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Pork butt problem

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey Everyone!


I just smoked my 1st pork butt last weekend using my 40" MES I bought from SAMS.  Thanks again to those who responded to my 1st post regarding buy one or not and as to where.  A great purchase!   Anyhow, I read up on how to smoke a pork butt to eventually have pulled pork......low/slow.  I seasoned the butt at least 16 hours ahead of putting it into the smoker...7:30 am Sat. morning.  I set the temp. at 210 degrees and the timer for 8 hours.  And then went on to adding smoking chips when needed.  Also, added some crushed natural wood charcoal as well.  Around 4 pm or so, took the butt out of the smoker (nice appearance and smelled great) and let it rest for 45 minutes or so in an oven. With a "warm setting".  Now, when it came to "pulling the meat off"......not so good!  Needed up carving the meat off, slicing it into smaller pieces, which somewhat helped with tearing the meat apart.  Questions:  Did I overcook the butt?  If so, by how long? And, should I have set the temp. lower.....like at 190 or so?  Thanks for your responds!!!

post #2 of 11

Pulled pork is more about internal temperature, less about cooking time.


Typically (if I recall correctly) the pork is brought up to about 185 then wrapped in foil with some sort of liquid to braise the meat and then brought to 210ish.  (I'm sure someone else will correct my temps if I'm wrong)


Anyways. It's important to get a good meat thermometer so you can carefully gauge the cook times on big items like that since the "general rule" of 1.5 hours per lb could be taken to more extremes due to the meat being finicky. I know personally I've had a 7 lb butt take 16 hours (well above 1.5 hours per lb) and I've had a 5 lb take 7 hours.  Both of those were following the tried and true method that the more experienced SMF members gave me using the temperature as my guideline. So like I said, a good thermometer is important.

post #3 of 11

I smoke butts at 225-250 and take them to165 then foil and back in until it reaches 205 then rest it. What size was the butt you were smoking it sounds like it was not on long enough. A meat thermometer is almost a must have for smoking if you don't have one then smoke it until the bone wiggles easily and you feel you could pull it right out. The ballpark figure as for time is 1.5 hours per pound but that's a general guideline and no two pieces of meat will cook at the same rate

post #4 of 11

yep, what piney said X2

post #5 of 11

what they said x3 i would say it was under cooked not that it was not safe to eat but under cooked for pulling i have noticed that like said above if u get it a little above 200 it pulls really good i have tryed to pull at 190 did not work so well .......

post #6 of 11

X4 thats the way I do mine also....You always go by IT....That is hard for some people to get used to doing when you first start..

post #7 of 11

TPsmoker,I also agree with everyone on  this,except that I let her go until the bone pulls out with your fingers(gloved).Betty 011.JPG

see the bone...All my Butts do that.I pull the bone and press on it and it falls apart. As did these

Betty 004.JPG


Have fun and...

post #8 of 11

I agree with every one here.  The general thought is 205ish for pulling, as oldschool said the bone will pull out clean at that temp, and 190-195ish for slicing.  Definitely sounds like it was undercooked, as stated before you need to go by internal temps on all meat smoking.  invest in good meat thermometer, this will be invaluable in the future.  I personally plan on AT LEAST 1.5 hrs per pound and usually fudge to 1.75 - 2 hrs per pound, I have finished butts 8hrs early foiled and wrapped them in old towels and put them in a cooler, and they were still to hot too pull with your hands, this resting helps to redistribute the juices in the meat plus you know the meat is ready and you (and your guests) are not waiting on the meat to come of the smoker.  I also try to run around 230 - 250 on my smoke chamber temp.  


Hope this Helps



ETA just noticed your cook times about 10 hrs - if I were estimating that would have been proper time for about a 5-6 lb butt IMO

post #9 of 11

All of the above!

post #10 of 11

What they said i never pull it off till i get an internal of at least 200.only made that mistake 1 time.

post #11 of 11

I smoke till 160 and foil till 205, then rest for an hour or two. 

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