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Please pardon my simple question - I just received a SM008, I'm seasoning it today and want to test out a pork butt tomorrow.

I have a 6 lb pork blade roast that I want to cook tomorrow in my new SM008.

I has a string mesh around it, I suppose to hold it together.

Do I leave this mesh on or remove it before cooking it?

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A lot of meat cutters will put butcher twine around a roast just to make it look 'pretty' whether it needed tying or not. Most roasts are solid muscles and don't require any string at all.

The mesh around your pork roast you are referring to is called Jet Netting (in Canada but I'm not sure about the US).

No to contradict Tom but I would remove the mesh before you cook it as there is a chance that it will stick to the meat once cooked and you attempt to remove it.

I am assuming that you are making pulled pork which means that the mesh has to be removed before carving anyway.

If this is your first attempt at smoking, take the advice given here on the forum and do NOT keep opening the smoker. I did my first pork butt last week and even though it turned out great, I couldn't get the internal temperature past 175 even though the three pound pork butt (also did a beef roast) was in for 8 hours @200F.

Have fun!
Originally posted by Qnorth:

Why only 200 deg? and 8 hrs wouldn't be long enough at that temp in my opinion. You've read about the 'plateau' I'm sure. Your butt was probably in the plateau and at 200 deg it is going to take it a good long while to get through it. 3 or 4 hrs would be my guess.

Next time I will set at 225. The strange thing is that both the pork and beef roast were excellent as I used them for pulling.

I really wanted to do a brisket but they are very hard to find. I am going to special order one from the store in town.
I had rub on the ribs.

The pork roast was not very successful. It weighed 6.5 lbs, so I figured on 12 to 14 hours tops. At 16 hours @ 225F, the interior temp of the roast was only 174F. I have a dual probe thermometer and I know the smoker is heating up, though outside temp is only around 5C this time of year here. Maybe its the altitude - 3800ft?? - or just the nature of the roast. Anyhow I'll budget 16 hours next time and try again soon.
Kayne -- Allowing yourself "x" amount of time will not cut it. "It's done when it's done." I've learned to put my butts & briskets on the night before at a low temp, usually 180*. Get up in the morning and crank it up to 225* (no, I am NOT a fan of "blasting thru" the plateau). Ninety-nine percent of the time the butts are done by noon, then foiled and put in the cooler for at least two hours.

It's difficult to make the meat work for you so you have to give in and work with the meat. Patience is key here.

With experience you will learn both your smoker and the meat, but the meat will be more cantankerous! Note that no two identical cuts are the same - even from the same animal. One may take 12 hrs, the other may take 14! Confused

Hang in there and just keep smoking. Come to the forum often as there are many fine cooks here to assist with many & any problems.

Good luck!!!
If you have a dual probe thermometer then what temp is the smoker reading during the cook?
The thermostats on these cookers(not all of them of course) have been known to run a little cool compared to the temperature they are set. Mine won't average but about 235 when set at 250.

My kneejerk reaction without knowing your unit's temps would be to crank it all the way up. Even if it's working perfect 250 degrees is still low and slow.
Like the experienced cooks have stated above.

First,trying to make a hunk of meat conform to specific numbers is difficult and frustrating.

Secondly,checking the accuracy of therms, and points in your cookers,allow you to take good notes and hopefully know how to recreate your successes.

Numbers give us a starting point of how to get back where we wish to be.

Smokin'Okie was gracious enough to develop some cooking logsheets,to help us be able to approximate past cooks,while repetition/experience make the products second nature.

My spouse says things like"please fix the product like you fixed for my cousins-two years ago,during the storm.It was cooked just the way they like it".

RIGHT Roll Eyes

Now ,my notes will tell me what temp I was cooking at.What rub ,injection,sauce,wood.

Whether the storm was wind/rain/sleet/fog/humidity.

What grade/cut/size/shape/condition the product was.

Did it cook slow,or fast,due to my injections/prefreezing/bringing to room temp,etc.

Did the internal temp yield under/over done?




Smokin' taught me years ago that this was how I could recreate successes,and fix problems, the next time around.

As a cook team,or caterer,this is the ONLY way to produce consistent product.

Just a couple of thoughts.
Last edited by tom
Thanks for the ideas.

My challenge is that I have to cook for a large group next weekend, and I'm away this weekend so no more time to make trial runs. I'll just allow lots of time for the roasts, and if they aren't done in time for the get together, well, I suppose as a last resort I could pop them in the oven to finish...

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