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Alton Brown home-made smoker, smoking on a Weber and more

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So his dogma to 225 and under (especially for butt) is a bit out there, and the idea that a bone-in takes significantly longer to cook is just odd since the bone has negligible impact on heat transfer through the meat and zero impact on evaporative cooling (ie the stall). Oh, and this is a personal thing but to my mind he should have trimmed the fat cap more, brine does nothing to the meat under the fat (nor does smoke for that matter). Also no mesquite is kinda funny since it's probably the most used smoking wood in Texas. No sauce is a preference, I like a finishing sauce on my ribs, and pulled pork I like both with and without, though if I can't be eaten without then it's not good Q =)

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I also think that one of the important details to pull from the video is that "the pros" he's talking about in the video covers most of the people on this forum, not necessarily and not only competition cookers.

And if you do want to save money on your butts, have the butcher remove the huge fat cap Alton. ;) That's just money in the garbage - the bone at least may help with the flavor.

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I do agree on the mesquite though, it is great for grilling steaks, but NOT for low and slow as it makes meat taste bitter and oily IMHO.  The most popular smoking wood in Texas is white oak or other oaks as they are cheap and easy to get. I don't usually brine a butt, just let rub soak in for a few hours to overnight. I will brine poultry and a pork loin as they have less fat marbled in the meat. I agree on the fat cap.. trim that baby! 

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I'm willing to give Alton's brine a try on my next butt. But I won't use those enormous hamburger buns. ;)


Are you talking about the ones at the 35 minute mark that he puts the PP on? Because it looks normal to me (I actually use Kaiser rolls most of the time as I like the slightly chewier texture, but that's obviously a personal preference).

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I like a high meat to bun ratio and I don't use hamburger buns for PP unless for some reason I'm all out of bread and too lazy to go to the store. ;) Typically I'll also use a nicer roll, maybe even a kaiser style, but smaller. Sometimes I'll also use corn tortillas from the small latino market we have in town - I've also made my own, but just can't get them as thin as the commercial brands.

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When I was in Texas when you eat thier BBQ (Beef and sausages only) you taste the Mesquite. I liked it but my wife hated it. That ment I didn't get a smoker till over a decade later and I found someone where we moved that smoked our Thanksgiving bird with apple. At that point the wife said yes I could get one cause she loved the mild smoke flavor. All I smoke with now is fruit woods and the wife can't get enough of it. I think the flavor of Mesquite is ok with Beef but I don't think it would go with pork. Porks flavor is too mild and the Mesquite would drown it out I believe.


I believe in that episode ( I've seen alot of his dealing with Q) he gave the reason why places smoke with the wood they do. In Texas the stuff grows like weeds. That is another reason they smoke with that. In Georgia They do alot of Peach etc. The main idea ultimately as I'm sure everyone here would agree to is smoke with what brings you the flavor you like. The only caveate to that I would give is for the newbies to never ever ever try to smoke with Pine of treated wood via paint or rot/bug investation treatment.

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