Money muscle & butt questions

Hello Bill,       I am enjoying having you as my BBQ coach. The videos are very informative and cover every aspect. I am having to adapt them to low and slow cooking though. I have a Tucker and “Ole Black Betty” doesn’t like to get hot. I have to really work to get her up to 300 and stay there. For some reason 225 to 275 seems to be her comfort zone. I am looking forward to trying the Green Wise chicken from Publix at our next chicken event. I watched very intently as you trimmed and prepared the pieces. I brine my chicken but intend to try cooking a run in butter soon and deciding which I like better. I am also a KCBS judge (17 contests) and if I have had any cooked using your method, I couldn’t tell.
When you do the butt video, please be sure to point out the “money muscle”. I hear about it all of the time but noone seems to know exactly where it is. Also elaberate as much as possible about meat selection. I always look for marbling, color etc but at times even the butts that look perfect, don’t cook well. Sometimes I cook 4 to 8 butts and 3 or 4 will cook to 200 degrees in 7 1/2 hours a couple will take 9 or more hours and some 12 hours or  longer. I rotate them every few hours because of hot spots and check all of my meat thermometers (in boiling water) before each cook.  I blame this on the meat because everything else is always the same; rub, injection, cooker, charcoal, temperature (cooker and air). Any advice there or is this common with all Qers?
FYI, our team, the Bold Branch Bar-B-Q boys started competing in Jan of 2009. Since then we have cooked 12 events and finished; taken GC two times We finished 3rd in chicken and 4th overall in one KCBS contest and 5th in brisket in another. Those were our only 2 KCBS events. We have also taken 1st, 3rd, and 5th in chicken, 1st and 2nd in pork, and 2nd and 3rd in ribs in SCBA events. We love to cook and hope that with your coaching we will get to hear our name called a little more often.  We like the feedback we get from KCBS so intend to cook 5 to 7 of their events and only 4 to 6 SCBA events in 2011.  
Sorry to ramble on, keep em comming,     Joe Hilliard, aka Papajoe

One thought on “Money muscle & butt questions

  1. PapaJoe:

    Good to hear from you… 275 may work – just add about 1 hour to the times for butts and brisket. In the end you’ll cook to internal temp, so times are irrelevant at that point. Maybe add 1/2 an hour to chicken times and hope the skin comes out “bite through” – the higher heat helps. Ribs – same thing add 1/2 to 1 hour.

    Yeah… some butts do cook faster than others. The true test of doneness is to make sure that blade bone is loose. Yes – I do show the money muscle in the videos and also in this newsletter…

    A lot of it has to do with where you stick the internal meat thermometer too. You probably stick just one butt which presents two problems…

    1) You may get it in a fat vein or hit a bone which could give you off readings.

    2) Butts of a different size will, of course, cook differently – so if you are thorough, check each butt for doneness individually. The hot & fast butt video does overcome some of these problems with the foiling stage.


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