Every Time I Smoke Boston Butt is a Learning Experience

Discussion in 'Pork' started by rabbithutch, May 21, 2015.

  1. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I bought a two-pack at Sam's and let it sit in the extra reefer for awhile because I didn't have any of Jeff's Rub recipe mixed up. I was short on brown sugar and had to wait for a trip to the supermarket before mixing another batch. Finally got the rub mix done. Next day I got the butts out of the reefer and washed them down and slathered them with mustard then wiped them with the rub. I follow Jeff's recipe almost religiously except that I add red pepper flakes in the same amount as black pepper. I like spicy. That was day 1.

    I put the rubbed butts in the reefer planning to let them sit overnight to dry out a little. When I went to fire up the MES, I discovered that it wouldn't heat (that's a different thread; Masterbuilt is shipping me a new heater element); so I decided to do them on my OTG kettle. I didn't want to be tending the meat in the middle of the night; so I set up a triple briquette snake coil around 7/8th of the kettle with hickory chips and chunks on top of the first half of the burn. That was day 2.

    Yesterday, I lit the snake and got up to temp and put the butts on at about 3:00 PM. Figuring on 18-20 hours, I expected to be done between 9 and 11 AM. I placed my probes for the ET-733 when I put the meat on. All went well with only the occasional mini temp spike but nothing major. I went to bed expecting the burn to last until noon at least. That was day 4.

    I got up at 7:30 (I'm retired) and heard my ET receiver beeping. I was expecting to see a temp spike but saw everything had fallen below minimums. I looked at the grill to find the butts well blackened and crispy, but the fire had burned completely out. (I've never had a triple snake burn that fast before.) Because I didn't see the highest temp the meat reached and because it was still a bit too moist when I tore into it, I put it in a roaster pan an placed it in a 250° kitchen oven to get the temp up to at least 140° IT before taking it off. I took it out after about an hour and a half. The bones came out with a slight tug and the meat was done enough. That makes day 5.

    In addition to learning once again that butts are very forgiving, I learned that you cannot predict with accuracy how fast a snake of briquettes will burn. I also learned that it is probably better to start earlier in the day so that the finish will come while I'm still up.

    We had pp sands for supper and it was good. I will pull it for Carolina style BBQ tomorrow and package it in vacuum sealed bags of one pound each and into the freezer it will go.
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It won't be long and you'll have butts mastered. I've done them low and slow, hot and fast, and a combo. They pretty much like any temp you throw at them and still come out great.

    I did 18 lbs (two boneless Costco butts) last Sunday in 8 hours; 6 hours at 300F to an IT of 175F, then wrapped at 375F for two hours to an IT of 205F. Rested a couple hours. Great bark, moist and juicy meat. Butts are basically mistake proof as long as the safe zone is maintained.
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

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