Timing Question on some butts.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by kdogg629, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. kdogg629

    kdogg629 Newbie

    I know the answer is, when it's done it's done. LOL  But I'm looking to guestimate how long my smoke will take.  

    What I have sitting in my fridge is 3X 9lb butts and a 13 lb brisket.  I will be cooking on a chargriller outlaw at 225-250. I am thinking it's going to take roughly 14 hrs, is this a good estimate of time or should I prepare for something longer? I need to be ready at 500PM Sunday to eat. Also, how long will the temps hold after pulling and putting in a cooler?
  2. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    When it's done, it's done is really the truth.

    You want to smoke to temp, not time.

    A general rule is 1.5 hours per pound but I like to add 25% more time to that estimate just to be sure.  Remember earlier is better.  You can put the butts in a cooler wrapped in foil and old towels.

    If it were me I'd start late Saturday night (like 10PM or so).

    For instance, I'm doing 2 briskets (~10lbs a piece), 2 butts (~8lbs a piece) 6 racks of ribs and 2 chickens for Saturday at 4PM.  I am doing meat prep for an all-nighter starting around 8PM Friday night with a couple of buddies coming over to sit with the smokers and me shortly after.

    The meat will go on about midnight and when it's done, it's done.  We'll pull it put it in the cooler all wrapped up and then start pulling/slicing around 3:30.
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Personally I think your times are to short I would figure 1.5 hours per lb then add some time in case something stalls for a long time. As far as the cooler time I would wrap in foil if not already then wrap with an old towel and into a decent dry clean cooler and then pull or slice when you take it out of the cooler. How long in the cooler depends on many factors but I have held food in the cooler 4 hours with no problems and others have said they have held it longer
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What they said.... plan on it taking 16-17 hrs., then if it finishes early put them in the cooler for a couple of hours. I have kept butts coolered for 5-6 hrs. and still had them almost to hot to handle with my bare hands. Since it sounds like you will be looking at 4 or so hours in the cooler pull the butts off when they hit 190°, then the carry over cooking in the cooler will finish them off to 200°. If you let them get to 200° then put them in the cooler for a long time they will get mushy.
  5. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ready to eat at 1700

    Start pulling/slicing around 1600

    In the cooler for at least one hour buffer / rest time at 1500

    Should be coming to temp by 1400

    Meat on the smoker at 2100 the day prior for a 17 hr smoke

    2030.. light the coals

    2000...start prepping the firebox

    1900.. inventory check: Beer, fuel, batts for thermos, foil, etc..

    This is kinda what I do for big smokes so I don't end up with a hungry crowd and a brisket at 150 degrees and pork that won't pull.. Good luck. Do include some view..
  6. kdogg629

    kdogg629 Newbie

    The last but I pulled, I coolered at 190*, and let sit.  So I was prepared to do it this way again.

    Thanks for the breakdown on time. I just may do it your way to ensure a hungry crowd is fed when it's supposed to be fed.  :D  And I will include some view for sure!!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  7. Man, you've got a long weekend in front of you just like me. I've got a 13 pound brisky, and 6 racks of spares to get done by just around 5:00 Sunday. What I'm planning on is getting the brisky in the pit by 7:00 AM Saturday, and the ribs to go on about 8 or 9 AM Sunday. I'm figuring on just making a 2 day project of it, because I dont want to have that much meat on the smoker at the same time. It DOES slow down the cooking.

    With the amount of meat you have, I'd give myself 20 hours. Seriously. But that's just me.
  8. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    The 9# butt I done last weekend took right at 15 hours to hit 200* with no significant stalls.  As someone else already mentioned, I'd figure a little longer time and if you're done earlier just cooler it.  That's my  plan for this weekend I have another 9 pounder, 6 racks of spares and 4 chickens.

    Pit 4 Brains - that backwards planning technique seems a little familiar! lol
  9. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All butts are different. I had a 5 lber take me over 9 hours and a 8 1/2 lber (pressing it a bit) take me only 7 1/2. Never did stall and once wrapped in foil, I increase the temps to high 280º+. Didn't harm the meat in the least.
  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I also would have top agree with most of the folks here and say the 1.5 per pound is a pretty good guesstimate of time. I have always added an hour or two for the meat can stay in the cooler for awhile. I always use a small cooler and make sure that it's packed pretty tightly with old towels and it can stay really hot for 4-5 hours. Then if you know it will be in the cooler for a length of time you can leave in one of your probe thermo-meters and don't let it go much under 140° or there abouts.
  11. rva98

    rva98 Newbie

    I use a masterbuilt 7-in-1 propane smoker.

    What I've found is that butts need around 12 hours straight up, or shorter if brined.  In my last round I injected some apple juice and a little apple wine vinegar, and the cooking time was shorter to get to temp - around 8 hours.  I'm not sure why, but the brine seems to shorten the cook but is mighty tasty and juicy.

