Pork Butt necessary to freeze??

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Original poster
Dec 13, 2013
Hey all, new to the site and first time posting.  My wife bought me a smoker a few months ago and I use it once or twice a week right now.  Love it, and so far everything has turned out amazing.  I made a few pork butts on it and got a great response to it.  Have a holiday party coming up and wanted to remake the recipe for it, but have a few questions.

The party is on a Sunday.  Unfortunately my days off are Monday and Tuesday, so I was going to smoke them on Tuesday.  Will they still be good on Sunday?  Or should I freeze it?  Also, should I leave it whole and freeze it or shred it and then freeze it?

If the best option is to freeze, when should I take it back out and how should I reheat it?  About 8-12 lbs of pork.  From what I've read it seems best option is to shred it, freeze it, reheat in a roasting pan with some apple juice poured over at 250 degrees til heated through.

Any other suggestions??

Also, a side question.  I seem to have a lot of problems getting the temperature up early on in the smoking process. I have a Weber charcoal smoker.  It seems the temperature sits closer to 200 degrees, and takes me an hour or two to finally get it to 235-250 degrees.  Any tips on a faster rise in temperature?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Cooking on Tuesday and serving on Sunday is pushing the refrigerator option. If you have a vacuum sealer, I would seal it whole and refrigerate until Sunday, reheat in oven at 250 for ~2.5 hours @ 250- 275 wrapped in foil or in a pan sealed with foil. Then pull for the final presentation. If no Vacuum Sealer, then I would wrap in foil and freeze, pull out on Friday to refrigerator to thaw, then the same reheat option's as above. This will come out as if you cooked that day.
Smoke it fully and shred it. If you can vac-pac it. It will keep in the coldest part of the refer for 5 days or you can freeze it. Your plan to reheat with apple juice is fine or checkout my Foiling Juice recipe for a sweeter finishing sauce or I have a tangier Vinegar based finishing sauce you may enjoy. If you choose to freeze, put the pork in the refer do defrost on Friday so that by Sunday it is fully thawed...JJ

Foiling Juice

For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

1T Pork Rub, yours

1/2 Stick Butter

1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

1T Molasses


2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.

Simmer 5-10 minutes until syrupy consistency.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

For a Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce: Make a Double batch, Butter optional or do as I do...Use the Smoked Pork Fat from the drip pan...

Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

De-fat the remaining Juice from the foil pack or pan and set aside.

Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan and add the de-fatted pan Juice and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crockpot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crockpot to 165*F and Serve.

Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.

JJ's Finishing Sauce (Tangy)

2C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together.
Another option; if you have a vacuum sealer, is to poach the pulled pork right in the bag. The finishing sauce suggested by Chef Jimmy sounds great.
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