First Pork Butt (3rd overall smoke)

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by holyfeld, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. We're having family from the Piedmont region of NC visit this week. I'm going to smoke a butt to make pulled pork.  Details:

    I'd like this ready for supper on Monday, 5 - 6 PM.

    MES 30 using hickory chips.

    1 - butt 8 pounds @ 60-90 min/lb about 10 hours @ 225F. I'm guessing since it's a smaller portion (than some I've seen described in the forums) it will cook quicker.  Am I probably right?

    We've used this rub and really like it. 

    4 TBSP Raw Sugar

    1 TBSP Kosher Salt (original recipe calls for 2 TBSP)

    2 TBSP Cumin

    1 TBSP Garlic Powder

    2 tsp Celery Seed

    1 tsp Black Pepper

    The butt looks like


    At this time I'm not planning to inject, or put apple juice in the water pan. I'll have apple juice available if I change my mind. I'll boil the juice before adding it to the smoker.

    Tonight I'll foil the drip tray and water pan so all I have to do in the AM is preheat the smoker (to 275), insert the butt, add chips and reset the temperature to 225.

    I'm planning to do a vinegar BBQ sauce. I have a couple recipes from books. I've been so busy reading about smokers and meats I haven't checked the forums to see if they contain a vinegar sauce.

    What am I forgetting? 
  2. Somehow in my "welcome to the website" email I missed this link:

    This might happen ... look SHINEY SQUIRREL! (it's an MBTI joke).

    Where was I? Oh, yeah,

    Luckily I found the link to yesterday. Based on that I decided to:
    1. Add a braise at precisely 165, more or less 
    2. Braise solution was 1/4 cup rub, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.
    The 10 hour guess for this piece of meat in our current environment, the 10 estimate wasn't off by much. The pork started smoking at 0520 and went to rest @ 1530. As a newbie smoker, with the smoker outside my office window (and it smelled wonderful) I tweaked the MES-30 temp, but in the long run, I don't believe it mattered. Next week I won't be so nervous and will let things ride.

    In the first 4 hours I added 4 1/8 oz of hickory chips. Everyone agreed there was enough smoke. I might add (proportionally) a little more on my next butt smoke.

    With a chef son, I'm working on mis en place.


    Beer is Thunderstuck Coffee Porter. Everything else should be self explanatory.

    I took the butt out @ 195. It looked like:


    I used a combination of foil pan and double over wrap (from the first timer's link).  After an hour or so in the cooler, I was ready to pull for supper.


    The bone fell out like it should.

    Some pulling and it was supper time. Beer - Oatmeal Stout


    My in-laws claimed they liked hot, so I made a fresh sauce of:

    3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar

    1 Bottle (12 oz) Killians Irish Red or Guiness Beer

    1 TBSP Salt

    2 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes

    1 TSP Ground Black Pepper

    1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

    (I got this from a recipe somewhere in the forums)

    I DID NOT USE THIS SAUCE as suggested. 
    1. Living near Asheville, I used Highland Oatmeal Stout.
    2. I did not mix the sauce with the meat as stated.
    As a result:
    1. It was a tad "hot/spicy". Karol (related to them) strained the red pepper flakes and mixed some of the braising liquids with the sauce and:
    2. Prepped another dispenser of the braising liquids.
    3. The flat landers suggested the finishing sauce applied as instructed would probably have been OK.

    It turns out they DO  like the spicier better! And left overs?


    My lessons for this smoke:
    1. Plan diligently.
    2. Keep reading these forums. Soooo much information.
    3. Use 2 to modify 1 (it's that MBTI thing).
    4. In the end:
    • Worry less
    • Enjoy more
    I appreciate those who chose to what they've learned.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have an MES-30 to clean and prep for next week.

  3. jalan43

    jalan43 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    The only thing I don't see is the delicious finished pork! Can't wait......
  4. bamafan

    bamafan Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    10 hours is about right. Butts and briskets have a mind of their own. The temp always tells the tale. I cook them to 200-205 and throw them in the cooler. I can have 20 on mine and some will be done in 8 hours and some in 12-14. If it's done early keep in foil and put in cooler. It'll still be steaming hot hours later. Good luck the butt looks great rubbed down. I'm sure the finished one will be great.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  5. Soo ... After 24 years in the family, it would be hard for say (based on this) "You ain't from around here, are you." (and that's not a question)

    My mother in law (is MIL an abbreviation?) wowed about the pulled pork. Karol's younger sister now talks about getting her husband a smoke.

    Not bad for a southern boy. Born in South Dakota. Raised in south Minneapolis. 

    "What I know fills me. What I do not know fills the universe." - Chinese saying

    "But if it's smoking related, I probably find it here." - Don

    I posted an update with pictures. Hope you enjoy. 
  6. Bamafan,

    10 hours was very close. I worried a lot. Twiddled the temp on the MES-30 slightly less, but in the pulled pork was marvelous. As I said in the update, I don't really think twiddling the MES-30 temperature made much difference. Maybe with a tenderloin, but not with pork butt.

    The folks from Gray Fox Catering visit next week (yeah, the son from which I'm learning mis en place) and we're going to have a great time. His mother gave me the MES-30 when she didn't care for how we smoked our Christmas Tasso. At least he can't throw me under the bus while we're smoking! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  7. I do two at a time and letem cook at 225°. The last pair I did one butt was about 10° ahead of the other until they hit the stall. The slower butt

    passed up the other during the stall and was done first. You never know what's going to happen. I think someone above said, they have a mind of

    their own. Yes they do.........[​IMG]
  8. Great looking PP!
  9. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Looks like it came out great!

  10. I'm starting to think about my next pulled pork (and we just finished these leftovers!). We really liked the smoke on this butt. Noticeable, but not overpowering. If I do two butts, should I double the amount of hickory I add?

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