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Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Mar 21, 2022
Hi everyone,

Longtime lurker, first time poster. I did a "last minute" pork butt this weekend. Took it out of the freezer on Friday and ate it for lunch on Sunday, which is a personal record for hustle. Summary is this: overnight thaw, followed by approximately 12 hour brine, followed by approximately 13 hour cook, followed by 1 hour rest and very simple finishing sauce.
  • Friday evening: Sister says, "Let's do BBQ pork for Mom's birthday." I have pork butt divided up into approximately 10 lb. chunks in the freezer. Take one chunk out and let it thaw overnight.
  • Saturday morning: mix up Pop's Curing Brine.* I use only about 1/2 cup of salt per gallon, because I've found 1 cup is too salty for me, and 1/3 cup doesn't quite do it. I also include some apple juice this time (didn't really measure that, just poured some in). Use my meat injector to inject the brine solution throughout the meat, especially around the bone.
  • Saturday evening: mix up Jeff's Rub (always a crowd pleaser, in my experience). Prepare my Smokin-It #1 and load it with apple wood. I have two racks in the smoker: one for the pork, and one for a drip pan.
  • Saturday night: around 10:00 PM, take the pork out of the brine and proceed to apply rub, nice and thick. Around 11:00 PM, I load the pork into the smoker, set it to around 215 °F, clean up kitchen, and then go to bed.
  • Sunday morning: check the pork around 9:30 AM; it's smelling great on the back deck, and the meat's probing around 175 °F. A bit cooler than I was expecting, tbh. I spray it down with apple cider vinegar just because. I add some more apple wood to the smoker just because. I turn the smoker up to around 225 °F; maybe that's not necessary either, I don't know.
  • Sunday afternoon: a little before 12:00 PM, I take the pork out (and forget to probe it for temp), wrap it in butcher paper, and set it to rest in an ice chest. I pour the liquid from the drip pan into a small sauce pan; I add apple juice and apple cider vinegar, and I let it simmer for awhile. Shortly before 1:00 PM (scheduled meal time), I take the pork out of the ice chest and put it on a cutting board. I proceed to cut it with knife and fork (ends up more cubed than shredded), adding it to a big serving bowl. I pour some of the dripping/juice/vinegar stuff onto the pork and toss it like a salad.
Everyone really loved it. The double whammy of Pop's Brine and Jeff's Rub is my go-to; normally I like to brine pork butts for a couple days, but this turned out pretty good after just 12 hours. Also, I've learned to trust that the meat is not going to dry out during long cooks in the Smokin-It; I know electric smokers have limitations (e.g., my eternal struggle for crispy chicken skin), but it's great for overnight cooking pork and beef.

1. After brine, before rub.2. After rub, before smoker.3. Checking in at 9:30 AM on Sunday.
0.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg
3. Removed from smoker, before rest.4. Carved up in kitchen around 1:00 PM.5. Served in the dining room.
3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg

* A note on mixing up Pop's Curing Brine: If I'm mixing up a gallon, I'll pour 3 quarts tap-cold water into my 22-quart brine bucket, and I'll pour 1 quart of water into a pan with salt, sugar, and cure. I heat the pan just enough to dissolve everything, and then I'll pour it into the brine bucket. This way I end up with a nice, uniform solution, and the water remains cool to the touch overall, and adding the meat cools it down further. Normally, at this point, I put the entire thing in my refrigerator (I've removed some shelves, so that the bucket fits right in), but, if I'm only brining for 24 hours or less, I can add some ice on top of the meat, and surround the entire bucket with ice packs in an ice chest or utility sink. This technique comes in handy if I'm preparing it at somebody else's house, as I happened to be doing in this instance.
Welcome from Nova Scotia

Very nice for your first post here .

Interesting , putting your butt in Pop's brine
But it looks good from this side of the screen.

Keep on posting and have some fun also

Great 1st post and welcome to SMF from SE GA!

Great color on that PP and interesting idea with the brine.

I started using Pop's brine for chicken, because I wanted something like those turkey legs you can get at amusement parks. It sure works for that! Then one day I tried it with a pork butt, I liked it, and I've been tinkering with it ever since. Right now I'm thinking "less is more," because 12 hours was just right this time around.
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