First Pork Butt ?s

Discussion in 'Pork' started by harleybike, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Hi all. I have posted on the roll call introducing myself and have been searching and reading about pork butt.  I just got my MES 30' on Tues and smoked spare ribs on Wed.  More about the ribs later.

    So I am having about 14 people over on Sunday, bout 4pm.  I see I need about 1lb raw meat per person? Yields a little more than 1/2 cooked?  I searched on the pork forum looking for ways to prep and smoke, but there are many differences.  I would like to have the basic easy steps for a first timer.  Also, am I reading about pellets for the MES as opposed to chips?

    To start, I am going to clean some of the fat off, mustard and rub and wrap in plastic wrap over night. I also believe I am going to inject the butt? 

    I am seeing different temps at certain times and IT's, foil or no foil,  cooler or no cooler. I know there is a lot of info on this site, but just asking for the simple beginner method to begin with. 

    I'd like to get a nice bark, and have read where we add cane sugar and brown sugar to the rub?  If I start this late Sat night to be ready on Sunday, is it ok not to have smoke over night after the first couple hours until I get up in the morn on Sun and add more wood?  Are we going more by IT than actual hours per pound?  Thanks in advance guys.
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Trust me, a 10 lb butt will be PLENTY for 14 people, especially if you are having a lot of side dishes.  1 lb per person is way to much unless you're talking football players or swimmers, then that won't be enough. 

    I cooked 18 lbs recently for 25-30 people at work who now demand the Q at pot lucks.  No one brings main dishes any more, just sides.  Folks all had at least one sandwich or bowl of pulled pork, many seconds, and still my wife and I ate leftovers for almost a week. 

    Don't worry about easy, though that's important.  Focus instead on success.  A butt is one forgiving hunk of meat that smokes well at just about any temperature, but it can lack flavor.  Injecting helps, but it isn't a guarantee.  Once you pull the meat, adjust the flavor as necessary with more rub, a little BBQ sauce, maybe some apple cider, raw sugar, and Chef JJ's finishing sauce.   

    Your prep you mentioned is fine.  Injecting can't hurt.  I used to inject.  Not any longer.

    IT is your friend, not time per lb. 

    Smoke is most important early in a smoke.  I've never done what you suggested about smoking so I can't say. 

    Bark is good, so either no wrapping or wrap well past the stall at 175-180F IT.  If you wait that long to wrap you still get a crispy, firm bark.

    Butts like to rest once smoked before you pull it so build that into your time.   

    You may not rate your smoke as perfect, but your non-smoking friends are going to think it is the best thing they've ever eaten. 
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the SMF Family...Pulled pork is one of the easiest meats to smoke. If you figure 1Lb per person, you will end up with around 1/2LB of Pulled Pork. That is a MAN Sized plate portion or 2 BIG sandwiches per person. If you can get you smoker to a steady 225-250*F you will have it licked. The night before shmear the Butt with Yellow Mustard and your favorite Rub, I will add a basic one you can try, don't worry about the mustard flavor after the cook it is barely perceptable but it make the rub stick well. Wrap it up and rest over night in the fridge. Some folks like to Inject apple juice or other liquid to add flavor and moisture. While this is not necessary for Pork Butts, it is an option. Just understand that there is a risk of pushing surface Bacteria into the meat and if the smoker should die for several hours during the cook,the meat may be unsafe to eat. Next day, Fire up your smoker getting it heated and rolling some TBS, Thin Blue Smoke. Place in the meat and figure on 2 hours per pound plus a 1-2 hours of CYA Pad/rest time. For each 50°F increase in smoker temp, you can subtract a half hour per pound of cook time. You now have a choice to make. You can smoke to 165* and wrap in foil, or place in a foil covered pan, with some Foiling Juice, apple juice or other favorite liquid then place it back in the smoker or oven to finish cooking...OR...You can smoke it the whole time no foiling to the finished temp. Foiling usually knocks off some cook time but you sacrafice that crunchy Bark that forms on the exterior smoking the whole time. You are looking to take the meat to an internal temp of 205*F before you try to pull it. You must either let it Rest on the counter, tented in foil, 30 minutes before pulling or you can wrap in foil and some old towels and stuff the pork in a cooler to rest and hold temp for up to 5 hours or so while you get everything else ready to go. After pulling add a finishing sauce to keep the meat moist and add some flavor and serve with your sides and BBQ Sauce. I'm partial to Coleslaw or Greens and Mac 'n Cheese with a KC Style sauce...

    Chips last about 30-40 minutes in an MES, Pellets burn faster and can flame up. However, it is a good idea to invest in an AMNPS A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker. This device will give about 10 hours of TBS per load, real nice on an overnight 16 hour Butt or Brisket smoke...

    This Rub is a good start if you have never made one. Adding more Blk Pepper and/or Cayenne will turn up the heat. Anything else just ask...JJ

    Mild Bubba Q Rub

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.

    Makes about 1C, enough for 2 8LB Butts or 4 racks of Ribs.

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:  Make a Double batch, skip the Butter.

    If you plan to Foil the meat, add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  4. Wow guys, thanks for the great detailed replies, much appreciated. My mouth is watering just thinking about this. I will definitely have sides, good ol' baked beans in the crock pot, fries, 2 salads, and potato salad, some fruit and desert.  And Beer!!![​IMG]    Perhaps I will leave out the injection process and I like the no foil for better bark option.

    Great point Noboundries...

