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Ok, Ladies and Gentlemen it's your fault so I could really use your advice. We have a family reunion/camping party coming 3rd week of Aug. and my sister informed me that my family is responsible for the last days dinner. I can't roll my green egg into the camp trailer so after a much research and especially this forum, I pulled the trigger. A 009 will be at my doorstep by Friday. So I'm thinking potato salad, beans, and salad. There will be 18 people. What do you think a newbie can pull off and still impress even my stuck up little brother? I have a little practice time. Anything goes.... but gotta impress my bro.
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Ain't nuttin easier than pulled pork.. lots of info here in the forum.. Go to the top of the page and click on FIND.. then type in pulled pork. For a good picture tutorial, type in "mainelydave" or better yet.. just go to: mainelydave and you'll see a bunch of good picture tutorials.. all done in an 009 as I recall.

Have fun.. and don't sweat it.. they'll love it. Your choices look good. I like to make the KFC Cole Slaw clone. If you like slaw, this is a great clone and easy to do. Go to:
KFC Slaw
Don't know what impresses him,but this is good and almost foolproof.

Cook a 15 lb 2 pack of butts,overnight.

Hold in hot box.

That will yield about 8 lbs,or enough for 30 four oz sandwiches.

Cook 20 chicken thighs,about 3 hr before dining.

Let cooker hold the thighs at 140*,if necessary,until serving.

Cook 3,or 4, lbs assorted,already cooked smoked sausage to 140* internal the second hour of chicken.

Slice into 2 oz pieces,serve early with a couple choices of mustard.

Pull the pork 15 mins before thighs are done to 175* and guests are sampling sausage.

Pork can also be held in Al 1/2 pans,in cooker.

Serve chicken and pork,with sides.

Plenty of time to enjoy the crowd.
I agree with the butts. If you get that puppy seasoned well, the next pork will turn out awesome. The seasoning butt will be practice. Be sure and do the slaw, instead of salad. It is a condiment! Tom has excellent ideas. Use cheap white hotdog buns. Be sure and do the chicken on 250*, down low close to the woodbox. Don't forget the heavy duty foil and the drain hole and drippan. Get a good thermometer probe or 2. It magnets to the side of the smoker and has a cable to either go down the smoke hole or close the door on it.

Take good notes, have fun, experiment!

I would run out and buy a couple of practice butts immediatly. Practice smoking them, then pulling them. The eating part just kinda comes naturally. Follow the advice here from those that reply, and you will be the hit of the party!! Get a remote thermometer too to tell when those butts are done!

GLH, I don't know about the magnet sticking to a 009, but they do stick to an 008 Smiler

Cadillac made a good suggestion.. buy a cryo pack with two butts in it. Smoke the first to break in the smoker (AFTER you do the initial break-in with about 4+ ounces of the wood of your choice- not fir or pine). After you smoke the first.. eat as much as you like.. you'll love it and freeze the rest. Then for the party, you can smoke the second and mix in the first butt for added meat.

The first will be good and the second better.. but when you add your favorite or home made BBQ sauce.. no one will be wiser. Do get that thermometer tho to help you keep track of the temps so you don't have to open the box unnecessarily.. that just addes lots of time to the overall cook time. As mentioned in other recent posts.. Unless you want a remote thermometer.. get a relatively inexpensive Taylor digital thermometer with a 4' cable for about $15 or less at Target.. it'll serve you well for a long time.
Thanks for posts smokenque, Tom GLH and Cadillac. For some reason I can't get the butt link to open and when it comes to so many post on the topic I feel kinda like a kid expected to go to the store and not knowing how to drive the car. This is going to be a steep learning curve. So I will go to target and get the taylor. Do I get one to moitor the oven and one for the meat? We have a sportsmans warehouse here. They have some rubs. Any recommendations? I can still order. What is the best wood and does it use chips or chunks? Do you soak the wood? Some say put the but on the upper rack, others say the lower? Tom, I'd love to be able to pull off your menu. Am I a doomiss for not knowing what a hot box is? And can all this fit in the 009? My wife runs a bakery so is it really best to use the cheap buns? Oh and is your Sam's like our Costco? And is there difference in the quality of the pork between one vendor and another? I am quite picky on buying my beef cuts. There is beef and then there is beef. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
OK to try and answer a few of your questions.... Just get 1 Taylor to monitor the meat.. the smoker will be fine. CS will include rub and wood in your first order I believe. Keep this simple to start. Chunks work best in the CS for long smokes... I use chips for smokes shorter than 3 hrs. Dont soak them. If you do just 1 butt I would put it as high a rack as possible, fat cap up. You will see the firebox once your CS arrives tomorrow. Many folks here use Costco.. no problem. Look for Boston Butts. And just for the record... a boston butt is pork, not beef. Smiler But Im sure you knew that. Keep the questions coming we all will chip in as we can.

