Smoking a butt for the first time! Need help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by zump, May 16, 2015.

  1. zump

    zump Fire Starter

    Hi all, I got a WSM 18" for my bday and am having an inaugural smoke out with my friends tomorrow around 330! Please help with selection of meat, smoke times, temp, marinade or prep! Anything will help! Thanks all
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How many friends?
  3. zump

    zump Fire Starter

    Something small maybe 12 people total! I'm thinking one or 2 medium size butts? What do u think? How early to start to try to eat around 5?
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A butt would be perfect.  8-10 lbs bone in would be plenty and give you leftovers.  There are plenty of recipes you can use in the search feature.  Whatever you do, search for Chef JJ's Finishing Sauce.  I don't serve pulled pork without it. 

    The recipe below is simple and easy.  Works the same for one butt or two or three, etc.  If you start now you can adapt.  You can skip the overnight portion if you like.  I always start my PP the day before because I get the flavors I prefer. 

    Ray's Quick, Easy, Deliciously Succulent Pulled Pork

    This is so easy it is almost like cheating.    I made it for a block party on 10/18/14.  Folks didn't realize I had brought pulled pork and were chowing down on burgers and hot dogs.  When they started eating the pulled pork the compliments started flying.  One little elderly lady with a dish in front of her asked me if I was the one who brought the pulled pork.  When I said yes she said it was great and she was on her third helping. Folks wanted it to take home too so it all disappeared.

    Rubs:  Any commercial pork rub will work fine.  My favorite commercial rub is McCormick Sweet and Smoky.  If you don't want to pay for a rub just use what I have in the recipe.  You can actually skip the sugar and add it later after the smoke.

    Rub if not using commercial
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup kosher salt
    2 Tbs peppercorns or ground black pepper
    2 Tbs New Mexico chili powder
    2 Tbs paprika
    1 Tbs cumin
    1 Tbs onion powder
    1  Tbs garlic powder
    1 Tbs cinnamon
    1/2 Tbs cayenne pepper
    1 tsp mustard powder

    16-20 lbs Pork butt or shoulder, bone in or boneless,

    Post Prep
    Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce (optional)
    Raw sugar
    hot sauce to taste


    1. Fire up the smoker with a mix of hickory and cherry wood and bring it up to 225°F.

    2. Completely cover the wet meat with a good amount of the rub on all sides. (I don't use mustard or oil any longer)

    3. Place the meat on a grate in a foil lined paella dish and move it to the smoker.  Or put a drip pan below your cooking level.

    4. Let it smoke for 6-10 hours at 225F until it is through the stall.  Then put the meat in an oil sprayed 9x13 aluminum roasting pan.  Add the drippings from the pan, 1 cup of fruit juice (apple cider works well), then seal tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil.  Insert the food probe through the cover into the thickest part of the roast, avoiding the bone.

    5. Crank the temp on the smoker up to 300°F or higher and smoke until the internal temperature of the roast is 203°F.  The bone should wiggle freely.

    6. Remove from the smoker, cover, and rest for at least two hours.

    7. Drain the drippings, cover, and put the dripping in the refrigerator.

    8. Pull the meat apart, cover, and put in the refrigerator overnight.  You can add additional rub and sugar at this point to enhance the flavor of the meat if neccesary.

    9. The next day scrape the fat off the drippings and add the gelatin to a Dutch Oven or large cooking pan.  Heat until it melts then add a little BBQ sauce if needed.  Stir to mix well.

    10. Add to the chilled pulled pork and stir to coat with the melted gelatin.  Taste.  Add additional rub, salt, pepper, raw sugar, hot sauce to get the flavor profile desired.  Salt and sugar have a big impact on the final taste.  Continue to reheat until just starting to bubble. 

    11. Serve
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  5. zump

    zump Fire Starter

    Thanks for the advice! should I apply the rub tonight and let it sit until the morning? Should I spray with apple juice throughout? I'm getting excited haha
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's GOOD to get excited about using your equipment!

    Yes, you can apply the rub tonight.  I don't. Most do.  I also don't bother spraying during the smoke.  Folks say it keeps it moist.  Folks say it creates a better bark.  I say it just washes off the rub so I don't bother spraying any longer!  I used to.  I don't now.  So your choice, just know that each time you open the smoker the temps have to recover and that can extend the ready time. 

    Also know that once you wrap it, you can crank the temp up as much as you want, even to 350F.  It will get done quicker and be just as fantastic. 

    First time, keep it simple.  Actually, I've moved to the keep it simple ALL the time camp. 

    Have fun, get good beer!
  7. carbine1koos

    carbine1koos Fire Starter

    I'm in that camp as well!! [​IMG]

    Look forward to seeing how it goes zump!
  8. zump

    zump Fire Starter

    Hi all so I got the butts rubbed (thanks for recipe)and hanging out! Next question, straight in grate with drip pan or in a container?
  9. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For me grate and drip pan.  Fat side up, but this is just my way.
  10. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've done it both ways, in a pan on a rack, or straight on the grate with a drip pan underneath on the grate below. I get better all over bark on the grate with the drip pan below.
  11. Be sure and post pictures and let us know how it's going

  12. zump

    zump Fire Starter


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