Smoking first butt Saturday.

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Original poster
Dec 29, 2005
I have bad news for all of us :cry: . My apartment told all of their tenants yesterday that we are not allowed to have any type of cooking devise that produces a fire. I am so mad :x , but have no fear I have found a way to keep my tradition going of smoking every weekend 8) . My lovely girlfriends mom said I can smoke at her house. I am excited again.

My real question is:

I am cooking my first butt Saturday. Are their any pointers or tips that I should know about before I begin? Any little bit would help.

Thank You,
Hi Trevor, glad to hear your girlfriends mom is understanding of your smoking addiction. I run my temp about 230, just keep it constant, don't peek :roll: very often, you add about 15 min. each time you open the door. Smoke for first 5 or 6 hrs, won't absorb much after that, just the heat. Mine usually take 14 hrs, and well worth the effort. I take mine off at 195 degrees, (internal temp) wrap in foil, and let it rest in a cooler for about 2 hrs covered with towels. Enjoy, BEAR
Hi Trevor,
Sounds like you caught a real break, there. Glad to hear of your good fortune.

As far as your first Butt smoke goes... I recommend coating with a layer of plain old yellow mustard and then sprinkle generously with your favorite rub. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least several hours. Then smoke at 225*-230* for approximately 1 1/2 hours per pound. Like Bear said, shoot for 195*-200* internal temp before removing and try not to peak too often. Once your target temp is reached, remove and double wrap in HD foil and let rest in an empty cooler covered with several thick towels until ready to serve. Using this method your meat will remain hot up to 3 or 4 hours.

Hope this helps.

Just a thought Trevor, I wonder if your apartment complex would permit an electric smoker as they don't produce a flame. It may not be as fun as playing with fire but desperate times call for desperate measures. :D

At least you have a place to cook. I wonder if your G/Fâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s mom knows how long youâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ll actually be there. Does she understand that smoking takes a LOT longer than grilling? :lol: The last butts I smoked took 22 hours and 10 minutes but Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve had some finish as early as 12 hours (and I open the door far less than I used too). So it looks like sheâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ll be providing breakfast & lunch and youâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ll pick up dinner.

Good luck & good food on your first butt smoke! 8)
Glad you were able to work out the logistic of where to do you smoking but I just have one question-Why you doing just ONE butt? You're going to wish you did two!! :D
Umm-Trevor, You're typing funny. I hope that it's just your Caps Lock that is on and not too much Adult liquid refreshments! :D
As Brain stated, 12 to 24 hrs before placing in the chamber, wrap your seasoned meat in Saran Wrap and refridgerate. Just before it goes on the racks, rub it down AGAIN (and thoroughly) with your Rub again. Most of the long time members here know this as my "Double Rub" tip. It takes alot more Rub, but it produces a tastier and thicker bark on the meat. Now for my "Fall Off The Bone" secret:

With Pork or Brisket, cook as you normally would with your smoker. Once the internal temp has reached 160*, remove it and make a "boat" out of HD Alum. Foil. Pour over it a 1/2 to Full Cup of Apple Juice. Seal it up tight, this may take a couple of sheets, dependant on size (one under and one over). Now, place it back in the smoker until it reaches 190*! You can go up to 200* with a full packer brisket. Once this is acheived, take a dry cooler and place the foiled meat into it and cover with a couple of damp towels. In reality, the more meat you stuff in the cooler, the better. Close the Lid!!! Let it sit there a minimum of 2 hours. The meat will still be too hot to handle with bare hands for up to 5 hours! (Really!)
When you remove it, it will be the tenderest Barbeque you've ever tasted and your friends will think your a PRO!
Thanks for all the advise guys. You all were a big help. Everyone said that it is the best pulled pork they ever had. Next weekend is brisket for Saturday and Wings for Sunday. I do have one question. Why did it take allmost 20 hours to get done? I never peeked to look at it. So I wrapped it up in foil left it on the grill for a couple of more hours and no tempature change. Then I decided to turn the oven on at 235 and finish it in there. Did I do anything wrong?


