Epic Pork Butt Smoke

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tom in nc, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. tom in nc

    tom in nc Smoke Blower

    I call this one epic because of the time it took for these butts.  I wanted to try a couple of pulled pork chili recipes so the first step was to make some pulled pork.  I got 2 butts weighing in at a total of 14.25 pounds.  I shot each one with some pork butt marinade, then covered them in yellow mustard and Jeff's Naked Rib Rub.  Wrapped them in Saran Wrap and put them in the fridge overnight.




    Got up on Wednesday morning at 5 AM and got my Weber Smokey Mountain going.  Pork hit the smoker at 6:30 AM with the smoker holding between 240F & 250F.  Every 2 hours I sprayed it with a mixture of 3 parts apple cider & 1 part Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum.  Everthing was going pretty well and by 12:30 PM the meat was at 165F.  Well then I hit the stall and it sat at 165F until 6 PM.

    Once we got by the stall the temps slowly climbed and by 12 midnight they were finally at 200F.  I foiled the butts and put them in a cooler wrapped in towels for an hour.  At 1 AM I pulled them and they were awesome.  Clean up took me until 2 AM and then I headed to bed for a few hours of sleep.  Although the Mrs. missed out on a pulled pork dinner on Wednesday night, she was quite happy tonight when we finally got to eat it.

    Fitst butt pulled...


    Second butt prior to pulling...


    Second butt pulled...


    Both butts pulled...


    So what do you guys think, is an 18 hour smoke reasonable for 14 pounds of butts with the smoker at 240F to 250F?  I trusted the process and just figured the butts had more connective tissue that the butts I've smoked in the past.  I'm very pleased with the results (as was my wife) the length of time just threw me off.  I know, it's done when it hits temp and not on time, just surprised that it took so long. 
  2. That barbecue looks nice to me!!!  Don't even need me a fork!  Just look the other way if you can't handle it...All butts are different, plus smoking outside is always a variable, wind plays a big factor even with small amounts of wind present.  If you are using a constant heating source and you are POSITIVE your heat was dialed in, then possibly the injection could play a role, or the meat itself, it might have just come from the fridge to the smoker, or did it sit on the counter for a while to get to room temp, and for a big butt it could take a few hours to get to room temp...all these factors could change the total cook time.  IMPE.
  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great!

    If injecting, the internal temp needs to get to 135 within 4 hours. (I use the 40 to 140 rule cause it is easier to remember) 165 seems to be the magic number for hitting the stall on the butts I have done.

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  4. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    LOL yes I have had butts that I thought would never get done. I always rough figure 2 hours per based on the largest butt, I have had them go a tad bit longer as well. I don't know what your largest weight was but 18 hours is not unheard of by any means.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Boy they sure came out good!

    Great bark & smoke ring!

    The PP looks absolutely delicious!
  6. tom in nc

    tom in nc Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the kind words. I hope it didn't sound like I was complaining about the time it took to smoke these butts. I was just surprised at the how long it did take. I was very pleased with the finished product.

    Subotai - the wind was an issue.  Not sure what it was like in Charlotte on Wednesday but around here it was sunny but windy & I'm about 90 to 120 minutes northeast of you - about halfway between Raleigh & Greensboro.  I was constantly adjusting the air intake vents.  During the smoke I hit a low smoker temp reading of 216F & a high of 287F.  For the majority if the time I was between 240F & 250F but it required alot of adjustments. The butts were not at room temp when they went on the smoker.  One butt had an internal temp of 38F & the other had an internal temp of 42F.

    Venture - thanks for the reminder!  I was trying to remember the temp but I knew the time was 4 hours.  By the three hour mark both butts were at 134F and by the 4 hour mark they were at 145F.

    Thanks again guys.  I appreciate the comments and the suggestions.
  7. That is some mighty fine looking NC Q, Tom!  Like Al said, great bark and the pulled looks awesome!

    I don't inject my pork butts but I think I agree with the comment about the injection lending to the longer cooking time.  Also, with IT's of 38 and 42 when you started, I think that would also lend to a longer ramp up... in my very humble opinion.  But like you said - and we all know this - it's done when it's done!  LOL

    Great job!

  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What are you using to measure the temps!!

    You add time every time you open it.

    I leave the lid on mine..til its time to foil.

  9. tom in nc

    tom in nc Smoke Blower

    fpnmf - I've got a couple of temperature probes that I insert in the meat and run the thermocouple wire out of the smoker.  The thermocouples plug into a transmitter and I can take the receiver with me to monitor the meat temps and the temp inside the smoker.  Yes, the thermocouple wires do lift the lid a bit but its not excessive.  The lid stays closed throughout the smoke except when I need to spritz the butts with the apple cider/rum mixture.  Maybe I could push out the time interval on the spritzing.
  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I sure wouldn't mine pulling a chair up to a plate of that meat for sure. Great Job there Tom.
  11. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    Mighty fine job, Tom.

  12. tom in nc

    tom in nc Smoke Blower

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words.  I was really happy with the results and I used a pound of the pulled pork to make a nice pulled pork chili this afternoon. 

    Happy New Year to all of you!
  13. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]   looks great  !!

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