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Smokin', Grillin' and Bar-B-Q

Discussion in 'Swamp Cook Shack' started by WhattaGator, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    For you "Smokers and Grillers" out there.....

    With many types of smokers out there now, what do you use?? Your preferred wood, logs, chips or pellets?

    Plus, what meats do you like to smoke? Brisket, Pork shoulder, ribs?

    And, for the grillers.... Gas, charcoal, etc? Steaks, chops, chicken??

    Let's hear your ideas!
  2. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    Let's start talking smoking....... Yeah, your meat!

    First meat up..... A nice smoked Pork Butt
    If you're cooking for about eighteen people, you'ld go for an 8-9 Lb Pork Shoulder..... but if not, grab yourself a nice, very fresh and pink "Boston Butt", (which is not actually from the butt end of the pig, but actually part of the Pork Shoulder.

    Buy a Bone-In Boston Butt, a 4-5 Lb. is perfect. Leave the fat cap on, but lightly trim any excess fat.

    Now, on to the process of smoking the perfect Smoked Boston Butt.

    Set your smoker to a temperature of 225. Use Apple or Cherrywood chips, if possible

    1st; Injecting.. Injecting the meat is pretty much a necessity to keep the meat moist.
    Using a Food Injector and a mix of:
    3/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 1/2 Cups Apple Juice
    3 Tbsp Soy Sauce

    Divide liquid mix in half. Put half into a Food Grade, or new spray bottle
    Let the Pork sit out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature
    Place the Butt into an aluminum pan
    Inject the meat about every one inch, into all of the meat. Let sit for about 20 minutes

    Next, the Dry Rub; In a bowl, mix:

    2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
    1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
    4 Tbsp Paprika
    1 Tbsp Onion Powder
    1 Tbsp Cumin
    3 Tbsp packed Dark Brown Sugar
    NOTE: If you want a little sweeter and heavier "Bark" on the meat, add 1 more Tbsp Packed Brown Sugat

    Lightly slather some yellow mustard all over the meat. This will help the dry rub to adhere to it, and add another dimension of flavor

    Rub the Dry Rub al over the Boston Butt.
    At this point, you could ideally wrap the meat and refrigerate it overnight, then bring it out the next day, and let it sit for an hour before smoking, but.....
    You could also allow for at least an hour, preferrably 2 for the rub to "sink in"., many people put it back in the fridge from anywhere from 4-6 hours, or overnight.

    Before putting refrigerated meat into smoker, let it sit out for between 1/2 -1 hour, so the meat doesn't tighten up when it meats the heat.

    On to the smoking;

    Place an aluminum "drip pan", with water under the grate.
    Close the lid

    It's gonna be a while for the finished product... but after about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, take your remainig liquid in the spray bottle, and give your meat a decent "spritz" of the liquid. Do this every 15 to 20 minutes or so.

    Now, you know you need a good Meat thermometer, because you're going to have to know when your meat is done, but more importantly, to the next stage..

    Once the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 - 170, place the meat into an aluminum pan, add some of the "Spritz" liquid into the bottom of the pan and cover with foil.
    NOTE: If you desire more of a substantial "Bark", you could skip the "Wrap" step, but you risk a drier overall product. There should already be a decent bark there already, if you kept up with the liquid spritzing

    Continue smoking until it reaches an internal temperature between 190 and 200 degrees. (It will take about 70 -90 minutes per pound to get the tempthere)

    Once the desired temperature is reached, remove from smoker
    Place it in a cooler, and cover with a towel, and cover the lid, to allow the meat to rest for about an hour (NO Ice, of course)
    NOTE: If you skipped the "Wrap" step, then place the meat in an aluminum foil pan, and seal with foil before placing in cooler

    Remove meat from cooler, and using meat forks, or food-dedicated rubber gloves, pull the pork apart.

    Serve, with optional Barbeque sauce

    • Like Like x 2
  3. anstro76

    anstro76 GC Hall of Fame

    Feb 14, 2008
    Most of my big smoker before I had it refinished. Only pull it out for big occasions. The inderect heat box burns through wood .And in the background to the left you can see the flue of my stack smoker. For grilling I only use Webber Kettles. Too lazy to walk outside to snap a picture, just got off work and it's been a long day. 241269_10200229182995193_1913535002_o_10200229182995193.jpg
    • Like Like x 3
    • Wish I would have said that Wish I would have said that x 1
  4. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

  5. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    So, what are some of your smoking recipes?
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    So.... How do you treat your smokin' meat???

    Aside from the initial injections and rubs....

