Pork Butt - Challenge

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btatroe

Newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2021
5
3
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!?
 
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btatroe

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Jun 6, 2021
5
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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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Jun 6, 2021
5
3
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 ?
 
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leol2

Newbie
Feb 8, 2021
25
17
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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Jan 14, 2014
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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.
 
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PPG1

Smoking Fanatic
Aug 22, 2020
412
317
Myrtle Beach SC
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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Thread starter
Jun 6, 2021
5
3
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
 
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Hamdrew

Smoking Fanatic
Jan 17, 2021
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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-
 
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leol2

Newbie
Feb 8, 2021
25
17
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
 
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leol2

Newbie
Feb 8, 2021
25
17
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
 
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PPG1

Smoking Fanatic
Aug 22, 2020
412
317
Myrtle Beach SC
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

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Jun 6, 2021
5
3
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.
 
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912smoker

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Nov 29, 2020
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Statesboro Ga
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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