Basic Pulled Pork Smoke

Discussion in 'Pork Sticky' started by meowey, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds about right.  Enjoy the smoke.

    Take care, have fun, and do good!


  2. Thanks Meowy, I am using your instructions and recipe.
  3. Now I've gotten myself into it.  I'm to cook 8-10 butts for a school fundraiser next weekend and I'm relying on the pork butt to be very forgiving.  I've got the larger Weber smoker and it will be totally full.  I'm assuming I'll need to add fuel during the process and I'm not all that thrilled about that.

    I'm figuring it's better the meat is done too early than too late, so I'm hoping for a 4-5 hour window between wrapping and keeping it warm in a cooler and serving time.  I will have access to an oven for 2 hours prior to serving.

    Anyone have some thoughts to share regarding smoking with a full smoker vs a not so full smoker?   I've got an electric smoker coming that should be able handle the overflow if all the butts don't fit.
  4. ugaboz

    ugaboz Smoking Fanatic

    great post
  5. That is intense.  Thanks.  I copied and pasted it into word.  Figure I'll give it a better read before next weekend since I've still got a few butts to get out the door today.

    What do you recommend for re-warming temperatures if you haven't pulled the butt yet?
  6. smokinrick

    smokinrick Newbie

    That will be fine. Final temp is the deal but probably 11-12 hours should do the trick. Great you are getting back to life. Loss can be tough, but bbq cures all.
  7. Thanks smokinrick.
  8. I had a pork butt I delivered to a bbq yesterday where the host decided to do his own, since he tripled his invite list and figured he could do it himself.  He has his all setup and ready for me to sample the minute I walked in the door.

    I turned to the woman behind me and said, try them both.  It turns out this was the guys wife.  Other than my pork butts and him and her tasting their own butts, mine was the only pork butt gone at the end of the day.

    Love my weber and the rub I use.

    Just received my Masterbuilt Electric as I'm writing this.  UPS delivered it three days earlier than projected, so maybe I'll be able to use it in next weekend's 8-12 butt smoking if it all doesn't fit in the Weber.. 
  9. Ah, something I can talk about, having vended pulled pork for 5 years

    Bad Idea:

    You can pull the pork the day before but you will lose it's moisture.  If you absolutely need to do this, put the shredded pork in a doubled half pan and cover with plastic and foil.   The less air the better.  You might even consider stuffing some of those 1 gallon freezer bags and squeezing out the air.

    Two Next Day Options after that: 

    1. Bring back to serving temperature the next day in a heating oven, rip the packaging open and add a dash of pepper vinegar sauce and maybe a splash of bbq sauce to remoisten.  Recover.  It will never taste as good as it would have tasted the day before. 

    Better Idea:

    2.  If you used the freezer bag method, boil up some water in a big pot and set the frozen freezer bags (top up) in there to warm.  That's the method I use for unexpected company when I need to feed a dozen football players seeking the pound of flesh they failed to find on the field.  I wouldn't be surprised if the entire squad from the Chicago Bears showed up unannounced after last night's game.

    Best Idea:

    Let the butt cool down (rest no more than an hour) and then wrap in plastic.  Next, double wrap in foil and toss it in fridge overnight.  This allows the butt a chance to pull back all it's juices into itself.   Next day, place the still wrapped butt in a warming oven for about an hour+ to bring back to serving temperature and shred just as if it had been pulled from the smoker a half hour before.
  10. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    I started using a Ziplock bag before I wrap in the towels because before when I didn't usethe ziplock bag the towel I use were full of juice after I pulled them out of the cooler.

    This is a pic of a butt still wrap in HD foil in the ziplock you can see the juice that would of ended up in the towel,


    This is the juice from three butts ziplock bag.

  11. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    Whats big for a pork butt?  I went to costco and the average size was about 12 pounds. found one that was 15 pounds.  I want to get 2 and smoke them, but i'm afraid it would take forever.  Would cutting them in half be a good idea or are there any problems with doing that?  Most people on here seem to be smoking 6 - 8 pound butts.
  12. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Jmonty-We shop at Costco and some of there meat comes two per package, could be a couple of pieces together that you seen.

  13. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    garyinmd perhaps. i'll have to take another look. I coulda sworn i saw a single 15 pound butt, but I could be wrong. I'll take another look.
  14. I get mine at Sams and they usually average 8 lbs each.  I cooked up 8 of them last night and had a devil of a time keeping the Weber hot enough, since it was 27 degrees outside and windy.  I went through almost 3 bags of charcoal.  That blew the budget.  On a good day I can cook 8 with just a little more than one large bag.

