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First Boston butt, a few ?'s

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Picked up a bone in butt today and planning to smoke this weekend, Should I trim off the layer of skin first, or any other trimming? This is my first time also with a dedicated smoker. Have cooked ribs for years on a grill with a smoker box and been happy with the results. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 15

Skin? Do you have a picnic instead of a butt?

post #3 of 15

Hi chew and welcome to the forum. What kind of smoker did you get? As far as prepping you pork did you get a Boston butt a.k.a pork shoulder roast or a picnic roast? A Boston will have a "fat cap or thick layer of fat on one side some people will trim the thickness of the fat cap to about half, others will do cross sectional cuts through it to allow the rub to penetrate the cap and come into contact with the meat, and some people just leave it the way it is. If it's a picnic roast it will have a layer of skin on it, if that is fact what you have I would definitely trim that off because the rub wont penetrate through. Next would be putting your rub on, I apply mine the night before I smoke it,  apply a liberal amount to all sides and wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until your smoker is ready. As far as wood I have used Hickory, apple, cherry, pecan, sometimes i mix them others times just straight. One note is if you do not already own one a Maverick digital remote thermometer is a very wise investment. Never smoke pork shoulder by time always by temp and allow for plenty of time, I've had a 10lb finish in 12hrs and an 8lb go for 14+ each piece of meat is different. Hope that helps a little.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

My bad. Although advertised as a B. butt, it is a picnic shoulder. So I'm guessing remove the shin layer. I'm using an electric Cajun Injector. My plan is to give it a good rub and put directly on a rack. I will be using a combination of 25% hickory and 75% cherry for the smoke. It's not a large picnic at 7.7lbs. Plan on getting it too 200 internal temp.

post #5 of 15

Nice, sounds like your on the right track. Have you seasoned it yet and checked the thermometer for accuracy?

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yes I have. I checked the temp with a remote unit and it was within about 14 degrees. I also checked the meat probe when I did some spare ribs and was within a few degrees.

post #7 of 15
post #8 of 15
cut that skin off, and fry it up.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TurnandBurn View Post

cut that skin off, and fry it up.

I've thought about slicing it up and putting it in the fryer for some pork rinds. Mmm, mmm, good.

post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by chewmeister View Post

I've thought about slicing it up and putting it in the fryer for some pork rinds. Mmm, mmm, good.


now youre talkin..dont forget the beer hoss!
post #11 of 15

A good Finishing Sauce adds flavor and moisture to the Pork. Since we are from the same Stomping Grounds you and yours may enjoy the Sweet finishing sauce but I'll throw in the Tangy one free! Good luck...JJ


Foiling Juice


For each Rack of Ribs Combine:


1T Pork Rub, yours

1/2 Stick Butter

1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

1T Molasses



2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.


Simmer 5-10 minutes until syrupy consistency.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.


For a Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce: Make a Double batch, Butter optional or do as I do...Use the Smoked Pork Fat from the drip pan...


Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 200*F for pulling.

At 200*F rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

De-fat the remaining Juice from the foil pack or pan and set aside.

Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan and add the de-fatted pan Juice and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crockpot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crockpot to 165*F and Serve.

Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.





JJ's Finishing Sauce (Tangy)


2C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice


Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together.



post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

I may just give that sauce a try. Thanks.

post #13 of 15

I'll vouch for JimmyJ's sauce - I have used it lots of times & it's good stuff  thumb1.gif

post #14 of 15
I trim all skin and surface fat to get all the bark I can. I rub it as the chimney and cooker are gettin ready. I put it on and don't open the cooker until the temp reaches 203*. I don't chase temps but shoot for ~275* but if it spikes to 300* for a few I don't freak out. I let it set at room temp ~30 to 45 min to cool a bit and pull by hand (with insulated gloves). I serve sauce on the side. I don't inject, mop, spritz, add finishing sauce, etc. however, I do like to brine poultry and some pork - butts and shoulders are brined.

How ever you decide to do it: good luck and keep us posted ( with photos).
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the tips. Much appreciated.77.gif

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