BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Recipe Discussions => Meat => Topic started by: Halen on June 01, 2009, 07:22:06 am

Title: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 01, 2009, 07:22:06 am
Hello all!!!

I am new to smoking. I have done some chix breasts and a turkey so far. Well my next challenge I want to do is pulled pork. I am having a party next weekend for about 50 people. I am figuring about 15lbs is what I want to get from the butcher. Is that enough do you think. Also how long should I plan on this smoking for? Will be serving this at about 5 ish.

Thanks
Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: RammerJammer on June 01, 2009, 07:39:55 am
Hello Halen! I am new too but my first pulled pork experience was a success IMHO. I'm sure some of the pros on this forum will be along to give you some real pointers, but I will share my recent experience.

I started with two Sam's butts a total of ~15 lbs.. I brined overnight in a kosher salt only brine (about 1 cup) and made sure to keep refrigerated below 40*. I then dry rubbed with a basic rub and refrigerated several hours. I started at about 8:00 PM and I smoked 3 hours of hickory at 210 and then raised the smoker temp to 220 and cooked all night until the butts reached an internal temp of 195* around 2:30 the next day - took about 18 hours for mine. I then FTC'd (wrapped in foil, then a old towel, and placed in a small cooler (no ice) for about 4 hours, then pulled some of the best I have ever eaten. I have eaten A LOT of pulled pork in my life and I am sure I am biased to my results - but everyone that ate it said it was great!

As far as the quantity, I would say it yielded somewhere in the 8-10 pounds range after rendering and bone/fat removal. I am not sure I would be comfortable trying to feed 50 people with that amount.

You can see some pics at:

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=10286.0

Simple rub I used:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dry mustard

Welcome to the forum and best of luck.

Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Caneyscud on June 01, 2009, 07:44:19 am
Welcome Chris.

Will have to have a little more information to help you how much meat to buy, but 15 pounds of fresh butt won't be enough no matter what  - unless you are feeding your vegetarian grannies!  Pork butt will have about 40% "loss" due to cooking and trimming.  So you will have approximately 9 lbs of meat after smoking.  If you serve pulled pork sammies, you could probably use 1/4 lb per.  That would serve 36 people.  If putting pork on a plate, 1/3 lb would be a good serving size - then only serving 27.  If your guest are like me - more in the 1 lb or more per serving would be more like it.  Other variables, would be when you are serving, and what else you are serving.  If you do a lot of appetizers - ABT's, Moinkballs, fatties, etc.. they won't be as hungry.  So take your number of servings (guests X 1.25 or up to 1.5 - guess of how many will want seconds), multiply what your serving size will will be (say 1/3 lb) then multiply that by 1.67 to get your raw weight of pork butt needed.

(50 x 1.5) x 1/3 x 1.67 = 41 lbs.  That would be for healthy eaters (50 % seconds and 1/3 lb portions on the plate)

(50 x 1.5) x 1/4 x 1.67 = 31 lbs.   That would be for healthy eaters (50% seconds and 1/4 lb servings on sammies)
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: KyNola on June 01, 2009, 07:47:33 am
Hi Chris,
Many different versions of essentially the same method to do butts.  Here's mine.  The day before the smoke, paint your butts with plain yellow mustard and then apply your favorite rub.  Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and back into the frig overnight.  Day of smoke, take butts out of frig for at least one hour prior to smoke time.  Preheat smoker to 250-260 degrees. Don't worry, when you open the door to your smoker and place 15lbs of cold meat in there, the temp in the box is going to drop like a stone.  Apply smoke of your choice for 4 hours.  Being from KY my choice is hickory!  You want to be smoking/cooking at 200-225.  As the temp comes back up in the box, you may have to adjust your settings.  After the smoke period, the Bradley is now just an oven.  For better temp control, I transfer butts to my house oven set at 225 at this point.  Some folks wrap in foil, some boat them with apple juice.  I don't do either.  They go on a rack in a roasting pan until their IT hits around 190 degrees.  It is is then ready to pull.  If this is your first time doing butts, don't get alarmed when the IT stalls for several hours at around 150-160.  That's what you want them to do, the collagen and connective tissue is breaking down.  You asked how long it will take.  each butt can be different but if I were you and I wanted to serve around 5:00, I would start around 5:00 the day before.  If they get finished early, you can always FTC them.  I have had them take 24-26 hours before and I have had them finish in 15-16 hours.

Others will come along shortly and give you better advice then mine.

Enjoy!
KyNola
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 01, 2009, 07:51:01 am
Fantastic reply Caneyscud, and one I will probably refer to myself in future for larger gatherings.  I do recall there is also a spreadsheet on here (or the recipe site maybe?) for this exact sort of thing...