    I finally said enough and transferred them to the Masterbuilt electric smoker to finish.  Once they shrink down enough I can fit 2 per shelf.  They've been smoking for better than 17 hours.  Glad I'm not supposed to serve until tomorrow.
  15. maxd518

    maxd518 Newbie

    Wow... these instructions were great!  I've only done a few Boston Butt's since I've started smoking meat and this is the way I've done it... for the most part every time!  The posts on this site are great! 

    Thanks to all...
  16. A word to the wise.  If you ever start thinking you're a superman with your smoker, you're probably only half right.

    I was asked to do a small school fundraiser last Saturday evening.  It was just for 150, with 2 meats and 4 sides.  I thought I had it well planned out, even to the point where I would have down time to handle emergencies.  Let me tell you.  Emergencies don't happen during down time.  That's why them call them emergencies.  Emergencies only happen when you have 20 other things you should be doing.

    So, I've got all 12 butts in the warmer, beans in the oven, slaw and potato salad in the refrigerator, and noodles for mac & cheese heating on the stove.  I assigned a volunteer to shred the chicken for the hot chicken salad sandwiches and that's when I found out the chicken had a funny smell to it.  I probably should have cancelled the chicken but I still had two hours before serving . . . figured I could do it as oven baked if I got back from the store quick enough. 

    Ever notice how fresh chicken at the market often has ice crystals in the packaging?  There wasn't a package there that wasn't frozen solid.  I went for it anyway and, ever notice how when you're in a hurry, the grocery store lines are always 5 deep and you always get stuck in the slowest line?

    Needless to say.  The chicken never made it to the serving line.  I'm going to stick to just Pork Butt next time.
  17. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    Fired up my smoker last weekend for the first time.  Seasoned it and then later on cooked some country style ribs in there.  The process wasnt as hard as I thought it would be, although i seemed to forget a few times to keep the water pan full and it dried out a few times. Definetely need a bigger one.  The ribs had a really nice flavor but wasnt amazingly tender. Although I only bought the meat up to 170, maybe if I let it get to 200 it woulda been more tender?  I hope Pork butts are more forgiving when you get them up to the right temp.
  18. The Vertual Weber suggests this:  I'm thinking you didn't let the ribs finish.
    • [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Buy pork loin back ribs weighing 2 pounds or less per slab, if possible.[/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Apply a "good overall dusting" of rub and allow ribs to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.[/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Make sure all charcoal and smoke wood is fully lit before cooking.[/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Cook ribs at 225°F for 3 hours, turn slabs, then increase cooker temp to 250-275°F and cook an additional 1-2 hours until done.[/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Remove ribs from cooker and apply KC Masterpiece/honey mixture to both sides of slab before serving.[/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Try to follow the BRITU cooking process as closely as possible for best results.[/font]
  19. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    So i bought a few pork butts from Costco on yesterday, two butts packaged together weighing in at a little over 15 pounds.  I planned to smoke them today. However my plans were messed up last night and I'm not going to have enough time to do it today now.  Now its going to have to be tuesday after work.  Its just sitting in the fridge right now, i guess my question is can I just leave it in the fridge till tuesday night?  Or do I need to freeze it?  If I freeze it how long am I going to need to let it thaw, rub it and then let it sit in the fridge and absorb some of the rub?

    And for future reference, can you just rub right away and smoke? Or do you need to rub, wrap it up and let it sit in the fridge for a few?
  20. If the meat is still in the packaging you should be fine.  Check the expiration date. 

    As far as the rub goes, any method will work.  I deep rub mine when I open the packaging and prep the meat while the smoker heats.  I deep cut the fat cap into 1" cubes and try to get as much rub into the cavities as I can.  There is no such thing as too much rub during this part of the prep, unless it doesn't stick.  Some use yellow mustard as a base and it works to keep the rub on if you don't want to slice as deep as I do.

    Don't forget to slash the meat on all sides (freddy krueger style) so the rub penetrates there also.  Some like to do a second rubbing but I think one deep rub is enough.

    Once finished and pulled, I "lightly" sprinkle and mix in pepper vinegar sauce and then garnish the pan (use a sifter or shaker you trust) with a little rub before placing it on the serving line.  "Lightly" is a key word here.  In my mind, it's what will set your pulled pork above the rest and gets the most compliments. 

    Good luck on your BBQ.

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