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first pork butt

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

First smoked using my son's roomate's MES in Atlanta.  Fell in love..  Fumbled around overcooking prime rib.  Christmas and santa brought me a MES electric in Arlington, TX.  Did baby back ribs but was gun shy and undercooked them.

 

Just put on an eight lb. boston butt.  Starting temp 225.  Time set for 8 hours.  What internal temp am I looking for?  In Atlanta did potatoes vegetables, especially corn on comb.  What fun.

 

Best regards, Bill

post #2 of 17

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140055/boston-butt-pulled-pork-step-by-step This right here is all you need to successfully get your first Butt under your belt. I like mine at 205 or so. Fork tender. By the way if you have a spare meat thermometer especially a digital one do yourself a favor and check your built in probes out. Those units are known for their bad thermometers. Might be off by a significant amount. I would take a cup of ice water out there right now and see if they are in the ballpark of 32 degrees. You can also check with boiling water at 212. Very important to have good temp. control. Probably the single most important thing.

post #3 of 17

By the way Welcome to the site from chilly eastern washington.

post #4 of 17
Welcome, glad ya joined us !

On ribs, look for the meat to "pull or shrink " back from the ends of the bones usually round 1/2" or so.... Or ya can try the toothpick test... Meaning if the toothpick slides in between the ribs with little to no resistance, they are done or there's the bend test some folks use !

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/the-bend-test-for-ribs

As for your pork butt, I usually take em to round 200-205* IT ! If it's a bone-in roast, when the bone is wiggly & you can pull it out, it's done ! Don't forget the rest, meaning when ya pull off the smoker, wrap in some foil & couple of towels and put it in your cooler (I just use my camping cooler) for a couple hours to redistribute the juices !
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.  I am lucky my sister got me the Thermapen instant thermometer.. 

 

Some say when IT is 165 to wrap in foil and continue cooking till around 200.  I grab some towel when my wife isn't looking. hah

post #6 of 17

Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions
Post it and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is
because their are so many different ways to make great Q...
Happy smoken.
David

post #7 of 17

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a cloudy and chilly day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

 

Gary

post #8 of 17

It is kind of important to know if your smoker is running near what you think it is. Something you probably can't do with the instant read. Just saying. If you click on the link I provided for you in the second post of this thread you will get a very good plan that many of us use every time to get perfect pulled pork.

post #9 of 17
Hello and welcome! Timberjet is spot on with advise about checking temps. I have a MES30 and love it. My temps are fairly accurate, but temp can vary 20-30 degrees depending on which rack you use and if something large on the bottom rack is blocking the heat. I have done a few butts,cook to 205 and they turn out great. But they take a lot longer than I expected-8 hours for a 2 1/2-3 lb butt, then time to rest. I know now to allow extra time for them so I'm not eating dinner at 10 or 11. If wrapped in foil and towels in a cooler, it will hold temp for a long time, so allow extra time as the rest really does keep the juices in the meat. Good luck and happy smokin', David.
post #10 of 17

Yep,  great info above. Imperative that you have a accurate temp gauge.

 

Gary

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well I can attest to proper temperature, but I need to remember the most important fact.  FORGET about estimated time.  8 pounder was going on 9 hours, top rack, but gave up with internal at 174.

 

The firmest part I cut off to put in crockpot with all the stew mixings.  I cubed it and added last one hour to pot.  Can out perfect.  Best stew ever.

 

The rest did shred but not nearly as easy as it had been before when it was total crockpot.  I believe had I taken it to 200 + internal it would have been perfect.

 

Temp check was about 3 degree difference.  I still will try the Ice and boil gage.

 

Thanks to all for the comments.

 

Next item will be spare ribs, I did baby back and tried to use temp guage.  At 195 they still were under cooked.  With ribs do you just go by time?

