May have to finish smoke in oven. Wrap or not? Want bark.

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jan 2, 2018
Southern KY
I offered to my adult son that I was smoking a butt today and that if he'd like one smoked for himself to grab a nice one at Kroger on sale. "Sure Pop Thanks!" What he brought was an 11 pound big fella. Last night he said he was having company at 6:30 today (day of smoke) and hoped his would be ready for eating. OK Joe Highland was up to temp at 7:00 and butts started.
Anyway. Because of time, I may need to smoke the total of 20 pounds of butt for 9 hours then finish in the oven. He and I love a firm, fight the bite bark. Am I right that if I wrap the butts in foil and oven-finish them this afternoon I will make the bark soggy?
OK to oven finish the butts at 350 degrees to an IT of 201-205 degrees unwrapped?
I’ve finished a few in the oven. I’ve always put them in an aluminum pan and covered with foil. And sadly the bark does become mushy. B
Thanks folks. If I have to oven finish the two butts I shall take the plunge and bake finish them unwrapped. Maybe reduce my heat to 310 or so also. Also, a light brushed outside coat of canola oil and the same vinegar-based dip as used for injecting, before placing in the oven to hopefully prevent burning. Sure want the bark. Don.
Yup you’ll lose the texture of the bark you like for sure. But on the plus side your pork will be done in time so it’s not a total loss.

I've never tried unwrapped at 350 in the oven, but the thought behind it seems sound.

+1; Smoking hot and fast right? 275F or higher and you got a good chance. Doesn't help you now but I've ruined enough dinners that I smoke everything a day or so in advance so I don't have to stress about nailing dinner time. Best of luck!
Actually my son I think assumed the smoke would be done. He is familiar though with the "stall" from smoking a little himself and the nature of the butt. They may be eating late. I never promised him a rose garden (grin). Don
the bark will suffer wrapped in the oven or smoker. If i have to go to the oven i go in a foil pan unwrapped at 250 and spritz just like i would if it was in the smoker.
Cane Sugar in rubs, caramelizes at 320°. Temps above that will give a burnt and bitter bark. 300° is plenty hot enough to finish the cook...JJ
Excellent. Thank you everyone for sharing. I'm in the stall now. The IT of the larger 11 pound butt, located at the 275 degree end of my cook chamber is 167 at the 7 hour mark, while the smaller, 9 pounder is 158 degrees at the 260 or so end of the CC. Looks like I may be ablt to hit 205 or so in a couple hours (hoping so). The SPOG chuck roast I started several hours ago is not foil wrapped and slow tenderizing alongside the butts. Going to check IT on it again and pull it soon to rest.
never have done such a large smoke (for me) with 23 pounds of meat at once. Don.
Sorta success. At the 11 hour mark the large butt was only 190 degrees IT. The smaller one was 180. Started to rain some, pulled both for a stay in the oven at 250 for 1 hour. No real IT rise. Son was happy with the texture and flavor of the large butt (the one he bought) and took it home. Called him after supper and was told the pork pulled OK most all the way. Success mostly.
The smaller butt though never would go above 183 IT. Even after an additional 1 1/2 hour. I surrendered and took it out of the oven. Guess it will be a chopped smoked pork butt with vinegar based hot sauce. Fine for me but .... what the heck? I guess that 250 to 275 was too hot a smoker. I think I should have had the butcher cut the large butts into two halves. That's what I'll do next time. Live and learn. Thanks for the input earlier folks.
I won't call today a full success but not a complete failure either. Just a learning experience. Don.
I've had a 7 pound but go 17 hours. Its frustrating for sure but patience and time are your best friends.

Good job
Stubborn butts with a slow IT rise happen along with double stales. You just got to trust your therm and relax. Smoker temp is irrelevant. I have cooked at 325 and had fall apart juicy pork. Same at 225, just took twice as long. An IT of 205 is a temp that is associated with fall apart at temps over 225. But 40 hours or so at 140 will get you to fall apapartnd the IT won't get anywhere near 205. My long time method...At 225 to 250, plan on 2 hours per pound with a 2 hour pad to CYA for the unexpected. Done early? The cooler and foil is your friend...JJ
I have never had 2 butts finish at the same time. Some I will smoke with take 8-10 hours while others 15-18. Thats the nature of smoking haha, I just never promise people we are eating at a certain time. I have only ever had to order pizza once.
i start probe checking for tenderness at 190 because you just never know. I had one fall apart at 14 hours and IT of 190 and if i had blindly cooked that one to 2-3 or 205 it would have been over done
Wow interesting thread guys. As a relative newbie I had assumed that time at a particular temperature was critical to achieving a particular outcome (ie smoky, juicy, pullable pork); from everything I had picked up it sounded like 225F was the classic way to get there. I thought that much higher temperatures would get you a very different outcome (ie roast pork) but it sounds from comments above that you can get to the same results just more quickly? I'm interested because I have a long smoke coming up this weekend (11lb butt) on a simple Weber and I don't trust it (or me) to deliver a consistent temperature overnight! New to SmokingMeatForums and loving it by the way. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.