Quick help with smoking Pork Butt

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drharps

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2022
8
3
This will be my first time smoking anything. I just got a pellet grill and am going to do pork butt as a starter. The basics, to make sure I got it right:

- I couldn't find sufficient size, so I got 2 - 2.5lbs bone-in boston butt
- I will smoke at 225
- I am planning on it taking about 5 hours to reach internal 200 degrees
- I will do olive oil then a rub on the pork at the beginning
- I will place directly on grill, fat side up
- I will spritz with apple cider vinegar every hour.

Am I missing any critical steps?

Thanks in advance, I am doing this tomorrow.
 
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Sounds like you have everything covered. Just keep in mind that it may take longer than 5 hours to reach probe tender. Also, repeated spritzing will add 20% to your cook time.
Do you plan to wrap at the stall?
 
I'd bet you DONT have 2.5lb bone in butts. Probably boneless
It says on the packaging "bone-in." I too was surprised thinking it would be boneless given the size, but I live in a place with limited options. The only other option was a different store with 13lbs which was way too much for me to do.
 
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I usually use yellow mustard to help rub stick, and I don't spritz. You can't taste the mustard once it's cooked down. Sometimes I'll wrap at around 160*, sometimes not. Wrapping speeds things along a little to push through the stall, but isn't necessary.

I'd bump the temp to 275, and go to around 205* , probe for tenderness. When It's done, foil ( if you haven't already, wrap in towels and rest in a cooler for an hour or two before pulling. And don't forget the finishing sauce.

(not my recipe, I got it on the forum)
1 C cider vinegar
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp Tony Chachere Cajun seasoning
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes

After you pull the pork, just put a squirt here and there in the pork, and mix in.

Finishing sauce isn't the same as BBQ sauce. It's meant to level out the "gamier" portions of the butt. What I like to do is serve the pulled pork with finishing sauce and offer a selection of BBQ sauces for those that want it.
 
Sounds like you have everything covered. Just keep in mind that it may take longer than 5 hours to reach probe tender. Also, repeated spritzing will add 20% to your cook time.
Do you plan to wrap at the stall?
Thanks. I hadn't even factored in the stall, to be honest. What would you recommend? Wrap or put a pan of water in with the pork.
 
I'd bet you DONT have 2.5lb bone in butts. Probably boneless
Fairly sure you are right. Sounds like the boneless slabs I make buckboard bacon from, although the boneless slabs I use weigh a bit more.
 
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Reactions: TNJAKE
I usually use yellow mustard to help rub stick, and I don't spritz. You can't taste the mustard once it's cooked down. Sometimes I'll wrap at around 160*, sometimes not. Wrapping speeds things along a little to push through the stall, but isn't necessary.

I'd bump the temp to 275, and go to around 205* , probe for tenderness. When It's done, foil ( if you haven't already, wrap in towels and rest in a cooler for an hour or two before pulling. And don't forget the finishing sauce.

(not my recipe, I got it on the forum)
1 C cider vinegar
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp Tony Chachere Cajun seasoning
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes

After you pull the pork, just put a squirt here and there in the pork, and mix in.

Finishing sauce isn't the same as BBQ sauce. It's meant to level out the "gamier" portions of the butt. What I like to do is serve the pulled pork with finishing sauce and offer a selection of BBQ sauces for those that want it.
This, 275* turns out exactly the same in my opinion and cuts out a few hours of cooking time.
I often start them out at 225* for the first 2 hours to get a little more smoking time, but after two hours I crank it up to 275 to 300*. I think they turn out moister cooked at the higher temps.
Good luck.
Dan
 
I usually use yellow mustard to help rub stick, and I don't spritz. You can't taste the mustard once it's cooked down. Sometimes I'll wrap at around 160*, sometimes not. Wrapping speeds things along a little to push through the stall, but isn't necessary.

I'd bump the temp to 275, and go to around 205* , probe for tenderness. When It's done, foil ( if you haven't already, wrap in towels and rest in a cooler for an hour or two before pulling. And don't forget the finishing sauce.

(not my recipe, I got it on the forum)
1 C cider vinegar
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp Tony Chachere Cajun seasoning
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes

After you pull the pork, just put a squirt here and there in the pork, and mix in.

Finishing sauce isn't the same as BBQ sauce. It's meant to level out the "gamier" portions of the butt. What I like to do is serve the pulled pork with finishing sauce and offer a selection of BBQ sauces for those that want it.
I'd also add that if you want really good bark, use a rub that is heavier on sugar and light on salt, so you can really pack it on without making the finished product too salty.
 
I do fat down on my pellet smoker. The plate can radiate a lot of heat and I feel the fat protects the meat a bit.
That, and butts have enough internal fat that they don't really benefit any from going fat side up.
 
This, 275* turns out exactly the same in my opinion and cuts out a few hours of cooking time.
I often start them out at 225* for the first 2 hours to get a little more smoking time, but after two hours I crank it up to 275 to 300*. I think they turn out moister cooked at the higher temps.
Good luck.
Dan
I’m 100% agree on this. I do all my butts at 275F. One thing though is I never cook them this small. It may make sense to go lower temp if you want heavier smoke on these due to size.
 
Thanks. I hadn't even factored in the stall, to be honest. What would you recommend? Wrap or put a pan of water in with the pork.
Wrapping and running with a water pan aren't really related. You can do either, neither, or both.

I would personally recommend you run with a water pan at least until you get comfortable with how your smoker likes to behave. The water pan will act as a heat sink help regulate temperatures. Once you have a few smokes under your belt you can try running without and see how you like it.

Wrap/unwrapped is purely a matter of preference.

Personally, I go unwrapped and run with a water pan.
 
This will be my first time smoking anything. I just got a pellet grill and am going to do pork butt as a starter. The basics, to make sure I got it right:

- I couldn't find sufficient size, so I got 2 - 2.5lbs bone-in boston butt
- I will smoke at 225
- I am planning on it taking about 5 hours to reach internal 200 degrees
- I will do olive oil then a rub on the pork at the beginning
- I will place directly on grill, fat side up
- I will spritz with apple cider vinegar every hour.

Am I missing any critical steps?

Thanks in advance, I am doing this tomorrow.
I don't spritz. I don't use any sugar in my spice.
Which ever you have a meat bone-in or boneless is slightly different cooking. I doubt either will be done in 5 hours. I don't remember the shortest cook time in my pooper and the log book is at home.
Sounds as if you have a remote thermometer probe to monitor each hunk of pork.
Do you have a smoke tube? Most pellet grills are very light on any smoke into the meat. For pork butt, I run smoke tube filled with 100% hickory pellets. Lately, I have used a 2nd tube with mostly cherry pellets and a touch of oak to keep the cherry burning.
Thanks. I hadn't even factored in the stall, to be honest. What would you recommend? Wrap or put a pan of water in with the pork.
I put my butts in a foil pan around the stall temp. I want to collect the melted fats and collagens. Do not put water in the pan!
Pellet saver option. Foil top the pan or pans and move to your kitchen oven @ 300°
 
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