Chris, I did my first pulled pork from a 9lb butt a few weeks back for around 12 people....  and without exaggeration there was not a scrap of meat left it was so popular....  so as far as I'm concerned, figure out what you need and add a bit more even....  I'd love to tell you the leftovers are just as good, but I didn't have any to experience!  Won't have that problem next time though  ;)
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 01, 2009, 07:57:54 am
If this is your first time doing butts, don't get alarmed when the IT stalls for several hours at around 150-160.

.... forgot to add that my 9 pounder took the better part of 16 hours.... and that was including me foil boating with apple juice, panicing a bit and cranking the temperature at the end.  But it is a nail-biting affair the first time when it takes 5-6 hours to get through that stall zone!!  Take Kynola's advice, don't panic!  Mine turned out just fine...  but at least now I'll know to start a few hours earlier!
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Caneyscud on June 01, 2009, 08:25:54 am
thanks TDC.  There are spreadsheets around, and in fact they help a lot.  But their formulas are hidden and locked, so not entirely sure how they do the gozintas!  That formula is good for butts, and clods.  But not for brisket.  Brisket has greater loss (closer to 50%), so need to use 2 instead of 1.67 at the end.  I'll try to find the links to the spreadsheets.  I can't locate them just this minute for some reason.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 01, 2009, 08:41:35 am
Here's a link to Habanero Smokers post on a good spreadsheet:

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=9937.msg106802#msg106802 (http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=9937.msg106802#msg106802)

Yes...  the formulae do start out locked and hidden...  but they don't stay that way for long on my computer  ;D  However, I do want to respect their intentions, so I'm not gonna post any intructions, but there isn't much you won't find with a few Google searches these days ;) so if you are so inclined, go for it.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 01, 2009, 08:44:38 am
So can I fit 35 or 40 pounds of pork in my smoker. I have the 4 shelf black one?

Thanks
Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: NePaSmoKer on June 01, 2009, 08:51:19 am
So can I fit 35 or 40 pounds of pork in my smoker. I have the 4 shelf black one?

Thanks
Chris

If you put this much in your smoker it going to take longer to smoke. You might have to finish in your oven.

nepas
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: FLBentRider on June 01, 2009, 08:56:56 am
The most I've been able to get in my OBS is around 32lbs.

and that is ALOT of meat.

It will take a loooooong time for the smoker to come back up to temp. When I do this many (almost every time) I finish them in the oven.

You may find that if try to stack them horizontally, that they may touch, forming a single "column" of meat. Not good.

You either need to give them a "beat down" to flatten them out a little, or...

What I do is stand them on the long end, two to a rack.

Like this:
(http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk7/flbentrider/bradley/DSCN2161.jpg)
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 01, 2009, 09:09:44 am
So how long did it take it you to smoke 32lbs? Should I just cram everything in and let it go. We are having family bring salads, sides and desserts. Not much for appetizers but a decent buffet of food. So you know have me a little scared on how I want to do this. Here is what I am thinking time frame wise. Please make corrections or add advice.

Party is Sat. at 5 pm

Thursday evening soak in a brine

Friday around 5 pm put in smoker( how long should it smoke for. I think I am going to use apple or maybe Hickory or a mix)

Then when should it just cook. Either in the smoker or in the oven and then just cook it till the IT is about 195?

Thanks
Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Tenpoint5 on June 01, 2009, 09:15:41 am
Welcome Aboard Chris!! If your worried about getting a lot done in a short time. You can always do the smoke as two separate smokes and reheat the pulled pork in a roaster or crock pot with a splash of Apple juice. Either way you do it it will still take 18-20 hours per smoke.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: FLBentRider on June 01, 2009, 11:44:19 am
I usually start a load like that in the evening, and they are done sometime the next afternoon.

The usual timeline

1. hour 0 - Take meat out of refrigerator, crank up smoker and smoke generator - no pucks. full water bowl of hot water

2. +30 to 45 minutes - add meat and pucks - I use 4 hours of smoke, usually Hickory.

3. +4 hours (from start or hour 0) - empty / refill water bowl.

4. Morning - transfer butts to oven - either foil wrapped or covered roasting pan

Cook @ 210F until an internal temp of 190F.

I always "stick" them in multple places. the fat pockets have a higher temp than the meat.

I also monitor each butt.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Stargazer on June 01, 2009, 11:52:02 am
Oh WOW Rider, those butts look awesome  :P

Looks like me and dad gonna have to do some this week after seeing these guys.

