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Just got my egg (Assembly and Overnight Boston Butt Questions)

raulo1496raulo1496 Posts: 2
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hey Everybody!  Just got my large green egg and can't wait to get started.  I have been looking over the site for answers, but figured I would post a new thread.  Sorry in advance for all the questions.  Just trying to make sure I have a handle on everything.

Assembly
I finished my assembly last night and did the dollar bill test.  The front and sides were difficult to pull, but the back pulled through very easily with no resistance and I can see the tiniest of gaps in the back.  I redid the bands this morning constantly checking to make sure there was a good seal between the top and bottom.  I get the bands on and have a good seal but when I tighten the eight screws on the spring I start to get the little gap.  I know it says to tighten them last, but has anyone tightened them first and then the bands?  Am I being too anal about this trying to make it perfect?  Just want to make sure I have it right before my first cook.  Any suggestions?

Overnight Boston Butt
I have a 10.6 pound Boston butt I will be cooking for a party Saturday that starts at 5.  Reading the forums it looks like I should expect about 20 to 22 hours of cook time at around 220 to 250 is that correct?  So I should have it on by 5 Friday right?

I do not have one of those fancy temperature control thermometers yet and am just going to be going off the temperature gauge that came with the big green egg.  How reliable is that guy?  Is there usually a +/- 10 or 20 degrees with it?  Am I crazy to do a overnight cook using only this?  I will be using a plate setter and a drip pan using tinfoil to set the pan above the plate setter like mentioned many times in this forum.

Any other words of wisdom from the forum for the overnight cook?

Sorry for the long post and all the questions.  Just want to make sure I get things right the first time.  Hate to ruin the butt and not have any meat for the party.

Thanks!!

Comments

  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,521
    Calibrate your dome temp in boiling water, it should be approx 212, give or take a few degrees depending on your ekevation. You can cook without a maverick, I do, but I highly recommend a meat thermometer to check meat temp. Pork shoulder should be between 195-205, and probe should slid in very easily.

    I think putting it on at 5pm on Friday will be good, and it will give you time to FTC, foil towels, cooler. A 10.5 lb butt will stay warm for hours. Make sure you stabilize grill temp and let the smoke dtart smelling good, or else your cook will taste bad.

    Overnight cook is always a good idea! Any more questions, post 'em!
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,521
    Also a pork butt is fairly forgiving, so dont stress out, enjoy yourself.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,245
    edited July 2012

    No help with your air gap and +1 with BYS1981 above-especially the thermo calibration-and "good smoke" smell. Here are a few additional thoughts-

    No need to worry about time to get to the low&slow cook temp-a few minutes delay on the many hour cook is not a deal-breaker.  Key is to not grossly overshoot your target temp-if you leave the dome open to initially get a good fire going-set the lower vent and DMFT to about where you expect them to be when steady-state at the time you shut the dome. Then adjust as necessary-and don't sweat "dead-on" temps for the low&slow cooks. 270*F+/- 30* is close enough.  Just get the BGE stable (45- 60 mins) and then let it do the work.  You can spend the cook chasing temperature (remember the fire is responding to air flow changes so the feedback loop has quite a delay time) 

    With any BGE (I have a LBGE) the trick is to catch the temperature rise on the way up to the desired end-point.  You have a lot of ceramic mass and if it gets heated above the target temperature it takes a while to cool down. Welcome and enjoy the journey.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • raulo1496raulo1496 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the tips guys.  BYS1981 are you saying the water starts boiling at 212 so if it starts boiling at 230 I should assume the thermometer is about 18 degrees off?

    As far as stabilizing the temperature.  Do I need to make sure it stays around 250 for 15 to 30 minutes before I put the meat on?  Then make sure it is staying around this temperature for a few hours before hitting the sack?

    How about charcoal for this long of a smoke should I fill it above the fire box or still fill to the rim of the fire box?  Any suggestions on wood chips?  Should I add any liquid to the drip pan?

