doing smoke out for large christmas function, need help with a topping sauce for moisture

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 6, 2010
i am doing about 50lbs of butts.  Usually do not have any issues with moisture but i would like to get some thoughts on a 'topping' sauce or otherwise some moisture adder i can pour over the meat after pulling to ensure everything is just dripping.  I seem to recall making an apple juice product before but ended up just tasting like diluted BBQ sauce.  I want something that will compliment the meat. 

Also, i wanted to see how long you guys typically rest your pork before pulling?  i do not want to lose all the moisture.  I was thinking 1 hr.  i have not decided if I should pull it all or pull only as needed and try to keep warm.  decisions..  i plan to shoot in the 195-205 internal temp range depending on how they act. 
Check out the "Pork Sticky", if you haven't already, at the top of this forum lots of good info there.
Jimmy posted a great finishing sauce and there is always SoFlaquers that has been used with great success by lots of guys. I would let it rest for at least an hour 

To answer your question on pulling all now or as needed can you give more info on the event - it will help determine if you will have time to do it on the fly 
Event is just a casual family gathering with buffet style dinner.  there will certainly be many more things on the table.  the question was just raised as to how much we really need.  i think we are over shooting here but people will be happy to take some home.  Just really depends on how much people like smoked pork.  it would be no issue to pull as needed but not sure if that really gives any particular advantage vs just pulling it all and covering it until needed. 
I have pulled and frozen with finishing sauce several times with great success  Do you have a vac sealer? If so you can do it ahead of time and seal some in packages to add if needed at the end. You can reheat in the bags in hot not boiling water.  Sounds like a lot of fun 
You foil your butts?  i have never done that.  i will have to check my notes. 

Now I have always foiled my butts. Then like Craig keep the juices from the foil and refrigerate and then scrap the fat off when it hardens. Now if you are going to smoke the butts first and refrigerate and then re-heat and pull later. I have use a steamer pot to re-heat with great sucess. Then just pull the meat and then add the juices that you saved. The steamer pot doesn't let the meat dry out and to me it really brings out the smokey flavors too.
I'm no expert but the best PP I've ever made was due to a finishing sauce thrown together on the fly. I'd had some problems with my smoker holding temp, so I puled it after 2 or 3 hours and finished it in the oven. Covered the pan with foil from 160˚ to 203˚ where I removed it from the oven. Like Craig, while the meat was resting I took the liquid from the pan and put it in the freezer to firm up the fat. I then strained it and reduced it, and added some more of the rub used on the meat, some apple cider vinegar, some honey and if I remember correctly some pepper flakes and some sweet pickle juice. Cooked it down just a bit and drizzled on the meat after pulling. I believe the important things to look for in a finishing sauce are that it's fairly thin and fairly acidic.
Just going to update that the family gathering was a great success.  Pretty funny that only about one half of one butt was eaten during the buffet.  But, when we were getting ready to roll and offering left overs, I literally had a line of people wanting all I care to give them.  i got rid of 3 butts that way.  If I had some little cups for sauce, I would have sent some of my BBQ sauce which I feel is to die for with pork. 

I ran mine to 200 internal, no foil,  lost the fat cap.  I learned a couple key things on this run that will certainly help me in the future.  Seems every time I run though, I get better about making messes and streamlining my efforts.  I remember my first run.  I think I had every ingredient on the counter and crap everywhere.  I LOVE these big Al cooking pans and disposable Al pans.  ran 4 butts this time with smooth precision and timing within 30min of target.  I had to bump my cook temp the last 3 hrs but I almost expect that anymore and has never causes any issues.  Pushing things well after the plateau and allowing a good rest just does not seem to be an issue.  However, like many know, it is actually kinda hard to screw up a pork butt... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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