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Old 06-10-2017, 12:57 PM   #1
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Pork butt smoking temp.

What temperature do you usually smoke a pork butt at? How do you overcome the stall if you use lower temps (225-250)?

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Old 06-10-2017, 01:00 PM   #2
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What temperature do you usually smoke a pork butt at? How do you overcome the stall if you use lower temps (225-250)?
We smoke it at 225. The only way past the stall is more time I haven't had that problem, though.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:10 PM   #3
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I aim for 225ºF-250ºF for smoking butts. GG is right. It just takes time. I've made pork butts in the oven as well. Same thing-it takes time to get past the stall.
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:38 PM   #4
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+1 with GG and Andy. I do shoot for an IT of 198 to 205 F for pulling.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:11 PM   #5
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OK thanks. So no one wraps their meat at the stall or raises the temp to help get past it?
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:14 PM   #6
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On the smoker, I aim for 250, but it fluctuates. No problem, pork butt is very forgiving.

Around 200 IT, I wiggle the blade bone around. If it slides out with minimal effort, I call it done.Then I wrap it, and toss it in a cooler until I'm ready to serve. It will hold like that for hours. If the meat doesn't want to let go of the blade, let it cook longer. It seems every butt has its own perfect temperature.

You can try to fight the stall, if you enjoy frustration, or just let it ride. I just assume it is going to stall, and don't worry about it. Remember, when your butt is done, you can wrap it in foil, put it in a cooler, and hold it until eating time. I've had it burn my fingers after two hours in the cooler. So, start your cook early to account for the stall.

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Old 06-10-2017, 05:11 PM   #7
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On the smoker, I aim for 250, but it fluctuates. No problem, pork butt is very forgiving.

Around 200 IT, I wiggle the blade bone around. If it slides out with minimal effort, I call it done.Then I wrap it, and toss it in a cooler until I'm ready to serve. It will hold like that for hours. If the meat doesn't want to let go of the blade, let it cook longer. It seems every butt has its own perfect temperature.

You can try to fight the stall, if you enjoy frustration, or just let it ride. I just assume it is going to stall, and don't worry about it. Remember, when your butt is done, you can wrap it in foil, put it in a cooler, and hold it until eating time. I've had it burn my fingers after two hours in the cooler. So, start your cook early to account for the stall.

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My problem/concern is cooking a 9 lb but for company and wanting to eat at 4-5pm. There is no way it will be done if I put it on at 7 or 8 in the morning and then need to let it cook through the stall, and then rest for a couple of hours. I realize there are devices one can buy to allow the temperature control necessary to put it on at night and just go to bed, but that is a lot more than I am willing to pay for an occasional butt.
I have read that the stall is caused by evaporation, and that some just wrap the butt at 150 or whenever it stalls, and others suggest just moving up to 325 degrees at that point if you want a crisp bark.
So I'm asking because I figured you guys/gals would know if either of those work.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:48 PM   #8
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I had a Pitmaster IQ120 temperature controller on my Weber Bullet, and it worked great, but you will still have to start before dawn, and add fuel once of twice.

I'll say it again,start too early, and if the butt gets done too early, wrap it and put it in a cooler. If your butt is done early, no problem. If it is done late, you are screwed watching the sides get cold and dry. Butt does not HAVE to rest a couple hours. It can, but doesn't need to. It won't dry out like something like brisket will.

You can raise your temperature to 300, or so, but watch out. That internal fat needs time to render, or you'll be eating sliced pork instead of pulled pork.

Start early, finish early, drink beer until you are ready to eat.

CD
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:56 PM   #9
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I'm not sure you are feeling me, Casey. An 8 lb butt that take 1.5 hours/ lb to cook will take 12 hours. If I want it cooked and rested even for 1 hr by 4 pm, I would have to start it at 2 am (1 hr to start the fire and get the temp right, 12 hours to cook, 1 hr to rest.) I won't be a lot of fun if I've been up since 2 when my company arrives.


Let's try this another way. Is it possible to cook a butt to 150 the day before, and finish it in the oven or smoker the next day?
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:49 PM   #10
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Cook your butt completely and pull it before the day of your gathering. When it's time to eat, reheat it with some BBQ sauce if you like and serve. No one will know the difference.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:58 PM   #11
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I'm not sure you are feeling me, Casey. An 8 lb butt that take 1.5 hours/ lb to cook will take 12 hours. If I want it cooked and rested even for 1 hr by 4 pm, I would have to start it at 2 am (1 hr to start the fire and get the temp right, 12 hours to cook, 1 hr to rest.) I won't be a lot of fun if I've been up since 2 when my company arrives.


Let's try this another way. Is it possible to cook a butt to 150 the day before, and finish it in the oven or smoker the next day?
You don't have to tend you your pork butt every minute. That's BBQ -- you start it, get it leveled off, and take a long nap.

If you cook it to 150, then put it in the fridge ( or take a chance of making everyone sick by leaving it out at 150), you still have 9 pounds of meat to bring up from thirty-something degrees to around 200.

Why not just go to a smokehouse, buy a fully cooked butt, and bring it home and eat it? Problem solved.

