Problem: Frozen Pork Butt

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
May 14, 2007
Well my wife went to the butcher today to pick up the pork butt I had ordered and he told her when she picked it was a little chilled. In fact he said tthye accidently put it in the freezer. When I got to it it was pretty much frozen other then the outer 1/2 inch. I was planning to smoke it overnight for Father's Day tomorrow.

Any suggestions?
Put in sink overnight, or place in a bowl of warm water and change the water out when the H2O gets cold. can always get another butt. My .02 cts worth.
you thaw out meat in cold water, not hot or warm water. put in a sink of cold water, and change the water every 30-45 minutes, until thawed. it shouldn't take too long to thaw out. how much does the butt weigh?
Man, your luck is like mine....bad. My first thought would be to exchange it for one not frozen or get another and keep it for another smoke. If thats not a choice, listen to Chris and thaw it in cold water. The time to thaw is depending on the size.
Cold water method definitely works.

Stay on it and keep changing the water as instructed.

If you have to....start your smoke early in the morning.

Now you know why we plan our smokes at least a week in advance...
Thanks all for the suggestions. Cold water is probably my only option. I had to run out soon after I found out about the frozen butt and I was out for the day at a strawberry festival with my girls. Of course now the butcher is closed and I don't think they had another butt anyway. For some reason they are hard to find here. I was hoping I could develop a relationship with this butcher for the future but he already has one big strike against him now. He told my wife it would be fine by this evening but it's still very frozen.
I spent the past hour and a half visiting all the supermarkets around, but no luck.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.

It weights about 7.5 lbs. I doubled wrapped it in plastic wrap and double bagged it in gallon storage bags and put it in a 8 qt pot of cold water. Is cold water from the tap cold enough? I'm changing it every 25-30 mins to be safe, don't want to get the family sick.
I agree with Chris, always use cold water, I use to just leave it sit out on the counter untill it thawed. Then back into the frige.But since I've been here I realized how wrong I've been. After hearing about 10 million times about the danger zone, I researched it, and glad I did. Ya'll really know your meat. Now it thaws in the refrigerator, or in a sink full of cold slightly dripping cold water.
i just put the stopper in the sink, and run tap (cold only) in until it covers the meat, leaving the meat in the package it came in. i am smoking some pork tomorrow, that i put in the freezer 2 or 3 weeks ago. i put it in the fridge wed night. it is thawed now. i will rub it here in a bit, and fire up the smoker in the morning. i also got 1 3/4 lbs jalapenos to make some ABT"s out of.

I would have done the same but I needed the sink for other things, I am also brining a turkey.

After 3 1/2 hours of the butt taking a bath, I thought it was ready. It's seasoned and in the smoker, but the internal temp is 31 degrees so apparently it's still frozen in the middle. I'm hoping it rises soon but I might be faced with the fact that it's in the danger zone too long and i might have to toss it :(

I could deal with it if it was due to my mistake, but it's a hard pill to swallow since it was the butcher's fault.

Anyway I also picked up some jalapenos for ABTs. What do you stuff yours with?
i stuff mine with cheddar cheese, and wrap with bacon. i also used diced ham once, and pepperoni slices once- both times with cheddar cheese. i do not like cream cheese, so i don't use it. i have some colbyjack to use tomorrow, and some pepperoni slices to put in them. i used pepperjack cheese once, it was good.
Put it in a big bucket. Put the hose in the bucket. Let the water run very slowly. I would also suggest that this be done outside or in a utility sink. The moving water will enhance the thawing.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Excuse me all. Plz let me clarify when I said "warm" water......Water from the tap with the "c" on it and not having to put ice in the water to thaw meat. The water from our well is not even cool. Guess the mrs and I got used to calling it "warm". My phopa. That is all.
ahhh, that makes more sense. i was thinking you meant with the hot side of the tap. my cold side is cold to start with. but then, i am on city water, not a well.
Thanks Chris and everyone else who helped. Ittook a little longer then expected but I yanked it at 196 degrees and it was already falling apart and full of juice.

A few hours in the cooler all wrapped up nice and I am sure it will be awesome.

Put the bird in the smoker all brined with some orange juice, water, salt, brown sugar, maple syrup and herbs. Smelled so good even before I put it in the smoker. Switched the wood to a mix of apple and cherry for the bird.

I'll post some pics later of the butt and the bird.
Ok since i'm waiting on the bird I figured I'd snap a pic

Bird and a couple ABT.
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