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Pork Butt cooking time

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm frustrated.  (And a newbie at this so the issue is with me, nowhere else)

 

I haven't been successful yet in getting an easy to shred pork butt- I bought the twin pack of pork butts (no bone) at Costco- the first did not come out well at all - I'm hoping with the feedback I get here I can get the other one I still have to come out nice.

 

So I did the typical prep on the butt the night before- yellow mustard and a rub and then let it sit overnight.   I set the smoker for 225 and had it in there from about 9:00 to 6:00.  It looked nice when I took it out but unfortunately it was still tough and very difficult to shred.  I never checked the internal temp so I can't say for sure what it got up to.  Is it possible that the 9 hours I had it in there for wasn't long enough?  I think the butt was around 5-6 lbs.

 

Is there a magic surefire way of getting it to come out so my family actually wants to eat it??

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 

post #2 of 21
if your not going to check the internal temp it's a crap shoot trying to go by time. You can get a Lavatool instant read them of Amazon for $25. Mine works excellent.

If you are in a pinch a good test for a bone in butt is to grab the bone and pull. It should come out without any resistance. Toothpick probe works good too. When it goes in like butter you are done.
post #3 of 21
Yep need to check/monitor the temp! A nice maverick dual therm is another great option both at some point is the way to go your looking 200-205 IT let it rest foil wrapped in a cooler wrapped in towels for an hour or more if you can. Butts can easily take two plus hours per pound especially at 225 cooker temp. I run my butts closer to 250 and many go even hotter it gets them done!
post #4 of 21
Once again we see this 225 thing rear it's head. Where is it coming from?
post #5 of 21
I honestly think 9 hours is possible to be done but on the short side... did you wrap it or no? I like to wrap, but to me butt doesn't need it to still be moist, tender, and nicely pull able.

I used to hot smoke nearly everything at 225... I've been doing 240-260 for a few years now and I like it better and nearly as importantly, my smoker likes to cruise around that temp... Its done a little quicker and absolutely no issues melting collagen
Edited by uzikaduzi - 9/23/16 at 5:04am
post #6 of 21

It's pretty simple, if it wouldn't pull it wasn't done.

 

A good therm is a must.

 

After you have smoked a few successful butts, then you can rely on things like a loose bone or the toothpick test.

 

But I strongly suggest buying a therm, you can get one that will work at Walmart for under $20.

 

Take the IT to 205 & you will have what you are looking for.

 

Al

post #7 of 21
Listen to Al. You gotta leave it on the smoker till the IT is 205. Less than that and you have a tough piece of meat. 190 for slicing and 205 for pulling
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you much for the feedback- really appreciate it!   So I think I need to go higher on the heat and definitely check the temp before I pull it out.  Have a great weekend!
 

post #9 of 21

I'm a complete newbie and I've only smoked 3 butts, 3 sets of ribs and a brisket. They all came out I wouldn't say perfect but acceptable. I have the small Brinkman Grill Smoker that I have done a few mods on it. 

 

I use Alton Brown's method of brining overnight in a salt molasses bath, adding commercial rub, smoking to 150 at 225 degrees, wrapping and then (be nice I'm new) putting it in a 300 degree oven until it hits 200.*

 

For my small boneless buts it takes around 6 hours and since I'm a big Good Eats fan I of course use a leave in probe thermometer. 

 

* for my last one I wrapped it and got it to 180 sh in the smoker but I ran out of fuel to get it all the way to 200. 

post #10 of 21
I have 2 on now. 14.5 hours in and not quite there yet.

post #11 of 21
post #12 of 21
What smoker do you have and are you sure you were at 225? have you checked your thermometer.

Like everyone else said you have to check the IT of the meat to be sure its done.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

It's pretty simple, if it wouldn't pull it wasn't done.

 

A good therm is a must.

 

After you have smoked a few successful butts, then you can rely on things like a loose bone or the toothpick test.

 

But I strongly suggest buying a therm, you can get one that will work at Walmart for under $20.

 

Take the IT to 205 & you will have what you are looking for.

