Re: 1st Butt taking a long time?
Hi There cseymour!
Welcome to the boards :D
First I will post a link to a tutorial I did here complete with digi-pics just about one year ago..It is comprehensive and will answer many of your questions. :)
Go Here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=617
Also..near the end of the above linked thread I posted a link to a tute that another member did regarding beer can butt chickens...there is a mountain of information for new smokers to glean. :D
Lastly I will address the issue regarding the time it takes to smoke pork butts and shoulders...The time it takes for the muscle fiber in pork butts to break down (Cook) is directly related to the age of the animal from which your butt was obtained.
Older animals require more time to cook than younger ones because the muscle fiber is older and tougher.. :idea:
However, that does not mean that you can't provide great results from an older animal..you can and will...it just takes longer :)
There is no way to tell how long it will take..the three factors involved are age of animal, cold and higher wind speeds when queing meats in the winter zone, and smoker temperature.
As up in smoke
advised do not crank up your smoker trying to speed up the process; It just doesn't work..keep it at 225 degrees farenheit..If you are using a propane unit then keeping a uniform temperature is very easy in any weather conditions...if you are using a wood/charcoal pit smoker like mine pictured in the tutorial then expect the temp to rise a bit in between adding wood chunks and charcoal..the temp will drop when adding new fuel...it takes a while for the new fuel to ignite and come up to cooking temperature.. 8)
this is why you see me use a secondary steel stove in the tute so that I am always adding hot embers to my firebox which really helps to keep the cooking temperature steady and helps to eliminate sooty smoke and creasote..
Lastly, I would like to address the temperature plateau which DeejayDebi
speaks of....I have smoked many hundreds of pork butts and I find that my Butts :lol: usually reach a plateau somewhere around 160 degrees and at that point it sometimes takes three to four hours for the internal meat temperature to start rising again...I have learned to expect this and I plan around it..
I usually do two butts at a time in my smoker or sometimes a brisket and a butt and when I do this the meat goes in at 4-5pm and normally it will be ready between noon and fourpm the next day...Low and Slow
In the summer it takes a little less time because the smoker does not lose heat as rapidly as it does in the winter.
Once you have done this process several times it will all fall into place for you and the light bulb in your head will be on! meaning the confusion will go away.Ask your family and friends to be patient with you until you have done the process a few times and can begin to project eating times more accurately
Also it should be noted that butts with the bone-in will take longer than boneless butts....
Once again check out the tute and check out the pictures and remember that Pork barbecue is very forgiving but it does take time..
warm regards and Happy Queing!
ranger72 :)OTBS # 14