The Sapp Family

A Frisco Texas Family

Browsing Posts published by Tim Sapp

So it was the weekend before the wedding shower and we were getting a TON of RSVPs.  At this point we had over 30 people showing up for the shower and dinner.  I still wanted to do a test run of the smoker and we had a couple smaller pork butts in the freezer.  I pulled them out of the freezer on Wednesday so they could thaw.

On Thursday night I grabbed one of them and tossed it into a bowl with a brining solution. I had read that you could brine a pork butt just like the turkeys. I wanted to know what the difference was going to be.

I lit the smoker on Friday night and tossed on the two pork butts.  This time we used the lump charcoal and the apple wood from Bass pro.  The pecan I got while I was up in Oklahoma at my parents house. My uncle has a couple big pecan trees at his house and had pruned his tree a few months back and gave the wood to my dad.  I loaded up the trunk of the car and brought it home.

I was amazed at how different the lump charcoal is.  It retained so much more heat and burned much longer.  While it may be more expensive per pound than the Kingsford charcoal, the difference in how much you use more than makes up for it.  I don’t think I will ever go back to using Kingsford again.

We invited Phil and Karen, our life group leaders, over for dinner Saturday night so they could be our guinea pigs for the wedding shower menu. We enjoyed a great meal with the pork butts and there was SOOOO much food we could not even touch what we had made.  We ended up inviting Uncle Bill and Aunt Connie over so they could try it out.  We let them try the side dishes first and then the meat.  So far the consensus is that the brined butt was much better but this one had a bit too much salt.  We sent some of the food home with them and apparently Uncle Bill had a couple good lunches from it.

After this we had our menu set for the shower.

Well, after my first smoking session I started to so a bit more reading.  I discovered and started doing some reading.  The first thing I learned was to avoid the good ole Kingsford.  Turns out that its not as good as I thought.

We had another smoking session planned for the next weekend and after visiting Bass Pro I had a few things to buy.

I bought two 20 pound bags of lump charcoal and three 8 pound bags of apple wood chunks.  I had bought the pecan and apple wood for the first smoking session at Hersh’s Meat Market over in Plano for $2.00 a pound.  At Bass Pro the apple chunks are only $1.00 a pound and look just as good.

While I was there I went ahead and bought a temperature probe that has a wireless unit with it.  That way I could watch the temperature of the meat and not have to be outside all the time or open the smoker and add more time to the cooking time.  It was an Oregan Scientific unit and I have to say it was junk.  After the second time I used the probe it stopped working.  Now it only reads 999 and then beeps non-stop.  I am taking it back to Bass Pro and getting my money back.

I found a place here in town called BBQ Galore.  It’s mostly high end grills and smokers but they carried the new temperature probe that was suggested at the BBQSoruce.  I picked up a Maverick ET73 and what a sweet unit that is…  It is wireless like the previous unit and has a part that I can take into the house with me.  This one also has an additional probe that monitors the temperature of the smoke box.  The controls on this unit are so much better as well.  I can set alarms for the hi and lo temperature of the smoke box, and the max temperature of the meat.  That way I don’t have to watch it near as much and always be outside.

The next thing I learned was at Hersh’s Meat Market.  I went into talk to them about prices of the pork butt and how early we have to contact them for a special order. While talking to them I learned that a pork butt is not a butt at all. If you trim the butt off a pig you actually get the Ham.  The pork butt is part of the shoulder…  When they cut a shoulder off the pig they end up with two cuts of meat, the shank, and the butt.  The shank is the part of the shoulder that has the joint in it.  The butt cut is the meat that surrounds the shoulder blade.  It’s also the cut that is used for pulled pork and the really tender shoulders.  We decided that the next smoking session was going to be butt cuts.


We dropped by the Walmart up in the Little Elm area the other day.  We stopped in the pet area to see if they had some treats for Frosty.   I went ahead and stopped to look in the fish area to see if they had anything that we might want to grab for our fish.

In the fish food area I found this…

Ok…  plenty of standard fish food.  Nothing that I can use for the Cichlids we have.   However, take a good look at that little blue bag in the lower right hand side of the photo.   You might have a bit of trouble reading it…  but I took another picture that was closer.  This is what you are looking at…

Yeah…  You see that right!   They have a “Cooking and Baking add on and topping” package in the fish department.  How STUPID do you have to be to put a food topping in a department for Tropical Fish?  I guess if you have your fish for a long time and they get big enough to clean then this is the Walmart you need to visit.

I have not been back to that Walmart since then, so I have no idea if they fixed the issue.  I noticed that there was at least no shelf tag for the row.  Someone obviously has a problem reading a plan-o-gram!

Lance is Cheri’s cousin and right before Cheri and I got married he moved to Texas.  He ended up buying a house here in Frisco and iws about two miles down the road from us.  Lance is such an awesome cousin and I think that Cheri and I would do anything for him.  Lance met Julie and a few months back he asked her to marry him. We are so happy that he found Julie and look forward to spending more time with them as a couple.

When Cheri first told me that we were giving them a wedding shower and that it was going to have a Hawaiian Luau my first comment to Cheri was “Let’s dig a pit in the backyard and roast a pig!”  And yes, I was serious.  My wife’s first reaction was “You are NOT digging a hole in the yard!”  then it was followed up with “Maybe we can just get you a smoker…”   Wow…  I love this woman.

We took off the next weekend and found a smoker.  By getting it early it gave me a chance to do some test cooking on the smoker to find the quarks of the unit.  We cured the smoker that weekend and on Wednesday I fired the smoker up and threw on a pork shoulder.

We used the good ole Kingsford Hickory charcoal for the heat and Apple and Pecan for the smoke and flavor.

The next morning after the shoulder had been in the smoker for around 12 hours I put on a chicken and some thin sliced round roast (for beef jerky.)  About two hours later I pulled the chicken and jerky off the smoker, and left the pork shoulder on.  I kept checking the temperature of the shoulder and just could not get it up to temperature.  I ended up putting a pile of charcoal in the smoke box (yes, there is a charcoal tray in the box) and finishing the shoulder with a bit more direct heat.

After I pulled it off the grill I pulled the meat and we served it to our life group that met that night.  It was a success and everyone enjoyed the dinner.  We were now looking forward to the next smoking session.