My first Pork butt

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Original poster
Dec 4, 2013
Fairfield, IA
This is my first pork butt that i smoked, and before i start my steps i wanna give everyone one this forum a shout out, cause of your opinions and posts you made this easy for me to understand and do.  I did not just do one persons advice I took several, and i appreciate all the input everyone has posted.

Step 1: The brine, I started with 1/2 cup brown sugar 2  pints of apple cider, 2 pints of water, a handful of bay leaves, a pinch of salt and a few shakes of pepper.  I bring to a boil while stirring occasionally until all sugars and spices are dissolved and then I let cool.

Step 2: After brine has cooled i put in a tupperware container and put pork butt in container with lid on, I let the brine do its work for a day and a half, ( I put in the fridge on a tuesday night and pulled out on a thursday morning)

Step 3:  After I pulled the Pork butt out off the brine on thursday morning, I let the pork butt sit out and warm up a little bit (about an hour) and then I patted what liquid was left on the butt, and applied a store bought dry rub (as my kids wanted to help) While we did the rub down i let my Smoke Hollow smoker come up to temp.

Step 4: Put the pork butt in the smoker and put the chip box with choice of wood chips ( I chose Hickory chips to start with) and take the temp up to 250 degrees. I checked the smoke box every 2 to to 2.5 hours to replenish the wood chips.

Step 5: After 6 hours and internal temp of pork but was 180 degrees I pulled butt out of smoker and wrapped in tin foil for 45 minutes

Step 6: Un-wrapped tin foil and stared with amazement and how 

beautiful the bark looked.

Step 7: Started to pull the butt apart, and noticed it was super juicy, excellent color and oh wow the smell was awesome too.

Step 8: After all meat was pulled apart, my family enjoyed!!!  My first (and successful) pork butt, awesome color, awesome smell and by far one of the best pulled pork I have ever ate!

Great job on your first butt. Only suggestion i would make to you is now do one without brining and see if you get the same result. I have never brined but I have injected at comps and I dont notive enough difference to be worth the hassle. Keep us posted on your cooks. Your on the right track!!!
And try the next one without foil.

I don't foil . Makes better bark in my opinion.

Your pp looks great.
I have went no foil before. It was just as juicy and tender but the harder bark did make it harder to pull into smaller pieces. I am going to experiment with that again though on the flavor side of things.
Looks Great!!  Agreed with Frank and may find that you get just as juicy and tasty pulled pork when not brining as you do when brining.  And I usually don't foil, but leave the butt on the smoker all the way til it nears 200*...always comes out great with a heavier bark than from foiling.

My last advice: be careful about leaving the raw meat out at room temp for an hour or more.  This is time that is being subtracted from the "40* to 140* in 4 hours" rule of food safety.  I usually go from the fridge, to the counter for a little extra rub or spices, then right on the smoker.

Awesome looking pork! Great job! 

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