9 lbs. of pork butt in 9 hours. How would you do it?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by providence, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. providence

    providence Newbie

    Hi all. My wife and I are having a family gathering at our place tomorrow and I am going to be making some pulled pork. I have two boneless pork butts that weigh a combined 9.25 lbs. I knew going into this adventure that I wouldn't be able to smoke these for the entire cooking time. At the best practice of 1.5 hours/lbs., I'd have to pull an all-nighter to do that (not that I am opposed to such an endeavor, but some logistical issues are standing in the way of that right now). So I am looking for some advice on how to do a partial smoke/partial oven preparation.

    Here's the deal:

    We're looking to serve the pork at 4:00 PM. I'd like one hour of rest time, so it's all got to be cooked by 3:00 PM. I will be available to start this endeavor at 5:00 AM. By the time I get the coals lit, and the smoker hot, I assume it'll be about 6:00 AM. So that gives me nine solid hours to cook these bad boys. I have a weber smokey moutain cooker, 18.5."

    My initial thought is to leave in the smoker for four hours at 250 degrees and then get them in the oven for five hours at 275 degrees. 

    What do you recommend? 

    Also, I have never smoked two pieces at once in my smoker. I would assume putting one butt on the top rack and one on the bottom, and then rotating them half way through would be a good idea. Any thoughts on this?

    I'm still a rookie with all this stuff, so go easy on me, ha ha.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd crank the smoker up to 325° if you can and let er go there until you hit your desired IT. I shoot for 205° for pulled pork. I can't tell you how long this is going to take. The last 9 pound butt I did took 18 hours at 265°I plan on doing a butt this weekend too and am going for a hotter smoke then normal. My plan is to run the smoker around 300° and see how long it takes.

    Unless your racks vary in temperature greatly I don't see a need to rotate the butts.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  3. providence

    providence Newbie

    Thanks dirtailor. I'll consider that option as I make my final plan. Cheers!
  4. providence

    providence Newbie

  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've got a thread in here somewhere. I'm at work on a cell.

    I smoked an 8.5 lb butt or shoulder on New Years Day. 300-325F. 4 hours unwrapped to get the smoke, then wrapped with a little liquid for 2 hours to get it to an IT of 205F. Then let it rest for a while. Since you have two 4.5 lb'ers they should finish a little quicker.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  6. providence

    providence Newbie

    So you did it in the smoker the entire time, no oven, interesting. Any idea if the WSM 18.5" is good at maintaining a temp that high? Any tricks to keep it high?

    Thanks for the info, much appreciated.
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As stated, if your smoker can achieve higher temps, wrap it in foil and increase the heat. I have done 8 1/2 in 9 to 9 1/2 hours raising it to 295º so it is do-able.
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The 18.5" WSM would have no problem reaching that temp. Don't use water. Just drysmoke. Cover water pan with foil so doesn't get greasy. Set lower vents about 1/2 open to start, top vent full open. Close top vent down to 1/3 to 1/2 open once you reach about 310 or so. Let temp stabilize. Let smoke get light blue. Load meat. Use top vent to control temp with small 1/16" to 1/8" movements. Will stabilize between 325-350.
  9. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Two boneless butts with a combined weight of 9.25 pounds, that's about 4.5+ pounds apiece. If you cook them at 325°-350° as Noboundaries suggests you will be done in 4 hours. My experience cooking butts hot and fast has consistently given me cook times that average 50-60 minutes per pound.

    Allowing an hour for resting and an hour to start the fire and get the pit temp dialed in gives you a total time of 6 hours, in other words you can start about 10AM to be serving at 4PM.

    If you start at 9AM IMHO you will have more than enough time to cook those two boneless butts. YMMV. Good Luck[​IMG]
  10. providence

    providence Newbie

    Great information, thanks so much. I am leaning towards just doing these in the smoker and skipping the oven altogether. It seems like the 205 F finishing temp is where I want to be, does that sound right to you?
  11. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Hey there, I just smoked a 7.5 lb butt last week right before a snowstorm (outside temp 18 degrees).  It took me 9 hours start to finish.  I had a drip pan with apple juice, vinegar and water and only opened the smoker twice.  Once to add more fuel.  This was done at 275 for most of the cook.  I was pretty pleased with the results.  A little bit worried that the smoker was up past 250 as I usually like to stick in the 225-230 range.  Anyhow, best of luck to you and be sure to post some pics of the result!
  12. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I guess you're up and running by now, so I'll just wish you luck!! I'm sure it'll turn out fine. You've gotten a lot of good advice here.
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    205F Internal temperature at the finish.  Perfect!
  14. providence

    providence Newbie

    Hi all, thanks for the feedback in this thread, it was very helpful. Since my wife and I were expecting 16 people at this party, I decided not to roll the dice two much. Failure was not an option, so I decided to do the meat partly in the smoker and partly in the oven.

