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4 lb Pork Butt on 22 1/2" Weber Kettle

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Smoking on the Weber Kettle certainly has a learning curve.  I'm currently smoking a 4 lb. pork butt and a rack of pork spare ribs.  After 2 1/2 hours, the internal temp is 165 degrees, so I have taken it to the minion method (off the rack, wrapped it in foil and back on the rack).  I am having difficulty maintaining a steady temp, which I believe is why it is cooking faster than I had expected.  The temp ranges I'm holding thus far have run between 174 - 259.  What effect will such fluctuation in temps have?  My ultimate goal is to have pulled pork when it's all said and done.  My first attempt at smoking a pork butt was great as sliced pork, but not tender enough for pulled pork.  Hoping this time I can achieve that 200 degree internal mark.  From what I've read thus far, I will keep it foiled until it reaches 195 degrees and then place it into a cooler for a couple of hours. 

 

Here is the Q-view of the butt as it was placed onto the grill.  I will certainly take another pic when done.

 

IMG_1118.JPG

post #2 of 18

Looks-Great.gif

post #3 of 18

Hi Jim that is a good looking hunk of beast.

post #4 of 18

Looking Good!!!

 

  Craig

post #5 of 18

Jim,

 

I began my smoking hobby on the Weber Kettle using the indirect method.  Your plan and method appear to be largely correct: cook between 225-250*, foil around 165* and take to 200* internal temp, rest for 1-2 hours and pull.

 

My first question regarding your situation is "are your thermometers accurate?"  Given your numbers listed, I believe something is off by quite a bit.  A 4# butt should take much longer to reach foiling temps than 2.5 hours at the cook temps you describe.  The meat is probably blowing right through the connective tissue break-down phase (commonly known as "the stall"), which is probably why you had to slice the last one and will probably have to slice this one.  My guess is your cook temps are much higher than your thermos are telling you (or the meat probe is way off).  Check both by testing with boiling water, if appropriate for your thermos.

 

Actually, I find the Weber is quite easy to maintain steady cook temps.  I get a 3/4 load chimney load of coals hot and divide them equally into the 2 side baskets.  I add 8-10 coals about every 35-45 min and can maintain an incredibly stable 250* cook temp indefinitely this way.  Of course, I also add wood chunks when adding the coals. Temps briefly plummet when I remove the lid to add the coals, but rebounds quite nicely.  Which brings up another point; we have a saying around here: if you're lookin', ya ain't cookin'!"  In other words, don't keep opening the lid to check progress -- that will lead to wild temp swings.  Wild temp swings generally just make cooking times longer, but they can also keep you in the "danger zone" too long for food safety protocols (bacterial growth), so making sure everything is accurate is a priority.  Otherwise, folks could get seriously ill.

 

BTW, the minion method is really a method of burning coals so they light gradually through the smoke, requiring less attention (fewer cycles of re-stocking your fuel).  Just search "Minion Method" here on SMF and you'll get a ton of info on it.  You might be confusing that with the 3-2-1 method for smoking those spare ribs.

 

Good luck with the finish!.  Everything should be fine as long as your meat probe is accurate, your getting the butt to at least 165*, and not lingering in the danger zone for more than 4 hours before consuming.  Regardless of whether you can pull it or have to slice again, the product should be really tasty!

 

This hobby gets much easier with practice -- and the results keep getting better as you learn more about how your rig reacts & behaves.  Enjoy the Q this afternoon, and let us know what you find out and how it all turned out!  And don't forget the money shot Q-view!

 

James

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 


Thanks for your post James.  I have heard about testing thermometers, but didn't do that.  I guess I feel that since it's brand new, it has to be accurate.  Common "newbie" mistake probably.  I will certainly do the boil test later today.  As for the peeking too often...that's not the case...the only reason for opening the cover is to very briefly drop a couple of briquettes, add more pecan chunks, or remove old pouch of apple chips and replace a new foil pouch.  Each is done with care not to lift the cover entirely, only a few inches, enough to accomplish the task.  I am spending most of the time adjusting the vents, top and bottom.  I did confuse the minion method with the 3-2-1 method.  Thanks for the correction.  I am currently approaching the 3 hour point and the grill is a steady 215 and the internal temp of the wrapped butt is now 196, so I am off to go remove and place it into the cooler.  I am hoping that I won't have to slice this one and will have the desired pulled pork when it's all said and done, but as my brother told me, "at least you get to eat your mistakes", so in that aspect, all is good.  icon_smile.gif  I will certainly remember the money shot. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adiochiro3 View Post

Jim,

 

I began my smoking hobby on the Weber Kettle using the indirect method.  Your plan and method appear to be largely correct: cook between 225-250*, foil around 165* and take to 200* internal temp, rest for 1-2 hours and pull.

