Well it was son's 2nd birthday this past Saturday so I decided to make pulled pork for everyone that came to the party. I needed enough for 40 people. So at Sam's Club I found a pack of two pork butts, which were roughly 17lbs per pack. I got two of these packs, but only planned on smoking three of the four butts. This was my second time using my Traeger Lil Tex Elite so I was little nervous. But thankfully I found this site before that time which really helped me. Here is how it went.
I needed these butts done by 4:00 PM on Saturday. So about 7:00 PM Friday night I got started. Here is a picture of one of the butts. I removed some of the fat off it after this picture was taken.
I then went with a dry rub. I wanted to inject, but didn't have the time. I used Chris Lilly's dry rub recipe that I found off this site. Here is that recipe.
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/3 cup garlic salt
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
I put some olive oil on the butts before the rub. I wanted to try mustard but we didn't have any. Here is a pic with the rub.
I got the rub on all three pork butts, wrapped them in plastic, and put them in the fridge. My main worry about doing pork butt was how much time it would take to cook these and at what temp should I cook at. I found tons of different takes on it and even started my own thread on this. I ended up going with the suggestion that at 265* a pork butt will take 2 hours per pound. So I figured on about 16-17 hours of cook time. I also wanted to be sure and give myself 3-4 hours of wiggle room and time to wrap the butts in foil and towels and store in a dry cooler. So at about 10:20 PM on Friday night I got the butts out of the fridge, put some more rub on them, and put them on my Traeger. I used Hickory pellets for this smoke. My Traeger would only do temps at 275* and 250* so I decided to roll at 250*. I only had a stick in digital read thermometer so I decided I would check the butts at 6 hours. Which would be about 4:45 AM on Saturday morning. I took a couple breaks during that time to sleep, but checked on the smoker as best I could. The temps stayed in the 240*-260* range. At the 6 hour mark I checked the temps and they were between 160*-165*. Here is a picture.
Ok, doing well so far. Decided I would check again in two hours. Those temps were in the high 170's. And a pic of that.
My thoughts were that these were cooking pretty fast. Which made me nervous because I had some running around to do that morning/early afternoon. So I decided to lower the temp to 225*. At about 9:00 AM the temps were reading in the low 190s. I had to leave to pick some things up so I put my brother-in-law in charge. At about 10:00 AM all three butts were done. All had internal temps of about 200*. So my brother in law wrapped them in foil and towels and threw them in a dry cooler. Sorry no pics of the finished product since my brother in law was helping me. I couldn't believe how fast they cooked, only took about 11-12 hours. I was running errands all day so at about 1:00 PM my wife got to working on them. They pulled apart with no problems. We did find that one of the pork butts was a little dry compared to other two, but nothing bad. I sampled all three and they all tasted great. They were moist and had great flavor. By far the best pulled pork I have ever had. And my guests loved it. Wish I had some more pics, but it was such a busy day that I forgot about it. Can't wait to do this again and try some different things. But I had a lot of fun working on this and even more eating the finished product. Thankfully there are plenty of leftovers!