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1st time a failure, going for a 2nd attempt

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I've been doing a lot of research, and I have bought 2 boston butts and I'm going to start smoking them tomorrow. I made the rub that I got from the 5 day smoking course last night and I do enjoy the taste of it. I had to substitute light brown sugar because walmart was out of dark brown. I coudn't find anything to use as a mop so I got a empty spray bottle and figured I could mist it on good every often. I'm planning on having 2 sauces, Neely's BBQ sauce(from food network, i put that on everything), and also the sauce that I got from the smoking course.
One of the butts is about 4.17 lbs and the other is about 4.49. I'm wondering how long I should smoke them. From what I have read, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours per pound. So I'm planning on eating around 6-6:30 tomorrow night, so I need to start them smoking around 6-6:30 in the morning?
What would be good to use as my mopping agent? I read that someone used bourbon and something else. I wonder if anyone has made any out of Jack Daniels, and if someone has, how do I make it. I'm a newbie and it shows through. I'm feeding about 2 kids and 6-7 adults, do you think I got enough butt, or should I get more. I'll post pics of the process later tonight when I start to apply my rub.
post #2 of 32
That hourly thin is only a time line, we don't cook butts ta time they cook ta temps. Smoke ta 165° at a smoker temp a 225° then wrap in foil an cook ta an internal temp in the nieghborhood a 195°. Pull outa the smoker an put in a cooler an let rest fer at least an hour. This lets the juices reabsorb inta the meat.

I use a version a the pork finishin sauce that be a sticky on here.

Fer a spritz er a mop I use this:

Slaughterhouse Spritz (Good fer everthin!)
8 oz Apple Cider
6 oz Water
4 oz Whiskey
2 oz Cider Vinegar
I spritz bout once an hour. Then give it a heavy spritz before puttin in the foil.

Also, be carefull how much sugar ya put in yer rub, to much an it will tend ta burn on ya. Some is fine, just don't over do it.

Same thin fer BBQ sauce, ifin ya really feel the need ta use that stuff, don't put it on till the last 1/2 hour, cause that stuff got lots a sugar in it. Matter a fact, I wouldn't put it on at all, save it an put on the sammie if ya really need it.

Fer caterin I figure a 1/4 pound a meat per sammie. Ya gonna loose in the nieghborhood a 50% from the raw wieght. So ifin ya wan't 5 pounds a cooked product ya need 10 pounds a raw product. That'll get ya in the right church anywho.

Kids er gonna eat maybe one, adults ya better figure at least two. Depend on the folk yall feedin.
post #3 of 32
Sounds like your getting it all figured out. Remember smoke to temps and not times I like to take butts to 200-205 internal for pulling. If you have the Jack Daniels then use it I'd probably mix a ration of 3 parts apple juice to 1 part Jack and the spritz bottle is what I use. Let it smoke about 1.5 hours then spritz it about every hour with that spritz. Figure your going to get about 50% of raw meat weight when done. Starting out with about 8.5 lbs you should expect about 4.25 lbs of pulled pork. I find if people make their own sandwiches they use about 1/3 lb each some will use more some less. Now you know your friends better than me how many sandwiches is each going to eat? What kind and how many sides are you going to have? Personally I'd prolly grab a third butt just to make sure. If you don't eat it all don't forget it freezes well or your guests would love a doggie bag. As far as start times figure the biggest butt and about 1.5 hours per lb if you can maintain 225-250 for smoker temps. Also add extra time in case you hit a plateau and for resting and pulling. Remember it will stay hot a long time foiled and towel wrapped in a dry cooler. Don't forget the finishing sauce to make it even better

Finishing Sauce Link

I'd suggest maybe Dutch's Wicked Beans for a side if you want it more kid friendly maybe omit the japs heres that link
post #4 of 32
Gonna give you my humble opinion. I personally only mop a meat when I have to open the smoker anyway. I think you loose more moisture than you introduce by opening up the smoker to mop. I get my flavors from the rub and the sauce.... or when I foil.... the flavors I put in the liquid. I will also spritz my ribs when I move them or check on them but it's for the flavor... not the moisture. I think you need to always add a small amount of liquid when you foil. I'm just not a beleiver in mopping. Now... understand... not my intention to talk you out of it. Just my method. Try it both ways and see how you like the best.

I've found that it's a lot easier to keep a smoke warm than to keep everybody sitting around waiting for food. It always takes more time than I figure. I've had butts take 14+ hours and some take 10. The thing to remember is that when it is done and you foil it, wrap it in a towel and throw it in a cooler..... it will stay hot for hours. I mean 4 or 5 hours and plenty hot to pull and serve. Let us know how it turns out.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Here's some pictures of what I got so far
The Rub, the 2 Boston Butts I haven't started on yet, and lol A Steak Dinner that I had at 10 this morning.

