I began prep on Sunday night with 16 lbs of pork butt split into three parts, and 5.5 pounds of salmon. I used the typical salmon recipe, this time I did one quart of brine and still separated things into 4 bags. I used this pulled pork recipe, and this dry rub recipe per Ben’s recommendation. The pulled pork recipe looked to be a reasonable beginner’s complexity, too… I considered this pork butt set to be just three of the one used in the recipe, so I had 1 cup of dry rub that I used on the three.
21 Jan 2018, 2020: Began prep of salmon and pork. Salmon was typical. I trimmed the pork, separated it pork and tied when necessary, then applied 3 Tbsp salt, dropped each in a gallon ziploc, and put them in the fridge overnight. I finished prep at around 2100.
22 Jan 2018, 1230: Prepped the dry rub, which made 2 or 3 cups. I used 1 cup of it over the three butt segments. To get the rub into a shaker, I used a sheet of paper from some junk mail as a funnel.
1315: Put butts in smoker at 225℉.
1345: Began fish drying.
1745: Butts have been on for 4.5 hours now at 225℉, time to check the temp! I want them to get to 203℉. Temp was 165℉. Unfortunately, Sarah and I need to eat sometime tonight, so I turned the temp up to 275℉.
1845: Butts are at 170℉. (Well, one of them, the other two were like 165℉).
2115: One butt was at 195℉, the other two were at 180℉. I removed the hotter one and we ate part of it – delicious. Very tender, but could probably be better.
2225: Two remaining butts are at 185℉.
23 Jan 2018, 0020: Removed the butts – one was at 195℉, the other 200℉. The 200℉ was extremely tender, next time I will go for the 203℉ temp.
0335: Put the fish on at 120℉. Just 1 or 2 min before putting them in, I cranked the temp to max to get smoke going. Next time I should give 5 to 10 min instead.
0740: In the intervening hours, I basted and modified the temp as per the recipe. I had little albumin – everything went beautifully. I took the fish off at 0740, one filet was at 135℉ and another at 142℉. Close enough – tastes good so far.
For the future:
- Plan for the butts to take 10 hours. They may even take longer.
- Dry rub was good, I think. Maybe leave a bit more fat on the butts next time – this time I tried to take it off, thinking of the brisket…
- A probe thermometer that can sit outside would be great… Multiple heads would help with the case where one butt was ready and the rest were not.
- Open the air holes for the fish. I think this might let more heat out, which will require the element to stay on more, which will generate more smoke. Just a thing to try, not sure it’ll work. I always get done with the fish with tons of wood still in there.