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need help with a butt!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

Still a big rookie here. ..only done two smokes thus far. I want to try a butt to get some pulled pork but dont even know where to start. I have a brinkman gourmet electric which seems to cook around 200-15 max. For the ribs I followed the 3-2-1 method which was real easy. What is an easy way for butts? What types of rubs work well? How long do they take usually? I see a lot of ppl seem to pull them with internals around 200degrees...seems like itll take a while. Do you ever wrap or baste? Kinda need the fulk walk through...I saw ppl talk about putting it in a cooler??! When do you pull it apart? Any help welcomed...thanks :)
post #2 of 11

You can set smoke to 225 to 250 degrees, use any wood you think would work.  but a day or two before, you could marinate your roast.  Then apply a rub and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place in the fridge overnight, The next morning, bright and early, take out of the fridge, unwrap and if wanted or needed, apply more rub, get the smoker started. Place on smoker, full temp and smoke until Internal temp reaches 140, at which time, it will not take any more smoke. Wrap in tin foil and take to 205 IT. Then wrap in double foil, a towel, place in cooler for an hour or so. Then pill it apart and enjoy.

 

At 215 it will take about 12 to 14 hours to get to the required temperature, depending on the size of the pork roast.

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmdodt View Post

Hey all,

Still a big rookie here. ..only done two smokes thus far. I want to try a butt to get some pulled pork but dont even know where to start. I have a brinkman gourmet electric which seems to cook around 200-15 max. For the ribs I followed the 3-2-1 method which was real easy. What is an easy way for butts? The closer you can get to 225 the better it goes.
What types of rubs work well? The recipe below is a good place to start then add spices you like. 
How long do they take usually? At the temp your smoker will do plan on 2 hours per pound plus 2 hours to CYA and rest it Be aware that at about 165*F the meat Internal Temp (IT) will Stall or stop rising. This Stall makes up several hours of the time it takes to cook. Foiling speeds things up a bit.
I see a lot of ppl seem to pull them with internals around 200degrees...seems like itll take a while.At 200*F the meat has been in long enough for the collagen to break down making the meat tender enough to pull apart easily 
Do you ever wrap or baste? I wrap in foil with some apple juice or coke at 165*F. This gets through the stall quicker. For a more intense Smokey flavor and a heavy Bark, Just smoke it the entire time with no foiling... At 140*F there will be no further Smoke "Ring" formation in a Wood Fired or Propane smoker, but Smoke Flavor continues to build as long as you are applying smoke. Since you are using an Electric Smoker, no Smoke Ring will be forming anyway so smoking the whole time is just for flavor. Star with a mild Fruit wood, Apple, Peach or Cherry. to find your taste Then move to stronger wood like Maple, Pecan and Hickory to see if their intensity is to your liking. Here is more info on the subject... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/117388/true-or-false-as-long-as-you-make-smoke-your-meat-will-take-smoke
Kinda need the fulk walk through...I saw ppl talk about putting it in a cooler?? The cooler is used to rest and hold the pork hot until service. Double wrap the meat in foil then old towels or a blanket and go in the cooler. This will keep the meat hot for 5-6 hours.
! When do you pull it apart? Get it to 200*F then give at least an hour rest in the cooler. Then pull it. Add Finishing Sauce to bump the flavor and add moisture, not that Butts need it but it does a great job., I will post both my Sweet and Tangy recipes below.
Any help welcomed...thanks :)
 

Mild Bubba Q Rub (All Purpose)

 

1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

1T Kosher Salt

1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

1T Granulated Garlic

1T Granulated Onion

1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

1tsp Thyme

1tsp Oregano

1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

 

Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.

Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

 

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

 

Optional:

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 Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork: 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 205*F for pulling.

At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices 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 Crock pot 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 crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

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

 

I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ

 

Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

 

This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

 

2 C 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. Or bring just to a simmer and remove from heat...JJ

 


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 4/21/14 at 8:12pm
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. So do you think itll actually work if all I can get the smoker to is 200 degrees? (Keeping in kind that is a thermometer at the very top of the lid)
post #5 of 11

It will get done at 200*F but will take a LOOOONG TIME, maybe 3 hours per pound. You need higher heat 225 to 250*F or adjust your plan. Smoke it to an IT of 160-165*F, get a good digital thermometer like a Maverick 732, then foil and finish in your Oven at 325*F. This will greatly reduce the cook time and since it is covered it will stay moist. At 325*F you will cook at around 1 hour per pound, maybe less. If you get done early, use the cooler to hold hot until all are ready to eat...JJ

 

DO NOT BELIEVE THE LID THERM! They are never correct, 50 to 100 degrees off, At a minimum buy a cheap-o Oven Therm and put it on the grate to see actual temp...

post #6 of 11

I have followed Meowey's Instructions and has worked out perfect every time...  as far as your Temperatures are concerned...I would heavily agree with ChefJimmyJ 

​and not trust your stock lid thermometer as they are highly inaccurate. Good Luck!!.  

 

Quote:
 Basic Pulled Pork Smoke

I’ve been reading a lot of posts from newer members asking questions on how to smoke a butt or picnic for pulled pork. The Mods have made this a “Sticky”.

Please feel free to add comments or additions to procedures described here that you use, like tips and tricks of the trade.

