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Old 08-20-2006, 12:35 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Crestman
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Thanks for all the replies!!

I'm going to have to hope this will be enough. I am serving it with cob corn and some roasted potatoes.

I do have another question though. I put the butt on at 6:30 this am. I have a grill temp at 220deg and my internal temp of the butt is already at 115deg. That's only 2 hours!!!...I was planning on a 11 hours or so. At this rate, it will be done by 11:00 this morning!!!....Should I take it off around 180deg and then put it back on an hour before we want to eat? I'm going to be pulling it so I want 205. Why is this thing cooking so fast?

Thanks

Keith
Don't bother taking the temp of the pork. It isn't cooking fast--it just has to come up to temp after all.
Keep the temp of the grill exactly where it is. It will be done after 8-10 hours. The temp eventually levels out. What has to happen is for the temperature to remain in the 170-180* range long enough to breack down the collagenous fibers of this tough cut of meat.
You will be fine.
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
Surely you do serve it au naturel without BBQ sauce until it reaches the table. That would be the true Carolina way of serving pulled pork.
And being in western NC when I serve it (often, as sort of a specialty of mine) I have to serve at least two sauces--Eastern, which is basically HOT pepper slightly sweetened vinegar, or western--a tomato based sauce that is nothing like KC Masterpiece.
How do you cook your pork, out of curiosity? Smoked, roasted, combo of those, crockpot, pressure cooker?
I'm a smoke-aholic. Along with a nice dry rub, it's the only way to go. There are 4 sauces I serve it with (a hot vinegar based sauce, a habernero pepper sauce, a sweet Carolina honey sauce, and my own barbecue sauce). I inject the pork with a LITTLE bit of the vinegar sauce and periodically baste it with it as well during smoking, usually whenever I'm changing out the wood chips. I use a combination of mostly mesquite wood chips with a little bit of plum or maple wood chips mixed in.
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:40 PM   #23
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Eating butt? Sounds... hmm. No thanks.
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:15 PM   #24
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I'll just comment once more on the amount. Poppinfresh has posted that he gets a scant 6 servings from an 8# butt and that is certainly his experience and it must be some VERY hearty eaters--the more the better!!.
I also can only speak from my experience in serving a lot of pulled pork--and advising others who have made it and asked about it on a number of other boards.
When I have auctioned off a BBQ for 20+ at charity auctions, I have taken the hosts approximately 1 1/2 7-8# butts, pulled. And of course, all the trimmings. Each year the hosts report leftovers. I have served 30+ for lunch (admittedly) from a bit over an 8# piece with leftovers for the hostesses to take home. I have considered a generous rule of thumb in estimating yield to be 1/2# uncooked weight/adult.
It's good that mr. fresh can make his own however, because if you had to buy that amount retail it would be a BUNCH of money--it sells for about $6/lb. here--and that's with sauce on it!! Hate to pay big money for sauce--that I don't even like.
By the way, Poppinfresh, I recommend my tomato based sauce to you also.
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:27 PM   #25
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Personally, I would cook two. That's what I did the last few times I smoked a pork butt last year, as my kids can't get enough of it (we have 5). Plus, I can do other things with the leftovers.
I would smoke two also. I would want plenty of left overs.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:04 PM   #26
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Well, it's now 5:00pm and its sitting at 172deg. It's been around this temp forever. I may have to pull it off early and just slice it as some of my guests need to eat by 6 or so.

Looks good though.

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Old 08-20-2006, 06:08 PM   #27
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Pull it! 160 is all you needed.
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:11 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
I'll just comment once more on the amount. Poppinfresh has posted that he gets a scant 6 servings from an 8# butt and that is certainly his experience and it must be some VERY hearty eaters--the more the better!!.
I also can only speak from my experience in serving a lot of pulled pork--and advising others who have made it and asked about it on a number of other boards.
When I have auctioned off a BBQ for 20+ at charity auctions, I have taken the hosts approximately 1 1/2 7-8# butts, pulled. And of course, all the trimmings. Each year the hosts report leftovers. I have served 30+ for lunch (admittedly) from a bit over an 8# piece with leftovers for the hostesses to take home. I have considered a generous rule of thumb in estimating yield to be 1/2# uncooked weight/adult.
It's good that mr. fresh can make his own however, because if you had to buy that amount retail it would be a BUNCH of money--it sells for about $6/lb. here--and that's with sauce on it!! Hate to pay big money for sauce--that I don't even like.
By the way, Poppinfresh, I recommend my tomato based sauce to you also.
Tomato based sauce=my barbecue sauce :P All 4 of them I make myself (I guess it looked a little deceiving the way I wrote it before). I've yet to ever have a BBQ sauce I like better than my own, so I'd be hard pressed to come off it. Personally, I think the Carolina honey sauce is much better on my chicken wings, but to each their own.