First of all, how closely were you watching your Chamber temp, and where were you keeping it at? Second, have you calibrated both your meat and chamber thermos to make sure they are reading correctly? To do that, take a Pot of water and bring it to a boil. Stick the tip of your thermo in the water (without touching the bottom or sides of the pot) and it should read very close to 212*. + or - over 10* and you need to buy a new one!

Also, when smoking you will find that meat will hit a "Hold Time" sometimes. Rarely does it last as long as you stated, but it can last for a few hours. This can be deadly to the Competition Pit Crew and cost you an event.

Calibrate your thermos first before you do the brisket. If you need any help with it, just ask!

Good luck!

I was watching my chamber temp very closley(every hour). I kept it around 225-240 degrees. I know about the hold time but this one held for ever. It took a very long time to go from 140 to 160. I'm talking about 5 to 6 hours. I will check my thermos this evening and let you know.

Thanks for the help
Trevor: In another thread on this forum "Pork Butt Cooking Time" another member had a 22 hour cook time on his pork shoulders-below is the reply that I posted.

A) Temperature of the pork butt-Allow the meat to come to room temperature before going into the smoke (I pull the meat out before I start firing thing up for the smoke). That probably why you see smoking instructions that say “allow meat to come to room temp. . .†or “remove meat from fridge 30-45 minutes before smoking . . .â€

B) Ambient air temperatures- a cold smoker will take longer to come up to temperature than a warm one. This is why preheating is a good thing

C) Wind-the wind will rob heat from your smoker. This is especially true with Dutch Ovens, (and why we turn them every 15-20 minutes). A good wind break will help reduce the heat loss.

D) Age of the hog. Most hogs are butchered before they are a year old. They develop muscle mass but not muscle density (think firmness here).
Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve noticed this as a meat cutter when cutting through a leg or loin. The older the hog, the denser the meat. Where you have dense muscle mass the heat will take longer to penetrate and break down the connective tissue

If youâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]re doing everything in items A-C then I would suspect that your meat is from an older animal and thus the reason for the longer smoke time.

I hope this give you some food for thought-
I cooked a couple butts a few weeks ago :D (all gone now :( ) that took 22 hours and 10 minutes to cook. Sometimes they take only 12 hours or so. Like Earl alluded to, there are many variables in the meat and the smoker that can impact cooking times.

The "Hold Time" also referred to as the "Plateau" will also vary from butt to butt or brisket to brisket. I have had a hunk of meat enter the plateau around 160* and drop temperature, the gradually regain ground and only rise 6* in six hours.

During the plateau period, energy that normally raises the temperature of the meat is being used to break down the collagen, fats, and sinew. This is when the meat begins to get tender and juicy. I strongly recommend that the meat is allowed to ride the wave as long as it needs to. Donâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t bump the temperature up or try to rush things unless getting it done on time is more important than a tender juicy product. Now a pork butt is much more forgiving than a brisket so you can push it and still get fairly decent results.
Trevor, sounds like your doing OK, if the results are good, then time, :roll: well, priceless. In my many, many butts I've cooked (OK 10) they have mostly been in the 14 hr range, but the last 2 took 20 hrs. In the end, it's well worth the wait, keep up the good work. Listen to what these guys on the forum say and learn from their wisdom, it's quite vast. BEAR

Don't look past an electric bullet smoker to ensure you can Q when you want to.

I don't have one, but know those that do, to address your issues with apartments and condo rules.

But as far as your current solution, whenever you hear "best they ever had", suck it up.

I love that.

BBQ ego stroke.

Good luck with your smoking "with restrictions"
Thanks for all the info guys. My thermos are good. I have been looking into an electric smoker. I will let you all know how the brisket, fatty, and wings come out this weekend. Again this place is great. I allmost forgot. Was it allright that I took it out and put it into the oven at 235 to finish. It seemed to help finish it. Let me know.

Trevor, I've done the same a time or two meself as I'm sure others here have too. With the oven setting set at 235* you're still cooking it "low and slow". is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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