Pork Butt Time...Help!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by outlaw44, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Ok, so I know a butt will be done in its own good time.  I am smoking a butt for 12 people next weekend for dinner and I need some help with making sure it's done on time.  For 12 of us, I'm thinking about a 6 pounder (sound right???).  From what I've read in the forums, I thought it was supposed to take 1.5 hours per pound to get to pulling temp (say, 200F).  But, I smoked a 3 pounder today and it was more like 1.5 hours per pound to get to 165F.  I held my ECB (with mods) between 230F and 250F with no problems and it took the 3 pounder almost 7.5 hours to hit 200F.  Is this typical?  I foiled it at 165F.  Not sure if this will slow down the temperature or not...pretty sure it shouldn't. 

    So, my next question is, how long should I estimate the 6 pounder to take?  I would rather it be done early and leave it in the cooler than have 11 angry people waiting for food...I've thrown around the idea of smoking it the day before and just reheat it.  That way I'll have over 24 hours to get it done. 

    Thanks for the help!
  2. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Most of the ones I do end up taking about 7 to 8 hours, the two packs from sam's. If I am running late I will bump up the temps after I foil them. I am not totally for sure on this one yet, but I think I like my PP better on the reheat for some reason. If I am cooking it to reheat I will pull it and vac it in food saver bags so I can put it in a stock pot of barley boiling water, slice open the bag and serve.
  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like you said, they will be done only in their own time.  In my experience, 1 1/2 hours per pound would be on the short side.  Don't crowd your time, especially if you have people coming over.  If they finish early, just foil them if not already foiled, wrap them in bath towels and put them in your empty camp cooler.  They will hold temp for quite a while and will benefit from the rest time.

    Also, for that many people, I would do at least two butts.  Hey, ya need some leftovers!  Besides, why fire the thing up for only 6 lbs of meat?  Good luck and enjoy!
  4. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Haha!  I'm with ya.  I could snack on PP for days!  So, you think I should do two 6 lb butts?  I was planning on doing 4 racks of baby-backs as well.
  5. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    What the others said...remember temp, not time is the key.  Butts will be good in a cooler wrapped in foil and a towel for several hours.

    I'd do 2 but that's just me.  BBs are good, but there's so little meat on them that I'd rather have extra PP in case.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If I had to take a shot at the time, and this is based on the last several butts I have done using my GOSM on a average day, I would say on average for larger buts....give yourself approx. 1.75 hours per/lb + 4 hour rest + 1 hour pull and prep.

    The rest time is your cushion, so a 10lb butt would cook take as long as 22.5 hours.

    Chances are it will be done sooner

    But as others have said "It's done when its done".

    Remember your yield will be approximately 50% of your starting weight.

    I always assume a 60% loss to be safe.

    So for your 6 pounder it could take up to 15.5 hours, If I had to guess!
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did 4 8 lb. butts for my wifes college graduation last weeken and it took 16 hrs. and I did not foil them. Generally if you foil them they cook a little bit faster..... but every piece of meat is differant! Sometimes you can hit a really wicked stall that will take 6+ hrs.
  8. alra195

    alra195 Fire Starter

    I might rethink the 6 Lbs for 12 people idea.  I  just did a 10 pounder that feed a family of 4 and have just enough left over to do it again.  Now I'll also say it depends on what other things you plan to serve but your going to loss a fair amount  of total weight in the cooking process and there's still a hunk of bone that will account for.

    I'm always shooting for left overs, so a bit of extra pull at the end of the meal is a good thing from my perspective.

    Regarding the times, I've had them fishing in the 1.5 hour per pound time and I've also had it take longer.  As an example, the 10 lb shoulder I did over this weekend was 17 hours on the smoker to get to 195 degrees and another 1 1/2 hour to rest in the cooler, another 1/2 hour to pull so 19 hours total before we could eat.  Better to start the process early than to finish late and have folks standing around for hours wondering when the main course is coming out!

    Good luck.  I'll be watching for your post to tell how it turned out!
  9. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have done many Friday night smokes starting around 5:00pm on a 22.5 WSM. From my experience, I average 15 hours to go to 205* on the top grate and 195* on the bottom grate.

    I do not foil or sptitz or even put a temp gauge in the meat, I use a probe at 15 hours and it is on the money for IT. Ya gotta love the WSM (It is like a Ronco, set it and forget it)

    I have found a little secret, instead of putting it in a cooler to rest.

    I rest the butt in a foil pan and cover w/foil and you will get to have all the left over juices, pour it over the pulled pork. It will still be hot to touch after 3+hours.  

    If I were you I would do 2-8lber's, some leftovers to enjoy.
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree that 6# is a little short - remember you can loose almost 50% in the smoke depending on the fat content and precook trimming and leftovers are good
  11. rc1991

    rc1991 Smoke Blower

    I did a 6.5 lb for about 12 people and had a few other things too (chuckie, chicken) and it all went so I would agree that bumping it up a bit just to be safe may not be a bad idea. With regard to time - I started that particular butt at around 2:45 am and after about 15 hours it still wasn't done - had to finish int he oven since the guests were coming. Planning on a couple of butts for the 4th and I think I'm going to start then the night before.
  12. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Wow, lot's of good points here...I've been stewing and talking to my fiance about it for the last couple of days.  I think I'm going to do two 4# butts to reduce the cook time and hopefully have enough for everyone coming.  It turns out there is more like 7 to 9 people that are going to show up.  I'm also going to make some spare ribs, maybe 3 racks and we'll have plenty of sides to go around.

    If they're moving a little slow, I may move the butts to the oven when I put the ribs on (3-2-1 method). 

    I'm going to shoot for 12 (maybe 13 to be safe??) hours.  I'll foil them, so that should increase the time a little, as others have said. 

    Sound good???
  13. dasmoker

    dasmoker Smoke Blower

    Now you are thinking of doing this just to free up space, or to conserve time?  If the latter, the oven will not finish any quicker than your smoker, and definitely do NOT raise the temps to get them done faster in the oven.  Now if its just for space, the DOH, my bad. :)
  14. outlaw44

    outlaw44 Fire Starter

    Well, it's a little two fold.  I think I will need the space, as the gourmet Brinkenstein is not all that big.  But I was actually thinking I would do the butts around 240 to 250F.  I've found in the past that my ribs usually do better at 220 to 225. (I dried some out last weekend while cooking a butt)  So, if I want to cook the butts at the higher temp, but the ribs at the lower and save some room, I was thinking about putting the butts in the oven.  If the temps are doing okay, I may not have to worry about this point but if I'm running a little behind the oven will provide constant temperature where the Brinkenstein fluctuates a little as it naturally does.

    Also, to update my plan...I stopped by and picked up a 9.45# butt and had the butcher cut it in half for me.  So, I may bump my time up to 14 hours now since I'm doing ~4.7#/butt now (I'll foil in the process).  I also picked up two racks of spare ribs.
  15. I recently smoked a 10 lb butt and also had to have it done by a specific time.  It was recommended to me to foil it for someof the time to get the internal temperature up faster.  Worked great and was done when I needed it.
  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ditto on the 220 - 225, I try never to go over 240 with ribs.

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