As to 1/2# uncooked per person...Ehh, I can't see it. You obviously can't eat the bone, and it does shrink considerably during cooking unless you're doing something evil to the poor thing and water cooking it.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:19 PM   #29
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NO, 160 is NOT what you want. The 170 is fine and the meat is probably done to the point of pulling. This is NOT roast pork where 160 is the well done temp. This is a slow braise basically and the temp goes higher and breaks down the collagen--as I have said.
Pop--I have been making this for over 40 years. I am sure yours is good. I am equally sure mine is good--done in the smoker or in the oven, as I do it. Take a look at the recipe. Mine doesn't shrink so much as "collapse". The bone is negligible--maybe you are using an entirely different cut from mine. The bone in mine is about 3-4" long and 1 1/2" wide--with a slight "y" shape. It might weigh 1/4#.

And a quote to perhaps further explain it.

In the book How To Cook Meat, authors Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby say that tough cuts of meat must be "cooked through doneness to tenderness." In other words, you don't stop cooking a pork butt when it reaches the internal temperature we associate with tender cuts like pork loin or pork tenderloin. A pork butt is not edible if cooked to 140°F or even 170°F.
In order to be tender, a pork butt must be cooked to an internal temperature of 180-205°. The reason for this, according to McGee, is that the conversion of collagen to gelatin doesn't even begin until meat reaches an internal temperature of 140°F, and is most efficient as internal temps approach 212°F. "Low and slow" barbecuing at 225-250°F is ideal to facilitate this conversion, providing gentle heat over many hours, allowing the collagen to make its transition into gelatin. While some moisture will be driven out of the pork butt as it reaches these high internal temps, the gelatin makes up for it and keeps the meat moist.
  • For sliced pork, cook to 180-185°.
  • For pulled pork, cook to 190-205°.
Where To Measure Internal Temperature
A pork butt consists of a number of individual muscles that converge at the shoulder, and there is a lot of fat and connective tissue between these muscles. As a result, you will get different temperature readings between different muscles and between meat and fat or connective tissue.
I feel the best way to measure internal temperature is to check in several locations and average the results. For example, if you're shooting for 195°F and you get readings of 193°F, 195°F, 198°F, and 201°F in different locations, you've achieved your goal of 195°F. If you prefer to measure in just a single location, then measure in the thickest part of the meat.
Temperature Plateau
It's common for a pork butt to reach a temperature plateau of 155-170°F during cooking--a point at which the internal temperature stops rising and stalls, sometimes for several hours. It's thought that this has something to do with the amount of moisture in the meat and the conversion of collagen to gelatin discussed above.
Do not despair, because this is when the meat is starting to "cook through doneness to tenderness." With some patience and a 225-250°F cooker temperature, the pork butt will eventually move beyond the plateau and the meat temperature shall rise again.
If you're cooking a very large pork butt and running short on time (or patience), you can kick the cooker up to 275°F without doing any harm. Or, if the pork butt has reached 160-175°F, you can wrap it in foil and finish it in the cooker or in the oven, like in Pork Butt - Quick Cooked.
Cooking Times
How long will it take to cook pork butt to 180-205°F? As a rough estimate, figure 1-1/2 to 2 hours per pound based on the trimmed weight of an individual roast. For example, when cooking two roasts weighing 8 pounds each after trimming, the total cooking time for both roasts should be 12-16 hours.
Remember, this is only an estimate--it may take more or less time, depending on the thickness of the pork butt, the amount of connective tissue that needs to be converted to gelatin, the temperature of the cooker, weather conditions, and the number of times you open the cooker for turning and basting.
While it may not take much more time to cook multiple pork butts that it does to cook just one, it will require more fuel. Make sure to use more charcoal in the cooker when barbecuing multiple pork butts.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:57 PM   #30
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My first pork butt for pulled pork was made following an Emeril recipe which called the meat done when the internal temperature reached 160F. It was not nearly done and we ended up having to resort to chopping rather than pulling as the meat was still intact enough to be sliceable.

Gretchen's info is right on.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:21 PM   #31
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I am sick I ate so much I ended up having a huge pile of pork. Enough to feed some pretty hungry appetites. There were 7 adults, 2 kids, and my 13month old girl, which by the way loved her daddy's pulled pork!!!! There was enough for most to have seconds and I have a big bag of left overs to boot!

I let it go till about 195 or so (Temp taken from a few different places - thanks Gretchen) which was around 6:30pm and it was great. It could have been done a bit more (205) but it still pulled nice...WOW!!!!....What a full day that was. I took pictures throughout the day and as soon as I get it figured out how to post them I will.

It all started off at 5:00am with a large Tim's coffee black (had to do something while I waited for smoke!) - Had to make a return trip once I had the temp set and the butt on.

Here is what I ended up with for a menu

#1 - Mennonite Farmer sausage cut up into bit sized pieces for starters

#2 - Pulled pork with fresh kaiser buns along with 3 different kinds of mustard and two different BBQ sauces (I wanted to make my own but ran out of time ) so I used Tony Roma's Carolina Honey and Regular which were both alright.

