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Butt--Need All the Help I can Get

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay, I am going to attempt to smoke my first butt this weekend, my first smoke on my new smoker (Brinkman 852). After the help I have recieved from you guys on the rub I think I have something to try on this one. I have read the sticky at the top of the page about doing a butt and have learned a ton. I was hoping that maybe you guys could give a rookie some trick and tips to help make my first smoke a good one. The little things that can make or break a smoke.
post #2 of 19
The sticky you refer to excellent info. Just remember that smoking is done by meat INTERNAL temp and not time. You WILL reach a temp plataeu (sp) but just get another beverage of choice and bear with it. The fun/misery of this hobby is what it is all about. Do not increase your smoker temp to make the process finish faster, you will end up with a dry piece of meat. Good luck with your "butt!"icon_mrgreen.gif
post #3 of 19
Remember low and slow, and it always is better with a good finishing sauce. Pure opinion~ some folks prefer theirs without. Give it a try, then decide. You gotta try new things in order to know what you like, and more importantly, what you don't.

Good luck on your smoke and keep us posted.

post #4 of 19
Keep the lid closed. If you're looking, you ain't cooking.

It's going to plateau on you. Don't freak out.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks guys. It is definately going to be an adventure. Brand new smoker and a tough piece of meat to smoke properly I definately have my work cut out for me. Any other tips ya'll can share?
post #6 of 19
Don't worry too much, if you read the sticky you'll be ok. A butt is a pretty forgiving piece of meat, its hard to screw it up. With most cuts of meat, temp spikes can ruin the day, not so with a butt. Other than that, just be patient and keep plenty of your favorite beverage on ice. To do a butt right takes all day. Good luck and have fun!biggrin.gif
post #7 of 19
good luck, scmelik!

these guys have given you great advice - the only thing i can add is that while you are tending your firer and NOT opening the lid to peek, download the BBQFAQ on this SAFE word zip file:


download it onto your desktop and look through it - between this site and that FAQ, you will find all the information you need to turn out amazing Q.

i've done three pork shoulders so far (one picnic and two butts), and the main thing i've learned is that cooking it until it is done and cooking it until it is barbecue are two different things. you want that meat to fall apart, so lookk for an internal temperature of 190 degrees or so - let it rest in foil at lteast a half-hour before opening it up, and you will be amazed at how tender and juicy it is.

RIVET has an outstanding finishing sauce - i recommend it!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
thank everyone I really appreciate the help. Like I said I have read quite a bit on here and there seems to be a general consenseses that before you put your rub on you rub the butt down with mustard just to give the rub alittle more to stick too. Well I HATE mustard with a passion and I know it says that the flavor cooks out but I still don't trust it for some reason. I was thinking about rubbing it with a very small amount of honey before hand, do you think that it would work or would it burn with all the sugars in honey?
post #9 of 19
i'd be concerned about the honey carmelizing and burning -

as a fellow mustard-hater, i can say with 100% certainty that if you brush on a light coating of mustard, then apply the rub, then let it sit overnight, then barbecue it, you will NOT taste a bit of mustard. my experience with ribs, fatties and pork shoulder has taught me that there will be absolutely no mustard taste on slow-cooked BBQ and also it WILL definiteily help with the bark.

it's your choice, but i say give it a try - use a light brushing this time and if this passes muster (no pun intended) brush it on a little thicker next time. it will definitely improve the flavor, depth and texture on the bark and the final product, and it will do so without mustard flavor.
post #10 of 19
You don't need to worry about the mustard part. That's just an old tradition and one style of cookin'. I was planning on making a PPB this weekend WITHOUT the mustard part, just to try something different. I normally mustard my Pork Butt before the rub. This weekend was just gonna go straight rub, and - another first- try the superpopular apple juice and Cap'n Morgans Spiced Rum. I usually spritz with straight OJ.

As far as the honey rub, I'd wait till the end for that. There's too much sugar in honey and it would scorch long before your butt was done. If you are going to honey it, paint it on with a food brush during the last hour.

No worries, scmelik...go with what's comfortable.

May the TBS be with you!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
that was my concern as well. I may have to try it will a smaller piece of meat some time and see how it works, don't want to ruin a really good butt on an experiement right now.

I will try the mustard this time and see how it goes.
post #12 of 19
like rivet said, with or without the mustard is up to you - go with what's comfortable, but there won't be any mustard taste.

you can defiitley brush some honey on near the end - i'd say the last half-hour or hour. that would make a very nice finishing glaze!
post #13 of 19
personally, I NEVER use anything to hold my rub on, the moisture from the meat does a fine job. I've never once used mustard. the only other thing I'd add is to make sure your thermometer probe is well away from the bone (it's kinda hard to tell where the bone is down inside the butt, so I poke around a bit til I find it), I also take mine up to at least 200, and have much better results pulling them than when I've pulled them out at 190. The key, however, is practice - which is GOOD news :D
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
well I can honestly say that my first attempt wasn't horrible. It wasn't great and nobody died from the food which is always a good thing.

I got up Saturday morning about 6:30 and go the smoker rolling, butt was on by 7:30 and we were off to the races. I had a few issues with my fire getting out of hand a tad and my heat getting up to the 350-375 range for about 15 min, thank god it was cool out or it could have been a bear getting the temp back down. I finally got things adjusted and really got a good smoke/heat ratio going steady. I had to refill with coals once, I was expecting at least twice but one coal refill and a few pieces of apple and hickory here and there and we were good to go.

By about 11:30 or 12 I had already hit 160 internal and was alittle worried but I brought her in anyways, slathered it with honey and wrapped it up good and tight in foil then back onto the heat. By 2pm I had hit 205 degree so I took it off wrapped it in another layer of foil (only because I was loosing juice out of the first layer) and then wrapped it in a bath towel and put it in the cooler to sit for 2 hours. At 4pm I pulled it out and unwrapped it, and it was a sight to behold, a nice dark bark and a good smokey smell, I couldn't wait to get my first taste. Then it happened, kind of like lighting a bottle rocket...there is the anticipation (the smoking) the pause before explosion (resting) then the grand finale (eating)...and just like that the show is over. That is about how it went, I thought I had everything good, my rub tasted good, the smoke went good, that first piece of meat..not so good, completely and utterly flavorless except for the bits of bark and the 1/4in smoke ring everything else had zero taste even with the finishing sauce.

All is not lost though, I learned alot about my smoker, I learned what works good and what doesn't, I learned that patience really does pay off and I learned that smoking while time consuming is fun. Its a good thing I have two more butts in the freezer, gonna give her another shot this weekend.

On another note though, I had a few of the left over last night for supper and the taste was 100% different and more intense last night than it was Saturday when I had it. Can anyone explain that?
post #15 of 19
After smellin smoke all day, I find that I can't get a "good taste" of what I made.....my smokes always taste better the next day to me (after not being in smoke all day).
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
that was what i was thinking too but my roommate said that samething and he was gone all day until it was time to eat of course.
post #17 of 19
Hmmmmm....never had anyone say that....I might have to do some investigating.
post #18 of 19
Many things could of happen but it does sound like you learned a good deal. Maybe next time try injecting the meat or even brine the meat. The first few butts I did went very differently and only after several more did I achieve what I wanted. Maybe even some pic's would help out.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
I will get them posted right after the bird gets done pecking them out of the stone slab haha. I would post some but i don't own a digital camera so that is going to be tough.
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