You don't have to rub your butt before smoking. In fact, while I haven't tried it yet, I will not rub the butt prior to cooking my next one.. rather add the rub to the pork once it's pulled along with whatever I plan on adding like some sauce. The high salt content of most rubs tends to pull moisture from meat, especially thin "cuts" like ribs if you apply the rub and refrigerate overnight.. you don't need dry"er" meat. The smoke will add complexity to the meat.. that taste we all seem to go bananas over. But, adding whatever you like as a sauce later will finish it off to your personal tastes. I'm sure my tastes are different from many here.. Smiler

BTW, don't make a mountain out of a mole hill on this cook.. Butts are very forgiving.. you'll love the results on this first one.. and if you keep good notes.. you'll know what needs fine tuning.. then ask more questions
Well,I'm no expert ,but I do cook with some.

A lot of fine cooks above have given good tips,and there is a bunch to consider.

It is easy to get overwhelmed.

Another tip is don't practice anything, first time on a crowd.

There ain't no learning curve on a butt.

Prep/breakin your cooker ,as given in the instructions.

Find something fatty ,like a butt,or about 3 lbs of cheap hamburgers to cook ,to finish the seasoning.

Find you a therm and check the temps with the tip in boiling water ,212* and freezing,32*.

Within 2-4* will work.

When you season the cooker,put the probe through a ball of tinfoil and lay on the center rack.

Run the cooker at 250*,and see what the therm temp averages over awhile.

Should be around 250-average.

Ignore temp swings.

Don't use an extension,unless as heavy as the CS cord.

Also,pick up an instaread therm-for final checking.

Now there are lots of techniques,so I'll give you one that works for me.

Simple Pork Butt

Go to Costco/Sam's,etc and get a 2 pk of non solution added butts that weighs about 14-16 lbs total.

You want bonein!!!

Go to wallyworld,or most major groceries and get a box/bag of turbinado sugar.[often comes in a brown box as Sugar in the Raw.]

Pick up a quart of apple cider and the ingredients for Smokin's mop.

At least a six pk of cold drinks,and a can of Pam spray.

A pair of neoprene,or heavy rubber gloves to lift hot meats with.

Take a bottle of rub that comes with your cooker,and dump 6-8 oz in a bowl and an equal amount of turbinado sugar.

Take butts out of refrig,a couple hrs,or more, before cooking and pat/rub as much of this mix as they will hold.

Put in a disposable Al pan,or wrap in plastic wrap and back in the refig.

Make Smokin's mop/sauce.

Get cooker ready.

I set it closer to 235*,than 225* with only two butts.

Be sure the cooker is cooking at the set temp.

Take out the bottom rack and add 4-6 oz of wood.

I like hickory,or applewood.

Spray remaining racks with Pam.

Take butts from refrig.

They will be wet,so pack as much more rub on them as they will hold.

Set your side racks so they aren't in the highest position.

Put butts on two top racks.

Put temp probe in smaller butt.

Don't let it touch bone,or rest in a fat pocket.

Plan on 2 hrs/lb on the largest butt,so you can schedule serving.

Run probe through the top vent hole,or just close the door on it.

Don't open door,until 195* internal.

Have a small dry cooler,lined with neswpaper-or real old towels standing ready.

Remove butts,lay on doubled Al foil.

Spray ,until wet, with Smokin's mop,or apple juice and wrap tightly.

Wrap in old towels and place in cooler/hotbox.

They will hold 4-8 hrs,usually.

You want at least 2-3 hrs.

20 mins before serving,open foil-save juices.

Discard bone and fat .

Pull/ shred to size you like.

Add a little of Smokin's mop for moisture ,and mix in some of your rub mixture to taste.

This may not get you in the money at your first contest,but it will be the best your brother ever tasted. Cool

Serve with a couple sauces on the side.

If your serving pan starts to get dry,mix in a little 50/50 apple juice and bbq sauce.

Hope this helps a little.

