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My First Butt coming this Sunday, a few questions?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
First I will be serving 8 adults and two kids, is 7 pounds good enough? Originally I was thinking 6 but I do want a little left over. I assume people will just do the sandwich thing. Secondly, I have a MES 30 with my AMNPS on its way which todd is fantastic and assured me I will have it in time. I know with a butt you never know truly how long it will take but for you experts out there, am I better off starting this thing late at night (since the AMNPS can smoke that long) like around 11:00 pm, sleep while smoking, or am I better to wake up say, 5:00am? I want to be eating by 5:00pm. I do have a maverick thermo so I can set it and have it yell at me when it is time to start doing other things like wrapping in foil. Third, anybody try pecan wood for pork? If so, how was it? I am in central texas home of salt lick and I think they only use Pecan. If not, what is a good wood? Not too smokey, wife does not like the heavier smokes. From what I have read, no water in the pan, clean play ground sand instead. I have been reading a ton of different posts and I am pretty confident I can get the fall of the bone pulled pork just want to make sure I do it right the first time. As for a rub I will be using bilbo's rub. Thanks
Edited by Vandy58 - 7/29/13 at 11:28am
post #2 of 13

Good luck this weekend Vandy!!  I just did my first butt yesterday and it was a little over 7lbs.  Put it in the smoker at 8:30 am and was done between 5-5:30PM at a final IT of 202, the cook temp ranged between 225 and 230 on my Maverick the whole time.  I didn't wrap or baste at all and it came out very juicy and delicious.  I served 4 adults who were starving and a 5th who doesn't like pork but had a small amount just to try it and still had 1/2 of the butt left if that helps at all.  Hope to see some pics of how it turns out, GOOD LUCK!!

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellevilleSmoke View Post

Good luck this weekend Vandy!!  I just did my first butt yesterday and it was a little over 7lbs.  Put it in the smoker at 8:30 am and was done between 5-5:30PM at a final IT of 202, the cook temp ranged between 225 and 230 on my Maverick the whole time.  I didn't wrap or baste at all and it came out very juicy and delicious.  I served 4 adults who were starving and a 5th who doesn't like pork but had a small amount just to try it and still had 1/2 of the butt left if that helps at all.  Hope to see some pics of how it turns out, GOOD LUCK!!

 

I am glad you posted because I just saw your post, so you didn't do the wrapping method? So just keep it going the whole time? Also no spraying anything?
post #4 of 13

That's correct, i didn't wrap or spray the whole time.  Everyone loves the bark and I didn't want to lose the cooking temp every hour by spraying.  I was concerned about if it would turn out dry and thought I may have to add some sauce if it did but it came out very juicy with a great bark that everyone loved.  Here are the pics I posted of it:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/146058/first-attempt-at-pulled-pork-success

post #5 of 13

Vandy,

I'm not an expert on that type of smoker, I tend to be a traditionalist and use a couple of off-set smokers. I am replying to your question with a couple of tips: 1) If your wife does not like heavy smoke flavor, do not use mesquite or hickory, they tend to be the strongest. I like fruit woods like cherry if i am cutting down on the smoke flavor but I suspect pecan will be just fine. 2) I do spray my meat when I am smoking it but it may not be such an issue with your type of smoker. I assume there is a place for liquid if that's true then use apple juice but don;t let it go dry and start to burn. Last, if you have the time, take your meat out and wrap it in foil then a big towel or two and let it rest in a clean ice chest for an hour or so. That will steam the meat and help it to retain more moisture. Shred and enjoy!!! 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillSeeker View Post

Vandy,

I'm not an expert on that type of smoker, I tend to be a traditionalist and use a couple of off-set smokers. I am replying to your question with a couple of tips: 1) If your wife does not like heavy smoke flavor, do not use mesquite or hickory, they tend to be the strongest. I like fruit woods like cherry if i am cutting down on the smoke flavor but I suspect pecan will be just fine. 2) I do spray my meat when I am smoking it but it may not be such an issue with your type of smoker. I assume there is a place for liquid if that's true then use apple juice but don;t let it go dry and start to burn. Last, if you have the time, take your meat out and wrap it in foil then a big towel or two and let it rest in a clean ice chest for an hour or so. That will steam the meat and help it to retain more moisture. Shred and enjoy!!! 

