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Doing my first butt Saturday - tips appreciated!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dburne, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Hi gang,

    Ok so I have done about 5 smokes now on my OKJ Longhorn smoker. We got it in June, the last few weeks have been very hectic for us but this Saturday looking like a nice day with temps in the 60's. All my previous smokes were spare ribs, which I have gotten pretty good at, thanks to the very helpful folks on this forum . I love the ribs. My wife does as well, however she tells me it is time for something different, so this smoke will be my first ever butt smoke for pulled pork.

    Here is my plan:

    I modded my OKJ Longhorn, with a charcoal basket, a convection plate, and sealed the lids with nomex gaskets. I will be using minion method with the charcoal, adding hickory chunks throughout the first 1/2 or so of the smoke. I have gotten the minion method down with the charcoal basket, to where I can get like 5-6 hours or so out of it before adding more. Since the butt requires more time, will start with even more unlit coals than I have for the ribs, with hopes of getting even longer.

    I have the Maverick ET 732 wireless thermometers which have worked well, to monitor the cooking temp and internal temp of the butt.

    I will prepare the butt with Jeff's Rub the night before. I will load up the charcoal basket and have it ready , then I will get up early Sat am, like 4 ish, to light it up and  begin the smoke.

    I plan to smoke around 250 degrees or so, and will cook to an internal temp of 200-205 for pulling.

    Once reaches that temp, will remove and wrap it foil and let rest for about an hour or so?

    Regarding finishing sauce - in Jeff's basic E-Course, it recommends capturing the juices in a drip pan, then while butt is resting,  putting in fridge for about an hour for the fat to congeal, then scrape that off and pour juices back into the pork after pulled. I am thinking of just doing that, or possibly instead use one of the finishing sauce recipes here on the forum? If I use the former, should I put the butt in a disposable aluminum pan and set on cooking grate, or put the pan in the bottom to let the juices drip into, while the butt sits on the cooking grate?

    Lastly, I know I am in for a long smoke. I am wondering if I should just get 2 smaller butts, say like 4-5 lbs, or one larger butt, like 8-9 lbs? I guess using two smaller might be quicker??

    I would certainly appreciate any advice/tips as again, this is my first butt and I really would like it to come out awesome. Not going to be having company for it this first time, so won't be under big pressure to have it done at a specific time. Course if some family hear I am doing this, all bets may be off LOL.

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  2. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit

     Lastly, I know I am in for a long smoke. I am wondering if I should just get 2 smaller butts, say like 4-5 lbs, or one larger butt, like 8-9 lbs? I guess using two smaller might be quicker??
    two smaller ones will quick faster than one bigger. Your preference as to how long you wanna smoke it. figuring a 1.5hr per lb.. will give ya approx 7.5hr for a 5lber as a 10lb closer to 15hours.... etc
    everything sounds good to me.
    Ive never smoked to where ive caught the drippings. . So ill let someone help with that!

    Good luck and take pictures!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  3. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Thanks webowabo!

    In doing more reading, I am now torn between whether to foil at a certain point during the smoke, or just leave it bare... I guess there is no right or wrong answer? Looks like if I foil I lose the bark, if I don't foil I should have nice bark, but maybe not as moist?
  4. dburne

    dburne Meat Mopper

    Hey gang,

    Ok I guess I am going to run out today and see if I can pick up a couple of 5 lb'ers.

    While tomorrow is going to be sunny, going to be cold in the am, around 36, up to low 60's in the afternoon, but winds 10-20 mph.

    I hope I can keep the temps up.

    Still undecided if I should foil at some point during the smoke, or only when I take it off to rest?

    Thanks for any feedback,