 

Thanks, Bill

post #12 of 17

Please follow a good tried and true recipe like the one I provided for you that has been tested by hundreds if not thousands of happy pork lovers from this website. Same with ribs. Spares are a 3-2-1 deal. That is 3 hours with smoke at 225 or so. 2 Hours, foiled in juice or liquid of your choice. 1 Hour back on the smoker to firm up. Then probe test for tenderness. Boston Butt or Picknic roast or whatever pork shoulder you use is going to take you 2 hours per pound with a 2 hour rest. You were barely into cooking that hog leg there when you pulled it. You could have foiled it at the time you took it out and put it in the oven until 205 or probe tender. Your instant read will do you no good on ribs either. Get yourself a Maverick or similar to go along with the instant. Happy smoking. timber.

post #13 of 17

Honestly I never go by time on anything (well a couple of things)  But butts, ribs, Chicken, turkey,brisket etc.I never do

 

Gary

post #14 of 17

I am trying to remember back (so many years ago) when I first started, No Internet, No SMF not a very good selection of smoker or grills so was mostly trial and error . I do remember having quit a few failure's and some good and some not so good.  Taking whatever I was smoking off and cutting into it to see, (Also didn't have a temp gauge) So I learned by looks and feel .

I have to remember when I am posting a smoke to try and take temps.  I 've cooked so much stuff in over 40 years I just know  Now I do check the poultry and butt temps (these gadgets are nice)

 

Gary

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply.  Even though not cooked all the way, nothing went to waste.  The stew in the crockpot took the pork to melt in mouth.  The left over butt which did shred but not easily I will turn into BBQ which will allow it to cook a little longer.

Okay.  Three new projects.  Love to have your advise.

1. small pork tenderloin.  thin at one end.  Want a medium rare to no more than medium.  Been using gas grill for years with a smoke can in the grill.  Want to try a real smoke this time.  Doesn"t take too long on the grill.  Go with internal temp.  Need to foil during any of cook time?

 

2. Have a 4 rib ribeye roast.  Looking for medium rare.  Sugestions...

 

3. Fingerling potatoes, love to try and smoke.  Sugestions...

 

Thank you.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yes, the internet makes things a lot easier.  Were you able to eat all your mistakes?

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by asktrask View Post
 

Thanks for your reply.  Even though not cooked all the way, nothing went to waste.  The stew in the crockpot took the pork to melt in mouth.  The left over butt which did shred but not easily I will turn into BBQ which will allow it to cook a little longer.

Okay.  Three new projects.  Love to have your advise.

1. small pork tenderloin.  thin at one end.  Want a medium rare to no more than medium.  Been using gas grill for years with a smoke can in the grill.  Want to try a real smoke this time.  Doesn"t take too long on the grill.  Go with internal temp.  Need to foil during any of cook time?

 

2. Have a 4 rib ribeye roast.  Looking for medium rare.  Sugestions...

 

3. Fingerling potatoes, love to try and smoke.  Sugestions...

 

Thank you.

For #2  might help

 

Check internal temperature for doneness
Remove steaks from the grill when a quick-response meat thermometer inserted through the side of the steak to its center reads the desired temperature below. To retain juices and reach final temperature, let steaks sit for 2 minutes before cutting.

 

Check internal temperature for doneness

 

 

 

For #1 Might help

 

Here is a chart that may help you on your meat temps   Government Guidelines 

 

Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Remember, you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. 

Why the Rest Time is Important

After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.

Category

Food

Temperature (°F) 

Rest Time 

Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures

Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

160

None

Turkey, Chicken

165

None

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb

Steaks, roasts, chops

145

3 minutes

Poultry

Chicken & Turkey, whole

165

None

Poultry breasts, roasts

165

None

Poultry thighs, legs, wings

165

None

Duck & Goose

165

None

Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)

165

None

Pork and Ham

Fresh pork

145

3 minutes

Fresh ham (raw)

145

3 minutes

Precooked ham (to reheat)

140

None

Eggs & Egg Dishes

Eggs

Cook until yolk and white are firm

None

Egg dishes

160

None

Leftovers & Casseroles

Leftovers

165

None

Casseroles

165

None

Seafood

Fin Fish

145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.

None

Shrimp, lobster, and crabs

Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque.

None

Clams, oysters, and mussels

Cook until shells open during cooking.

None

Scallops

Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.

None

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