    The night before I applied a heavy dose of rub and wrapped in plastic wrap. The next day, I smoked them at 250 with pecan wood for about 3 hours and then transferred it to the over for 6 hours. When I transferred them to the oven I put them in a large roasting pan, poured a bottle of hard cider in the bottom and then elevated the meat off of the bottom (my cooling rack was too low so I propped it up with thick slices of a russet potato). I then tented the whole thing with foil. It didn't get quite to 205 in that time (at 3:30, when I absolutely had to get it out it was at 196). When I took them out I wrapped them each individually in foil and then wrapped them in a large bath towel. I then gave them an hour of rest time. After an hour I shredded them with two forks, put them in a serving dish and tossed with a bit of the BBQ sauce I made.

    It was phenomenal. Everything about it was delicious. It was impossible to resist picking off and eating a piece of the fat on the outisde, which I had scored before I put the rub on. The muscles themselves shredded very easily and were wonderful. All of guests went back for seconds and all of them loved it. I know I cut corners here, but at the end of the day everyone was satisfied including myself. I couldn't have done it without the help of you all. Much appreciated.

    So for those of you thinking of trying 9lbs in 9 hours, it's totally doable!
  15. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

  16. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on a successful Q party Providence!  You used your noggin', skills, and what you were comfortable with to make it successful.  Long ago I've learned that when it comes to Q and parties most folks just appreciate a little smoke flavor, good seasoning/sauce, and succulent meat.  We all know what is perfect with smoke rings, bark, tug, etc, but most folks who aren't Q'ers themselves only know enough to recognize the three indicators I mentioned.   Great job on the party!!!!!
  17. providence

    providence Newbie

    My thoughts exactly. Plus, we're all a bunch of Yankees anyways, half the crowd of Italian extraction, the other half Polish. So BBQ connoisseurs we are not, ha ha. If I made a plate of homemade pasta and veal sausage or pierogis and kielbasa yesterday it would have been a different story.....
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  18. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Eyetalians huh? Mama Mia! Sounds like the event was highly successful. Good job. Got any good meatball recipes?
  19. providence

    providence Newbie

    I've got an amazing meatball recipe. Check it:

    1/3 lbs. ground beef (85% fat, 15% lean)

    1/3 lbs. ground pork

    1/3 lbs. ground veal

    Small yellow onion diced

    Garlic clove chopped

    1/4 c. fresh basil (no dried herbs in this, ever)

    1/8 c. fresh parsley

    1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese (good quality stuff, nothing sitting on a grocery store shelf for) 

    3 thick slices of stale italian bread

    2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    -Toast the bread at 350 and then let it cool in the oven to harden. Once cooled and completely hard turn it to bread crumbs (put in a plastic bag and smash with a mallet, or give the pieces a- wizz in a food processor).

    -Heat a skillet on medium/medium-high heat and heat 1 tbs of the olive oil until just smoking

    -Add the onions and lower the heat a bit. Cook low and slow until the onions are very cooked, almost turning them into a paste.

    -Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes

    -Set mixture aside to cool.

    -Once cooled, mix it with the herbs, the cheese and all the meat.

    -Start adding the breadcrumbs a little at a time. You don't want them too dry, but you don't want them too wet (Sorry, I'm not sure how best to describe it. You're better to have them wet than dry).

    -Spread the remaining 1 tbs. of olive oil on a baking sheet

    -Form the mixture into balls (don't over work them in your hands) and place them on the baking sheet

    -Bake at 375. Time varies depending on the size of the meatballs. If you made 6 meatballs out of this recipe they'd be pretty good size and would take roughly 25 minutes.

    -Alternatively, you could brown the meatballs a few at a time in a skillet and then let them finish cooking in a tomato sauce (or as we Italians in the north-east call it, gravy).

  20. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WHAT!  NO RED WINE!  Your Italian card is REVOKED!

    Unless you're drinking it, then the card is safe.

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