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Dry pork butt

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Smoked a 10lb pork butt last weekend on my WSM and looking for some advice. Started out the same as I always do with the mustard and rub, then it sat in the fridge while I got the smoker ready. Once it was good I placed the butt fat cap side up directly on the grate. Smoked it with hickory at 250 for just over 12 hours. At an internal of 205 I pulled it off, then let it sit wrapped in foil in a cooler for a couple of hours. When I pulled it the meat was nice and tender. The two problems I ran into were that the meat was dry and the bark on the underside of the butt was too rough. Any help with this would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 15

You didn't mention if you foiled it or did you just let it run for 12 hours in the smoker. Did you run it with water in the water pan?


Me I run my WSM with water in the pan and wrap the pork butt in foil when it hits a IT of 165 deg's and run it foiled till I hit a IT of 205 deg's.


If I'm not going to foil it I would be sprtizing it every 15 to 20 min after it hit the 165 IT all the way to the 205 IT.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I did not foil it - straight 12 on the smoker. And yeah I had plenty of water in the pan. I have never tried foiling. Still learning, only got the WSM a few months ago.
post #4 of 15
You may have gone too far for finish temp. When you wrap add a little liquid, and try fat cap down to protect that meat and bark from the heat source.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll have to try that. What do you normally use for a liquid?
post #6 of 15
I spritz every hour or so with 3 parts apple juice and one part spiced rum. Once i get to 165 I toss it a foiling pan and continue spritzing every hour.

Once it's resting, put the juices from the pan and skim the fat off. Then after you pulled the meat, mix some of that juice back in. Should be nice and moist.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have read about using the drippings in other post's, sounds delicious. Gonna have to give that a try, can't go wrong with rum.
post #8 of 15

Spritzing will help add bark, and help keep the bark moist through the cook.  It will not help the internal moisture. In addition to the drippings from the mid point foiling, I add a few ounces of stubbs pork sauce to the pulled meat. If its still dry add a bit of straight apple juice.

post #9 of 15

The only time I had an issue like this was when I smoked a butt I purchased months ago and had in the freezer for a few months.  I had a water pan as usual and wrapped it @ 165 and then in the cooler at 205.  I think if I ever do a frozen one again, I will inject it and see if that helps.

post #10 of 15
Interesting. I don't foil, spritz, inject, or run a water pan (mines filled with sand) and I've never had a dry butt. I take mine to 200-205 IT. Typically running the smoker around 265*. Even when I used to run the smoker at 225-250 I never had that problem. Do you know was the cut enhanced or did it come straight from a butcher? I know the shoulders I do from my friends 4h raised pigs tend to be leaner than commercially raised pigs so they cook drier. The bulk shoulders I buy from the store are enhanced with a solution and therefore moister, unless I get them direct from the meat cutter who butchers farm raised pigs here. Just some things to check out when buying meat.
post #11 of 15

Might I suggest a possible simple way to solve both problems. Below your grill use an aluminum pan filled with some chopped up aromatic's like carrots, onions, celery, etc. add a bit of juice, beef broth or whatever you like. It will add a bit of moisture, not much. but it should relax the dry bark a little as well. Its adding some moisture, and it blocking the direct heat. 


 Just a thought.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help guys, I'm going to have to experiment with all the suggestions. BTW it was a Tyson pork shoulder that was enhanced. Before this I smoked one from Sam's Club (not Tyson) the same way and that one turned out great.
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by knifebld View Post

I spritz every hour or so with 3 parts apple juice and one part spiced rum. Once i get to 165 I toss it a foiling pan and continue spritzing every hour....

How much "spritz " goes down the gullet and how much on the pork? ;-)
post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by Smokin Phil View Post

How much "spritz " goes down the gullet and how much on the pork? ;-)

That cracked me up because last weekend I was spritzing spare ribs with pressed apple cider, peach schnapps, and later added Laird's Apple Jack. When I was done spritzing at the end of the smoke, I poured the spritz in a glass of ice, then added more ............ uhmmm .......... "spritz" ingredients to the glass.

post #15 of 15

I always enjoyed a Capt. Morgans and apple juice mop.

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