 

My first question regarding your situation is "are your thermometers accurate?"  Given your numbers listed, I believe something is off by quite a bit.  A 4# butt should take much longer to reach foiling temps than 2.5 hours at the cook temps you describe.  The meat is probably blowing right through the connective tissue break-down phase (commonly known as "the stall"), which is probably why you had to slice the last one and will probably have to slice this one.  My guess is your cook temps are much higher than your thermos are telling you (or the meat probe is way off).  Check both by testing with boiling water, if appropriate for your thermos.

 

Actually, I find the Weber is quite easy to maintain steady cook temps.  I get a 3/4 load chimney load of coals hot and divide them equally into the 2 side baskets.  I add 8-10 coals about every 35-45 min and can maintain an incredibly stable 250* cook temp indefinitely this way.  Of course, I also add wood chunks when adding the coals. Temps briefly plummet when I remove the lid to add the coals, but rebounds quite nicely.  Which brings up another point; we have a saying around here: if you're lookin', ya ain't cookin'!"  In other words, don't keep opening the lid to check progress -- that will lead to wild temp swings.  Wild temp swings generally just make cooking times longer, but they can also keep you in the "danger zone" too long for food safety protocols (bacterial growth), so making sure everything is accurate is a priority.  Otherwise, folks could get seriously ill.

 

BTW, the minion method is really a method of burning coals so they light gradually through the smoke, requiring less attention (fewer cycles of re-stocking your fuel).  Just search "Minion Method" here on SMF and you'll get a ton of info on it.  You might be confusing that with the 3-2-1 method for smoking those spare ribs.

 

Good luck with the finish!.  Everything should be fine as long as your meat probe is accurate, your getting the butt to at least 165*, and not lingering in the danger zone for more than 4 hours before consuming.  Regardless of whether you can pull it or have to slice again, the product should be really tasty!

 

This hobby gets much easier with practice -- and the results keep getting better as you learn more about how your rig reacts & behaves.  Enjoy the Q this afternoon, and let us know what you find out and how it all turned out!  And don't forget the money shot Q-view!

 

James



 

post #7 of 18

Hope it turns out well Jim! It sure looks good!

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay, for some reason I was expecting the temp of the butt to reach 200 while in the cooler since it was pulled off at 196.  That was not the case.  It dropped to 180 before I panicked and removed the foiled pan from the cooler and back onto my grill.  I am currently at the 5 hour point for a 4 lb butt with 45 minutes of that time being spent in the cooler.  I really want see the 200 mark so I can pull the pork.  Is it too late for this butt?  Should I just enjoy my mistake and slice it up or continue in this panicked state of mind?  head-wall.gif

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguarjim View Post

Okay, for some reason I was expecting the temp of the butt to reach 200 while in the cooler since it was pulled off at 196.  That was not the case.  It dropped to 180 before I panicked and removed the foiled pan from the cooler and back onto my grill.  I am currently at the 5 hour point for a 4 lb butt with 45 minutes of that time being spent in the cooler.  I really want see the 200 mark so I can pull the pork.  Is it too late for this butt?  Should I just enjoy my mistake and slice it up or continue in this panicked state of mind?  head-wall.gif


You're doing fine. You can leave it in there foiled so it doesn't dry out until it hits the magic 200*. And your brother is right about getting to eat your mistakes! LOL!
post #10 of 18

Like James said, just relax & let it ride!

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yay!  I am at the 200 mark.  Feeling better now and have it in the cooler again to rest before seeing if I have Pulled Pork that I am wanting.  More on that later, but for those of you that are following the Fourth of July Challenge by brother put on me, all I got to say is check these babies out: 

 

IMG_1119.JPG

 

IMG_1120.JPG

 

IMG_1122.JPG

LUNCH IS SERVED.  Hoping pulled pork is as good as these ribs. 

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

I did it!  I did it!  Pulled pork for the first time. 

 

Now for the money shot

IMG_1123.JPG

IMG_1124.JPGdrool.gif

post #13 of 18

Meat looks good.  Cooked way too fast but looks good from here.  Butts can be very forgiving.  Ribs look good too!

 

Good luck and good smoking!

post #14 of 18

congratulation_graphics_2.gif on your pulled pork! bravo.png

 

Those ribs look terrible! jk.gif I'm going to slaughter you in July!  Gunner.gif

post #15 of 18
Told ya it would all work out! Even a bit better than I thought! Congrats on a nice pull! And on the fantastic looking ribs! Check those thermos for accuracy, though. I bet one or both are way off. That butt will be even better next time as you gain confidence and experience and are able to slow the cook time way down. Enjoy the victory!
post #16 of 18

Great job Jim,

Congrats on a successful smoke.

 

 

 

Looks-Great.gif

post #17 of 18

Looks-Great.gif

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by callahan4life View Post

Those ribs look terrible! jk.gif I'm going to slaughter you in July!  Gunner.gif


 

words.gif

 

All I got to say is that my Smokenator 1000 arrived today.  My fall off the bone ribs are now going to be that much better. 
duel.gif

 

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