Wanting to smoke a 12 lb Boston Butt for first time and have it ready for dinner on New Years Day. I have a Camp Chef 24 smoke Vault and have converted it to Natural Gas. Planning to Smoke it at 225 and from what I have read it will probably take at least 18 hours. The dilemma I have is a relative of mine found out what I was doing and asked if they could add a 4 lb Boston Butt to the smoking event to add more food for the family gathering. Planning to start the smoke at 8:00 Pm and end around 2:00 pm the next day. Do I start the 2 together and have the 4 lb'er finish in the wee hours of the night or do I start the 4 lb'er at about 8 am and finish them together. I was going to use apple chunks and when they burned out I had planned to not add anymore but that would cause the 4 lb'er to not have a smokey taste. If I add wood chunks when I start the 4 lb'er will it mess up taste of 12 lb'er making it tast too smokey? Struggling to figure out how to approach this problem. By the way, I have the Maverick digital thermometer with 2 probes. Also, since the smoke will last 18 hours I need to make sure the water tray doesn't go dry at any point right? Any thoughts on best solution? Thanks for any help anyone can give.
Boston Butt Dilemma
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Personally I would add the small butt in the morning so I didn't have to mess with it tonight. I run smoke the entire smoke unless I have the meat foiled as long as it's TBS (Thin Blue Smoke) In my propane smoker I don't let the water pan run dry so I don't get a temp spike.
Good luck with the smoke and post the results with some qview
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There is no reason you can't start the big butt as planned put a couple hours of smoke on it then add the little one latter and add more smoke wood.
Here are some things to consider...You are smoking for a party, CYA and figure at least 2 hours per pound at 225° and add 2 hours just in case you get a stubborn butt or something goes wrong. If you are done early, double wrap in foil and towels and place the meat in a cooler where it will easily stay hot for 5-6 hours with that much meat. Next Pork Butts only get smoke on the outside. They are then pulled and the smokey surface bark is mixed with LOTS of meat that has no smoke flavor. Point is, in the case of Butts for Pulled Pork, there is no such thing as too much smoke and Apple is one of the mildest smoke woods out there. If all you plan to do is put 2 hours of smoke on that meat, you might as well Oven Roast it and sleep in. Many of us add smoke to butts for 10 hours or more. The Stick Burners add smoke the entire cook!
As far as the water pan goes, some use it some don't and many use it only in the beginning of the smoke. Read this article... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/wet-to-dry-no-foil-smoke-chamber-method-for-smoking-meats
Many of us take the flavor a step further and add a Finishing Sauce to the Pulled Pork. Below are two of my recipes that are super popular around here. The Tangy one is most popular in the Southern States but I'll throw in the Sweet one, good for Ribs too, in case that is a flavor profile you think your guests will 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 Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.
1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice
Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.
For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...
Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce
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
2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Style Glaze.
Simmer until a 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.
Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, if you plan to do so, 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
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Have you looked closely at that 12lb butt to make sure it isn't 2 smaller butts in a cryovac package?
I've gotten to where I cook my butts the day before I plan to use them and rewarm to serve. Takes all the stress out of the occasion and insures it's ready at dinner time. Put the pulled meat in a foil pan with some of the juices from the smoke session or a finishing sauce, cover it with foil and into the oven @250° for about an hour.
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Thanks for all the responses guys. Before I heard back from anyone I decided ton cut the 12 lb'er in half and cook all 3 together. The 12 lber was a boneless cut and the 4 lb'er has bone in. Was told bone-in tends to get done a little faster so I think I am going to place temperature probe in it until it gets done. If anything is wrong in my thinking send advice.Thanks for the tip on smoking tiime. I have decided to start smoke at 2:00 today. Serving time is suppose to be 4:00 tomorrow. Thats 26 hours so hopefully it will be done by then. I will continue to add apple wood throughout smoke. What about apple juice in pan vs water throughout?