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Doing first pork butts today

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Last night I put some rosemary evoo and bbq rub, saran wrapped, and let sit in fridge overnight. Put on some extra rub this morning. Had the smoker ready and the butts in at 8:30 this morning. Have the temp at 235 but my MES is about 5 degrees off so it is really at about 230.

Right now (at 11:00 AM PST) they are already at 160. Didn't expect them to climb that fast. Is that normal. They are fairly small, about 3-4 lbs each.

Ready for the rub:

Rubbed and ready for smoker:

post #2 of 12
Looks like you're off to a great start!! It sounds as if your internal smoker temp is good ... don't worry too much about the meat hitting 160 that fast 'cause there is more than likely a plateau period in the near future (where the meat temp stalls and even may go backwards a bit before resuming the climb back up).

Keep us posted on your first butt! It will smell delicious!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Here's a pic 3 hours into the smoke.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Are the therms in a good spot? I pushed them in as far as I could. Is it better to go from the side like that or from the top?
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just took one butt out at 205 and wrapped it. The other is still at 175. In fact, just dropped to 174. Wierd. And the one that is so much lower in temp is the smaller one.
post #6 of 12
Everything sounds/looks great. Sometimes they smoke faster/ slower than others. That's why a calibrated therm is your friend.
post #7 of 12
Looking Good...
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, I figured out what was wrong. Good learning experience for me.

I foiled the one butt that finished early for about an hour and pulled it for dinner. During the pulling I found that the entire center section of the butt was a big ball of fat. So the fat was measuring a higher temp than the meat around it. Next time when it seems to be cooking way to fast I'll know to move the therm to a new area.

The second one is at 202 degrees so almost ready to pull and foil.

The family wasn't a big fan of this first one. So I have an uphill road to climb since so far they like the crock pot pulled pork better. All good, I like a good challenge so I'm more determined to make my next smoked butt better!!!

Also, my wife said she's not a fan of the bark so not too sure what to do with that. The flavor was great she just doesn't like that it is "crusty." Perhaps next time I will foil at 160 and go that route. I would think that the bark wouldn't be as crusty that way.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Let the second butt go to 207 then foiled for about a half hour or so. Then pulled. Much easier to pull and much jucier than the other butt even though it cooked at least 2 hours longer. Live and learn - watch out for them fat pockets when measuring temps.

The wife is still not caring for the bark so will have to figure out something. I love it, great flavor, but, you know, gotta make the wife and kids happy. :)

For the record I also threw in 7 dino bones today. Wife and I hadn't had dino bones for 3 or 4 weeks so were jonesing a bit. Forgot to take pics because the kids were upstairs playing without yelling at each other and we jumped at the chance to sit down and have a quiet dinner with just the two of us.

Here's a pic of the fully cooked butt before pulling:

After pulling. Got a little smoke ring in the MES using the small chunks of charcoal.

post #10 of 12
Looks great to me. Did you spray/mop them at all? The added moisture might slow the formation of the bark. Alternatively, you could cook a bigger butt which would give you a higher ratio of volume to surface area, yielding more "bark-less" meat for the amount of bark you end up with. Either way, it looks delicious.
post #11 of 12
When you foil to rest, wrap a towel around it as well and place in a dry cooler and let rest for a cou[le of hours. The bark will retain it's flavour, but will soften significantly.
post #12 of 12
That sure is a fine pair of butts you have there. Sorry for the fat mass in the center of the one butt. It looks like everything came out alright in the long run.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
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