Multiple Pork Butts

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soundnvision

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Sep 27, 2021
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Hey all,

Next Saturday, I'm going to smoke a couple of pork butts, one 10lb. and one 9lb. for a birthday party. Both are bone-in and we are looking to eat around 5pm.

Does the 60-90 minutes per pound apply for the total weight, 19lbs.? Or would I just go by the larger of the two? My smoker will have enough room to spread them out a bit.

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks, all!
 

mneeley490

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Finish time is also hard to predict. I've had 8 lb butts go in as little as 8 hours, and as long as 15. If you have a hard meal time of 5pm, you might want to start them the night before. Wrap in foil when done, and place into a cooler with towels to insulate. They will stay warm for several hours that way, and then you can pull just prior to dinner.
 

Inscrutable

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Yep, seems every time I try to time the cook too close to eat time, Murphy rears his ugly head.

You don’t mention or ask, but also keep in mind that butts are very very forgiving of using higher temps to power thru the stall. I started out doing these at 225, but the only difference I’ve seen bumping up to 250-265 was a dramatically shorter cook time. And if you don’t mind softening the bark, wrapping will also get you thru the stall faster.
 

tbern

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Great advice, cook way ahead of time needed to serve and just keep the finished butt warm. It will save a lot of stress if a butt is one that just doesn't want to finish.
 
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DougE

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Or just smoke and pull it whenever is convenient, vac seal it, reheat in boiling water or sous vide the day of the event. Nobody will know it didn't just come off the smoker.
 

soundnvision

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Sep 27, 2021
22
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Awesome advice! Thinking I’ll start the night before and go from there.

Thanks all!
 

soundnvision

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Sep 27, 2021
22
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Alright all, need some more advice.

Started the pork butts at 1am on 225. Wrapped them at 8am, as one was at 164 and the other at 150.

They were sitting at 171 and 158 as of 12:00pm, so I bumped the temp to 300 and changed from butcher paper to foil.

The plan is to eat around 5. Couple of questions:

- Is the current plan okay to continue?
- Should I change anything in order to get the temps up quicker?

I've never seen this before and hoping I can get them done in time.

Thanks, all!
 

Inscrutable

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Apr 4, 2019
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Alright all, need some more advice.

Started the pork butts at 1am on 225. Wrapped them at 8am, as one was at 164 and the other at 150.

They were sitting at 174 and 158 as of 12:00pm, so I bumped the temp to 300 and changed from butcher paper to foil.

The plan is to eat around 5. Couple of questions:

- Is the current plan okay to continue?
- Should I change anything in order to get the temps up quicker?

I've never seen this before and hoping I can get them done in time.

Thanks, all!
First, I think you will be fine …
I’ve never cooked higher than 300* so don’t think I’d exceed that, maybe 325*, but wrapped it probably wouldn’t matter.
You MIGHT get it done in time at 275 unwrapped if you don’t want to soften the bark, but much safer to wrap.

One maybe obvious question … what are you relying on to tell you what the pit temp actually is? A whole lot of cookers have inaccurate pit temp probes/controllers. Some will read high based on the probe location vs at the grate at your meat. If you haven’t, I’d check/calibrate with a good 3rd party probe.

FWIW, Next time … Unless you run on a pellet and want/need to start at low temp to get more smoke, I would start at 250* … I’ve yet to see ANY discernible difference except a much shorter cook time. (And if it IS a pellet/smoke issue, start at the lowest temp that won’t flame out … probably 180-200 … for a couple hours, then bump temp … or add a pellet tube or tray.
 
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soundnvision

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Original poster
Thread starter
Sep 27, 2021
22
4
First, I think you will be fine …
I’ve never cooked higher than 300* so don’t think I’d exceed that, maybe 325*, but wrapped it probably wouldn’t matter.
You MIGHT get it done in time at 275 unwrapped if you don’t want to soften the bark, but much safer to wrap.

One maybe obvious question … what are you relying on to tell you what the pit temp actually is? A whole lot of cookers have in accurate pit temp probes/controllers. Some will read high based on the probe location vs at the grate at your meat. If you haven’t, I’d check/calibrate with a good 3rd party probe.

FWIW, Next time … Unless you run on a pellet and want/need to start at low temp to get more smoke, I would start at 250* … I’ve yet to see ANY discernible difference except a much shorter cook time. (And if it IS a pellet/smoke issue, start at the lowest temp that won’t flame out … probably 180-200 … for a couple hours, then bump temp … or add a pellet tube or tray.
Thanks for the quick response.

I'm smoking on a ZGrills pellet, and have probes in both. I'm starting to wonder if I probed in the wrong spot. Is that a possibility?
 

Inscrutable

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I don’t mean the meat probe, I mean the built-in pit (ambient) temp sensor/probe.
Possibly temp Was less than 225 ( and won’t be 300 if you set there)
 
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soundnvision

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Sep 27, 2021
22
4
Both butts are different weights so it only makes sense they are at 2 different temps
Yeah, for sure. I'm more concerned about the smoking time being 12+ hours and minimal increase in temp. I want to make sure I'll have them done in time.
 

TNJAKE

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Nov 26, 2019
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If you are 12hr in and still at those temps then my bet is your smoker was much lower than 225. You should start seeing a swift change soon at 300.......fyi since they are wrapped I'd throw them in the oven to finish
 

soundnvision

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Sep 27, 2021
22
4
If you are 12hr in and still at those temps then my bet is your smoker was much lower than 225. You should start seeing a swift change soon at 300.......fyi since they are wrapped I'd throw them in the oven to finish
Got it, thanks! I'm thinking if they're not done within an hour or so of eating, I'll pop them in the oven at 350.
 
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