Easter Butt

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Peter_Caldwell
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Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 23rd, 2011, 10:59 pm

I'm about to enter hour number 4. Having some problems getting the temperature to regulate on the smoker. Meat: 155* Smoker: 268* have it almost all the way closed. This is going to be a long night. Meat temp seems a little high for hour 4. Well see how it goes I guess.

Picture of them soaking in some apple juice and rub.

Picture of them moments before going on the UDS.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 24th, 2011, 8:13 am

Now in hour 12. Meat temp stuck at 170*.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Tom_Heath » April 24th, 2011, 8:19 am

On rare occasion I have taken the meat out of the drum, closed the valves and put a glove to cover the vent hole in the lid.5 to 10 minutes like that will really decrease the size of the fire. If there is wind, try turning the drum 180 degrees. Maybe your just drafting really well.

BTW. Just thought I would mention that I don't like to leave the meat in there when I shut it down all the way to drop temps. It's really easy to creasote the meat.

Good luck, just keep at it and everything will be great.

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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Tom_Heath » April 24th, 2011, 8:25 am

Just read your update after I posted, hang in there on the stall. Just keep the temps.on track, the stall will break when the fats are broke down making the perfect but.

Do you have the butts wrapped? Either way is fine, tho I like to wrap mine so that I have the extra juice when I pull them. Remember, 200 is a good temp if you are planning on pulling them. I let mine rest until the temp comes down to 160/180.

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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 24th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Well, after a really stressful 14 hours... SUCCESS! It was stuck at 158* for hours. I was getting frustrated because there was almost no wind. I'd make just the smallest adjustment for the temp and I'd get changes around 70*. I put them in at 7:45 last night. Finally took them off around 10:15 this morning at 201*. I wrapped them in foil and stuck them in a cooler with a bunch of towels until noon. I pulled them at that point. Or should I say I just pushed down on the top of them and they completely fell apart. I then put it all in a roaster pan and put it back on the smoker for about 20 minutes to heat it up just a little. Out of the 14 lbs. I did, I have none left. Everyone asked to take some home with them. I also sent them home with some of my homemade BBQ sauce. Stressful night, but very happy with the results.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by rlmax02 » April 24th, 2011, 7:08 pm

good job peter!


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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Tom_Heath » April 24th, 2011, 10:39 pm

Fantastic !!!!

That is a really awesome looking chunk-o-meat. Dang that looks good.

That is just the way I really like to have pulled pork, where I can just grab the bone and pull it right out.

From the sounds of the temp troubles you are having, I would have to guess one of two things.

1. Maybe the basket is a little to low, or you are using a water pan.
2. That you are using briquettes vs lump charcoal.

I was really surprised when you started saying how much troubles you were having with the temps.

If you fill in the details I would be glad to help ya get it running better.


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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 25th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Well, Tom, no water pan on this one and I have legs on my basket to lift it about 11/2" off of the bottom for air circulation. I used Grove Lump. I've used it in the past and have been very pleased and from reading I've done, it gets good reviews. There was near no wind at all. In fact, a paper bag I had near by had nothing in it and never blew away the whole time I was smoking. It was just so weird. My temp would be high so I'd close the ball valve just a little (little enough that it was tough to tell if I had moved it at all) and my temps would drop to the high 100's or very low 200's. Then opening it up just a little and they would jump to over 3. I was being patient knowing that it takes time for temperature to adjust but it just didn't seem to find that happy medium. The taste of the meat made me forget about my frustrations for a lurks while.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 25th, 2011, 6:05 pm

Damn auto correct...
The end of my previous post should be short while. Not lurks.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Tom_Heath » April 25th, 2011, 6:16 pm

Well I can only think of two other things based on what you have described.

I dont really think the basket is the problem, mine is around 2" up maybe 2 1/2"

Is there any chance that you are getting air leaking into the drum?

Maybe it was a freak deal and you were drawing air into the lid instead of thru the vents at the bottom.


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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 25th, 2011, 6:38 pm

Maybe the lid leaking is a problem. The lid had a gasket on it, but as soon as it got hot it expanded and never went back to it's normal size so I had to cut it out in order to fit the lid on. I'll look into replacing that. Thanks for the advice!



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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Tom_Heath » April 25th, 2011, 10:44 pm

If you want, post a pic of your drum with the lid on and one with it off.

This has really got me wondering here, cause I have never had any problems with the drums being hot enough to warp things out of wack.


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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 27th, 2011, 5:36 pm

Heres one with the lid on. The gasket I had a problem with was almost foam like. None of the drum itself warped. Now the lid just sits metal on metal. Maybe I need to fill the lip of the lid with something like "Great Stuff" and carve it out to remake that gasket?
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 27th, 2011, 5:40 pm

This one is from when I burned it out, but like I said, none of the metal itself warped.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Tom_Heath » April 27th, 2011, 7:28 pm

I gotcha now.

That foam gasket sure don't hold up to the heat. You can put a small amount of high temp silicone in the groove if needed.

I would get it running at temps and shut the air intakes. Then put the cap on the stack.
If the fire does not die down very fast then you have air getting in there.
I'm betting that the lid to drum surface is not the problem but theres always a chance.

I was worried that your pics would show a side door to tend the fire.
Your drum looks great, are the other two vents set up with caps?

Something to think about would be to keep a long piece of PVC pipe just larger then the stack. Slide it over the stack on those no wind days and see if that doesn't make it draw better.


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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » April 27th, 2011, 9:23 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'll try that. Both of the vents have caps. One thing I just thought of that I'm going to take a look at is where I have the holes drilled for the bolts that hold the rack up. I drilled the holes right in the middle of the crease on the drum. Perhaps with the washer sitting in the crease it has a gap in all four holes that will let air in. Something to look at at least. I would think the washer on the inside would take care of that, but I'll look.
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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Frank_Cox » April 30th, 2011, 11:42 am

How are ya doin Peter? Did you find your air leak?

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Re: Easter Butt

Post by Peter_Caldwell » May 1st, 2011, 12:42 am

I'm doing well Frank. How bout you? I haven't had a chance to do a leak test yet. We've had some crappy weather here. Though it's been nothing like the people have had in the south. I'm going to try and do the test Sunday, but I have a feeling it may just be a lazy day of doing nothing at all. It's been a LONG week. We'll see though. Maybe I'll get ambitious.
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