    Thanks again for all the help guys!
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,628
    There will be no problems if you start out right. Fill up fire box with coal. I'm more selective than dumping when I do low and slow. Light it. And get temp up 3-400 then stabilize where you want it 225-250 for around 30min-1 hour. That's what took me the longest to learn. Slight adjustments make big changes. The egg will do the rest if you set it up right.


    _______________________________________________

    XLBGE 
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    I'm with the above school of thought, however, it's ur first big cook on the egg, might wanna just wake up early, say 6am, get the egg nice and stable at 275-300 dome, and throw it on, should take around 10 hours at that temp, pull it, rest it and it'll be ready to shred by 5pm. throw the butt in a aluminum half pan, little apple juice in the bottom, and let it rip! that way you'll keep that new egg nice and clean. you can adjust the thermo when you're calibrating it. Use the nut on the back and spin the gauge until 212 is showing when you're in boiling water. There's websites that'll give you a more specific temp based on your elevation. I'm basically at sea level, so i went with 212.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,245
    Chips or chunks-your choice-I use chips since I have quite an inventory and spread them through-out the lump load.  Figure where there's fire there's smoke.  WRT lump load-the key to the long low&slow is lump and good air flow.  Make sure your fire grate and fire box holes are clear and you clean out the used ash in the bottom.  I don't just dump the lump for these cooks-I place bigger pieces on the bottom then build up the pile into the fire ring.  You don't want the dust and small pieces clogging up the works.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 2,521
    raulo1496 said:

    Thanks for the tips guys.  BYS1981 are you saying the water starts boiling at 212 so if it starts boiling at 230 I should assume the thermometer is about 18 degrees off?

    As far as stabilizing the temperature.  Do I need to make sure it stays around 250 for 15 to 30 minutes before I put the meat on?  Then make sure it is staying around this temperature for a few hours before hitting the sack?

    How about charcoal for this long of a smoke should I fill it above the fire box or still fill to the rim of the fire box?  Any suggestions on wood chips?  Should I add any liquid to the drip pan?

    Thanks again for all the help guys!

    Correct, and then adjust screw until thermo reads 212.

    I let my egg stabilize temp for 30-40 mins then put food on. Check naked whiz site for firebuilding, and if it goes out, dont worry, reload it. I had fire go out and let pirk sit in oven at 250, that way it stays cooking. i have only done empty drip pans. I use pecan chunks on pork, but that is personal preference.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,245
    edited July 2012

     

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053

    You might want to search for Turbo Butt and Boston Butt on the big green egg.  I cook low and slow at about 220 degrees at the grate and that takes a lot longer (20 - 22 hours) than a lot of people that do the turbo butt (12 or less hours) at a higher temp. A lot of experienced eggers swear that the turbo butt is just as good as the lower and slower butts.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • I cook shoulders all the time, I did one yesterday with the same method I always use, six hours on the smoke, two hours in a covered pan.  The only thing I veri is the rub, some times you feel like a nutt...  I've heard a number of different thoughts on how much smoke a piece of meat can actually take.  After many years using the egg and hundreds of pounds of meat, I believe that at a true BBQ temp of 250 degrees meat will stop developing its smoke ring (taking on smoke) after seven hours.  With the tougher meats like pork shoulder you have to get the internal temp up to 180 degrees before the fats start to break down.  Once you arrive at 180 move it to a pan with some moisture in the bottom and cover (with shoulders I like apple juice) for 90-120 minutes back on the Egg and raise the temp to 300.  Every so often I pull one for sandwiches, but mostly its going into another dish (it really sets off my green chili verde). 

    As far as getting your seal right, tighten the bands and then the lifting mech.  Use a rubber mallet and moderately hit (bounce) the dome as your tightening the bolts.  Tight enough is when you can lift the lid without anything moving out of place, too tight is when you Egg cracks.  Don't let me scare you, the Egg is really tough.

  • NewvilleNewville Posts: 84
    FYI - when you put the meat in (or the cold stone/PS) the temp will drop some but soon rebound if you got a stable egg. Goes w/out saying I know but throwing it out there. Good luck - you'll do great!
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