    "You may not rate your smoke as perfect, but your non-smoking friends are going to think it is the best thing they've ever eaten".

    JJ, I am liking the Sweet finishing sauce idea, I like more sweet than tangy myself, so that sounds mouth watering.

    The one thing I am concerned about is the leaving it overnight with no smoke. (unless I can get then AMNPS by tomorrow~~Hehe)  Anyone near Detroit Mich wanna loan me theirs?

    If I put it on at about 8pm Sat, I can get about 3 hours worth of smoke and put the last load in at 12 ish. Then up at about 7-8am Sunday to load more chips. I suppose also that if I don't foil, than I don't have to worry bout getting up at 4 am or check the IT and foil at the right temp.  So can I go 6- 7 hours with no smoke or will that kill my Q?  Thanks again guys. 
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You'll be fine with that smoke plan. I used to wrap at the first sign of the stall back when I didn't care about bark. 5-6 hours was all the smoke it got and it still had plenty of smoke flavor.
  6. A lot of good advice here, the only advice I can really offer that contributes is to keep it simple your first few times.  As said, your friends will be amazed with the simplest of plans and it will make it much more enjoyable for you.  A butt and descent rub alone will make great pork.  Add a finishing sauce and it will take it over the top.  Chef Jimmy has you covered there.  Wrap if you need to push it, otherwise just enjoy the smell.  Injection, personally I would pass but up to you.  Also, I use molasses instead of mustard before my rub, just a personal preference.  The most important thing, enjoy yourself, BBQ should make you happy.
  7. Great, thanks for the info. I'll go as planned then.
  8. Great advice frog, I am giddy... I plan on not injecting. I just got back with all the ingredients for the rub and finishing sauce.  Just got a probe and thermometer where I can probe the meat and the thermometer is out side the smoker, no opening the door...If I'm lookin' I ain't cookin. 
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  Harleybike . Glad to have you here. I see you asked for a simple way to do PP , and as usual everyone gets long winded .

    Simple is what Pork Butt is , all I do is Rub , place in the Smoker naked , and at 225*F , a load of pellets in an AMNPS and you can set and forget 

    Some Sugar is good , but too much will begin to burn  .  I get excellent Bark :

    And goo pull . The bone is a great thermometer , cook to Internal Meat Temperature of around 200*F . The timing is only a guestimate for you to plan around.

    It's that simple , rub , cook and eat !!!

    Have fun and . . .
  10. Thanks for the welcome oldschool.  YUM...Thanks bro, sounds like the easy I like. Easy peasy. So I don't have the AMNPS yet, just learned about it, So I may just get up early Sun morn instead of putting it on Sat night and hope to have enough TBS in the first couple hours before I load the chips before bed. 

    So a related question about the ribs I did Wed. They turned out a bit too smoky... When do know  that there is enough or not enough TBS for certain meats? is there a general rule as to how long to produce TBS for certain hours of smoking or per the meat?  I realize most things are to taste, but too much is too much, and it was over whelming, specially the next day for leftovers.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  11. robcava

    robcava Meat Mopper

    Its hard to overwhelm pulled pork with smoke since there isnt a lot of smokey, barky exterior after you pull it and mix it together. I personally go heavy on the smoke with PP so you get the flavor.

    Ribs are thin, so you can definitely over smoke those. What type of wood pellets did you use? You can always switch to a milder mix of wood like cherry and apple, or just hit it with smoke for the first hour or two. You will need to experiment some to see what suits you.
  12. Oh ok Rob that makes sense. For the ribs I used Applewood and hickory chips. I plan on using cherry and hickory on the pulled pork.Thanks for the info. Helps a lot.
  13. bullitz

    bullitz Fire Starter

    Beans in the crock?  Throw those dudes in a tray into the smoker for an hour for a nice hint of smoke.

    Yeah... these guys here know their stuff.  I would not be considering the 60 lbs of Butt that I am doing tonight if it weren't for knowing these guys are here.

    POST PICS.  Besides thanks, posting pics is the best way to show your appreciation.  ;)
  14. robcava

    robcava Meat Mopper

    Hickory and cherry is a great mix for PP. Hickory is definitely a stronger wood, so maybe replace that with pecan and cherry for the ribs, cut the time for the smoke down a bit, and see if you like that.
  15. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    Welcome to the obsession! Looks like you got plenty of advice so I won't chime in other that to say welcome and good luck! Butts are very forgiving, you'll do great!
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks. It is a good one. Mix it up as directed but I suggest at least one Tablespoon of the AC Vinegar per recipe. It does brighten up the overall flavor. It is not overpowering, you barely taste it, it just makes the Foiling Juice and Pork come to life. The Acid stimulates the tongue making it sense all the flavors better...JJ
  17. OMGOSH...Nice, bean in the smoker, Duh. I hafta start having Q on the brain when it comes to cooking some of the sides, nice touch Bullitz. Thank. I most certainly will post pics
  18. Someone else outside of here that smokes mentions Pecan. I'll get some and try that with my next rack, thanks and I realize that we have to really experiment with many combos. I have started a log also, so I can go back an look.
  19. Thanks Tim, nice to meet ya, thanks for the welcome. And encourgagement.
  20. Sounds good J, I was actually skipping the AC but I will take your suggestion and add that as well.  I'm generally a good listener and a quick learner, listen to the people that have been doing this, hence the reason I'm on here, many thanks...

    Man I am getting so stoked to get this show (smoke) on the road.

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