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First Ever Pork Butt

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am going to smoke my first pork butt tomorrow.  I have a 5 lb. butt bone in and using my Smoke Hollow smoker.  The only question I have is that my smoker has a water tray and was wondering if I should use it with apple juice for the smoke instead of spraying the pork butt every hour or so.  If someone has posted something like this before, I apologize.  Any suggestions would be great.


Thanks everyone,



post #2 of 22
Welcome from SC, Jaime. You will probably experience a stall at around 160*. At that time I wrap the butt in foil and put in a 1/2 cup of apple juice. The foil wrap helps to power through the stall, the apple helps with flavor and the acidity helps with tenderness. I never use a water tray of any kind. I really don't think it will ever get hot enough to help.

Take your butt to about 200-205* and take it off, still in the foil. Wrap it in a couple of towels and put it in a cooler to rest for at least an hour. Then take it out, pull it and serve.

You didn't ask for all of this, but what the heck, it's free. Good luck and good smokin', Joe. grilling_smilie.gif
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi Joe,


Thanks for the tip.  I am going to smoke the butt at 225* and was going to wrap it at 165.  thanks for the quick reply and It is greatly appreciated.




post #4 of 22

Drink the Apple Juice and leave the pan empty. Juice in the pan does nada for flavor of the meat as the steam is 95%+ water only. A Butt has plenty of fat and collagen to keep it juicy. Basting/Spritzing adds little other than a bit of surface flavor and NO MOISTURE overall. Basting does add HOURS to the cook because of opening the door several times and waiting for the temp to recover, not to mention creating multiple Stalls from repeated evaporative cooling. If you got 15-20 hours to spend on that little Butt, have at it. Basting is only valuable smoking at 325°F+...JJ

post #5 of 22

Don't forget to take some pics of your first butt, it will be good, be patient and it will turn out great!  Thumbs Up

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, thanks JJ and red for the info. I will definately take some pics and let you all know how it went.




post #7 of 22

Good luck with your smoke!



post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Al.  I am so far 5 1/2 hours into the smoke and IT is 155*.  I will post pics sometime later.



post #9 of 22




post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, something is wrong. I started my pork butt at 6 am and it is 4:16 pm and the IT is 180* wrapped.  I am cooking at 225.  It seems a long time for just a 5 lb butt.


Any advice is greatly appreciated.



post #11 of 22

That is going long. Are you using a tested accurate therm for the smoker and meat? You are in foil...Go in a 325 Oven and you will be done in short order...JJ

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, my therm is accurate and tested.  It's the Maverick RediCheck ET-733.  In the oven it goes.




post #13 of 22

Butts can be stubborn.  Were you opening the door to spritz or check on it?  If you're lookin you aint cookin!  :icon_biggrin:  You can also bump the smoker temp up to 250-275 once wrapped to kick up the speed.  Let us know how it turns out.  It should still be amazing finishing it in the oven.



post #14 of 22

Once you decide to foil...There is no reason to continue in the smoker OR stay low and slow. Foil keeps smoke out and moisture in, so use the oven...JJ

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi, it went well after I placed it into the oven like JJ advised.  That was a stubborn PB.  During the cook, I only opened it once and I didn't spritz at all.  I let it rest for 2 hours before I pulled it and is was really good for my first pork butt.


This is how I started.


This is the end product.


Thanks to all of your advice and I am looking forward to making another soon.



post #16 of 22

Looks Great Jaime!!!:drool----:points:

Sorry I just got here, but any help I would have given you would have been about everything JJ said.

I read his advice, and almost thought I wrote it.


You did a real nice job & it ended up Beautiful !!Thumbs Up



post #17 of 22

Looks good to me!  :drool  points1.png



post #18 of 22

Looks good! Kick up the flavor and moisture with one of these...JJ


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 Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC 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, skip the Butter.


If you plan to Foil the meat, 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, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the hot Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.

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.


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 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...JJ



post #19 of 22
Nice job!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

I will definitely use that next time JJ.  Thanks everyone for all your comments.:icon_smile:

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