4 Pork butts

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bvanderheyden, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie

    Hello all,

    I'm new to this forum, and I'm hoping someone can provide me with some insight. I did a test butt yesterday on my ECB with some mods done to it. I drilled some holes in the charcoal pan, and added a thermometer on the top. I had a 8.5 lb Pork butt that I seasoned for 2 days. I had a separate chimney that I started some charcoals in along with having the pan full of charcoal. Once the chimney started and the coals where about 75% white I threw them in with the sunlight charcoal pan. I let the fire go down and waited for the the internal temp of the smoker to stay at 250 for 10/mins. When that happened I threw the butt on. Everything was going great 3 hours in the meat went from 37 to 70, but from there it was crazy. The tempeture rose at a staggering rate and my measured internals hit 140 after an hour later. Granted I had to tend to the fire and it had its flare ups.20 minutes later the internal rose to 165. It a rich dark bark on it, so I wrapped it. The internals than spiked again and in another hour the temps hit 205. I let it rest and attempted to pull it but parts were tough. It did have a smoke ring on it and a great bark. Please help I have 40 Lbs to do and need advice
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to SMF!

    I see this is your first post, so at your leisure would you swing by Roll call & introduce yourself.

    That way we can all give you a proper SMF welcome.

    Also I'm going to move this thread over to pork.

    I think you will get a lot more responses there.

  3. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If it was tough, then it just wasn't cooked long enough.  Did you boil test your new therm before installing it?  Most of them are way off.  They're a bit pricey, but a digital, auxilliary therm like a Maverick 733 is a good thing to have.  So is an instant read therm.  They vary in price from real cheap to "take out a mortgage on your first born" expensive.  I have a real inexpensive one.  It takes about 8 seconds to register the temp, but its very accurate, and I only spent about $10 or $12 on it.  Whatever you get, boil test it so you know how accurate it is.

    Pork butt is very forgiving, so if you haven't already pulled it, you could add some liquid, foil it and stick it in the oven at 250* for a while.

  4. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie


    Thank you for moving this to an area where people will see it.


    I did not think to boil test my thermometer. In your opinion how many pounds of charcoal and Apple wood should it take to smoke 4 8lb butts? I figured 15 hours at 225? Any advice on is great
  5. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Not being a smart [email protected]$, but it took me a search to figure out boil test when they first advised me of it here. Boil water and stick your temp probe in. However above or below the temp reads from 212 degrees F (sea level) is how far off you are.

    That being said, a few times the butts I've had hit temp were still tough in places. I picked up "tooth pick test " here that I now use on top of internal temp. Stick tooth pick all over and if it goes through without resistance it's done. That's a way to ID hot spots and shift meat around. If you are doing 4 for event wrap up in foil when done and stick in a cooler with plenty of towels to take up space. They'll keep cooking for a bit and stay hot 4-6 hrs.

    You'll use up any excess charcoal and wood eventually! Get plenty of it. Or P= Plenty if you like math formula version!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  6. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie

    Bauchjw thanks for that. I googled it and mKes total sense. The tooth pick test reminds me of brownies. I will incorporate that in my next smoke

  7. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    No worries! Good luck, post some pictures! We love seeing q-view!
  8. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    When you boil test your them you'll have adjust for altitude. At my place boil point is 207*

    I can't help you on amount of charcoal. I use an electric smoker--MES 30

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  9. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie

    First thank you all for your help.

    I smoked a pork butt today,and it fell apart at 199 IT. 10.5 hours for an 8 LB. My only gripe is not enough smoked I used about a whole 5 LB bag of apple wood and it had a very small ring. Any suggestions?

    Also I have a baby shower on Saturday an I figure I will have to cook 4 butts. My other question is if I have butts on the lower rack will the cook quicker? If my largest butt is 9 Lbs should I assume the total cook time could be 15/18 hrs?

    Thanks ks
  10. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Apple is a very mild wood. Check out this link for tastes of wood:
    Don't worry about smoke ring, it's only for show. One of the few things I've read here in common agreement. It's a chemical reaction, not an indicator of flavor.

    If you mean next Saturday space out the smoking and bag it to fridge. Most agree pulled pork tastes better after it sits and you don't have to worry about timing. If you want smoker going when people arrive for show (I'll admit to it) then save last butt till then, but (pun intended) give yourself 18 hrs and if done early put in cooler double wrapped in foil and towels to keep warm. Then pull out and place on smoked to pull off and dramatically unveil as people arrive while the rest sits warming in oven.

    But, to answer your original question, I don't have an ECB, but rule seems to be the closest mass to heat source gets done first.

    Take pics! Good luck!
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have to agree if you can do your smoke ahead of time. Pulled pork is best reheated. Pull the meat into disposable foil pans or chaffing pans. Add a finishing sauce, cover with foil and into the fridge. To reheat pull out of fridge and put in 225 degree oven. Keep covered, and give a stir ever once in a while.

    I always figure 2 hours per pound for pork butts. Also don't forget to let them rest 30-45 minutes prior to pulling apart. If you collect the drippings while cooking, add back to the pulled pork.

    I assume you have a way to measure internal temps of meat since you mentioned internal temps. Here's how to test your therms.

  12. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie

    Dirt sailor a bauchjw,

    My shower is this upcoming Saturday.

    NY second butt I just did was better the second day.I just worry about 36 or so lbd of pork being enough food for 35 adults
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Figure 1/3 pound per person if serving sides. Your raw pork will yield 40-50% cooked.
  14. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Make sure to post how shower goes!
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  15. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie

    First hour in, this has been a headache trying to keep the temp steady.

    There have been flair ups, and the massive temp drops but I think I have righted the storm
  16. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    A bunch of us around here started with that smoker myself included. I built myself a UDS after a couple years of making the ECB work and boy howdy. I would suggest you check out the UDS section and or start planning for an upgrade. Just my 2 cents. Been there done that.
  17. Don't kill yourself over smoker temps.  As long as you can keep it in a reasonable range, say 225 - 275, you'll be fine.  It doesn't get any more forgiving than pork butt, and some people smoke 'em as hot as 300 or more.  Monitor your IT and keep your toothpick handy and you'll be just fine.
  18. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    kabibble22 is 100% right.  There is nothing on the face of this earth that is more forgiving than a pork butt.  Just do what you can to regulate the temperatures and everything will just average out. Believe me, you'll be fine.  That's one of the reasons (besides the fantastic taste) that so many people love smoking pork butt.  LOL

  19. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    How did it go? Any pictures?
  20. bvanderheyden

    bvanderheyden Newbie

    Hey bauchjw,

    It went alright, I had some flair ups with my bottom pork. It had very little fat, but why can you do for a 1.09 lb.

    The top ones that I got from butcher turned out very good, smoked for 16 hours but I couldn't get my smoker past 190 at the end so j had to finish in the oven

    Lastly I keep trying to post pictures buy it will say embedding photo and than will not post it. Any ideas on tha t?
    Last edited: May 1, 2016

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