MIscellaneous Newbie questions

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MIscellaneous Newbie questions

Post  hartlenb on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:37 pm

This is my first venture into the world of smoking... and after a fair bit of reading I picked up a ProQ Excel 20. I burnt it in for about 5 hours with charcoal and mesquite and now I'm ready to try cooking something. Before I venture out, I thought I'd poll you guys for your collective wisdom and hopefully improve my odds of success.

How long do you let the coals in the chimney burn before transferring them to the ProQ? Until they’re all grey?

On controlling the temperature of the ProQ, from what I’ve read it appears that the preferred approach for many is to use the minion method for building my coal bed. Hot water or sand + hot water in the bowl (seems like user preference here). Leave the top vent wide open. Start with all bottom vents wide open. Partially close all bottom vents by the same amount to lower temperature. Correct?

I think my first smoke is going to be a pork butt… I’ve read about some of you taking it off the smoker, wrapping it in towels and putting it in the fridge / cooler? Why?

If the butt has a good a fat cap do you need to baste / marinade it to keep it from drying out?

Any other suggestions or words of advice before I kick this off?

Thanks, Bryan

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Re: MIscellaneous Newbie questions

Post  Mack on Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:15 am

Hi Bryan,
Welcome to the forum!
The Minion method is well explained HERE
On the temp control... the top vent should always remain wide open when cooking, adjustments are made using the bottom vents. You'll find that with water in the pan, the temp will hold at 220 - 250 easily, with sand you can get temperature spikes.
The wraping of the butt, is usually only used if it's ready way before you or your guests are. Wraping it in foil and towels, then putting it in a cooler, will keep it at the same temp for around 4 hours.
I like my butts simple, inject with Coke, rub, smother with English mustard (leave refrigerated for 12 hours) then put it on to cook. I don't baste during the cook.
Depending on the size of the butt, it should take around 13 hours to cook, work on 1.5 hours/ pound of meat. The most important thing is to take the internal temp to over 195 Deg F.
Hope this helps

Ian
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Re: MIscellaneous Newbie questions

Post  Jonesey73 on Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:53 am

Ian, what cut of meat do you get from the butcher for the butt?.
Is it shoulder?, which exact cut do you ask for?

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Re: MIscellaneous Newbie questions

Post  Mack on Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:02 pm

Jonesey73 wrote:Ian, what cut of meat do you get from the butcher for the butt?.
Is it shoulder?, which exact cut do you ask for?

Tim it is the top half of the shoulder, it has a bone shaped like a paddle in it.
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Re: MIscellaneous Newbie questions

Post  Mike_P_in_Tucson on Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:21 pm

Inject it with coke? Hmmm.......never thought of that.

A couple of thoughts:

1. When using a water smoker, put the butt fat side up and don't turn it during the cooking.

2. No, you don't need to bast it.

3. Don't put it in the fridge. As was mentioned, you can wrap in (I use foil and aseveral layers of newspaper) then put it in a cooler. But the cooler should NOT be cold or have ice in it. You will find the butt will stay very hot for at least 2 hours .

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Re: MIscellaneous Newbie questions

Post  hartlenb on Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:06 am

Thanks for responses.. I'll let you know how it goes.

Bryan

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