Butt Cooking Time

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by tom blakely, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Does anyone have a tried timeframe for cooking a Butt by pound @250 degrees?  I have a Trailmaster Limited Edition.

    Thank you

  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    The cook time on a pork butt is almost always a guess. Each one is different so they cook differently.

    At 250 without wrapping you should allow for 2 hours per pound to be on the safe side. It could be faster than that but you don't want to cut yourself short. 
  3. Thanks for your response.

    What does MES stand for?

    Again thanks

  4. Forgot one important question - do you wrap your butt; sort of personal lololololol?


  5. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A butt will usually reach a "stall" around 150-160*. A stall is a point where the IT will stop rising for several hours. To keep it simple, it's a time when the heat has been absorbed and will not increase until the collagens have broken down and will begin to absorb additional heat. (That sounds good anyway. It's more complicated than that, but I don't need to know anymore.)

    When a butt reaches the stall temp, I usually wrap it and add about 1/2 cup of apple juice. The wrap will help to push through the stall. The apple juice will help to maintain moisture and the acidity will help with tenderness. Take the IT to 185* for slicing or to 200-205* for pulling. When you have reached the IT that you want, take the butt out of the cooker. Wrap it in a couple of towels or a blanket and let it rest in an insulated cooler for an hour. During this time the juices will re-distribute through the meat.

    As stated above, all butts are different. You should not try to stick to a certain time. times are only for scheduling. Always cook a butt by IT.

    Good luck, good smokin' and enjoy, Joe
    (IT is internal temperature)
  6. slow smoker

    slow smoker Fire Starter

    Joe, your formula looks great. I tried a butt in the oven several years ago and can attest to the stalling around 160. After I'm guessing another 2-3 hours it started coming up again. I stopped it at about 200. I know no one here cares about cooking anything in an oven, but it was my entry into slow cooking which I now do only in my smoker. I want to try your method and maybe do two, one wrapped and the other open to see which I prefer. I like a good crust and prefer pulling.
  7. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your crust or bark should be set by the time it stalls. Check this out when you do your side by side test
  8. slow smoker

    slow smoker Fire Starter

    Joe B, Wilco.
  9. jerevil

    jerevil Newbie

    Followed this IT advice last night. Took about 11 hours to get my pork to 199-195. Foiled, toweled and then into the cooler.

    Came out amazing.
  10. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm glad it worked for you. Next time post some pics for all of us to see. Thumbs Up
  11. kit baker

    kit baker Newbie

    I have a question. I'm about to do my first butt (about 8 pounds) in a Masterbuilt. Would it be too overpowering to the meat if I put one part water/one part apple juice in the water pan and spritz with a mixture of apple juice, cider vinegar, and water? My sauce will be a golden Carolina bbq sauce. I plan on smoking with a mixture of hickory and apple wood. And, kind of a general question for future reference, but what are everyone's thoughts about JD whiskey barrel chips? Do they go good with Boston butt? Thanks
  12. kit baker

    kit baker Newbie

  13. Slow, I also like a good crust, and each time I wrapped, I lost a little bit of that on the finished product. So the last time I wrapped, I decided that at 190 degrees, I would unwrap it and put it back in my MES. Within the last hour or two that it took to reach 205, it barked right back up and then some.

    I personally prefer to wrap the pork. When I go to unwrap it, I like to punch a hole in bottom and collect all that pork juice/fat. I'll stick it in the fridge in a glass cup and by the time the pork is done, the fat has separated. Spoon the fat out, then reheat the goo and add it back into the pork once pulled. And of course, a squirt bottle of SoFlaQue's finishing sauce!
    kit baker likes this.
  14. Kit, not sure on all of this but I'll answer from my experience. If you want a strong bark formation, I would not put any liquid in the pan. I do, however, spritz my butt once an hour during the initial phase before foiling. You can find various recipes, but mine consists of 3 parts apple cider, 1 part Captain Morgans. The spritzing will help promote bark formation.

    Also, if you do foil but like a stronger bark, try unfoiling it at 190 and putting it back in the smoker to finish unwrapped.

    I don't have any experience with the JD chips, but I've used hickory and apple before and they both compliment the pork well.  
    kit baker likes this.
  15. kit baker

    kit baker Newbie

    Well I did my first pork butt in the MES this weekend for Carolina pulled pork with hickory and apple. Despite a couple of newbie mistakes one which had me worried I'd be having to order pizza, The take home lesson from that is stick the meat probe in lengthwise instead of across the cut. After foiling and reinserting the meat probe, it poked all the way through and out the other side - really screwed up my reading. Of course, I didn't notice until I pulled it out of the smoker and saw how I was loosing juices. Needless to say, that resting period was the longest hour of the whole process, let me tell you. Luckily, the butt was only a little dry, but still a huge hit with my wife and the family we invited over. I even got a text message later that night from the mom of the family we had over because her 14 year old son asked for my bbq sauce recipe.

    As expected, I hit the stall at 161. I waited it out and foiled the butt at 170. I spritzed with plain old apple juice at 4 hours, 6 hours, and at foiling - abt 8 hours. The 6 hour spritz was during the stall. Does spritzing during the stall prolong it or does it matter? When are recommended times for spritzing, or is it more a personal preference? I already know how I want to tweek things for next time like adding maple to the mix and spritzing with concentrated apple juice. Of course, lesson learned about inserting the probe lengthwise, lol. I'm am new to smoking but somewhat knowledgeable in that I'm moving up from the Smokehouse Big Chief which I will still use for smaller, quicker projects and of course for smoking cheeses and such.
  16. jayace

    jayace Smoke Blower

    Spritzing won't affect your stall, except for maybe lost heat from opening the smoker but that should be minimal if your smoker is good at recovering from that. Spritzing at certain intervals is really just personal preference to help form whatever kind of bark you like.
  17. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Kit, I never spritz. I have never really thought it did any good. Also. it lets heat out of the CC. Go back to post #9 and re-read about how I put 1/2 cup of apple juice in the foil when I wrap at the stall. I believe that works much better than spritzing.
    kit baker likes this.
  18. kit baker

    kit baker Newbie

    Just reread that post. I will do that the next time I do a butt. I'm still riding the learning curve, lol. Oh, dumb question, do you use concentrated apple juice or the ready-to-drink?
  19. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just ready to drink. I don't really know, but the concentrate may be too strong on the flavor.
  20. I have done a lot of butts and have always used the stuff you drink from the carton. Not sure about the concentrate tho. I honestly wouldn't think it would make that much of a difference . Maybe just lend a little more sweetness but after it's all shredded up, you prob wouldn't even notice a difference with decent size butt. If your foiling at the stall, you really don't even need to spritz It. I don't anyway. The only thing I spritz is ribs like baby back or St. Louis . That's just my opinion, I'm no expert but have never had a problem not spritzing a 4-6 lb butt. As far as the water pan goes, I think I've put everything under the sun in there and never noticed any different flavors from just using regular water. I have noticed aroma from adding spices but never any taste difference that carried into the meat.


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