 

My smoker does have a place for liquid, I have read that some use water, some use clean playground sand, ect. I do want to try to get this took cook as quickly as possible so the less I open the door the better. I do like a crispy bark but I do want flavor as well. I might just do the late night thing and set my maverick timer. I will do the towel method
post #7 of 13

You should be fine either way with the timing. I always figure 2 hours per # which allows it to get through a stall without having to push the temp higher. I usually run about 225-250, don't use a water pan or foil....I just let it go. Allowing some foiled time at the end to reabsorb juices and settle out in the cooler is a good thing to do. In a pinch I've stuck the foiled beast in the micro...nice tight insulated spot to rest. My one suggestion would be to place a large disposable foil pan on the rack underneath the butt. This allows you to reclaim the drippings and add them back into the meat after you shred it. Might not be a lot but very tasty and keeps the unit cleaner. Nobody likes cleaning day old pork fat off the smoker bottom. Have fun...don't freak out...enjoy the smoke.....Willie

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Willie View Post

You should be fine either way with the timing. I always figure 2 hours per # which allows it to get through a stall without having to push the temp higher. I usually run about 225-250, don't use a water pan or foil....I just let it go. Allowing some foiled time at the end to reabsorb juices and settle out in the cooler is a good thing to do. In a pinch I've stuck the foiled beast in the micro...nice tight insulated spot to rest. My one suggestion would be to place a large disposable foil pan on the rack underneath the butt. This allows you to reclaim the drippings and add them back into the meat after you shred it. Might not be a lot but very tasty and keeps the unit cleaner. Nobody likes cleaning day old pork fat off the smoker bottom. Have fun...don't freak out...enjoy the smoke.....Willie

 

Thanks willie!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah as far as the juices I understand why people do the mopping or spritzing, maybe a little extra flavor? But Boston Butts have so much fat they stay moist as long and you cook slow.?!?!
post #10 of 13
That should be enough meat for everyone. I usually figure a 1/4 lb as a serving. If it is a bone-in butt, then you can figure to have about half the weight in meat when done cooking/pulling.

I agree with GrillSeeker on using a fruit wood if you want a light smoke taste. Apple wood makes a good light smoke for pork too.

If you start to run out time for cooking or are worried about being done in time, you can always wrap the butt in foil while smoking to help speed up the tenderizing process.

Good Luck!
post #11 of 13

I use a MES30, I have a suggestion no one has mentioned. Make sure the AMPS is burning, put in the meat, and walk away. Do NOT open the door. If smoke is rising out the vent, leave the door closed.

 

Electric smokers have earned a reputation as set and forget. Using an AMPS and a remote thermometer its completely true.

 

Electric's maintain temp like a "Pitmaster" tended smoker by themselves. Saving you 10 or 20 years of experience which is great. But it has a down side, its really slow to rebuild the heat lost for any reason. Its like the difference between an electric and a gas stove. I have read it takes as much as 15 mins. to recoup the heat for every opening. I think that excessive but it is slow.

 

You don't need to continuously open it and mope/sauce/spritz the meat because its not the dry heat of a fire burner. I believe that's where the smoke ring comes from. <shrugs> you give up a smoke ring but it retains moisture better than a fire burner. Why, because you keep the door shut.

 

You figure an 8lb butt takes 16 hours to cook, using that 15 mins estimate opening only once an hour, 16 x15=240/60=4hours lost in cooking time. Like I said I doubt the 15 mins, but even if it was only 5 mins. that's a lot of added time. See what I am saying?

 

Look forward to enjoying your Qview, hope its a great achievement for you!

 

Remember its about fun, no stress allowed.

post #12 of 13

X2 I put the butt in my MES30 at 225-250 around 10 or 11pm with the amnps and don't look at it agani till the mav shows 200ish the next afternoon wrap in foil towel and into the cooler for a few hours till we are ready to eat.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc64 View Post

X2 I put the butt in my MES30 at 225-250 around 10 or 11pm with the amnps and don't look at it agani till the mav shows 200ish the next afternoon wrap in foil towel and into the cooler for a few hours till we are ready to eat.
Awesome, thanks!!!
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