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New Years Eve Pulled Pork / Stoker Questions

Jumping JoeJumping Joe Posts: 114
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I'm having 12 people over for New Year's Eve and and going to make some pulled pork with my new Stoker on the BGE.

First question is will a large pork shoulder from Costco be the same as the smaller butts I've done in the past? The one's I have done have been great but if I can do one of the larger shoulders that would be nice because I don't have time to shop for smaller boston butts. Also i'm going to try and use the Stoker for the first time?

Second question....So my wife got me a stoker for XMAS...better than a lump of bad coal.....I am going to hook this up tomorrow using an ethernet hard wired via powerline. Should my first attempt using the Stoker be on something other than a party of 12 just in case I screw it up? I'll need a good nights sleep Thursday........Happy Holidays Ya'll!

Comments

  • I would recommend setting everything up on your kitchen table prior to the night you are using it to cook and make sure temp probes, fan, stoker unit is working properly. Play with the stokerlog settings a bit too. I had a bit of trouble setting up my router on my first run, but once I opened the proper gateway everything is working fine. I did have to call the folks at Rock's BBQ and they helped walk me through the process. The Stokerlog program is awesome when it's up and running! Good Luck!
  • I wouldn't be against just running it for a while, maybe after you cooked something else. Burn a little lump just to gain some confidence in it.

    Make sure you don't install the fan upside down. Don't ask me how I know NOT to do this.
  • crmiltcrmilt Posts: 108
    At my Costco the pork shulder is boneless and actually 2 pieces of meat in the 16+ pound package. It is not one large piece of meat.

    I went for the regular bone-in at the grocery store.
    __________

    Chris
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Complete shoulders usually have the skin on and I wiuld recommend removing that so you get the nice bark you expect.
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,848
    Joe, I'd recommend protecting the stoker unit with a rubbermaid box (insert an abs elbow through the side for wiring to pass through) and cover the fan with a styrofoam cup. Good luck.
    Gary
    Vaughan, Ontario

  • srq2625srq2625 Posts: 262
    CostCo here (Newport News, VA) doesn't carry pork shoulder. The best we have is boneless pork butt, two per cryopack. I tie them up, rub them down, and toss on the LBGE - works a real treat.

    Before you use it for the first time, I would:

    [li]As mentioned above, set it up on your kitchen table and make sure it's all working as intended.
    [li]Calibrate the probes. Mine, out of the box, were off by a non-trivial amount. Here's a good place to start with learning how to do that.
    [li]Check out the rest of the series done by Rob - there's some good information there about how to set it up in a LAN environment so you can monitor your cook from your laptop/computer.
    [li]Rob's videos not withstanding, I've not been able to assign more than one probe to a fan (YMMV).
    [li]I've found that it takes more than just moment after the "Please Wait ..." message disappears for the DHCP client in the stoker to get/accept/display the IP Address, so don't let that throw you. Then again, it could be my router :)
    [li]For an over-night cook, expecially with pork butt/shoulder (for which maintaining a temperature is really all that critical), I've found it useful to set the alarm temps to be the target temp plus/minus 15 degrees. When the fire is really stable, it seems like the stoker gets a little lazy and it takes that much of a temperature deviation before it "wakes up" and fixes things. This just let's me get sleep and the stoker only wakes me when there's a serious problem.

    I think, if you practice with it a bit you can't go wrong.
  • An interesting post srq2625.

    Anyway Jumpin Joe, definitely watch Rob's 6 YouTube videos. They explain all you need to know about setup of Stoker. The Stoker works great. I would definitely use it for low and slow if you have one.

    The Egg holds temp well, but learning how to set it up can take some practice. I would say you would be more at risk not using it if you have 12 people coming expecting pull. I do recommend learning the "old-fashioned" way, but do that when you can allow for less successful results.

    I would recommend you read the Elder Ward Pulled Pork Recipe on nakedwhiz.com too. It is a great resource.
  • For my Stoker, I only want one pit probe to control my fan. For meat probes they are independent of the fan/pit temp.

