• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Butterflied Pork Butt (or Pork Butt Butt)

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,467
2,515
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Well a few weekends ago I did 2 pork butts at 17.5 pounds total.
I butterflied them so that the pork butts were more like butts hahaha.

The reason I did this was to:
  • get more seasoning on the meat for flavor
  • get more bark because there was now more surface area
  • get more smoke flavor and penetration
The results were butt-iful :emoji_laughing:

Here's the Q-View and then a little write-up after:

What I Did
I split these butts from the meat side upwards towards the fat side and to the bone basically, but kept them intact with the fat being one piece on the top.
I seasoned all over and inside the split.
I spread the split pieces apart so they could get smoke and heat and placed them on my crisper basket rack that way.

The Outcome
I produced the most flavorful pulled pork I have ever eaten!!!!:emoji_astonished:
I got greater amount of bark (not more pronounced bark, just more of the same level of bark). I had better seasoning coverage. I had greater and deeper smoke flavor and penetration.

Also I cut down the smoking time by about 5 hours, though this was not a goal of mine but was nice to know.
I smoke at 275F and roll unwrapped the whole time which gives me just a hair over an hour a pound. So 17.5 pounds of meat at 275F is usually 17.5-18.25 hours. I cut down roughly 28% or better of my cooking time.:emoji_astonished:

Without the butterfly technique I produce great pulled pork. I shake my seasoning (S,Px2,O,G +Paprika) into my pulled pork to give it the extra flavor that it is missing since seasoning and smoke can't penetrate so deep into a giant hunk of meat.
I did the same thing but this time I didn't have to shake nearly as much AND the flavor was way better to begin with.

Conclusion
This is one little trick put my pulled pork over the top from great to amazing!
I imagine that just splitting the butts in half would do the same but I thought keeping the fat layer together on top would help and also I thought trapping some smoke for a longer period of time in the butt's butt crack might give me deeper smoke flavor hahaha.

I hope this info helps people understand roughly how much time they can cut down a pork butt smoke by and also encourage them to try my main tricks (4 now vs 3) to create amazing pulled pork because I rarely find good pulled pork anywhere :)

4 Main Tricks
  1. Smoke at 275F because the pork butt doesn't care and who needs to wait longer than necessary
  2. Smoke/Cook unwrapped entire time with no spritzing or fooling around with the meat, to get great bark and flavor
  3. Shake a good simple seasoning/rub into the pulled meat and mix in and do so until flavor is bursting
  4. Split the pork butt from the meat side up to the bone and season all in there. Place the pork butt spread open to get more bark and smoke flavor in the meat. Shorten the smoke even further. This trick basically improves the benefits gained from #1-3
I hope this info helps! :emoji_sunglasses:
 
Last edited:

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,999
7,115
Joined Oct 17, 2016
Oh Hell Yeah!
Looking very tasty indeed, nice cook.
Like!
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,467
2,515
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Oh Hell Yeah!
Looking very tasty indeed, nice cook.
Like!
Yeah one of the nice things about these butts was that almost every bit had a piece of bark with it.
I'm not some super enamored bark guy that wants a mouthful of crust and bark chewing, but I do like the flavor of bark.

Having bark in every bite was very very very pleasant. Part of the reason the flavor was sooooo much better than having a giant chunk of meat where the bark is much smaller fraction of the food you eat :)
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,467
2,515
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Bookmarking this one for my next P/P cook.

Called "Buttcrack BBQ" on my bookmark list.
Hahahaha good name! I can totally see it catching on as the Buttcrack Butt approach :emoji_laughing:
 

Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,262
1,210
Joined Dec 10, 2018
Great job tallbm
I'm a bark lover. Depending on the eating audience, I may cut up larger cuts and even section rib racks to get more bark and crust.

...
Called "Buttcrack BBQ" on my bookmark list.
I would have called it split tail but after living in 6 states (including Indiana) I learned many expressions have a local definition that differs from my intention.
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,812
1,350
Joined Nov 16, 2016
I was planning to do a write up for same type of method of splitting a butt. Shortening the smoke, more bark, more flavor. Smoking trifecta! Butts here are like 8lbs so not sure how to break down yet.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,467
2,515
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Great job tallbm
I'm a bark lover. Depending on the eating audience, I may cut up larger cuts and even section rib racks to get more bark and crust.

I would have called it split tail but after living in 6 states (including Indiana) I learned many expressions have a local definition that differs from my intention.
Thanks! Yeah all kinds of expressions could be used for sure. While doing the write up I had to be careful not to accidentally word things that sounded dirty hahaha.

I was planning to do a write up for same type of method of splitting a butt. Shortening the smoke, more bark, more flavor. Smoking trifecta! Butts here are like 8lbs so not sure how to break down yet.
I had the images saved for 2 weeks now and just got around to posting it. Looks like I beat you to the punch. When you post your smoke I look forward to reading about it. Our info and experience seems to be the same.
I try to find 10 pound butts here but most are in the 7-9 pound range. I'm guessing the monster sized ones end up in the old south on the east coast :)
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,812
1,350
Joined Nov 16, 2016
I am actually happy you beat me to it since this proves it works so I don't have to worry about it when I do it. :emoji_wink: I'd do it for more bark alone, but more bark AND 1hr/lb is just killer. Definitely calling this the Buttcrack method.
 

gmc2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
11,512
6,277
Joined Sep 15, 2012
I'll definitely give this a go on my next butt smoke. Way to think outside the box.

Point for sure
Chris
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
42,283
14,649
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Looks Great, Tall !!
Nice Job!
Like.

Bear
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,467
2,515
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Thanks guys!

The Buttcrack method is far from "rocket surgery" and that little tweak gives so much more flavor and benefit :)
 

dj mishima

Smoking Fanatic
362
74
Joined Jun 8, 2011
Hey buddy! I just picked up 2 pork butts today to smoke this weekend. This will be my 3rd and 4th time smoking shoulder. So, I forgot how the bone is oriented in the cut of meat. Which direction should I be making the cut? I have only made pulled pork this way so I plan to keep doing it. But, it's hard for me to see from your photos which way it was butterflied.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.