Okay Gang, Our last adventure today in Pulled Pork is a Vinegar Based Sauce. I've used this as a baste/mop, as a finishing sauce (finishing to me is putting the sauce on during the last hour) and also a serving sauce. Kick up the heat a notch in this one if you like:

Smokin Okies Vinegar Mop for Pulled Pork

(also called an Eastern Carolina Sauce)

2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 tablespoons salt (I like the flavor in Kosher/Sea Salt and bigger granules)

2 tablespoon red pepper (crushed)

1 teaspoon cayenne (I've also used Hungarian Paprika)

Don't need to cook this sauce, just combine, let sit overnight. Put this on your Butt, it'll go wild

Now I better get out of here,before I'm accused of makin' a Smokin/Okie post. Wink
Last edited by tom
It's past Tom's bedtime so I can answer that for you. A hot box could be a cooler that you preheat by putting hot water in it and letting it sit for 15-30 minutes. Dump the water and you have a hot box. Another example would be like a Cambro insulated food carrier that professionals use to carry trays of food to a catering job. But a preheated cooler works just fine.
Squaregg. If you get this in time. If you only take a couple of things from this. These are the 2 most important. DON'T OPEN THAT DOOR! USE THAT TEMP PROBE! I was in your same situation last Christmas. Just bought it, and had to impress. Did the Butt. And it rocked. To much I think. Now they come over way to much. You will be fine. Just remember those two rules. And do break it in as the above post say. Attached is a pic of my first Butt going into the 08. First time i ever used it......................... Sorry had to wipe the happy tears from face.
We will be campin up white pass WA state. Last yr was cold and rained the whole time. We brought the ski boat and tent. Everyone else brought there RVs. Wife popped that invisible cork. You know what Im talkin about. What ya think our tax return did this yr? Anyone want to buy a nice boat.
Yamaha, I know what your saying about the smoke. Did chicken with my green egg right out of the gate. Sucked so bad couldnt even get the yappin next door neighbors dog to take a try at em. (bones removed and all).
I got 3 hrs on the seasoning right now and butt is in the frige. I'm gonna follow Toms direction and if I get it seasoned enough then maybe what is left of the butt smoke on campin day can just be left in when the legs go in. What do you think.
Derek I got the taylor in the oven now w/ the al ball around it and some pretty wild swings right now.
I have that cant hold back excitement. almost put my wifes cabbage rolls in her instead of the 300 for 4 hrs she has them goin in the kitchen oven. That could be interesting.
Only thing that bugs me is the cs came w/ a dent in the side from shipping. Cabelas or UPS taped up this gaping hole in the cardboard and fired it off to me. Office sec. signed for it. All the racks were everywhere and the wood and rubs had bent the smoke box to the side along w/ the element and the box support. pretty disapointing for a $500 purchase.
Call both UPS and Cabelas.. they don't send them out that way.. UPS has damaged many a CS and, to my knowledge.. they were replaced.

The boxes for both my 008 and AQ were heavily damaged.. I was really paranoid about the AQ being damaged.. however.. both were OK... well almost.. the AQ had one slight tweek that I could fix. Cookshack makes one heck of a good smoker.. but two things they don't do well, IMO.. is racks and packaging. There was very little packaging around either of my smokers.

Do yourself a favor.. If you want one that looks as good as it cooks, call UPS.. I hope you saved the box..
Well I still have everything but w/ the time constaints, i am afraid that I would not have an undamaged unit until too late for campin. I bent the box support and ever so carefully the heat element back square and started seasoning it. I think internally it is ok. Wish I could use it and get some scratch and dent discount on the exterior dent or send it back after vacation to tell you the truth. Honestly, it seam I always have this luck. I actually ordered from the Cabelas in Sidney Ne cause mail order was back ordered. I didnt want the 4 caster unit as it would not travel as well as the two and this is the only place that had one. I may just suck it up..well after seasoning it tonight I probably already did. You think?
Ok what went wrong. There was no butt last night. 7pm shes at 173. 9pm 179. Had left over cabbage rolls at 930. set the alarm for for 1130 and was 185. set at 130am and its 190. See the wife off to work at 230am and its still 190. kinda tired of this so just pulled it out. Looked like a big black rock. mopped the mopp on er, wrapped and then in the "hot box". 6pm pull out and still hot. stuck it w/ a fork and besides the black cust its like jello inside. just fallen apart. real good. SO why couldnt i get it up to temp.

Oh, a quick note. the only thing I could find between costco, URM and the local stores was a boneless butt. and this thing was like under 5 lb. I mean that thing was in the oven for 19hr and still only reached 190
Hmmm....sounds like the probe was in an odd place that gave incorrect readings. Could have been an air pocket or something since the bone had been removed. Just a guess.