    Great link on calibration. I like that one and will use it for sure!!
  • I'd say the stoker is as easy as pie to use once you have it set up. That said, the instructions can get confusing in some spots. Ditto on calibration. My probes were off about 4-5 degrees, and when I called Rock's to ask, they told me that my probes hadn't been set properly at the factory.

    Now, hooking it to a wireless bridge is another story. 5 hours later and I still can't get my wireless bridge to talk to my main router. Not a problem with the stoker, just the fact that networking is by nature a pain. rob's videos didn't help me much either.
  • I'd say the stoker is as easy as pie to use once you have it set up. That said, the instructions can get confusing in some spots. Ditto on calibration. My probes were off about 4-5 degrees, and when I called Rock's to ask, they told me that my probes hadn't been set properly at the factory.

    Now, hooking it to a wireless bridge is another story. 5 hours later and I still can't get my wireless bridge to talk to my main router. Not a problem with the stoker, just the fact that networking is by nature a pain. rob's videos didn't help me much either.
  • Yeah - some wireless bridges can be a pain to set up.. but once set they can be really useful devices for your stoker or anything else with an ethernet port - tvs, DVRs, Blue Ray players, PCs, etc...

    Anyway - a 50ft ethernet cable can do the same thing and there's no configuration on that one!!

    Best of Luck!
  • Some bridges are not compatible with some routers. I would check to see if there is anything posted on the manufacturer websites.
  • srq2625srq2625 Posts: 262
    FWIW - I've been using the Linksys wrt54g for my household router for years. The Christmas Elf (my networking savy son :) ) got me the NETGEAR WNCE2001 Wireless 802.11b/g/n Ethernet Port Universal WiFi Internet Adapter. It might be considered a bit pricy, but sometimes, you get what you pay for. Anyway, I found the setup to be absolutely painless and the range, 100+ feet and through three walls (one of them an exterior brick wall) to be more than sufficient for my needs.
  • srq2625srq2625 Posts: 262
    I thought that was the logical way to set up a pit. And, indeed, that is the way I set my stoker on my LBGE. But I just had to try to see if I could duplicate with my stoker the behavior he demonstrated and found that I couldn't.
  • 13 Hours in ..... first time using the stoker.....this thing is really cool.....how does my stoker log look. I don't think I had the daisy wheel opened up enough in the beginning.

    stoker1.jpg
  • I did some research on wireless bridge settings and found that these connections are really hard to get connected to the wireless network and most of the time don't end up working even if the equipment is the same brand as the wireless router.

    Instead of the wireless bridge, I went with the Netgear Powerline network connection. The network connection works thru your home powerline to the wireless router. That setup has worked great for getting internet connection to the Xbox360 where my wireless connection is in a weak zone. Streaming Netflix videos using the powerline connection worked awsome.

    For the stoker network connection, I just purchased another powerline adapter that communicates with the one that is hooked up to the wireless router already.

    Hope this helps. :)
  • You are looking good. I wouldn't be afraid to bump the pit to 250. The smaller the gap between your finishing temp and the pit temp the longer it takes. Also, 195 is only a guideline. It is done when the bone easily pulls out. That can happen above or below this temp. Make sure your meat has good airflow around it. If the two butts touch, they turn into one big piece of meat and take much longer to cook. I always try to avoid touching butts. :P

    Fyi, your fan is running a lot more recently, so you could be running low on lump.

    If I didn't recommend this before, this is a great guide. http://www.nakedwhiz.com/elder.htm
  • Any advice on how to check the lump level.....I guess I just open it up and see.....
  • That's pretty much it. If you have to move the meat, I would just go ahead and dump more in. Whatever is left at the end you can use on your next cook. Don't keep lid open to long, as that ends to bump up the temp due to increased airflow.
  • I think I got it back under control. I opened up the daisy wheel a little and increased my pit temp to 230. it leveled out and appears to be good.
  • 16 and a half hours into my first cook using the stoker. kicked up the temp to 230 two hours ago....

    stoker4.jpg
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