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Old 06-15-2007, 03:36 PM   #1
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Exclamation Total Panic!

Ok ok ok...

So I went to the store today and I bought my first Butt ever. It weighs 20 lbs! It is a total monster, but it was cheap and the smallest one they had. The only thing I have smoked up till now has been chicken breasts.... this is a 20 lb pork butt and it is just my girlfriend and I . If anyone is in the Bangor ME area drop me a line... might be able to get some free BBQ. I pray to the BBQ gods (might be Uncle Bob I am praying to... heh) that shredded pork freezes well.

Ok, so I need a game plan... I have meat, I have Kingsford charcoal (not the best I know... only ones I could find... that or cowboy lump) and some Hickory chips. I think I am going to prepare it simply with a rub down of Garlic Oil, salt and pepper. I guess this is my only question really: How heavily do I salt and pepper the outside?

I will probably have to cook this monster all day tomorrow.


Any tips, advice, words of encouragement or anti-psychotics are greatly appreciated.

For now,
Sam

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Old 06-15-2007, 03:40 PM   #2
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First, switchen, your pork will freeze just fine. Make sure it's sealed well. You could use heavy-duty freezer zipper-lock bags or, if you have one, use the FoodSaver.

I've never smoked anything outside nor anything the size you have, but someone will be along before long with advice.

Man, oh man, I wish I lived in your area. I'd be there with my bib and fork in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:55 PM   #3
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You could probably take it back and have them cut it in half for you. Freeze one ! Love them Butts !!!
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:58 PM   #4
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Get a sharp knife and cut it up into manageable chunks! 20 pounds is a monster.
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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i have had alot of luck freezing pulled pork ..
get a good night sleep .. you have a long day ahead of you ..
oh .. and dont forget . you can wrap in foil to get the
temp up on the butt if need be ..
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:32 PM   #6
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Smoking I cannot help you with, have been meaning to start but just never seem to get to it.

But a few years ago we wound up with a whole fresh ham, only about 19 lbs for the two of us. Purchased a new hack saw, used a sharp knife, and did some butchering. It was not all that hard. And now it doesn't faze me a whit.

Might want to give it a try. Smoking a 20 pound butt seems very daunting to me.

Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:40 PM   #7
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I'd cut it into two or three roughly equal pieces and cook them all. It will take no longer to cook all three than to cook one. This is a roughly 10 hour process so it's a big time saver to do them all if you have the room.

Pulled pork is easily frozen and is as good as fresh when thawed.
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:26 PM   #8
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I would do as the others have said and cut it into half, at least. I do that when I am making tamales and end up with one the size you have.
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips. If I have two 10 lb butts ... any ball park figure on how long that might take? I know "cook it until it is done" but still there is a rough estimate on time :)


*takes a deep breath*

Sam
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
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Swinchen....

I know you are looking at what you have, and I am not. A 20 lb. pork butt is really big!! Most big ones run in the 10 to 11 lb range. Ya didn't actually buy Two butts in a cryovac bag did ya???! Oh well! No matter. If it is indeed a 20 pounder then do as everyone has suggested cut it up into manageable sizes. Bone it out if possible! And as everyone has already said it freezes well.

Good Luck and have fun!
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #11
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Hmm, two pork butts in cryovac. I didn't think of that. Even a 10 lb pork butt ginormous. Usually I see them six to eight lbs. I figured you have a whole pork shoulder (front leg or "arm"). Usually around here about the top third is sold as a boston butt and incudes the shoulder blade and i think the ball and socket. Below that is what would roughly correspond to our bicep and sold around here as a picnic roast and is a little less expensive. Because 20 lbs is alot for even a whole shoulder you might even be able to get some hocks out of it.
Look here and put your cursor over the words shoulder butt and picnic shoulder. If I was going break it down myself I'd try to divide the two sections mentioned using a hack saw to cut the bone. If you have a hunter in the family or the neighborhood, he might be quite a bit of help with this. Truthfully, I wouldn't do it myself. I take it to the butcher or grocer I bought it from and ask them to do it for me expecting it to be a free service. They would probably be willing to grind some of it for you as well if you ask nice.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:14 PM   #12
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Are you sure it's just a Boston Butt? 20 pounds is incredibly large for that cut. Might be more than just the BB.

If so, yeah, 2 10 pounders is the way to go. A 20 pounder is too large...you would have to smoke it so long that you would ruin part of the cut.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:17 PM   #13
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whatevcer you got, cut it into manageable size...practice your meat fabrication and knife skills. THen happy bbqing
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:41 PM   #14
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If it's all one piece, it may be a whole butt-picnic combination. That will work if you cut it up.

I wuold expect cooking time to run about 1.5 hours per pound for pulled pork which should reach an internal temperature of 195-205F.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:41 PM   #15
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hmmmm... it may be two butts. I don't know. It is in a vacuum package so I can not really see or feel a separation. I guess I will see in the morning! I will make sure to take lots of pictures.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:56 PM   #16
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ok, so I was curious... I decided to inspect the meat in the package. It seems that there is a great deal of symmetry in the bone structure between the two sides of the meat. Also on the fat side there are strips of flesh that are very symmetric. I am really leaning towards two butts. The label says "Fresh Pork Butt"

Also, I was wrong.. it is 18 lbs. The other package at the store was 20 lbs.

Also, is $1.40/lb a good deal? The IGA down the street has wicked packages of meat... like 3 racks of ribs all vacuum packed together, things like that.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:01 PM   #17
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Swinchen...

Maybe you open it up tonight...see what you got. Then while you have it out, put a good 'rub' on it. Put it back in the frig overnite. Take it out in the morning and let it come to room temp. before going to the fire.

Enjoy!
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:12 PM   #18
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I bet you do have 2 butts in that package!! I buy them here like that. You could wrap and freeze one of them without smoking it; unless you want to do that. $1.40 a lb. is a very good price!
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:56 PM   #19
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I expect Uncle Bob and others are right about two butts in a bag, but thought a comment on the freezing and price per pound questions worth comment, while we are on the subject.

I make these things exclusively for pulled pork and use it in sandwiches, tacos, tamales etc. I don't like to freeze the pulled (shredded) meat. I freeze whole hunks of pork, in single use quantities, wrapped tightly in plastic, frozen separately. and then stored in freezer bags. It thaws, heats in the microwave and then easily shreds with no noticeable damage to my coarse palate.

There may be many reasons why $1.40/lb is a good price for the cryovac pork butts, but they are just a few of many mysteries to me. I try to buy them when they go on sale for 99 cents a pound. I'm guessing that happens four or five times a year in each of the big chain groceries around here. If there is a reason that justifies the price difference, I hope someone shares it.

Thanks for starting the thread swinchen.
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:02 AM   #20
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Wink

I can usually get my butts for 1.19 or .99. When I make pulled pork, I don't shred it all up. Leaving hunks if not eaten, I freeze . Works out well.
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