It sounds like you want to do a 16-hour job in 8 hours. It doesn't work that way. BBQ takes time and work. BUT, it is so worth it when folks are going back for seconds... and thirds.

CD
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:27 PM   #12
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Cook your butt completely and pull it before the day of your gathering. When it's time to eat, reheat it with some BBQ sauce if you like and serve. No one will know the difference.

That is another option. Of course, it will still take as long to cook, but you time it to cook while you sleep. Just set an alarm to check your fire every few hours -- just in case.

Honestly, the smoke only penetrates a butt for the first few hours (less than an inch into the meat). Then, you are just cooking and rendering fat. Rendering the fat is what makes pulled pork melt in your mouth.

A cheat I admit to doing when the weather turned ugly is pulled my butt out of the smoker about four hours in, and finished the cook in my oven. It turned out great.

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Old 06-11-2017, 05:13 AM   #13
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I'm not sure you are feeling me, Casey. An 8 lb butt that take 1.5 hours/ lb to cook will take 12 hours. If I want it cooked and rested even for 1 hr by 4 pm, I would have to start it at 2 am (1 hr to start the fire and get the temp right, 12 hours to cook, 1 hr to rest.) I won't be a lot of fun if I've been up since 2 when my company arrives.


Let's try this another way. Is it possible to cook a butt to 150 the day before, and finish it in the oven or smoker the next day?
Serve no swine before its time! If you want true BBQ'd pulled pork, it takes the time it takes and is done when it is done. There are methods, which I have never tried, to do hot and fast (relatively) pulled pork. They seem to involve low and slow for a few hours then most, that I glanced at, move it to a 350 F oven. If I ever decided to try "Hot and Fast", I would use both my pit and BGE, never the oven.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:05 AM   #14
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Cook your butt completely and pull it before the day of your gathering. When it's time to eat, reheat it with some BBQ sauce if you like and serve. No one will know the difference.
Thanks Andy. Sounds like a reasonable compromise.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:37 AM   #15
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You don't have to tend you your pork butt every minute. That's BBQ -- you start it, get it leveled off, and take a long nap.

If you cook it to 150, then put it in the fridge ( or take a chance of making everyone sick by leaving it out at 150), you still have 9 pounds of meat to bring up from thirty-something degrees to around 200.

Why not just go to a smokehouse, buy a fully cooked butt, and bring it home and eat it? Problem solved.

It sounds like you want to do a 16-hour job in 8 hours. It doesn't work that way. BBQ takes time and work. BUT, it is so worth it when folks are going back for seconds... and thirds.

CD
Lots of opinions and culture around BBQ. I get that. I was exploring whether there are ways to do exactly what you suggest; cut a 16 hour cook to 8 hours. The only way to know if that can happen is to experiment. Once the 2-4 hours at 225 are up you are not getting anymore smoke flavor in the meat according to experts. American test kitchen suggested a method of smoking at 275 for 3 hours for an 8 lb roast then pulling, wrapping and finishing in a 325 oven. Rest for 1 hour. The whole cook took about 7 hours. They claim the results were very close to the same as the traditional method. I wanted to know that the cooks here thought or had done.

So at age 72, the 8 extra hours I gain may well be worth what small difference there may be in the result. And at age 72, can I even tell :)
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:59 AM   #16
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Lots of opinions and culture around BBQ. I get that. I was exploring whether there are ways to do exactly what you suggest; cut a 16 hour cook to 8 hours. The only way to know if that can happen is to experiment. Once the 2-4 hours at 225 are up you are not getting anymore smoke flavor in the meat according to experts. American test kitchen suggested a method of smoking at 275 for 3 hours for an 8 lb roast then pulling, wrapping and finishing in a 325 oven. Rest for 1 hour. The whole cook took about 7 hours. They claim the results were very close to the same as the traditional method. I wanted to know that the cooks here thought or had done.

So at age 72, the 8 extra hours I gain may well be worth what small difference there may be in the result. And at age 72, can I even tell :)
As we all know, there's more than one way to cook a piece of meat. I think it's worth a try. The key is, once the smoking portion of the program has been completed, the roast reaching the appropriate internal temperature so it breaks down and is easy to pull.
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:17 AM   #17
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+1 with GG and Andy. I do shoot for an IT of 198 to 205 F for pulling.
I agree ....
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:01 PM   #18
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You have guests... so do it Andy's way, which I think is the most reasonable and doable idea. It WILL work (and likely be better)

But please post any later experimentation results because I think a lot of us would be interested! ��
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:11 PM   #19
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As we all know, there's more than one way to cook a piece of meat. I think it's worth a try. The key is, once the smoking portion of the program has been completed, the roast reaching the appropriate internal temperature so it breaks down and is easy to pull.
Yeah, that last part of the cook will determine whether you eat sliced pork or pulled pork. That is when the collagen finishes breaking down into gelatin.

Don't forget, when your butt is done, the blade bone should slide out with almost no resistance, because collagen is what attaches the meat to the bones.

CD
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:22 AM   #20
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Thanks Casey and all for the advice
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