Regular old pork butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by gnarbrah, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    Good Sunday morning. Picked up a 7.5 lb pork butt on sale earlier this week for the family coming over. Got it on about 5:15 this morning. I always say I'm going to start at 3:00 but just don't want to get up that early! Wish me luck in the stall.
    Went with pecan chunks and Stubbs briquettes. The mini seems to like the 250 range today. I've got the vents dang near closed and its holding solid. I find it somewhat odd how fast these butts heat up in the beginning and then slow down. At the 2 hour mark its up to 120 IT from the 35-40 degree starting point. That's 40 degrees an hour! Then as is always my luck I'll be stuck at 170 from noon to 5...

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  2. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    5am seems plenty early to me.  The pork is looking nice and that is a great looking mini!  Really like the Florida cut out you did.  I'm new to using a mini, do you think it makes much difference if you cook it on the top or bottom grate?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  3. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    I hope 5 was early enough. I'll know soon.
    Thanks! I had a Florida sticker laying around and figured why not. I absolutely love my mini. I rarely use my lower rack. Mostly because I'm lazy. I have a feeling it would be a few degrees hotter down closer to the coals. Ideally I would have made some ABT's for the top rack and had the butt on the bottom but as I said laziness took control. 2 racks is great for a party making a big pile of wings!

    Mini is running hot today. Probably because it's out in the sun. 260 seems to be the norm. Maybe that will help avoid a long stall. Up to 152 IT at 9:40. It seems insane that I may be battling dinner time 7 or 8 hours from now and it's already so warm.

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  4. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Off to a good start, good luck with the stall
  5. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    7 hours in. Up to 170. Hope it breaks free soon so I can hit that magical pull apart temp right in time.

    Quick peek...
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I find it somewhat odd how fast these butts heat up in the beginning and then slow down. At the 2 hour mark its up to 120 IT from the 35-40 degree starting point. That's 40 degrees an hour!

    It isn't odd, it's physics, thermodynamics, heat transfer.  In laymen terms the larger the temperature difference between the hot convective medium (air) and the colder mass (meat) the faster heat will flow into the colder mass.  As the meat heats up, the temperature difference decreases and the rate of heat transfer slows between the hot air and the now warmer meat.  There are other issues involved too (meat sweating, collagen melting, fat rendering) but slower heat transfer as the meat warms is the reason those last 35-40F of internal temp seem to take forever.  Eventually it all reaches equilibrium (same temperature of both the air and meat) but the butt will be ready long before then.  
  7. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    Makes sense to me - thanks for the lesson!
    Hopefully physics will be on my side and get me to some perfect pulled pork right on time for dinner!
  8. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    G, looks good BUT no peeking !! [​IMG]
  9. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    Ahhhh! I know peeking is against the rules but at least I've only done it twice in 8 hours! Just lifted the lid for a quick snap!

    Still in stall town... No signs of letting up anytime soon...

    I know every piece of meat is different and all that but what's a good "average" time frame for a stall? With as many butts that have been collectively smoked on this site there has to be a median length of time. 2 hours, 3, more?? Just curious. And since its 1:30 and I want to eat around 5:30 or 6 when should I give up and foil to try and speed it up?
  10. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    They don't smoke a lot of pork out here, but since you've already hit 170 I would think you could foil anytime you want.
  11. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wrap?  You've still got 4.5 hours until everyone shows up.  Back off an hour for wrapping.  So, the question is will it be ready in 3.5 hours?  Probably.  You're in that not quite low n' slow not quite hot n' fast chamber temp zone.  If you do wrap it and add some braising liquid like apple juice or cider, heat the liquid in the microwave to 200F or boiling before you put it in the wrap.  Trust me on this point or you'll see the pork butt temp drop. 

    I wrap mine at about 180F nowadays.  I still get a nice crispy bark and it finishes faster.  You can also crank up the temp once you wrap it.  If you wrap it, it will definitely be done in plenty of time.      
  12. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    I'm going to let it ride. Might be my laziness kicking in again. I just shook out the charcoal basket, dumped the lower bowl and added some fresh briqs to make sure it has enough fuel and can breathe. I'm still amazed at how efficient the mini is. I might use a quarter of a bag on an all day smoke.

    Great info Noboundaries! If I do wrap I would have totally put apple juice straight out of the fridge. Thanks! I have learned a ton from this site.

    I'll at least give it another hour maybe hour and a half to see if it starts climbing. Still in the low 170s
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  13. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    It's slow going but it's heading in the right direction.

  14. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    Well hallelujah! Finally had a pork butt that finished right on time for dinenr! Pulled it at 199 and let it sit in foil for 45 minutes. The pulling process was amazing! The ease of that makes total sense. I just showed it two forks and it practically pulled itself! Not to mention there was hardly any inedible parts. That was well worth the early morning. Now it's bed time...

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
    aggie94 likes this.
  15. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great! I really like cooking my butts overnite!
  16. gnarbrah

    gnarbrah Meat Mopper

    Is overnite possible with a mini? Probably need to wake up every few hours and make a minor adjustment? Anybody ever try it?
  17. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well done, looks great
  18. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Turned out perfect!  Wish I had some for breakfast!

  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking smoke!

    Longest smoke I have done on my mini, without having to reload was 14 hours @ 265°. Keep in mind it was 75°, no wind. I use a different method than most when starting my mini. I overload the basket (bottom of pot is cut out). I add my smoke wood on top of that. Put the pot on the base, light a propane torch and stick it in one of my side vents. I run the torch for 5-8 minutes. The temp will be well over my target temp, however it will drop down, usually below 200°, but above 180°. I will then let the mini come up to pit temp. Some other things that you can do to extend the time is to create a wind screen. Using reflectix insulation works great for that. Don't use water in a water pan.

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