What I do to avoid this(when I really need to "nail it") when cooking one butt is stick both my probes on my dual thermometer in. That way if I hit an pocket of air or fat or bone with one I can tell with the other.
Tom, couldnt find the big bone in butt. Did not try Wally as is a real big drive and kinda gave up after checking costco, Safeway, URM (that is a grocery store distributor) all I found was boneless. and it was netted up and 4 and some pounds. Besides giving up on when "when its done its done", and only letting it sit out for 45 min I went step by step. Oh, about an hr into it, I remembered i did not poke the hole in the bottom and so openned the do for that. I put it in at 7am. I checked the temp swings w/ the al ball as asked and was up and down 25 degrees or so. Thanks for any advice
Well, this is my first time on the air @ this forum. Hello. everybody!
Purchased my 008 from Cabela's in Dundee, Mi on July 14th. They had some promotions going on and got out of the store for under $400.00 which included MI tax. Got home & seasoned my smokette at 200f for about 5 hours with a concotion of fatty meat. Looks good/smells great.
My first project was as standard pork butt from Sams. Did it overnight with a temp setting of 225f and in the morning I was stuck on a internal temperature of 178f. Turned up the thermostat on that little pup as far as it would go - to the 250 mark. I then put my Taylor digital down the top vent and began reading. I watched the readings continously through the swings and the highest reading that I could get out her was 151.5 I did manage to get the internal temp up to 190f and pulled it after about 18 hrs. of cookin. That's the longest timeI've ever spent on getting a butt to 190F.
Put in a call to CS customer service and they were very helpful, (What did I expect?) I'm not sure who they transferred me to, but the guy said it sounded like I had a thermostat that was not properly calibrated. He sent me out another thermostat and I replaced it myself. The hardest part was taking off the metal tape on the dashboard of the 008. (There are two screws holing the thermostat in place under this foil tape.)CS also sent out a new foil tape with the thermostat.
I gave her a test run after with the new thermostat in place and am very satisfied with the temp swings @ the 225f setting. Ready for some ribs any day now----
Must be a problem with your Taylor if the max reading was 151* and the butt still reached 190*. That feat would be impossible, at best.

Squaregg, do the next butt on 250*, do not open the door, see how it goes. Also, try putting the butt on the lowest rack closest to the woodbox. Keep good notes. Experiment. Have fun.

What was the max temp recorded on the probe through the ball of foil?

Big Grin
GLH, the temp was set at 225 and taylor did go to 190. just took a long time and never went to 195 like Tom explained was the temp to pull from the oven. it still pulled well. kinda a different taste. Not used to the hickory. I use alder in my Green Egg but soak the chips. can't find anything but hickory and mesguite chunks around here. Where do you buy your wood?? On line??
Originally posted by squaregg:
GLH, the temp was set at 225 and taylor did go to 190. just took a long time and never went to 195 like Tom explained was the temp to pull from the oven. it still pulled well. kinda a different taste. Not used to the hickory. I use alder in my Green Egg but soak the chips. can't find anything but hickory and mesguite chunks around here. Where do you buy your wood?? On line??

BAM!! As Emeril would say. Big Grin
There is nothing magic about 195*,just a general starting point.

When cooking two large butts,at 225*,

I used to get another plateau,about 187*,and then it would stall out at about 192-3* and not move.

After awhile,I'd open the door and the bone would pull right out.

The butts would try to fall apart getting them out of the cooker.

It is about learning your cooker,taking notes for the next time,and gaining a little experience.

A couple golfball sized chunks of hickory would be the Southern choice,although I also like apple for butts.

Once you get through the plateau at about 170*,nothing says you can't kick it up to the Smokette max of about 250*to finish it off,if you are running behind schedule.

Alder is fine for fish in the NW,but you never soak anything in the Cookshack.
Originally posted by GLH:
Plenty of wood to get around these parts. No need to look too hard. Maybe even the back yard.

I agree.. I used up the wood I got with my 008 and began using limb falls from Alder for my salmon and the falls from 3/4 acre of Oak. I can't begin to use the oak I have. I haven't even touched the box of wood I got with the AQ.

When I first got my 008 and began reading about Mesquite, Apple and Hickory, I bought bags of these from Walmart or BBQ Galore.. sometimes I mix them with the Oak.. but, for all intents and purposes.. I Love Oak.