    For ribs, my last set was insanely good at 3-1.5-1. 

    For butts or ribs, I like to throw them on a hot grill for a few minutes on each side to make sure that there is a nice bark.
  12. gunner69

    gunner69 Meat Mopper

    That sounds about right to me as well, I always hedge my bets though and would have a couple 3 dozen ABT's made up and in the smoker by 1500 as a just in case...
  13. olecrosseyes

    olecrosseyes Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I agree w/ those that say 15 / 16 hours.

    I have done many on my GOSM 16 hours from starting the smoker to pulled pork ready to serve. Includes cooler time

    I have gotten so tired on the night of the smoke that I went to bed while the pork went into the cooler and did the pulling the next morning. Man it was still too hot to handle. 
  14. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    The last time I did 6 8-9lb butts and it took 15 hours. Instead of putting them in a cooler to rest after smoking, I put them in an aluminum pan and covered in foil, the results were: stayed HOT to the touch for over 4 hours and the pan was halfway full of juices in which I poured over the pork after I pulled them.

  15. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Now I am not saying this is the best way, but it does work. Don't be afraid to take it to 300º once foiled.

    But this is when you are pressed for time. I have a 8 1/2 lber in the smoker now that is going pass 12 hours and still has 12º more to go before it comes off the smoker. But this butt is for Monday night, so no rush to get done.

  16. olddawg

    olddawg Fire Starter

    Did a 8.5 lb butt today on my ECB (gourmet with mods).  Started at 6:am.  Cooking temp was 220 to 250.  No stall at all.  It hit 200 internal at 2:pm.  Put in in the cooler and 4 hours internal temp was still 170.  No wind today and air temp was between 60 and 85 degrees.  Last two butts I smoked did the same thing,  Any thoughts?
  17. ttosmoker

    ttosmoker Fire Starter

    Opposite boat.  I've only done two butts.  The first was actually 1/2 butt at 3.5 lbs, and it took 11 hours to get to 195.  Same weather conditions as you, and 225-250 all the way.  Today's butt was a 6.5 lb'er, and it took 14 hours to get to 190.  Had to take it off because my charcoal had run out.  Today's had a 6-hour stall at 169-172.  Today's is still in the cooler, but got lucky with a morsel stuck to the grate.  It's gonna be good!  Together we seem about average.
  18. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     That is a long stall. Were you foiled during that stall. I find that is the only way to quickly break a stall. Foil it up.
  19. ttosmoker

    ttosmoker Fire Starter

    No, I don't foil at all.  I don't touch the meat except to get it out of the way to fill the water bowl about every 4 hours.  I don't want to change anything because I love the way my pulled pork turns out.  Butter tender, as my wife says.
  20. kdogg629

    kdogg629 Newbie

    I would like to offer my thanks to everybody that offered their advice. My smoke turned out great with ALL the advice here.  I rubbed all the meat and wrapped in plastic wrap friday night after work.  Saturday at 930PM, I pulled the brisket and unwrapped it, and rubbed it again, then injected it with apple juice and my rub then let it set out until 1030PM. The butts I unwrapped at the same time and injected with the same thing, and put back in the fridge until time to put on the smoker. When it was time to put on the smoker I re-rubbed the butts. I ended up starting the fire at 930 PM and had the meats on at 1030PM Saturday night.  2 of the butts ended up hitting 191* at 11AM and the brisket and last remaining butt didn't hit 191* until 330PM.  What a weird situation it was...i say this because the one butt that took the longest was the closest to the fire. Don't know if it was an issue or not.  All the food turned out beautiful and delicious.  The brisket was my first to prepare and was the best tasting brisket I've ever eaten. Extremely juicy and lots of flavor.  The PP was amazing as well.  No complaints and nothing but compliments from the guests at the party. You know it's good when people sit down with a plate of food and nothing gets said for 30-45 minutes. I don't put sauce in my PP and let people chose to put sauce or not.  None of the sauce got used.  :D I have pictures and will get them uploaded tonight or tomorrow. (I'm at work right now,  :(  ) My smoker held strong at 225*-230* the whole night...adding a log every hour on the hour helped.  

    To add a side note, the butts that were pulled from the smoker, foiled, wrapped in towels and put in the cooler held hot for 6 hrs. I didn't get to pull until 5PM and it was still too hot to handle with bare hands.  I was a little worried that 6hrs would be way too long to sit in the cooler, but it was not.  Granted the cooler was packed full and the meat was wrapped with 3 THICK towels each.

    Overall a great day, was a little tired for the remainder of the day but the COLD beer(s) in my hand and my feet in the sand listening to the waves crash and watching the fireworks from a distance made the whole weekend!!!
    deannc likes this.

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