    How do you make your brisket, pork butt, beef, St. Louis cut, baby back, or country style ribs??

    Any special treatments, bastes, butter, etc.??

    I'd imagine that lots call for basting, easoning and wrapping before the finished product.
  7. wrpgator

    wrpgator GC Hall of Fame

    Dec 12, 2013
    I'm a relative novice at smoking meats. Chicken and ribs so far but I want to try that Boston Butt recipe you posted Whatta.
    I have a Great Smoky Mountain 38" vertical propane smoker purchased at Home Depot dot com. So far so good with it, it seems pretty solid. I use hickory and oak chunks from my property. I have used orange wood from a honeybell tree on our property that died after a flood a few years ago...that was good smoke that gave subtle hints of citrus. I'll have to buy applewood and try that.
    Thanks for starting this thread! Looking forward to more recipes from you Whatta.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. insuragator

    insuragator Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Just bought a Pitboss pellet smoker. So far everything has been great (except my chicken wings yesterday--- preacher got a bit long winded and they burnt).
  9. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Clermont, Fl
    My wife has 2 smokers
    one is the old style with a firebox-she uses lump coal to get it going and then adds oak logs-then it is a mixture as the day goes on and keeps the temp around 200- she usually smokes a pig ass aka pork butt(bone in) for 8-10 hours_ she seasons it prior to going on the smoker the night before with a dry rub of her own concoction- a couple of weeks ago she did 6 slabs of ribs- they were so damned good I did not need to use any bbq sauce(she makes her own bbq sauce as well)

    I bought her the electric smoker for Christmas so she could smoke beef brisket and beef ribs as they can be tricky on the old style smoker

    she also has 2 grills- one is a gas grill for burgers and chicken- the other is a weber charcoal grill for steaks and pork tenderloins- she never uses a liquid starter as you can always taste that on the food- she has a chimney she puts her charcoal in and then drops a couple of tumbleweeds in there and wella great coals- we have a times done a small catering for our Church or a couple of friends- she makes a great homemade mac and cheese and I make a pretty damned good bbq beans and slaw- we even toyed a time or too with the idea of trying to cater on a full time basis- but at 67 I just do not want to work that hard or take a pay cut
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Dinogator

    Dinogator Freshman

    Jun 26, 2010
    Wife brought home a vertical 18" dual rack smoker from the clearance aisle (MSRP $200 marked down to $25) at Sears 10 years ago and I found a new hobby. That unit lasted about 8 years and I then upgraded to a 22" Weber Smokey Mountain. Great smoker for the price and my level of cooking. I usually smoke 1 whole packer brisket and 2 (7-8 lbs) pork butts at the same time (low and slow; 225-250 F for 12 to 15 hours). I occasionally smoke chicken, pork ribs, chuck roast and pastrami.

    The wife bought me Meathead Goldwyn's science of great barbecue book a few years ago and it helped me up my game. His Memphis Dust rub is really good for pork butts and ribs. For the brisket, the only way to do it right is Texas style (60/40 pepper to salt ratio).

    I've experimented with different woods over the years and found that apple, peach and pecan are the favorites of family and co-workers. Oak is too bland and hickory and mesquite too overpowering.

    Anyway, glad I stumbled across this thread. Look forward to hearing how other gators prepare their smokey treats.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Dinogator

    Dinogator Freshman

    Jun 26, 2010
    That's a beast! How many pounds of meat can you fit in there at one time?
    • Fistbump/Thanks! Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
  12. anstro76

    anstro76 GC Hall of Fame

    Feb 14, 2008
    I've catered some really big events and still haven't filled it up. It also has racks to hang chicken halves all along the top
  13. strulock

    strulock Junior

    Sep 2, 2017
    I bought one those a few months back and love it. For years I used a massive smoker I put together from concrete blocks, it cooked really well, but very finicky. I had to stay with it the whole time I was cooking. This vertical is breeze to use. Great investment for less than $100. Try some pecan and cherry, you won't be disappointed.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"


    Stop talking about your smokers and start posting some of your recipes!!
  15. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    One more crucial item for many smoked and grilled meats is often...

    Bar-B-Q Sauce


    6 Cups Ketchup
    2 Cups Yellow Mustard
    1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
    6 Tbsp White Sugar
    1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
    1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

    6 Tbsps. Cayenne Pepper
    3 Tbsps. Kosher Salt
    • Like Like x 1
  16. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    On to Ribs....

    In order to get a good quality, meaty and consistent Sparerib, there are a few steps that need to be taken.