Question for you though Rider... I notice you use the jerky mesh wire racks. Doe's this help keep the meats from sagging between the wires. I've noticed this when I do butts. I use the standard wire racks and some of the meat tends to sag between the openings and makes clean up alittle harder.

Plus I also noticed when using the regular racks and the meat sags, they sort of pocket up and have little dry spots, not much, only in a few tiny areas.

Does the jerky mesh racks help with this?
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: FLBentRider on June 01, 2009, 11:54:43 am
I think it does, but I never really noticed the problem you are having.

I do it more for easier clean up.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Tenpoint5 on June 01, 2009, 11:56:10 am
Oh WOW Rider, those butts look awesome  :P

Looks like me and dad gonna have to do some this week after seeing these guys.

Question for you though Rider... I notice you use the jerky mesh wire racks. Doe's this help keep the meats from sagging between the wires. I've noticed this when I do butts. I use the standard wire racks and some of the meat tends to sag between the openings and makes clean up alittle harder.

Plus I also noticed when using the regular racks and the meat sags, they sort of pocket up and have little dry spots, not much, only in a few tiny areas.

Does the jerky mesh racks help with this?

Yes and you just pop them bad boys in the dishwasher and they is ready to go again. I love mine!!! Give Brian at Yard and Pool a shout he can hook you up.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: KyNola on June 01, 2009, 01:43:59 pm
Chris,
If this is your first encounter smoking butts in the Bradley and you're going to do 30+ pounds, I would seriously consider preheating the smoker to at least 260-280, put the butts in, smoke for 4 hours and then move them straight to your house oven to complete.  30+ pounds of meat in the smoker will really take a long time for the heat to build back up in the smoker.  Butts are very forgiving but if this is your first time and you're cooking for family and friends you want all the help you can get.  One thing to watch for if you do move to the house oven, does your oven have a built in timer that will only let your oven run for so many hours and then shut itself off as a safety feature?  Mine does I found out the hard way.  If it does you may have to start your oven more than once but that's no big deal.  One other thing, when you put those butts in your smoker, make sure they are not touching the walls or the back.  Don't want the grease running down and starting a grease fire in the Bradley of yours!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
KyNola
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Caneyscud on June 01, 2009, 03:38:45 pm
Chris

KyNola has you covered with a great plan.  A single butt in the smoker at 225 deg will take from 1 to 1 1/2 hour per pound range-usually the 1 1/2 hour per pound end because, we always have to peek a time or two!  You will be needing 4 ea of 8 to 10 pound butts.  By themselves, in the Bradley each would take 12 to 15 hours.  But having four at the same time, with heat recovery delays, you will probably be looking at 20+ hours.  The Bradley when there is no smoking going on, is nothing but an oven.  Your kitchen oven, with it's greater heat capacity will let you finish up your smoke faster and may be in the 12 to 15 hour total cooking time.  Just be sure to check your oven for temp swings and temperature setting with a remote reading thermometer.  Some ovens are way off in temperature and have pretty big swings in temperature also - they aren't perfect. 
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: KyNola on June 01, 2009, 07:22:43 pm
Good catch CS.  You are absolutely correct.  My Maverick told me that my house oven is off by about 30 degrees.

Chris,
we have swamped you with lots of info.  Take a breath, relax, crack a beer and have fun with your smoking experience.  While we act like it, ... it's not rocket science.  ;)

KyNola
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 02, 2009, 09:27:39 am
Well my brother has the same smoker that I do and I borrowed it from him to use this weekend. So now I will be running 2 bradleys. I think if I start them both on Friday around 5 cook through the night I should be good to go. We will see what happens. That will be about 20 lbs of meat or so in each that shouldn't be to bad right? Thanks for all of the information!

Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: OU812 on June 02, 2009, 09:42:29 am
Not sure if you have herd it or not.

KEEP YOUR WATER PAN FULL.

2 Bradley's with 20 ld in each, cant get any better than that.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: KyNola on June 02, 2009, 02:16:51 pm
Chris,
With two Bradleys you should be good to go.  On another thread I saw where you inquiired about the use of foil in the Bradley.  The manual says don't use foil in the Bradley but what it means is don't cover a rack or the V-tray with Bradley as both the heat and smoke will get trapped underneath the covered rack or v-tray.  Wrapping food such as butts and putting in the Bradley is perfectly fine.  Just make sure there is air circulation room around them.

Smoke On!
KyNola
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: JimmyDreams on June 02, 2009, 04:15:17 pm
Chris,
With two Bradleys you should be good to go.  On another thread I saw where you inquiired about the use of foil in the Bradley.  The manual says don't use foil in the Bradley but what it means is don't cover a rack or the V-tray with Bradley as both the heat and smoke will get trapped underneath the covered rack or v-tray.  Wrapping food such as butts and putting in the Bradley is perfectly fine.  Just make sure there is air circulation room around them.

