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Please forgive me, I am trying to learn how to use this forum. I have attempted to post my questions twice now in the appropriate forum, and they are disappearing.

First of all, THANKS to all of the experts here who graciously share their knowledge and experience! You guys are the greatest!

I assure you that I have spent numerous hours reading the excellent forums here to trying to soak up the wealth of information. I do not want to ask redundant questions. So, here goes:

1. I have had my model 50 for about a month now and love it! This weekend, I have a 16# whole fresh butt to play with. Have you ever butterflied a butt to increase surface area for smoke absorption? I am kind of tempted to try it. But, since the total weight of the meat to be cooked would not change, then neither would the cooking time, right? From what I gather, I am looking at 20-24 hours cooking time for my 16# of butt. Oh, one more thing, what about the bone? Should I have had the butcher cut it in half for me? I am of course referring to cutting the butt in half on the horizantal axis.

2. And speaking of cooking time, I believe that I read in one of the Cookshackk cookbooks that the maximum recommended cooking time in the cooker was 12 hours. This is why I removed my first butt from the cooker after about 14 hours, foiled it, and finished it in the oven. Is it a problem to cook larger cuts of meat in the Cookshack for as long as it takes to get internal temp up to recommended?

2. Exactly where is the "gland: located? So far, I have smoked one half butt (among other things) and I did not notice it. Perhaps I just cooked it along with everything else and discarded it when I pulled. I did throw away a lot of junk after pulling.

3. I have read that it is recommended to foil the butt in apple juice and let it rest. What about pineapple juice? (I just happen to have some.)

4. And last but not least, ambient temperature. It is pretty cold here now (for north Louisiana, down to 26 degrees foretcast tonight). Does a cold ambient temperature increast cooking time?

Please forgive any reduntant questions. I attempted to post my questions a minute ago but my comuter ate them. I think I forgot one of the at least.

Thanks again to all of the great people who contribute to this forum! Big Grin
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1. Quite a large butt you have there. I do believe butterflying it or cutting it in half is not a bad idea, simply because of the mass. The halves will be not as thick and will finish faster because the heat takes longer to get to the middle of the thick meat. I do, however, think the bone is a good conduit for heat and also a good heat sink to moderate temps throughout. I am not sure if the bone adds flavor, but it sure seems like it.

2. I have never heard of a maximum recommended cook time. Most agree the included cookbook can be thrown away or use it to start some charcoal. Use a wired temp probe and it is done when it is done.

The other 2. Gland? What gland?

3. Pineapple is good with pork. Period.

4. Outside temps do not affect the CookShack, it is insulated to 1000*F, or some ridiculously high temp like that.

Have fun, take good notes, experiment, make jerky.

Last edited by Former Member
I did two smokes this week, six and seven pound butts. Started smoking at 2 am (I work a modified third shift) with ambient temperatures of 16 degrees. Outside temperature has no noticeable effect, smoked for about 12 hours at about 225 degrees. I set the smoker low, around 190 before I go to sleep, then move it up the next day.

Did two things different this time. One, I trimmed off the fat cap. I agree with smokin' that outside fat does not 'percolate' into the meat, it just runs off and collects in the drip pan. The drip pan is affected by ambient temperature, and I have seen some interesting candles growing out of the drain hole.
The other thing was that I looked for the gland prior to cooking. Even with pictures I could not find it. I am certain I discard it along with other things. My six pound butt yields me about two and a half pounds of meat, I discard a lot of fat.
After feeding three different groups of people, I have developed a new rule of thumb: pounds of untrimmed butt from the store times two equals the amount of reasonably sized sandwiches. That is, a crowd left to serve themselves made twelve hamburger bun sandwiches from the six pound butt I bought. Next crowd got about fourteen sandwiches from a seven pounder.

I hope this helps, Alton Brown said it would <g>.
I did 30# last weekend and got 17# of product once bones removed and pulled. I then boiled and reintroduced some of the stock that came off of them, and resaesoned. I took 10# to the shoot and 4 packs of buns. i think 3 packs were used and some just had it on a plate. There was maybe 1.5 - 2# left.

I will use chicken broth and apple juice to add moisture to the meat if looks to be drying out from being in the roaster to long.

I put mine in at 7:30pm and took it out about noon the next day, it was in the single digits out side and I cooked it at 225.

30# filled the 008.

Most people arond here love the stuff, i like that it is easy to make. Tonight is Hot sausage, with sauce peppers onions and mushrooms.

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