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Pork Butt - Challenge

btatroe

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Hello all -

I have been smoking meat for about 1 1/2 years and generally have had good success. Recently however, I have had major challenges with the most forgiving cut of meat, the BB. It’s so frustrating. I am finding that the meat has been over cooked and dry but the fat is not rendering. I’ve tested 2 thermos, water pans are full, etc, I’ve tried wrapping and not wrapping, etc. Both thermos match internal temps 200+. I live in Singapore so a very tropical environment. Generally stable temps around 275. The cooks are 5+ hours. The BB here are sold bone out. I have a feeling they are cutting collar because there is no fat cap like those I see in the US. Either way, in the past, this meat has come out with great bark, good fat rendering. One time, I understand something can go wrong. But this has been the past 3. And I’m feeling annoyed. Went from cooking literally 30+ Bb with success to this. Any ideas!?
 

PPG1

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I'm no expert but what I try is to cut my smoker temp down to about 225 and smoke for a few more hours. You said you have cooked the same way with success for over 30 Butts so the meat would be the variable that changed.
Welcome to SMF from Coastal South Carolina
 

btatroe

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Joined Jun 6, 2021
are you sure these are over cooked and not under cooked, are you going by probe tenderness or temps.
Fair point/question. Would the mean be so dry undercooked? The temps are reading so over 200 and I’m not feeling them tender and buttery like normal. But considering the temp and cook times, it seems over cooked more than under. But maybe I’m wrong!!
 

btatroe

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Joined Jun 6, 2021
I'm no expert but what I try is to cut my smoker temp down to about 225 and smoke for a few more hours. You said you have cooked the same way with success for over 30 Butts so the meat would be the variable that changed.
Welcome to SMF from Coastal South Carolina
Thanks! Happy to be here but wish I had a better topic haha
 

chopsaw

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Yup , as soon as you said you live in Singapore I went straight to the cut of meat .
Might be pork cushion , which comes from around the picnic . Has some fat but is quite a bit leaner than a butt . Makes great ham . I use it for sausage also .
Do you have a picture or a label of what you have ?
 

leol2

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Joined Feb 8, 2021
I'm no expert but what I try is to cut my smoker temp down to about 225 and smoke for a few more hours. You said you have cooked the same way with success for over 30 Butts so the meat would be the variable that changed.
Welcome to SMF from Coastal South Carolina
Time and temperature do not matter. A good thermometer is crucial. Internal temp on bb should be around 203 degrees
 

smokerjim

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Fair point/question. Would the mean be so dry undercooked? The temps are reading so over 200 and I’m not feeling them tender and buttery like normal. But considering the temp and cook times, it seems over cooked more than under. But maybe I’m wrong!!
undercooked pork butt can be a little dry and tough, but if your reading 200t internals they shouldn't be that bad, how many pounds do these weigh. chopsaw might be on to something that these aren't actual butts. some pics of the actual meat would help us identify it for ya.
 

PPG1

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Time and temperature do not matter. A good thermometer is crucial. Internal temp on bb should be around 203 degrees
Once again i will preface this by saying I by no means am an expert but They did not come up with the catch phrase "low and slow" for no reason.
There are two reasons to keep the temperature low: One is to give the smoke enough time to sink into the meat, and the other is to naturally tenderize the meat. Slow cooking gives the natural connective fibers in meat time to break down, become tender, and change into gelatin.
 

btatroe

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Joined Jun 6, 2021
Yup , as soon as you said you live in Singapore I went straight to the cut of meat .
Might be pork cushion , which comes from around the picnic . Has some fat but is quite a bit leaner than a butt . Makes great ham . I use it for sausage also .
Do you have a picture or a label of what you have ?
See below. Looks like lower cut of the shoulder?
 

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chopsaw

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Yup looks like the shank portion of a picnic . Long section on the leg end . Cut a bit different maybe .
Looks good . LOL .
This is a whole front leg .
1622996632843.jpeg
 

Hamdrew

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You've got yourself a couple picnic pieces there like chopsaw chopsaw said. You are 100% gonna want to wrap those, especially boneless. Here's a recipe i found for a user the other day from one of the most renowned BBQ guys here/worldwide-
 

leol2

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Joined Feb 8, 2021
I'm no expert but what I try is to cut my smoker temp down to about 225 and smoke for a few more hours. You said you have cooked the same way with success for over 30 Butts so the meat would be the variable that changed.
Welcome to SMF from Coastal South Carolina
I agree I t
You've got yourself a couple picnic pieces there like chopsaw chopsaw said. You are 100% gonna want to wrap those, especially boneless. Here's a recipe i found for a user the other day from one of the most renowned BBQ guys here/worldwide-
Malcolm Reed recipes are great
 

leol2

Newbie
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Joined Feb 8, 2021
Once again i will preface this by saying I by no means am an expert but They did not come up with the catch phrase "low and slow" for no reason.
There are two reasons to keep the temperature low: One is to give the smoke enough time to sink into the meat, and the other is to naturally tenderize the meat. Slow cooking gives the natural connective fibers in meat time to break down, become tender, and change into gelatin.
You are correct but low and slow is not the only way to get bark and break down of fibers. I can use my Gateway drum at 275 and get the same results. Most PBC will almost always cook in the 275-300 range. So yes temp matters but internal temp of the meat is more important the low and slow. I guarantee that I get the same bark on my stick burner at 275
 

PPG1

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You are correct but low and slow is not the only way to get bark and break down of fibers. I can use my Gateway drum at 275 and get the same results. Most PBC will almost always cook in the 275-300 range. So yes temp matters but internal temp of the meat is more important the low and slow. I guarantee that I get the same bark on my stick burner at 275
OK
 

btatroe

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Joined Jun 6, 2021
Yup looks like the shank portion of a picnic . Long section on the leg end . Cut a bit different maybe .
Looks good . LOL .
This is a whole front leg .
View attachment 499103
Thanks gents - I thought they looked a different shape but I've been using the same butcher for 6 months and was having no problems before. I gave the benefit of doubt to them. Appreciate the support. I was quite nervous to post on something so simple in this world of smoking but was not having problems with short ribs and lamb shoulder. By the way, for a twist, if you enjoy tandoor cooked food, I tested an Indian influenced pork shoulder above with Tandoor Masala rub. It was amazing. Use it with paneer cheese, naan and mint yogurt sauce. It's a fantastic change of pace.
 

chopsaw

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don't be nervous about posting any questions,
No doubt . Heck I had some questions about some basic times and temps the other day . A Google search brought me to a thread I had posted last year on this forum . So I searched for the answer and got the answer from myself ,,,,
 

912smoker

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No doubt . Heck I had some questions about some basic times and temps the other day . A Google search brought me to a thread I had posted last year on this forum . So I searched for the answer and got the answer from myself ,,,,
You've forgotten more than I will ever know lol
 

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