I think this is how traditions get started in smoking.. the locals used what was available and developed a taste for that wood. Heck, I might try some Pecan some time.. but, what the heck.. It's Oak.. and it's FREE.. Smiler
munched on some ribs tonight. cs Getting real seasoned. still taking longer than what Ive been reading on oter posts but they were killer. Longhorn makes a huckleberry rub and that will go on next time.
Smokenque I will check the taylor tomorrow as you advised and Lantern thanks for the wood tip. Looks like these guys have everything I might need. Thanks again.
I honestly don't know.. I have at least four types, judging from the leaf shapes.. they all seem to be very good.. I can't tell much difference one to another. Sweet and aromatic. I know I have live oak, pin oak, white oak and I believe red oak.. don't know the others. Oh yes, I have what is called Valley Oak.. one of the main oaks in CA.. grows in dry areas.. which is most of the non mountainous areas of CA.
All those are OK except the willow, I believe. Do not use any lumber scraps if there is even a remote possibility they might be treated with something. Any wood you use should be seasoned. (dry) I use leftover white oak cubes from home winemaking. You might even find some old wine or other liquor barrels to chunk up and use. They will be either Hungarian, French, or American white oak.

Originally posted by squaregg:
What about the Japanese maple, or various other small trees that died over the winter at my place. can your use willow, or sicamore, birch or aspen. What wood is on or off limits. Can you use the left over oak or cherry from the wood shop?

Squaregg -- Check here for woods used for smoking. Not totally comprehensive but awful darn close!
Just a couple of thoughts.

Some,few,experienced cooks can tell the differences in smoke flavors,except bad-or negligible.

A slightly higher percentage can tell the difference in aromas.

As the cookday goes on,our olfactory glands become desensitized to the smoke and the percentage drops.

This is a reason that we may taste and smell smoke more the day after we smoke.

Oak is considered the "queen"of cooking woods.

Stickburners often use a blend of 30% flavor woods,and 70% oak to mellow out the flavors.

Stickburners,that don't control airflow,burn,etc are also more prone to oversmoke.

Restaurants that grill/bake over hardwoods use high levels of oak,as it gives a subtle smoke without ruining the meats and seasonings from a quick cook.

Comp cooks are so good,that tiny subtle differences,after all else is considered.

The correctness of cooking the meat,the tenderness,the way it bites,chews,swallows,the appearance,does it taste like the MEAT,does it have an off flavor,or aftertaste.

Did the cook try to hide a bad product with sauce and rub?.

Can the meat stand on its own?

Cooks, for the money ,often depend on hickory and pecan as their nutwoods,or strong flavors.

Apple and cherry dominate the fruitwoods.

A rare couple use some peach,or citrus woods.

On large volume woodburners,that burn down to charcoal,oak is used and then a flavor wood to get the accent.

Mesquite is usually a grilling wood for its high heat.

Some Texas stickburners may use sw Texas mesquite as their flavor wood in addition to oak.

Cookshacks burn a small amont of wood,very efficiently.

The company supplies the few most popular woods,in managable chunks,cleaned and correctly aged.

They are not in the wood business,but want their cookers to perform at their peak.

Most good cooks will tell you that although mixing rubs,and sauces,and blending woods is fun-if you like it and don't cook much,learning your cooker and how to cook the meats is more than 95% of what you put on someone's plate.

Most top comp teams buy someone else's rubs and sauces and tweak them for taste.

That way,they can focus on the 95% that they MUST have.

Here is a good site that might help with the avaiable woods.

Cooking Woods

Just a couple of thoughts.
Tom, you are getting more & more like Smokin' every day (long posts). Big Grin Guess that's not a bad thing! Confused

Now, if you would elaborate just a smidge on each of those sentences I would suggest that CS include it with each smoker they sell! Wink

Very informative post, even tho you posted a duplicate link to wood - which I stole from you a while back...! Big Grin

Appreciate ya Tom!!!
Well went to see Wally last night. Best found was an 8lb. shoulder w/ the bone. No wood chunks but mesquite and hickory. Same for Lowes and Depot. We will have a Cabelas east of town in Nov. so I went the Longhorn barbeque and guys let me into there wood pile and I got enough cherry and apple to hold me over. They get their wood from fruit trees out of the Yakima valley in WA. Got some 2" branches, followed Toms directions again, and Walla.

Went in at 6pm and was done at 1030 am today. Pulled out, put on the sprits, and tossed in the hot box. To the store for cheap slaw and buns and took it to the office. Gone in 10 min. It was just incredible, bark was dark and a little chewy, inside was fall apart, kind of like when you overcook a turkey in an oven bag. Was pretty proud of myself and I could not have pulled it off without you guys. Thanks a bunch.

Just a thought, if the bone gives you a false reading of a higher temp than it should, can the bone actually be a conduit of sorts to pass heat to the interior?

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