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smoking pulled pork/slow cooking combo


Joined Oct 18, 2017
Hey guys im just getting into the smoking world and loving it. Just looking for opinions on a few things...I'm having about 25 people over for a friends 30th bday on Saturday at 430pm. I offered to make pulled pork for everybody. It's my first time doing a pork butt. I bought 5 pork butts about 6lbs each. First question-will this be enough? Next question is how long should I leave the mustard/dry rub on the meat before I start cooking them? I was hoping to cook them Friday during the day since I'm unable to on Saturday during the day. I will cook for about 3 hrs then hitting them with smoke for about 6hrs. Does that sound about right? I'm planning to hit the 205F mark mopping the meat with a water/apple juice mix every hour. Once the meat is done I was going to let them rest for an hour before pulling the meat. As for my last question is what to do with the meat now on Friday around 430pm with about 24hrs until the party starts. Should I refrigerate the meat until Saturday morning and then throw in a slow cooker just to warm up?Or should I throw the meat into the slow cooker directly after I'm done smoking the meat? My only worry is that I don't want the meat to dry out the slow cooker. Especially if it will be in the slow cooker for a day.

I'm open to all thoughts and opinions. Just hoping im on the right track and to get this sorted out before tomorrow. Thanks.


Joined Jul 9, 2017
I did one for 10 people but other food was available. That size i usually smoke for 6-8 hrs and finish in oven. Only because i usually start them when i get home from work and i can sleep with a probe in meat with temp alarm set while in oven. The last few i did that way and no one could tell the difference. Mine sat in a cooler with towels for over 4 hrs and was still above 175 when i pulled it. Heated up the next day is bags safe for boiling. Good as when it was pulled. As far a the rub, i sometimes do it right before i throw in smoker or the night before. Again i cant really tell a difference. Never did a side by side comparison though.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Aug 13, 2015
Wow. You’ve never smoked butt and you volunteered to make PP for 25? OK, you must have been drunk :-)
Those who do the mustard thing usually let it sit overnight in the fridge. Those like me, who just let the moisture from the meat hold the rub, usually just let it sit for a half hour or so ‘til the rub has moistened. You’ll see differing opinions on this LOL!
5 six pounders should be enough as long as you have sides.
I would have them in smoke from the get go and foil at around 180IT and then add your apple juice to the foil. You don’t need much!
Take them to 205 in the foil. At that point I put the butt foil and all in a cooler wrapped in a towel for about an hour. I guess you’d need a big cooler...
The bone(s) should slide or fall right out. Pull apart.
Save all the juices from the foil. There’ll be a lot.
At that point I think you’d be best off putting it in a couple of covered foil pans in the fridge. Next day add the saved juices, toss and reheat in the oven on low, covered tightly.
Just my ideas.
Good luck!


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
30 lbs of (bone-in?) pork butt is plenty for 25 people.

How long to leave the mustard/rub on the meat before cooking? Check to see if the butts are "enhanced." The label will say something like "Contains up to 12%..." then list a bunch of salts and phosphates. If that's the case, just slather and rub before you put them on the smoker. If they are NOT enhanced, a 24 hour slather with mustard/rub is plenty long enough. You can do longer if you want.

I would hit with smoke the entire time, but that's me. 9 hours for a 6 lb butt at 250F chamber temp is about right.

What to do with the smoked/cooked meat? Pull it, taste it, put it in a pan, and cover it in the refrigerator. If it tastes bland don't be afraid to add more rub to the pulled meat.

Depending on your slow cooker's temp settings, you can start re-heating it a couple hours before serving. When I did this at work for pot lucks, I put the slow cooker on high, then turned it to low when the meat was hot. You can always add some apple juice to the slow cooker if you need to.

My wife and I have been eating on a 10 lb pulled pork butt I smoked last Friday. We keep it in a pan on the coldest shelf in our refrigerator and it is as juicy today as it was last Friday. We just nuke what we're eating. Tonight will probably be the end of it.


Master of the Pit
Joined Nov 19, 2015
I usually figure five ounces/sandwich. This is finished weight, and you'll lose quite a bit to evaporation and waste. The waste includes any pieces of the fat cab that are still left, and the bone, if your shoulder butt has one.

So, for twenty-five people, this is my calculation of how many pounds of finished pork you'll need:

(25 * 5) / 16 = 8 pounds of finished pork.

Even if you figure that the finished weight is half the starting weight (a lot is lost, but not that much), that would be 16 pounds of raw pork butt. You have 5 * 6 = 30 pounds of raw pork butt. So, based on these calculations, you'll probably have considerable leftovers. This, of course, is a good thing, especially if you have a vacuum sealer. I'm having leftover pork butt tonight. I pull all the pork when I make it, and after it has cooled down, I bag 10 ounces of pulled pork in a bag, freeze it, and vacuum pack it. I save the drippings and the finishing sauce separately, and combine those when I re-heat the port weeks or months later. As others have said, the reheated pork tastes identical to the pork eaten the day it was made.


Meat Mopper
Joined Dec 22, 2016
I figure 1# raw weight per person for most any meat I cook. It shrinks by almost 1/2 when done. Of course I like leftovers.
For the rub, I'm a simple S&P guy with some garlic and onion added on occasion. I oil the meat and season it a couple of hours before or at least while the smoker is getting up to temp.
I tell everyone to bring whatever sauce they may like but most who have had my stuff don't bother anymore.
At least you picked a very forgiving meat for your first group event. Good luck.

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