Hi DD -
Q: How long does it take a 5lb butt to unthaw?
Whatâ€™s the best way to do this?
A:Over night and in the fridge. It can be done underwater as CrewDawg suggested but it'll still take all day. Best to keep it in the fridge all day.
Q: How much rub should I make? Do you apply more rub at any point?
A:Rub doesn't go bad it just looses some flavor (unless it's like months all and in the open air) So I mix it up in large batches anway. If you use the 1-2 oz. shacker bottles just put it back in there. One butt shouldn't take more than one bottle full. I usually princkle more rub on about 1/2 way through the smoke after spritzing with apple juice.
Q: How long before it goes in the smoker should I apply the rub?
A: There are several schools of thought on this one. Some like to do it the night before and wrap it tight in plastic wrap until smoking time. Other me included often do it right before the smoke and add a sprinkle after the smoke has started. If you think of it - do it the night before, if not don't worry do it that day.
Q: How often should I turn the meat? Do I flip it? Turn it over a quarter of the way?
A: Another place where opinions differ. I am a flipper! I turn it about once an hour when I spritz it with apple juice. Hard to get both side if I don't. Some people put it on and never touch it until it's time to come off. Both work. I usually have a pretty full smoker and move things around for that reason.
Q: Iâ€™ve read that it no longer needs smoke after it hits 140, does that mean that I should foil it for the rest of the time? Also, once foiled should I move it to the hottest portion of the smoker or keep it in the same spot (this is an offset smoker)?
A: I run smoke than whole time it's in there. I'm not sure where that idea came from but it ill take smoke after 140Â°F. I believe someone suggested that it may be confused with the fact that the smoke ring may stop developing after 140Â°F. The meat will take on a smokey flavor untill it's out of there!
I don't foil my butts until they are comming off and going into the cooler. Sometimes I don't even foil my briskets until then. It kin of depends on what the meat looks like beforehand. If it's really fatty I start it high open then foil it after and hour or so to catch the extra juices then unfoil it again.
I don't have an offset yet ...
But I would move the meats around if you have a hot spot for even cooking. Hot spots tend to dry out the meat more OR make a nice bark. Both are useful and can be used to your advantage!
Q: How long should it be rested in the foil, towel, cooler contraption? Speaking of that, why towels?
A: At least one hour two is better. I usually start late and pull my meat in th wee hours and double or triple wrap it in heavy foil, wrap it in towels, go to bed and deal wth it in the morning! The towels are added insulation and keep the meat steamy! I'vehave keep meat in the cooler all night and day until I got home from work and still had meat so hot I burned my fingers pulling it! They were the juicest of all!
Q:Whatâ€™s your favorite thing to do with leftover pulled pork?
A: Eat it! Anyway! Throw it in a chilli, put it on a bun, make a stew, grind it with bacon for sausage, burittos, fajitas, throw it in a sauce for spaggetti, mix it with pasta for a pork Cacciatore or Cavatelli, mix it with taters for a stroganoff. The posibilities are endless! It's good food mix it with your favorite things and get creative!
Hope this helps!