Pork butt questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by vmart, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    Hi everyone! I'm newer to smoking and this is going to be my first time smoking 3 pork butts. I got a new smoker ( weber smokey mountain 18"). I have a few questions.

    1) I read that a general rule for cook time is 1.5 hour/lb (of course IT will tell when to pull). I am smoking three 7lb butts. Is the cook time going to be based off 21lbs or just 7lb?

    2) Would the cook time be the same for unwrapped because I do not plan on wrapping?

    3) Any advice on how to hold temp through the night would be helpful!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Your cook time will be based on 1 pork butt, but cooking 3 butts could add a little time to your smoke.
    Your cook time if you wrap will be quicker because wrapping helps push the PB through the stall.

    On holding your temp once you get the WSM settled in it should pretty much hold temp.
    Worst thing you could do is to keep opening and closing WSM checking your meat.

    I cook to IT of 200-205 check for bone wiggle for done ness

    Good Luck!!
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can figure 1.5hr/lb at 250 to 275. Unless you can keep the WSM at 150 for many hours, the best way to hold would be to wrap in foil and towels and put the meat in a cooler. 21 pounds of meat will hold hot maybe 10 hours. If using a cooler, might as well foil at 160 and push through the stall. You will be ready to cooler when the meat IT hits 195. With all that time in the cooler, the meat will finish cooking and be fall apart tender for supper...JJ
    magnus likes this.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like hardcookin has you covered.

    The only thing I would add is put as much charcoal & wood in the smoker as possible.

    As long as a WSM has fuel it will hold a steady temp, so you don't want to run out of charcoal.

  5. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Wrapping would speed up / shorten the time, also provides a higher moisture end result but at the expense of not having a crunchy bark. Note: wrapping, also known as 'the crutch', usually is done once the butt reaches an IT somewhere near 155-165°.  Basically the amount of time should be closer to 7lbs but a little more given the mass in the pit. Be careful about the time/lb, butts can't tell time and they get done when they want too (stubborn things:D ). You are looking for approx 200° then you want to rest it 2 hours (or more) in an insulated container. Possibly in a pan foiled over with towels below and above.  Remember safety, keep the meat above 150°. With an overnight attempt I would highly recommend you have some sort of wireless therm set up to monitor the pit temp so if it drops you will be alerted.

    As a reference when time is important: With a 8-9 lb butt (using an internal temp probe), I smoke at 225° for 5-6 hours (the butt is sprayed with apple juice every 45 min starting after the 2nd hour), pull & double wrap in foil, into an alum pan and place in the over at 300°.  Oven time usually is 2.5-3 hours to get to final IT. Then rest in cooler for 2 hours. Total cook 7.5-9 hrs plus 2 hrs rest.

    Good luck!

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    hardcookin and Al have you headed the right way, for sure. I would only suggest that when you wrap, put 1/2 cup of apple juice in each butt. The juice will keep the meat moist and the acidity will help with tenderness.

    Good luck. Make us some pics. Joe :grilling_smilie:
  7. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    Thank you all for the great advice! I really appreciate it. 
  8. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    Thanks for the advice Al. Would you recommend using lump coal vs charcoal briquettes?
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You will get a longer burn time with briquettes. As mentioned load as much as you can into the WSM.
  10. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    great, thanks dirtsailor
  11. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    Hi everyone. I am 12 hours in to the smoke and hit the stall. I pulled the meat to wrap and noticed a discoloration in the meat. Is this normal?

  12. Im not sure what you mean by dis-coloration.
  13. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    I mean the lighter shade of brown in the photo. 
  14. Looks like a fatty section that wouldn't take the smoke as well. I cant say I have ever seen that before but cant say I ever looked for that. Looks like the fatty sections we wind up with on grilled rib-eyes.
  15. vmart

    vmart Newbie

    ok great, thanks for your help
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Muscle groups are covered by thin connective tissue sheaths. You can see these as Seams between muscles. This connective tissue, made of collagen, is covered in fat on the portions next to the skin of the animal. We call this the Fat Cap. As you cook the meat the connective tissue cover, with a portion of the Bark, shrinks and exposes the muscle below. This is what you are seeing. Totally normal...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
    magnus likes this.
  17. magnus

    magnus Fire Starter

    Listen to his advice.  
  18. magnus

    magnus Fire Starter

    I wouldn't sweat it.  Ensure your internal temp is high enough.  If it's fat which is discolored, just separate it when you finally pull apart or portion out. Taste it.  It might taste great rendered down in a sauce.  Freeze that sauce in ice cube trays. 
  19. magnus

    magnus Fire Starter

     Good looking bark btw.  
  20. I'm sorry.

    That color on a rib-eye is what I go for first. I'm gonna separate it as mine only.

Share This Page