 

Al

That is it......works EVERY time!!

post #14 of 21

Melting collagen? What is that? I may have had a problem with that? Is is gummy parts? Sorta new to this so any help is appreciated. Thanks.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBRumble View Post
 

Melting collagen? What is that? I may have had a problem with that? Is is gummy parts? Sorta new to this so any help is appreciated. Thanks.

 

Put simply, it is the connective tissue in meat.  It is a tough protein, actually wound like a rope for additional strength.  Although found everywhere there is protein in meat, it most noticeably affects well-worked (exercised) muscle groups you want to eat, like the chest, legs, and shoulders in an animal.  (It is also found in bones, skin, organs, etc).  For meat high in collagen, like beef brisket or pork butt (shoulder), the collagen must melt before the meat will be tender.  When it melts it becomes liquid.  When it is cooled it forms gelatin. 

 

Although collagen starts melting about 130F internal temp in the meat, it really starts melting quite a bit above 160-170F internal temp in the meat.  When it is still present, meat that is actually cooked will taste dry and tough until the collagen melts.  Sticking a probe into tough cuts of meat will tell you when it is done.  On briskets and pork butts that can be anywhere between 190F IT and 210F IT, with a sweet spot around 200F, but that sweet spot varies up or down depending on what temp you smoked or cooked your meat.  (It is done when a probe goes into the meat like it would into warm butter).

 

Never throw away the juices you capture when smoking meat.  If you don't use them right away, cool them in the fridge.  Below the fat that solidifies is the melted collagen in the form of gelatin.  That is pure flavor that can be used in BBQ sauce, beans, gravies, jus, soups, etc.  Keeps for quite a while too in the fridge.            

post #16 of 21

Hey all, looking at smoking a couple of pork shoulders this weekend.  I am planning on getting the two pack from Costco, if I remember correctly these come in a pack of two and run between ~5-6lb each.  

 

I saw a mention above at roughly 2hr / lb at ~225 cook temp, is this a reasonable or average amount of time to budget?  I will probably run the smoker between 225-240 and am looking to get a start time figured out for a ~6pm dinner.  

 

If 2hr/lb is a good budget, then I am looking at getting them on around 6:00am, targeting 205 IT between 4-5 pm, pull at 205 IT and let rest until 6, then shred and serve.

 

Only my second smoke and first time doing a big cut of meat and as I haven't got my smoker fully dialed in yet I am not comfortable running it overnight, so I am very much looking to avoid the hungry wife at 8:00pm wondering when dinner will be ready :)  

post #17 of 21

I'm new too but budgeting time like this has always kicked me in the butt (pun intended). From my perspective ad 50% and maybe you will eat by 8. :-) My small 6 lb boneless butts take 5 hrs in the smoker to 150 and take them to 200 ish in the oven wrapped in foil. 

 

But what I always forget is adding time to get the smoker up to temp and stabilized and prepping the buts. 

post #18 of 21
I just pulled my first pork shoulder (an 8 lb butt) out of the smoker after hitting 195F at 7:30 AM.

I put it in at 9:30 AM yesterday.

I went with the usual 225F for the first 12 hours, but with 50 degrees still left to go before hitting the target I bumped the smoker up to 250F. That didn't really seem to make a discernible difference in the rate of meat temperature increase though. It still averaged about 5 degrees per hour.

It's resting in a cooler right now, so I still have yet to test the results. It looks right though, and smells awesome.
post #19 of 21
Is my math right? 22hrs for an 8# butt?
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyMose View Post

Is my math right? 22hrs for an 8# butt?

Your math is flawless. I was rather surprised myself...and really tired after sleeping downstairs so I could wake up every 2 hours to check the temp and spritz w/apple juice.

It turned out well though. Not quite as moist as I wanted, but not dry either.

ETA: Upon reflection I'm thinking that my decision to spritz the meat with apple juice every 2 hours...starting at the 6th hour...might be the culprit here. Not due to smoker temperature loss from opening the door (the temperature recovered very quickly every time), but due to the juice causing evaporative cooling of the meat. I have another even bigger shoulder (10 lbs) in the freeze that I'll try in a month or so, and I'm going to cut way back on the spritzing with it and see what happens.
Edited by DParker - 11/14/16 at 1:06pm
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