#3 - Roasted potatoes (red and gold - the small ones) cut in half tossed in some nice olive oil, salted, and a bunch of fresh rosemary on top.

#4 - Corn on the cob roasted on the grill husks on. Soaked them for about 2 hours prior.

#5 - Grilled Pineapple marinated in maple syrup, fresh cinnamon, & freshly ground cloves. These were cut and pored over some Bryer's double churned vanilla ice cream and topped with the left over marinade....Mmmm...This almost beat the pulled pork....

#6 - Homemade apple strudel topped with the same above said ice cream (thanks Mom!!!)

So, after all that I would like to thank everyone for their advice. I will most definitely learn from this first, and hope to share with others as well. The smile on everyone’s faces when they ate this stuff was priceless. I can't wait to do it again.

It's now 10:30pm and I'm hitting the sack (after a nibble of some more PP of course!)

G'nite.

Keith
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:36 AM   #32
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Glad to hear everything turned out so well. Nothing like the satisfaction of making so many people happy.
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:43 AM   #33
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That's great. I find kids even eat more BBQ--what's not to like about sweet meat! It is a winner meal. When using commercial BBQ sauces I often suggest thinning them about half with vinegar and you have something closer to the tomato based Carolina BBQ sauces. If folks haven't grown up with the hot peppery vinegar sauces of Eastern NC, it is hard for them to "understand" this as being "BBQ sauce"--that would be me too!!
Your menu sounds delicious. Add some slaw next time (unless everyone just hates it). Congratulations.

Crest, let me add, next time you do it you can do it at about 250*. It just should not go above that because then you are "roasting" which will tighten the proteins and not allow the "melting" of the collagen. The other thing is to allow that big piece of meat to come to room temp. That will cut your cooking time down.
I basically never take the meat's temp, although for your first time it was a good learning exercise, I think. I just know by the look and feel of the meat that it is done--and 8 hours usually does it just right.



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Old 08-21-2006, 10:46 AM   #34
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I made a 5 lb pork shoulder for pulled pork this weekend and my BIL ate about half of it. He's crazy though.

It was enough for 6 normal people, but no leftovers.
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:12 PM   #35
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When catering a group I figure on pork butt and brisket your weight loss during the trim and cook is aprox 40%. In your case that was a 7 pounder so you'll have 2 and 3/4 pounds of finished product. If you serve 1/4 pound per serving that is 11 servings.
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:13 PM   #36
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I know I'm way too late on this but for the pork to really pull properly it needs to reach 190 - 200 degrees internal temp. Yes, it's edible at a lower temp but not pullable. Hi Gretchen - I'm in Western NC too! I always do the same two sauces you do! lol

oops - sorry Gretchen - I didn't read all the posts - you already said this.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:20 AM   #37
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I made a boston butt the end of last week. Keeping this thread in mind, I recorded some info as I went along.

Starting weight of a boneless butt - 7 lbs. 6 oz.
Ending weight of the same butt - 4lbs. 3 oz. (43% weight loss)
Cooking time in the oven at 235 F - 15 hours.
Internal temperture at completion - 200-210 F

I rubbed the butt and refrigerated it for two days in plastic wrap. Then I rubbed it again before putting it into the oven. I did not let it rise to room temp first.

I started it at 11:30 PM. The following morning I started using a mop every hour or so. I know that slowed down the cooking and that a lot of folks don't do a mop.

It shredded easily with two serving forks. and I separated it into two two-pound tubs.

Part of the first tub was dinner Friday night. It worked out to be about 1/3 pound of pulled pork per serving in a sandwich in a bulkie roll.

That works out to 12-13 servings from 4.2 pounds of cooked meat. As serving sizes are different for different people, that's not gospel, just one guideline.

I served it with my homemade BBQ sauce that SO thought was better than Bullseye in a side by side taste test.

I added a little liquid smoke to the mop. I guess I need more because the smoke flavor was not very noticeable.

Did I mention that it was "Jump up and slap yo mama!" delicious!!
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:30 AM   #38
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As a side note, I'm really tempted to buy a smoker. I have a Weber gas grill and can find no practical way of using it to smoke. The lowest gas setting on one burner keeps the grill over 350F. If I try propping up the lid to lower the temp,the temp fluctuates too much to be practical and lets any smoke out way too fast.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:33 AM   #39
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Andy, you won't regret getting one. The smoke flavor can't be beat.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:12 AM   #40
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As a side note, I'm really tempted to buy a smoker. I have a Weber gas grill and can find no practical way of using it to smoke. The lowest gas setting on one burner keeps the grill over 350F. If I try propping up the lid to lower the temp,the temp fluctuates too much to be practical and lets any smoke out way too fast.
Hi Andy,

Wow! What Weber do you have and how old. I used to own a 3 burner Genesis before buying their Summit model. I had no problem controlling the heat and could easily keep the grill below 250 with one burner. I did a lot of indirect cooking at lower temps.
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