    When you buy a slab of Pork Ribs, see if your butcher has pre-trimmed "St. Louis" cut ribs.
    If not, you'll have to trim your slab by removing the excess "knuckle" of meat and the chine bone (the "riblets") from the thicker side of the slab. NOTE: These items can be used for other things, like sausage, stews, etc.

    Here's a great illustration:
    How to Trim Pork Spareribs Into a St. Louis-Style Cut

    Once your ribs are trimmed, with the "silver skin" membrane removed....

    Coat both sides liberally with a Pork Dry Rub (see post above for rub mix)
    Set ribs in refrigerator or cooler for an hour or so

    Place into a smoker set at 275, and smoke for three hours.
    Remove ribs, and wrap each slab in aluminum foil and put back into smoker for another hour.
    Remove and baste ribs with any juices that might be in the bottom of the foil, then with Bar-B-Q sauce, if desired, put back into smoker for another 20 minutes.

    Remove ribs, and check thickest part with a meat thermometer. Make sure temp reaches at least 165 degrees.
  17. luvtruthg8r

    luvtruthg8r Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    I know you are not so fond of my technical analyses from the standpoint of my retail meat background and knowledge, but this is my take on St. Louis cut ribs.

    When a store trims a full rack to make St. Louis ribs, they trim off the appropriate parts of the rack, then they raise the price per pound compared to full racks to the point that the total price of a rack of St. Louis ribs (which of course weighs less than a full rack), will be as high (usually higher!) than the full rack, without giving the customer everything that was cut off. They then separately sell the parts they cut off as sausage, ground pork, riblets, pork brisket, etc.

    So with St. Louis cut ribs, you are in effect paying for an entire rack, but the store keeps the trimmed parts to be sold for even more profit. Stores end up getting a lot more per rack of spare ribs when they trim and sell St. Louis cut ribs.

    Now some people don't particularly like the parts cut off to convert a full rack to St. Louis cut ribs. However, there is a lot of good meat that is cut off that you are in effect paying for that the store ends up selling twice. Properly prepared, I think those discarded parts are excellent, and like I wrote above, they constitute a lot of meat.

    I think the biggest benefit of St. Louis ribs is that they are easier to handle, so they are great when having company over for a cookout, allowing diners to eat them with a bit less mess compared to ribs from a full rack.

    But if you are fine with the quality of the parts discarded when a rack is trimmed St. Louis style, and if ease of use and lack of messiness is not particularly important to you, I believe that you should buy full racks, which would give you a whole lot more to eat, in effect, for free. Why pay for something, but only end up with 75% of what you paid for? Why not eat those parts? Are those parts so bad that you would choose to just toss them in the trash even after paying for them? When buying St. Louis cut ribs, that is in effect what you are doing.
  18. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    I have nothing against your "technical knowledge"....

    Plus, Some people don't want to be bothered with the "butchery of the slabs of St. Louis cut ribs...
    I merely showed them how to trim them.
    I'm a huge proponent of using the rest of the meat... the "riblets" can be used as a pre-smoked "treat", and the rest of the meat... well, you could grind it down for sausage, use it in soups or stews, etc.

    Not to mention... the last time I checked, this thread was about "Smokin', Grillin' and Bar-B-Q".... there's no way anyone is going to get an even cook on their slab of ribs unless they know how to cut them down.

    Perhaps you might take a little more time to actually read what's in my posts before trying to "correct" me again.:rolleyes:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. luvtruthg8r

    luvtruthg8r Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Not correcting you.....just presenting an alternative viewpoint. I look at it like this: If people think back to when they had spare ribs from a full rack, did they spit out the meat from the large ends of those ribs, declaring them unworthy of being eaten, or did they eat those portions? When buying St. Louis ribs, that is in effect what someone is doing.....paying the store for a decent size portion of the rack, but tossing that portion in the garbage.

    People are learning a whole lot about food and cooking from you, thanks to your tremendous professional background. Maybe it would interest people if I did an AMA about the grocery industry, possibly giving insight and tips about meat, produce, supermarket operations, etc., from the inside, which I think would be interesting for the readers of this board.

    Later tonight I will send you a PM, and maybe you could supply me your email address so I could send you a bit of information on me and my background.
  20. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"


    Kindly reread my post yet again.... and you'ld see that is exactly what I was telliing folks about.... the extra, uncooked piece of meat.

    Although you might have some grocery store knowledge, I'd consider it, but it seems that the only two times you've posted here is to ....

    1; Try to tell me that there's no difference between the size of the filet size between a Porterhouse and a T-Bone steak, and now
    2; this, about the how you call it the "extra meat" on a spare rib.

    I, as well, have background in meat-cutting, produge, grogery, etc.