Smoking Pork half way

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by hullbens, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. hullbens

    hullbens Newbie

    I have a question about smoking pork.

    I have done several butts and they always turn out nice with pecan wood.

    I am looking to smoke a 11 lb  butt in a couple of weeks and wanted to see if I could smoke it for 5 or 6 hours the night before and take it off and start it back up the following morning over smoke or in the oven for the remainder of the time?

    I know that a 11 lb will take around 12 or so hours and I need it ready by 1 or 2 on Saturday.

    any thoughts?
  2. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    You'd want to get it above 140 degrees internal temp before taking it off...

    Ideally, you will want to get it to 160 degrees IT, wrap in foil and towels and put in a cooler overnight. I wouldn't keep it in the cooler for more than 4-5 hours...

    What I would probably do is start the butt earlier in the evening the night before, finish it all the way up to 190-200 degrees, then wrap and let it sit until the next day. Once the meat gets that hot, it will hold better in the cooler rather than half-cooked. If you run a hot smoker it will finish faster and you won't have to smoke it all night.
  3. hullbens

    hullbens Newbie

    thanks for the info.

    I probably wont be able to start it any earlier than5 or so the day before. 

    Just cant get out of work any earlier.

    If I get it to 160 before taking it off for the night, I should wrap it and store it in a refrigerator, instead of leaving it out?

  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is some difficult timing.  I would go ahead and get as much smoke as possible the night before and then wrap with a bit of moisture and place it in the oven at 225 degrees.  Either insert a temp probe that will alert you when you get to your desired IT or just plan on waking up a couple of times during the night.  If you want to pull the butt you can go to a 205 IT, rewrap in foil and place in an ice chest with blankets till ready to serve (7 - 8 hrs later)  If slicing take it to 160 to 180 and do the same thing.

    You always have the option of smoking to completion the weekend before, pull and then freeze.  Warm up in a crock pot with some finishing sauce before serving.  This is the way I prefer to do it when I don't want to pull an all nighter.

    I just don't like having a lull in cooking, the meat never seems to come out right for me when I do that.
  5. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    Understood - work keeps all of us away from the pit!

    If you start by, let's say 6:00 at the latest, if I were you I would smoke it at 300 degrees smoker temp and go for as long as you can. It could very well be done at 12:00-1:00 a.m. running at that temp, and then you can wrap it in foil/towels, set in a cooler, and that meat will stay hot for hours after that. You could wake up at 9:00 the next morning, pull the meat, and keep it warm in a crock pot.

    I would shy away from putting it in the fridge. It will just bring the temp of the butt back down and it will take that much longer to bring it back up the next morning.
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    So you are going thru all the gymnastics so you can get a good nights sleep?[​IMG] Now for the important questions-

    What pit or type of cooker are you using?

    At what temperature are you cooking?

    The more info you can give helps us give you better answers.

    An 11 pound butt cooked at 300° will take 10-11 hours in my experience, if you are cooking at 225° it may take 20 hours or more.

    If you cook at 300°, you can start at 11PM the night before and be done in plenty of time to serve at 2PM.

    The other option is to start in the oven and finish on the pit, you can add smoke flavor to the meat at any time, you just won't get any smoke ring, which adds nothing to the flavor of the meat.
  7. hullbens

    hullbens Newbie

    I have a side smoker box attached to my charcoal/gas grill.

    I normally try to keep the temp around 225 or so and add wood maybe ever 45 minutes to an hour.

    I don't have a gas or electric smoker so I will probably have to babysit this thing until complete.
  8. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Kick the cook temp up and you'll cook faster, there is no advantage in cooking at 225° IMHO.
  9. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    You're right... I missed the part where he said it is an 11lb butt. I normally cook around a 7lb butt, and could finish one in 6-7 hours at 300 degrees (and by foiling towards the end).

    Yeah, as others have stated, you will want to start the night before. It will take a long time to cook either way with that size of a butt.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  10. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    So one thought is to cut the butt in half...

    That would make it two cuts of meat around 5.5lbs each. They would cook much faster that way - being two smaller cuts rather than one large cut.

    Just a thought. I've never done this before so don't know how it would turn out.
  11. hullbens

    hullbens Newbie

    good thought about cutting it in half.

    Might think about that one.

    I also have a deer hind quarter that I am smoking with the pork.

    Just not real sure what temp is best for pulling it.
  12. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Dittos to what Hickory Butt said..a big old Butt like you go just begs to be halved. Wrap the meat half at 170 and cook the bone half nekked till they both get done. The foiled model will come ready first. When it comes time to push and pull mix them together 50/50. That give some Mrs. White combined with some crunchy Mr. Brown..drives bbq judges nuts and they start trying to pass you out a dust collector. If you have two weeks to work..I would cook it tomorrow..push and pull..bag suck and freeze. Pan it up and reheat with some tasty pork sop up on D Day. That is how the big boys do it. Best of fortunes.

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