Thawing a pork butt

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tpc74

Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
May 8, 2012
266
220
Berkley, MI
So I have a pork butt we found on sale earlier this year. We brought it home and froze it, because we knew I couldn't get to it right away. While I await my new smoker (curse you estes and your shipping), I thought i'd inquire on what the best way to thaw this would be, and if there is any special food safety concerns with thawed meats??

More than likely this will be the first run on the new machine, and I want to make sure its correctly thawed so I'm not blaming the machine if something goes awry.

Kinda like thawing a turkey in the fridge. Never in my life have I thawed one all the way using the guidelines of temp/time in the fridge. Always takes quite a bit longer.
 
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Great question......Ive wanted to grab up some butts (insert Bevis and Butthead snicker here..) when they go on sale also...

Jim
 
Got one thawing in the fridge now. Several days to thaw as mentioned above. I'll usually add the rub the night before and smoke around the 275 range.
Is there a particular amount of time one wants to adhere to? Like 3 days is ok but 5 days is pushing things?
 
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Is there a particular amount of time one wants to adhere to? Like 3 days is ok but 5 days is pushing things?
If it is still in the cry-o-vac and hadn't been in the case at the store for more than a week or so, doesn't really matter. It will be good for a week at least AFTER it is thawed. If it isn't still in the cry-o-vac, it'll be good for several days AFTER it is thawed. I wouldn't worry about 5 days either way as long as you keep it in the fridge...
 
If it is still in the cry-o-vac and hadn't been in the case at the store for more than a week or so, doesn't really matter. It will be good for a week at least AFTER it is thawed. If it isn't still in the cry-o-vac, it'll be good for several days AFTER it is thawed. I wouldn't worry about 5 days either way as long as you keep it in the fridge...
Ok thanks. Yes its still in the original packaging (not just butcher paper).
 
Around 2-3 days in the fridge and then a number of hours on the counter to get the thawing moving and back into the fridge until I'm ready. My last couple of butts have been 2 pack boneless from Costco. I open the bag and the second butt is vac packed and into the freezer.
 
My sous vide cooker has a temperature range of 32°F to 194°F and I have thought about setting it to, say, 37° or so and submerging what I want to thaw in the pot. Should work faster than a fridge at the same temp. since the thermal transfer is faster in water than air. I have not tried it, but it should work.
 
I sometimes only thaw a couple days. Doesn't hurt putting them in the smoker with the middle half still frozen. Gives another couple hours for it to take on smoke. When you can push the temp probe all the way in, you know it's defrosted and then normal cook time starts from there.
You can also "butterfly" or cut the butt in two at that point. You get more relative cooking area exposed to smoke that way and it cooks faster. There was a recent thread on that. Most folks who were willing to try it came away believers.
 
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My sous vide cooker has a temperature range of 32°F to 194°F and I have thought about setting it to, say, 37° or so and submerging what I want to thaw in the pot. Should work faster than a fridge at the same temp. since the thermal transfer is faster in water than air. I have not tried it, but it should work.
That's an interesting thought and I don't see why that wouldn't work...
 
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