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7 # butt for today - Q-View

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Not much to see yet. Just started the chimney at 6:30. I'll be posting pics along the way.

Here's the thread about last night's prep:

post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

Here how it starts.

The coconut milk and rub in the bottom of the pan smelled great. Almost like a Thai curry. So I've started a mop sauce that will be between a Thai curry (not an Indian one) and a BBQ sauce. I've added some more coconut milk, some Worchestershire, cracked black pepper, a little bottled BBQ sauce and some cider vinegar. It's back in the fridge.

Think this is going to rock!

35 minutes under the hood.

Be back in a few hours...

...oh yeah, no sear this time out.
post #3 of 23
Don't know if I would have thought of using Coconut milk! Let us know how it come out.
post #4 of 23
sounds like a great start! keep the view coming!
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
At 8:45 and 115 meat temp:

I was going to turn it 180 degrees, but the bark started to crack a little so I decided to leave it. I thought about mopping it now, but I think I'll wait because the color is so beautiful as it is. I'll save it for later.
post #6 of 23
Lookin very good so far my man!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Mopped at 9:55. Added a few more preheated coals and wood chips. Meat temp at 155. Think I'll let the fire go down now and see where I'm at around 11:30.

Debating whether to foil or not at the moment. I got just a bit great mop slurry left but can't decide which direction to go. The butt looks so good right now, I might go unfoiled just to see what happens. I'm not spritzing and there's no apple juice anywhere in the mix. So far, just one mop with the slurry I made from the leftover coconut milk and spices, etc.

My next move will be determined at 11:30.
post #8 of 23
Looking good Tele, keep th view coming
post #9 of 23
Right On!

Looks great, coconut milk thats a heck of a twist. wink.gif
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
OK, it's 11:15 now and I just took an air temp through the Weber top vents. It's at 180. So the Weber has cooled a bit. We're now at 4 hours and 15 minutes. The meat temp is 160.

The bark is a bit soft but really nice looking. I took the pan that it sat in overnight with the slurry and put some foil underneath it. I then took the butt off of the Weber and plopped it down in the pan and buttoned it up after basting it one time, but I left it the foil a little loose. It's now in the oven.

Here are the pics:

http://www.pbase.com/teleburst/image/101336884 (can't get this to display here)

http://www.pbase.com/teleburst/image/101336885 (same here)

http://www.pbase.com/teleburst/image/101336887 (wish I could get all of the images to display)

My plan is to unwrap it at about 190 and broil it to crisp up the bark...we'll see what it looks like in about an hour...
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's 12:05 and the temp has stayed about the same. Pulled a little piece of bark off and tasted it. First of all, there's a nice smoke ring. Second of all, the bark has a bite. Not a crunchy bite but a chile bite. NICE!

So, I've decided to open up the foil and set my Kenmore stove at broil at the low setting. Depending on what I see in about 30 minutes, I might move the butt out of the pan and put it dry on a cookie sheet to dry up the bottom. Right now, it's still in a thin layer of the slurry.

I might even cut a piece off at 12:30 and see what it looks like. If it's a little undercooked, I might just toss it in the freezer to finish off at a later date.

Right now, the feel of the butt is very soft (not the bark but the whole butt). The bark is soft, but the butt is a quite jiggly, which makes me think that it's closer than the temp might indicate.

We'll see what's up in 30 minutes.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
WHOA! 12:11. Too close to the broiler.

Should have pulled the shelf and used the lower one. I caught it just in time. The top went pretty black, as if it was charred.

Here's the lesson learned - broil it at the very end and do it on a low setting and move it to the lowest shelf setting.

Internal temp is 160 so I put it back on bake and lowered the temp to 200. I'm going to check the temp at 12:45 and see where we're at. Might cut about 1/3rd of it and see what it looks like inside. Might freeze that 1/3rd portion.

We'll see.

Oh yeah, no problem with a crisp bark now <g> .
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
At 1:30, I had an internal temp of 170. It looked pretty good so I thought I'd cut off about a quarter of the butt just to see what I'd get.

Took some tongs and simply split it off. Came off easy as you please. Got a nice lump of meat so I put it in a foil pan and tried to pull it. Well, I was surprised how easy it pulled. It pulled in pretty large pieces and the smoke ring was all there. The fat wasn't totally broken down and the center of the meat was what I'd call medium well plus, but it was really tasty (yeah, I was damned hungry by now).

The fat wasn't completely melted and still had a little texture but this was great. I pretty much ate the whole thing after throwing some BBQ sauce in the corner and sopping it up with pieces of pork.

The bark was good and firm. The taste? Caramelized. I think the coconut milk helped it here.

I was surprised after reading peoples' troubles with pulling at less than 185 that it was so easy at 170, plus the pork definitely wasn't overcooked (nor was it undercooked either). I just checked my thermometer (a Taylor analog) in boiling water and it read about 197, so it was a little low). Still, 175 real temp worked pretty well for my lunch. You guys might try shearing some off early just to check it out. Plus, it was really moist and I didn't let it rest at all - simply pulled it off while it was still on the stove grill.

