first boston butt smoking planned for this weekend. Anyone want to walk me through how to do it so I

Discussion in 'Pork' started by kgo-mb30, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. kgo-mb30

    kgo-mb30 Newbie

    Hey guys I am still extremely new to smoking meat and you guys walked me through spatchcocked chickens and I'm now comfortable enough with that to branch out. I now want to smoke a boston butt this weekend since my family is getting together to watch some football! I have never done anything other than chickens though so I need a really good walk through on what to do in order to not screw this up and let everyone down. having to order pizza because the bbq is ruined would be a pretty sucky way to end the day. I plan to do a 12-13 pound butt and need all the information I can get before saturday. Thanks in advance guys. Hopefully I will soon be to the point where i help on here more than needing help.
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here you go, but I feel the need to warn you about timing.  Meat has it's own timer, and it almost never matches yours. A 12-13 pound butt is the shoulder and picnic combined, or a VERY large picnic roast.  If you bought it at one of the big box stores, like Costco, then it will be two butts in the same package, about 6.5 lbs each.  Big difference in timing there. 

    Lets us know your plan, if the meat is one piece or two, bone-in or boneless, and you'll get better help. Pics help too.
  3. kgo-mb30

    kgo-mb30 Newbie

    i haven't purchased any meat yet. I plan on doing boneless for ease but don't know if its one piece or two. Which would you recommend? I assume that two pieces would cook faster which is to be expected like the chickens were and that I would put the large of the two on the top rack if both dont fit together on the top rack. I was figuring it up and assumed a 12-13 pound boston butt would come out to about 12 hours if cooked somewhere between 200 and 250 but wasn't sure so I figured i'd get as many recommendations for meat and cooking all in one stop. I plan on starting the smoker up at around 5 or 6 in the morning if need be and allowing them to cook the 12 hours if necessary. however if two 8lb or two 6lb butts would cook faster I could do most of my prep early that morning and fire up the smoker later in the day. I just don't know much about all of this yet. I figured I would start with chicken, then boston butts, then move on to brisket afterward so I can get a little bit of experience with chicken, pork, and beef eventually. I will take a look at the link provided while waiting to hear back. Thanks again.
  4. slipaway

    slipaway Meat Mopper

    One thing to keep in mind about the pork shoulder. If you are doing pulled pork the IT should hit 200-205. Also, you should plan on finishing it about 2 hours before you will need it. The pork does great having a nice rest period (wrapped in foil, towels and in a cooler). It will still be plenty hot but will pull apart like butter. Also, this allows for the fact that the meat will be done when it is done. Many a cook has tried to time stuff to the minute only to find out the stall went on a lot longer than planned.........

    Just a few quick thoughts.
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Okay, got a clearer picture. 

    Two butts cook more quickly than one big butt(shoulder)/picnic still intact.  Below I refer to one butt basically.  You do the same thing for two butts.

    I haven't really noticed a difference in the amount of time a boneless takes to cook, compared to bone-in.  The nice thing about bone-in is the bone is like a pop-up indicator on a turkey; it will indicate when it is done.  When you can wiggle the bone and it feels loose, the butt is done. 

    Temp: forget about 200F chamber temp.  With the timing you're looking at, aim for 250F, and be ready to bump to 275F if you start running short of time.  If the butt finishes sooner than expected, that's absolutely no problem.  Finishing later than expected, ALWAYS a problem.

    Wrap or no wrap at the stall?  Wrapping with a little hot apple juice (nuke the juice in the microwave), speeds the butt through the stall but gives a soft bark.  You'll get great smoky flavor but a soft bark.  If you want a firmer bark, but still want to speed up the finishing time, wait to wrap it at at 180F internal temp.  If you want a crunchy bark, don't wrap at all, but it takes longer.  I don't know what smoker you're using, MES maxes out at 275F, others can go higher.  Once the meat is through the stall, crank the smoker up.  A butt can handle it.

    When is it done?  Internal temp is an indicator.  Aim for 205-207F, but wiggle the bone and poke it with a probe, like a two pronged fork or instant read thermometer.  When it slides in easily, it is done.  If you feel resistance, keep smoking. 

    Rest: wrap it in foil, then cover it with clean, old towels or put it in an empty cooler.  I like to let butts rest for 2-3 hours, but one hour minimum.

    Serve:  Save the juice in the foil wrapper if you wrap it.  Add it back to the meat after you pull it apart.  If the butt tastes a little flat, add more of the rub you used.  Some people like to add BBQ sauce.  All it takes is a little if you're going to do that.  Personally, I serve BBQ sauce and Chef JJ's finishing sauce on the side, telling people to try the finishing sauce first before they add any BBQ sauce.  It is the rare person who adds BBQ sauce after trying Chef JJ's finishing sauce.  You can whip up the finishing sauce in mere minutes.  Recipe is below.

    Have fun!

  6. kgo-mb30

    kgo-mb30 Newbie

    thanks to both of you. I have all day for cooking the butts and time isn't really too much of a concern. I can always get up and get the smoker going around 5am and serve at 8 at night if needed to so Im not so worried about time. I just want the butt/butts to come out tasting good. I will probably wrap them and then rest them in my cooler wrapped in towels. thanks yall
  7. kgo-mb30

    kgo-mb30 Newbie

    alright guys finished my boston butt up over the weekend and it came out very good for the first time smoking one! Only problem I ran into was that a lot of people recommend using a cast iron skillet as the wood chip tray in my grill and because of running the temp for smoking at 220 degrees I wasn't getting a lot of smoke until I finally decided to take the skillet out and use the wood chip tray that came with the smoker. All in all though it turned out pretty well. Just wish it had a little bit more of a smokey flavor.

  8. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The finished butt looks real good. From what I can see I'm guessing it pulled nicely.

    Great job.

  9. kgo-mb30

    kgo-mb30 Newbie

    Yeah it pulled really easily. I was amazed out how easily it came apart in my hands while I was trying to pull it apart. And apparently a 7 pound butt feeds a lot more people than I realized hahaha

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