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Need help with a cook start time

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am going to be smoking 4 butts for a large group of people on Saturday at 3 pm. I have two questions. What would be my best time to start smoking the butts? I was thinking around midnight, hopefully finishing up around noon with the smoker, then Wrapping in towels and letting it sit in a cooler for a few hours before pulling. Obviously, cooking through the night is not my ideal situation, but, I really don't know what else to do. Any sugguestions would be great! I am using an electric smoker.

Question two is, do you guys usually try and keep the pork warm with chafing dishes or do I just pull it and if it starts to get cold, oh well?icon_question.gif

I am as new as it gets. This will be my first try at a Boston Butt. This forum has been great! Thanks!
post #2 of 13
A general rule of thumb for butts is 1.5 hours per pound. Not all cuts cook the same so keep in mind it is a, "general" rule of thumb and your mileage may vary.

As for keeping it warm I don't worry about that and it comes out fine.
post #3 of 13
sounds about right depending on your temps,smoker,weather,etc. if it's done early or after you pull it just foil it w/ juices & keep it warm in the oven. i just picked up some chafing dishesw/ the sternocans relatively cheap @ walmart & plan on keeping them covered & heated for an hour or less until serving time. hope it helps.
post #4 of 13
after it gets to 195-200.....wrap it in foil with just a spritz of apple juice...or any other type of liquid.......wrap in blankets.......store in a cooler.........till serving time.....it will stay warm that way for a long time........the pull when meal time arrives..........


post #5 of 13
Trust me wrap it in plastic wrap (several layers) not foil it will be much juicer! If need be you can even hea it to about 200 degrees in the plastic wrap.

converted foil junkie ...
post #6 of 13
yeah.......what dj said.........after reading some posts here.......saran wrap werks better.........but sometimes, in my house hold........foil is cheaper...............so we have to make do

post #7 of 13
Also depends on the weight of the butts, also the fuller your smoker is, the longer the cooking time. If you have 6-8lb buttsyou should have enough time unless you hit a really long plateau. There really is no way to know for sure, each piece of meat is different.

Don't forget the finishing sauce :)


What kind of saran do you use? I don't like using saran as I find for some types the plastic leaches into the food and ruins the taste.

Good luck.
post #8 of 13
thats me- i have a sensetive palate- i can taste the wrap- on the same token- if i scratch a fork across foil or metal- i taste the aluminum/metal- but thats just me.
post #9 of 13
I agree with debi, there is nothing wrong with foil. I have placed my foiled butts directly into 2½ gallon ziploc bags. I am just tired of the mess of the butts leaking through the towels and into the cooler.
post #10 of 13

bbq daddy

Also I have found out that if you are using a mopping sauce a little bit added at the end helps keep meat moist and flavorful till ready to pull
post #11 of 13
I just cooked 5 butts last weekend. Avg. butt was 8lbs. Started them at 8am and they were done by 8pm. Took them off and wrapped then pu them in a cooler. I was slicing them though. For pulling it would have taken me longer.
post #12 of 13
I'm a believer on what Debi said. I have used plastic wrap for quite some time and it does the job better than foil, in most applications.
post #13 of 13
Ron -

I use the Exective Choice 3000 foot rolls from BJ's. Sometime they have Bersomething & Jensen that works too. I think it may be resteraunt grade.

I don't like the smell of Saran brand plastic wrap and it seems to break down at lower temperatures but that might just be me. It also smells if you get it real hot it like my ole Vacu-form toy as a kid. I have a very sensitive nose!

I USED to put plastic wrap on the out side of the foil when resting (until you told me I didn't have to) to hold in the juices after I pulled the meat but this stuff will hold up IN the smoker for ribs, butts or whatever up to 250 degrees (Maybe more but I haven't pushed it that far - Thanks BBQPITSTOP). And there's no liquid evaporation or drying up some like with foil - it can't escape the plastic wrap. Just have a big bowl under it when you unwrap or you will get soaked!

I've also noted the the foil taste is gone too. Anyone else taste/smell the foil? That could just be me too I swear I can taste the aluminum from canned foods and beer. I avoid them as much as posible.

If you want a real juicey Hunk O Meat - wrap it on several layers of good plastic wrap and leave it on the smoker or in the oven the last few hours when you would normally foil and you will be amazed! Your butts will be soft as jelly and your briskets too. They almost pull themselves and so much juice you can make a gravy you you want to!
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