I put the rest back in the oven and ran it at 200 for about 15 minutes, then bumped it up to 250 for another 20 minutes. Checked it at 3:00 and the temp was 185. So I turned off the stove and it's sitting in there waiting for me to pull it apart for the freezer (will probably have a little for dinner as well).

Here are the pics:

The first is when I stuck the tongs into the top of the butt. The rest are just the rest of the pulling. Once again, sorry for the poor quality of the closeups. Hopefully you can see the smoke ring, although it's not real clear in the closeups.

http://www.pbase.com/teleburst/image/101341510 (This one won't display -plus the color is off - think of the color of the above shot as the correct color)

PS, when I said that the fat wasn't totally broken down, I just mean that it wasn't melted. It still had a little texture (it was ALMOST jellied), as you can see from the photos. It wasn't tough, or anything like that - it was perfectly edible, and I ate it indeed. I think it will be absolutely perfect when I pull it out of its resting period.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Lessons learned on this 7#er:

Coconut milk - good.

Plenty of smoke from the Weber 22 incher in 4 hours and 15 minutes.

Butt was ready to eat in 6 1/2 hours. It would probably be at 195 - 200 internal temp within 7 hours if I had cranked up the heat.

Reducing the cook time made NO difference in the tenderness of the pork (I would expect AT LEAST 8 hours for conventional 225 - 250 steady state temp for this size butt).

Be careful about broiling the butt in the oven to crisp up the bark. Start with the lowest broil setting and put it on the lowest level. Stay nearby for at least 10 minutes to see how it goes.

Since I really didn't foil for very long, it seemed basically to help a little to make the slurry add to the bark.

If you want a charred effect, simply broil it toward the end with it in an open foil pack in a pan. This one looked very close to the seared one I did a while back.

It's important to get a good idea what the butt should look and feel like throughout the process. If you do, you don't have to freak out about temperature variations (I was never able to do anything other than see if the air temp was at least 220 - I was never able to check the final temp untio it dropped below that level and it still came out just fine despite being in obvious 300 plus temps for a while).

The Weber maintains heat for about 3 hours pretty well but after that, you have to work hard to keep the temp up. Fortunately, by 4 hours, you've got plenty of smoke in the meat.

As long as the meat is on the far side of the coals and you have a small water pan underneath, you never have to move the butt. In fact, moving it or flipping it can disturb the crust enough to make it look funky. This is assuming that you didn't sear and just put it on the grill out of the 'fridge.

Speaking of right out of the fridge - no problems. Perhaps this keeps it from getting overcooked in the first 30 minutes of high heat.

So there you have it - a less than 7 hour 7# butt with not a lot of fuss. If you want to fuss and spend 8 -12 hours, more power to you. There are times when I'll probably want to do it too. However, there MIGHT not be that much of a real advantage to it as far as I can tell. I'm not saying to speed cook it at 400 degrees or anything, but you can possibly reduce your time if it's more convenient.
post #15 of 23
Looks great can't wait to here how it tastes!
post #16 of 23
looks good, but if you were to smoke at225-250, I dont think you would have seen all that fat.

glad you liked it though.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's quite possible. In fact, if I had waited to pull that piece off until it hit an internal temp of 190 or 200 in the oven, most of it would have probably melted.

I think my impression from what I've read here was that if you don't get it to at least 180, it's going to be tough and dry and that wasn't my experience. Granted, there was more fat than usual but it actually added to the dish, sort of like the fat on a ribeye adds to the flavor of the ribeye when it's cooked properly. I DID find one small piece of fat that I had to set aside. It was almost like a cross between the best pulled pork and a good smoked pork loin done to about medium-plus. Just another way to eat a butt, I suppose.

I broke the rest of it up into 4 bags and threw 2 in the freezer. I'm interested to see if I can get one of the bags to the "normal" pulled condition without overcooking it. That's the experiment for tomorrow. It's still in big chunks so I think I've got a little wiggle room.

BTW, it was a little less fatty after the last two hours of cooking at 250 and resting in the cooling oven for an hour. Also, in the original piece, I could still reduce it to big shreds.
post #18 of 23
Thanks for the blow by blow.
post #19 of 23
Looks good.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I had some great fond left over from the butt (with leftover oil from the fat and caremelized bits and saucy rub remainder), so I'm making a BBQ sauce "concentrate". Added some ketchup, paprika, white vinegar, Worchestershire, butter, a squeeze of honey, a tiny amount of super concentrated hot sauce (made from 6 mil Scoville units), sumac and I'm slow cooking it at 200 degrees in the oven.

Later, I'm going to add some coconut milk, cumin, chili powder, maple syrup and whatever I decide to throw in there when I taste it. Probably add some Vietnamese fish sauce if it needs salt.

I hope to end up with something that I can add to ketchup or store bought BBQ sauce. Maybe cut it with extra vinegar, apple juice or Cpt. Morgan's for a mop.
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