,
    Thanks for the advice. Would be interesting to try minimal seasonings, at least on the brisket. I still have plenty of that killer paprika you brought me last time. The only apple wood I have is chips...and they don't go very far. [p]Maybe I will make a compromise on the skin...try leaving it on, but scoring it to the meat. MikeO says off, Cat says score, you say on. I guess with differing opinions coming from 3 great cooks like y'all, whatever I end up doing will be great. Maybe I'll decide as I am prepping that beast.[p]The party is sunday late afternoon. We should be here all day saturday, and most of the day sunday if you are coming through. We would love to have a visit with your wonderful family. When are you driving through?[p]Cheers
    NB

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  • R & J,
    By the way, the party is accross the street, 2 houses down to the left!
    NB

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  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Nature Boy,[p]Many towns and/or subdivisions have clauses in their charters or covenants prohibiting mulberry trees because of the fruit-birds-droppings problems. Growing up we had one nasty fruity one in the yard and all the neighbors finally got dad to cut it down (actually I had to after the threat of suit). I have never seen one since so I know there are none around here. I bet I have sugar maple trees around here but I wouldn't know one from a apple tree. [p]Good luck with the cooking - I'll look towards the north for the smoke rising. MikeO is right about the picnic skin! Remove it.[p]Tim
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  • Tim M,[p] Boy are you ever right about the nasty berries. The only thing worse my truck has endured is the nasty resin that hybrid poplars secrete in the spring. My parents have several huge mulberry and hackberry trees on their property in Stafford. Have to be careful where I park my truck in the summer. If the berries don't get you, the birds sure will. Amazing how fast that stuff can eat through an automotive finish (though not as fast as those love bugs did in Florida!). If you want some mulberry wood, I'm sure some could be found for you . . . Think it's time to put together an order to people's woods for some more sugar maple (I'm fresh out) . . .[p]MikeO
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  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Tim M,
    We plant alot of weeping mulberry trees here,but they are fruitless.When the crews start the fall pruning i will save some of the wood and let you know how it is.
    YB

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  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Nature Boy, Just to stir the pot a bit, so to speak, may I introduce the idea of a brine for the picnic. Ever since my off-forum question to you about the brining process, I've been reading up on this method on various websites. Many recommend it for pork as well as poultry (although they say to omit a sweetening agent with pork as every cut will come out tasting pretty much like ham). You can certainly play with the flavourings,adding herbs and bulbs etc which will also allow you to forego a rub or marinade without losing flavour. Also they say that brining will substantially reduce cooking times, so perhaps the bridge between Chesty and Mr Shoulder will be diminished, making it easier to track progress of each. Also it is said to enhance smoke absorbtion. As for the rind (Ummmh, pork rinds), I'd vote for leaving it on; the rind acts as a 'wrapper' for the spongier, necessary, basting fat underneath. Actually, in our family that rind, when cooked out, we call it 'crackle' and when scraped of any soft fat is a nice treat we all fight over (crazy Canadians!) Like I said, just stirring things up for you (as if decisions on methods and ingredients weren't difficult enough!)
    Cheers from the beautiful Great White North!
    BBQfan1

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  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Nature Boy:[p]Not quite sure yet . . . But if I do, I certainly will consult with you for pointers!

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    BBQfan1,
    Thanks for the ideas. Would love to hear if any other cult members have tried this. I am very interested in giving it a whirl...though maybe not for this party. Thing is I am pretty sure I can knock their socks off without the brine, so I just might save the 'sperimenting for a small one I do next. [p]Not too many birds I cook without brining...love that stuff...especially Brant's brine (where the hell is Brant anyway?)
    Interesting what you say about better smoke absorption with brined meat. I had heard that cooking times are faster....I wonder how much faster??[p]Anyone out there done a brined butt or picnic???
    Don't work too hard Mike.
    NB

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  • Nature Boy,
    If you brine a brisket, you may end up with Corned Beef or Pastrami.
    If you brine a picnic, you may end up with Ham.[p]As for Brining a Butt, I wish that I had time to try. I have a recipe that calls for a 24 Brine of the Pork Butt for Jerk Pork. They toss some Whole Allspice and scotch bonnet or two in the brine and then you put the jerk on the meat for another 24. [p]What the hey, give it a try.
    RhumAndJerk[p]

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,330
    Tim M,
    You probably don't have any wild sugar maples, which are more northern trees. They grow pretty well around here, but I haven't seen many wild ones out here. You will find some in the appalachians out to the west as the temps get cooler, and altitudes higher. We have lots of red maples around here.[p]I know what you are saying about the mulberry....I think that is why Rhum&Jerk brought me the log....he was removing a pesky tree I belive. Supposed to be pretty good for smoking...but I haven't tried it.[p]Smoke will be rising saturday night and sunday...but now they are calling for rain all weekend from a tropical system. Dang.
    NB

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