Several times each year, The Overton County Cattleman's Association have a Steak Dinner and I eagerly await it. They are packed with flavor.

We are having pulled pork, tater salad, baked beans, and cole slaw if I can talk someone into making it.

Reckon It would be alright to let them smoke today, stick in the fridge wrapped in foil, then stick in the oven tomorrow about 2-3 hours before everyone gets here? And its gonna be 4 guys 2 girls and 2 kids Guys will probably have 2-3 sandwichs a piece 1-2 on women and maybe chicken nuggets for the kids
post #6 of 32
Pulled pork reheats just fine, some say even better than the day it was smoked. Good plan right there.

Hope everything goes great for you! We'll be pullin' for ya!

post #7 of 32
Sounds like you are on the right track. Always cook to temp. For pulled pork 200 is a good number.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Ok, I been working on my butt's, getting them ready to smoke. I'm gonna let the rub sit on them for a while before I decide to go fire up my smoker. I can finally use my wireless digital thermometer. I think I'm going to let them smoke till they are about 170-175 then wrap and foil and refrigerate. then pop in the oven tomorrow until they get 200-210 then set them in a cooler wrapped up in foil and towel and set in a cooler until right before people get here. What would be a good temp to preheat the oven to to cook the butts the rest of the way? I figured 275-300. Would a roaster oven be just as good as a regular oven?

Oh well, here's the project so far...lol
And also a picture of my beloved smoker.......how do you think I'd go about smoking the little one....lol
post #9 of 32
I'm thnkin I'd go ahead and cook them up to 200 and rest them... cool them down.... then warm them up when you need them. You won't have to heat them up much the next day... you can set them in the oven at 225 and when they are warm... your ready to eat. Your not gonna be cookin them more... just heatin them up.

My thought is it might be better to let them finish the cooking process and then warm them up as opposed to interrupting the cooking process to finish cooking the next day....

But then again... I haven't done one the way you are doing it so it may turn out actually better. I have done it the way I'm describing and they turned out excellent.
post #10 of 32
I'm with Dave.^^^^^^^
post #11 of 32
I'll second Daves method. The "to mop or spritz" debate will always rage on.
post #12 of 32
I do too. However, I have a few times interrupted the cooking process in mid-stream - then refrigerated (or even frozen) the food to continue the process another day. I've found that it retains juiciness, particularly in poultry. In other words, it seems to work just as well as full-cook then freezing.
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well I put them on at 2:15 so they been cooking for 30-35 minutes now. internal temperature of one of them has rose 16 degrees so needless to say....i'm in for a good night. guess i'll fire up the ps3 tonight.
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Ok I know I'm posting a lot today but I got my boston butts going. I'm curious.....they been on for almost 2 hours and they are at 121 degrees right now. are they cooking fast or will they start slowing down on the internal temp rise after a certain point. I know I read average of 1 1/2 -2 hour per pound. but at the rate they are going...they'll be done in 2 more hours at the most.
post #15 of 32
it will slow down... plus it should stall for a while too. In my experience the last 15 degrees or so takes forever.
post #16 of 32
If your cooking between 225 and 250 they aren't going to get done in the next two hours I promise. Forget time. Go by internal temp and double check your finished temp with another temp probe unless you are absolutely sure in the accuracy of the temp probe your using. You won't go from 121 internal to 160 in 2 hours. Lay back and relax........ it will all be over soon enough.
post #17 of 32
Ya know the baby has that look like, Dad? are you sure you know what your doin???? Sounds like ya got it nailed and it should be fine. like everyone says it's the temps not timescool.gif
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
Been in almost 3 hours and up to 147. does it usually jump up that quick? It went from 41 to 70-80 in the first hour. Its rose maybe 20 degrees in the past hour so its slowing down. I don't know exactely the internal temp cept it on the D of the Ideal section of the cheap thermo that you get with the smoker. I found a good thermo that i'll have to screw on the lid at walmart for $16 dollars. The butts look pretty dang awesome right now. I was just worried that it was cooking too fast in the first 1 1/2 hours, but now I can tell it'll take a while.
post #19 of 32
What is the temp of your smoker right now? What kind of wood are you using? Sounds like you have thought this through. A lot of good advice here.
post #20 of 32
Do this as soon as possible. The stock thermos are junk. Or better yet, get a digital oven thermometer, stick the probe through a chunk of wood or a potato and set it on the grate so you can accurately measure the temp of the smoker. You're probably cooking at a higher temp than you realize. Butts are pretty forgiving though so don't panic.

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