Choice of meat:

I use bone in Pork Shoulder – Boston Butt for my pulled pork. They range from 5 to 9 pounds. I find mine at Sam’s club cryo-packed with two butts per pack. Sometimes you can find them in supermarkets, or if you have a source at a meat wholesaler you can get them there. Some folks use a fresh pork picnic which is the Butt (Shoulder) and the upper front leg bone together. They are larger than the Butt alone.

Preparation:

About 12 hours before the meat goes in the smoker, trim a little if desired (I usually don’t), apply a coating of your rub of choice, and wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. (Some folks put on a coat of yellow mustard before the rub to hold the rub on and add to the bark. The mustard taste cooks out. This is a matter of personal preference.)

Smoking:

I can’t give instructions for each type of smoker, as I have experience only with mine. (GOSM and CharGriller w/ SFB) Check the forums for that info.

Start your smoker and get it up to 225-240 degrees F. My personal wood choice for pork is hickory. Unwrap the meat, stick in the probe of your digital thermo (A highly recommended accessory.), and place the meat in the smoker, fat side down. I don't flip butts as it interferes with bark formation. Fat side down helps protect the meat if you have a temp spike. After the meat gets over 100F I spray it every hour with a 3 to 1 mix of apple juice and Captain Morgan’s Original spiced rum. I have used bourbon instead of rum, but my family prefers the taste of the rum spray. The sugars in the juice and booze will caramelize, and add to the bark. (Bark - dark outer crust that develop as the meat cooks.) Others will make good suggestions for alternate sprays. You will develop your own favorite with a little experimentation. (The nice thing is that they all taste good!)

Foiling:

When the meat gets to about 165F, double wrap it in Heavy Duty aluminum foil. Put some of your spray of choice in the foil to help braise the meat. At this point I usually stop making smoke unless there are other things in the smoker that need the smoke. (You can finish cooking from this point on in the oven set at 250F if the weather changes or you want to save smoker fuel.) Continue to cook until the internal meat temps gets to 195-205F. Remove the foiled meat from the cooker and wrap it (still foiled) in a couple old bath towels and put it in an insulated cooler to rest for at least an hour before you pull it.

The Plateau:

Almost all butts (and briskets – but that’s in the beef forum) will hit a plateau where the temps of the meat stops rising. Don’t be tempted to raise the heat as that will dry out the meat. The meat is absorbing a lot of heat at this point while the connective tissue is breaking down. This is what makes the meat tender. Low and slow is the way to go! I’ve seen some actually drop in temp by a couple degrees. Patience – it may be over an hour before the temp starts climbing.

Pulling:

There are several choices here, some folks use two forks, there is a tool called bear claws, Dutch puts hunks of it in his Mixmaster with the dough blade to pull. I use my hands. I un-foil the meat, the bone usually falls out on it’s own, and I break it apart in to big pieces that I let cool for a few minutes. I then go through each piece and pull out the extra gunk (technical term for fat and connective tissue) and shred by hand.

Sauce:

I serve my pulled pork with my sauce(s) of choice on the side. I will add some of SoFlaQuers finishing sauce (another sticky here in the pork forum) to the pork just after I’ve shredded it. My personal favorite way to eat it is on a cheap white bun (CWB) with a little BBQ slaw right on the pork in the sandwich.

Time of smoke:

The general rule of thumb is that it will take about 1.5 hours of cooking at 225-240F per pound. Keep in mind that this is just a guideline as each piece of meat is different. Go by temp not time to know when it's done. Someone here said, "The meat will be done in it's own good time." I once had two 8 pound butts finish an hour apart in time. Give yourself extra time, you can always keep it wrapped in the cooler a little bit longer before you have to serve. It's hard to rush a piece of meat if it does not want to be rushed.

Hope this helps!!

Forum members, please chime in, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something!!

Take care, have fun, and do good,

Regards,

Meowey
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot. Thats very helpful. The gauge I have isnt stock, I installed it on top, but after consideration I may change the location to in the body between the two racks and just plug the original hole.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Do you guys put the meat directly on, or do you put in a pan to keep juices?
post #9 of 11
Here's how I do it with my own homemade rub:

Rub liberally with rub of your choice. Then I flip the meat over fat cap side up. I cut an X into the fat cap and pack with brown sugar. I throw mine directly on the smoker fat cap up and smoke until it reaches an internal of 160-170. Then I pull it, wrap in foil and place back on the smoker until it reaches an internal temp of 205. It does take a while (8-12 hrs depending on size) but if I run out of time I'll throw it in the oven at 325 to finish it off. It will fall apart after that. Never had an issue with being dry. The juice literally fills the pan we place it in once cut.
post #10 of 11

If you cant get your smoker above 200 I would advise smoking for about 4 hours to get smoke flavor than putting it in the oven at about 275 until it finishes.  Heat is heat.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmdodt View Post

Do you guys put the meat directly on, or do you put in a pan to keep juices?

You can if you want, or put a drip tray on the rack under the roast so as to catch all the delicious juices that drip from the roast as it cooks.  Pan Under or on rack below, your choice, either way is acceptable.  You can if you want, or put a drip tray on the rack under the roast so as to catch all the delicious juices that emanate from the roast as it cooks.  Either way is acceptable, it is your smoke day, do it as you please.

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