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I was reading a few old posts in the favorite recipes section about doing beans along with meat in the smokette.

I am new to this and have been smoking a lot of pork butts this week in preparation for a big feed this weekend.

I have been using a 2" SS restaurant pan under my smokette and after contemplating my navel for about 7 hours, I noticed the liquid coming out into the pan. Up until the time the butts plateaued, the liquid in the pan was dark and thin and looked like a good candidate for making sauces, etc. Once the plateau was reached, then the liquid turned thick and very fatty looking.

If you add beans the last few hours, aren't you just using the really fatty stuff or is that what you want in the beans? Are ribs a better candidate for cooking beans than pork butts?

Has anybody tried reclaiming the initial output for sauces, etc?

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Originally posted by Dale_MT:
...If you add beans the last few hours, aren't you just using the really fatty stuff or is that what you want in the beans?

Yes, fat is flavor and I want that in my beans.

If you're going no fat or low cal, don't use a PB.

I've never been so scientific. I just try to time my beans near the finish of the butt.

Not sure if that's fat or not. You could collect it, and cool it, if it congels, it's fat.

The real key is to get some of that pork flavor and more importantly get the beans in the smoke so they pick up lots of smoke.
Ummmmmm..... I agree with Smokin. Fat=Flavor. I always put the beans under whatever I'm cooking. I figure I gotta get the most out of that cholesterol medicine I take! Big Grin I have also on occasion collected the juice in a pan, pour it into a clear glass container and cool it in the fridge. You'll end up with a slab of stuff on top that looks almost like parafin(wax). Then you can just flip this stuff off and you have a concentrated "au jus" that is pretty much de-fatted.
Fat is flavor, but too much of a good thing can give you a heart attackakakakak.

I use a 4" deep 1/2 size restaurant pan under my oo8 when I'm doing 4 butts, and it will almost fill up with the juices. Roughly half of that appears to be fat. I can see using a couple of tablespoons in a half pan of beans, but all of it? My arteries get hard just thinking about it.

For me, some chopped pork bark or some chopped brisket ends give me the flavor I'm looking for in beans.
I wait to put the beans in under the butt until the butt is out of the plateau, say 165 degrees F. You get some fat and some juice and not too much of either that way.

I heat the beans first in the oven to 250 F or so. If you put them in the smoker cold, the temperature of the smoker will drop.

You can use whatever recipe you want, enhanced however you want. Essentially what you are doing is reheating the beans in smoke. And that is good. Real good.

I have posted what I do for beans here before. Use the search engine. Essentially I open a couple of cans of beans, my family like Bush original, add onion and garlic, perhaps sauteed, some green chile, a bit of molasses or maple syrup, and a couple of shots of Southern Comfort, Wild Turkey, Jack Daniels or Jim Beam. Heat it in an oven to 250 degrees or so and then put under the butt when it reaches 165 or so. I use a disposable aluminum foil pan, but a roasting pan will work if you are willing for it to get a bit of soot on it.

There is lots of fat in this. It didn't hurt the pig, and, if you don't do this too often, it won't hurt you. It does add a lot of flavor.
Three things this does to improve you beans, just adjust to your taste preferences:

1. Adds fat. Fat = Flavor
2. Adds smoke. Nothing can simulate (even liquid smoke) a good batch of smoked beans
3. Meat. I always add meat of what dripped into the beans.

Duffey's timing is about right.

I think butts have given up most of their fat before the plateau. The plateau is actually the collagen breaking down and making it soft. After that, the liquid is more likely the juice of the pork itself than fat.

If I had to guess liquid, I wouldn't put more than a cup in or less. Mrs. Smokin' doesn't like "runny beans" so we let it cook off/down to a set texture.

I use at least 2 cups of chopped/pulled pork to a big cast iron dutch oven. Actually when I'm trimming butts and briskets, I keep those scraps, put them in a ziplock and use that in the beans.
Yes, a half cup of Molasses or maple syrup is plenty and a couple of shots will bring that up to just under a cup of liquid.

If it is too soupy, serve with a slotted spoon and reduce the liquid next time.

A good bone works best in beans, either ham, butt, or picnic. Leave some meat on it. If you don't have a bone a ham hock or two work fine. And if you have some leftover smoked shoulder or brisket, that is fine too.

Beans, like butt, are hard to screw up. And you get a lot of flavor for the effort.
When I am invited to a cookout, I always volunteer to cook the meat (PB, Ribs, Chick, etc.). But when someone has the meat taken care of, I ALWAYS take a big batch of smoked beans. I use a tin cake pan for each rack. Mix up my Grandma's traditional baked bean creation and then add a couple of my own ideas (PB Bark, minced vidalia, CS rib rub, honey, etc). I usually use about 2 oz of hickory and smoke on 200 for as long as I can. The longest batch was around 10 hours. They are always a hit. It seems that everyone eats up all of the CS beans and the hosts "Fameous Baked Chicken" turns into leftovers for everyone to take home. Needless to say, the CS has now been nominated to do the MEAT and BEANS at friends cookouts. Now if I could only figure out how to do pasta salad in my 08, our friends wouldn't have to bring a thing!!!!! Razzer

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