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Can't seem to get Boston Butts right.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm getting a little frustrated, and figured I would turn to you guys for some help.


I have tried smoking 2 Boston Butts, but both have been underwhelming.


I've done the rub, and put in a bag overnight on both.


Smoked both at about 250.


Pulled both when I thought was the right time.


I have not wrapped in foil, but will do that next if that's what ya'll tell me to do.


That said, both have had really nice smoke rings, and a nice bark, but really don't seem to get tender, and certainly don't "pull off the bone".


Can I have some tips guys and gals?

post #2 of 22

What temp are you cooking them too? I cook mine to 195 IT.

post #3 of 22
Originally Posted by thefuzz View Post


Pulled both when I thought was the right time.


I have not wrapped in foil, but will do that next if that's what ya'll tell me to do.


What was the Internal Temp? I wrap in two layer more of HD foil at 165 and take it to 200, it needs to be 195 to 205, then wrap in one layer more of HD foil PLACE IT IN A ZIPLOCK BAG, then in a couple old bath towels and put it in an insulated cooler to rest for at least an hour before you pull it. I wait 3 or 4 if I have time. The bone falls out and it pulls apart with all most not trying. DON"T forget the finishing sauce.

Edited by Tom C - 11/5/11 at 12:15pm
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Maybe I am not letting it cook long enough.


I stopped this last one about 170 because the first one I did was much too dry and tough, I thought I had overcooked it.


Maybe it was undercooked.

post #5 of 22
Originally Posted by thefuzz View Post


Maybe it was undercooked.

Yep, when I started I couldn't believe takeing to 200 whould work but now I BELIEVE!!!


Here some reading for you.







post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Tom C!!!!


I cook a ton, but just getting into smoking.  Never would have thought that you needed to cook pork to that high of a temp.


Rookie mistakes.

post #7 of 22

I started using a Ziplock bag because the towel I use were full of juice after I pulled them out of the cooler.



This is a pic of a butt still wrap in HD foil in the ziplock you cansee the juice that would of ended up in the towel,


59 pounds of Butts 320.jpg

post #8 of 22

Stick with it you will get it. I take mine and put them in double foil with a little apple juice (1/4 cup) at 165 IT then take them to 200-205 IT in foil. Then its into the bath towels and into the cooler for minimum 1 hour. I also prefer 2-3 to let the juices redistribute.  Everytime I have pulled it the only thing you need is a fork to pull it with nice juicy and tender everytime.


We have a group of 20 we go camping with several times per year and each family takes one night for dinner and makes chow for the whole gang. I of course make pulled pork and ribs usually. 9 times out of 10 we have other campers over for dinner as well. Not to mention the great smell of TBS all day long. The only problem I usually have is people want to look at it all the time. As we all know "lookin aint cookin".


What are you using for a rub as well?


Are you using mustard or something else to hold the rub on?


Rubbing the night before and wrapped in plastic wrap snug?


These guys will get you straight and you will be the hit of the pit in no time.

post #9 of 22

If the bone pulls out clean it's ready . i have stopped worrying about temps if i do un foiled butts. give it 1.5 hrs lb @ 230 and then tug on the bone.

post #10 of 22

I cook mine to 195-205 and then put back in the meat lug, lay a piece of foil over them and cover with a towel or two for  few hours until they cool off some to pull.

I have never foiled and cooked or foiled and bagged. If they look or taste a bit dry, boil up some of the drippings, I usually put them in the fridge and the grease comes to the top and I take it off and boil some of the stock left and put that smokey flavored liquid back over the meat and mix.

post #11 of 22

Good thread here.

post #12 of 22

Fuzz, you need patience my Man,get a good therm. for your smoker , (probes are good) ,and a probe for the meat. You can then calibrate in boiling water for accuracy.


You also need Patience,let the heat do it's thing in breaking down the collagen. You want it to get enough to release the bone,then it's done.


Sounds like you are cooking too hot (therm. fix)if one came out dry.I do not foil anything and it comes out moist and tender.


Try keeping the temps. around 225*f by controling the intake only, leave the exhaust wide open. Opening the Smoker to check things is a no-no also,let the heat work for you in the moist atmosphere of the smoker,without opening it,just the FB door to add fuel. The meat is going nowhere,it will be there so leave it alone...it's how I go.


Betty 004.JPG


Have fun and practice , you'll get it down.

Stan    aka    oldschool   ;}-

post #13 of 22

Like they all said, you just under cooked it.

post #14 of 22


After hearing what you are doing I think I know your problem. Do you have a internal thermo-reading device???? Then I think that you need to take the butt to 195° or 205° and then let them rest for atleast an hour. Then pull and believe me they will fall apart ad be more to your liking.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.  My problem was certainly under cooking. 

post #16 of 22

I did the same thing when I cooked my first one. I thought it was like ribs, I took it to 165 then pulled it off. Then I read to take to at least 190 I could belive it. What a difference pulling it apart. I also cook mine uncovered the whole time. Always moist and taste great. I always get request for my pulled pork. Good luck.


post #17 of 22

Nice thread.


Remember one more thing, it might get up to 180 and stall on ya. I had one yesterday up to 180 and stalled for lil over 45 min or so. It was done as far as eating it, but not done for pulling...




Just set back, pop a top, and the temp WILL start to rise!

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks again everyone, this board is making smoking much less costly.  I was having to trial and error.

post #19 of 22

Just remember Fuzz,Slow down and be Patient, the meat will be done in it's own time-no two cut s of meat cook the same, just practice and be PATIENT!

post #20 of 22

I produce hundres of butts and this is what I do.  They always pull off the bone

Rub and inject with applejuice the night before.


Place on the smoker at 225-250 until internal temp is between 150-160-F


Foil double with a spray of apple juice.


Continue to cook till internal is 205-210 F.


Place in a cooler covered with old towels for added insulation for no less than 45 minutes but an hour is better.  I have held butts to serve at a cater gig this way for more than 5 hrs.  They are still too hot to hold bare handed after 5 hrs in a cooler.



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