Smoke On!
KyNola

I wrapped a butt I was smoking in foil (after the smoking was done), but didn't press the foil too tightly since the butt was hot. It was hitting the top rack (butt was in the second), so I took out the top. What I DIDN'T notice was that my PID wall-mounted temp probe pierced the foil when I slid the butt back in. Result: PID thought the BS was much cooler than it was, so it kept the heating element on high. Luckily, I had set a high-temp alarm on my ET-73, which told me of the problem.

PID: great. ET-73 digital temp meter: priceless. Saved my butt, literally and figuratively. 8)


Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: manderso on June 04, 2009, 07:28:08 am
When running the 2 Bradleys, make sure you have enough current capacity from your outlet.  If possible, run from 2 different electrical breaker circuits.  Sharing power (or lack there of) will definitely slow down your cooking time as well.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: OU812 on June 04, 2009, 07:42:15 am
Chris

Now that you have 2 smokers maybe smoke in one with Apple and in the other with Hickory.
Also, what manderso said.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 04, 2009, 09:21:26 pm
Got it all rubbed down this afternoon. I ended up getting 54lbs. A 20lber a 17lber and a 16lber. Rubbed 2 of them and will smoke them with a mixture of apple and hickory(alternating pucks) I think. And the other I am going to leave absolutely plain just as kind of a taste test and smoke it the same way. Using the 2 smokers what time should I start them tomorrow in hopes to have the whole thing wrapped up by at least 5 at the latest on Saturday? I am thinking maybe 3ish?

Thanks you guys have been a ton of help!!

Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Smokin Soon on June 04, 2009, 09:52:52 pm
Sometimes you just cannpt predict cook times. I buy these twin packs of butt that are usually 16 to 17 pounds. Cook times have ranged from 16 to 19 and a half hours! Ask the the Butt, cause I have no clue whatsoever. Weather or wind was not a factor.
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 05, 2009, 07:35:34 pm
Today was one of those days where nothing went right! Fired up the smokers about 230. Mine worked my brothers would not get hot. So I am now waiting for the 1st ones to get done (in about 30 min) then put it into the oven. Got one going in the roaster at 225 put it in at 700 will probably leave it in all night. Will put the last batch in the smoker around 9 and smoke til about 12 then let cook all night in there. Sound good? anybody do anything different considering the circumstances?

Thanks
Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: mapleleafsgurl on June 05, 2009, 09:32:14 pm
Should be fine like that.  Check internal temp first thing in the AM and throw everything in the oven to crank it up if need be.  I myself am doing 2 11 lb shoulders in my OBS right now for my Aunt & Uncle's 40th anniversary party tomorrow at 5 pm.  I am just done applying smoke and will leave them in all night to cook.  If they are not nearing ideal IT by 8 am, I am shoving them in the oven for a few hours, then into foil and into the cooler at 1 pm.   I have a lovely BBQ sauce recipe for pulled pork if you are interested.

1 large chopped onion
1 can of frozen conc. Orange juice
1 cup ketchup
6 nibs of garlic
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
1/2 cup vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (I usually go 2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper)
2 tsp dried red peppers
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup water

Put it all in a blender until smooth, then simmer on low (stirring often) until it is kind of carmelized

I do this in the morning as soon as I get up, then simmer it for about an hour.

After you pull your pork, add sauce a bit at a time and stir until you have the desired sauciness.

Let us know how this turn out!
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Halen on June 07, 2009, 05:41:13 pm
Well it turned out pretty good. I didn't get any complaints and for all of the problems that I had it will do. I am excited to try a smaller batch and experiment with a few things. Turns out that all my guests must have been light eaters. I started with about 54lbs of meat and I bet after eating on it all night and most of today there still has to be 30lbs or better left. Its ok leftovers are good.

Thanks for helping me out on this one and I am sure to return with more questions as I move deeper into smoking.

Chris
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: Caneyscud on June 07, 2009, 08:23:56 pm
Congrats Chris,

They do sound like light eaters.  Different from my last group smoke, I glad i made twice as much as I thought - I wanted lots of leftovers.  Oh Well, never can tell ahead of time.  Leftover pulled pork is really handy to have around - good for breakfast, lunch, and supper!!
Title: Re: Pulled pork question
Post by: OU812 on June 08, 2009, 05:54:19 am
Having a pulled pork sandwitch right now.

Breakfest of champions