First Pork Butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by izzib, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the great welcome over on the newbie board - I'm really looking forward to learning a bunch from you veterans.  Last year I dipped my toe in the world of smoking with some St Louis Ribs and failed my first time out but improved with my subsequent efforts and now I'm hooked.  This year I'd like to expand my repertoire and try some pork butt.  I've done some poking around the boards and I have a plan in my head that I want to run by you guys and a couple of questions as well.  I use a Weber kettle with a BBQ Guru temperature control so I'm not comfortable with an overnight smoke so I was going to get 2 smaller butts to cut down on the time.

    If they don't look like they'll be done by eating time, what's the temp they should reach before I take them off and put them in the oven to finish?  What should the oven temp be?  

    When I've done the ribs the temp held well and I didn't have to add any charcoal but there wasn't much left either so I'm concerned about the longer smoke times for the butt - I used Stubbs my first time and they seemed to burn quickly and I had to add some more but that could be all on me and inexperience - the other times I just used Kingsford.  Should I add something like a fire brick to help keep the temp up?  Or should I be prepared to add some coals to the fire?

    I was going to keep the temperature between 250-270 is that in the right ballpark?

    Is there anything else I should look for or be aware of?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    WRT how long your charcoal lasts, how are you lighting it/setting it up ?    As for the actual cook, smaller butts will cook faster of course.  Figure about 2 hours per pound at 225-250 degrees.    You can pull them off the Weber and stick them in the oven whenever you want really.   What would be sacrificed is the amount of smoke/charcoal flavor that the butts will get.  

    Many people here foil their butts once they've hit an Internal Temp of 165.   IF you decide to foil also, that would probably be the best time to move to the oven as the wood and charcoal flavors wouldn't be penetrating the foil anyways.   Foil them, spritz them with some apple juice or one of the "foiling juice" recipes floating around here and finish to an unternal temp of 205 degrees in a 225 degree oven.

    Cooking in the 250 - 270 degree range is fine with butts.  It will shorten the process.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Izzib, hello. You temps. seem good. Butt can be a test of Patience, but an easy cook. You should start with a pre-heated 225*F -ish smoker and with your Guru, and let it go till it hits 200*F to pull for PP. You are stressed for time, start earlier , these don't like get done in your time, they do it on their time and even in the Oven , it can stay 6 to8 hrs. to come to doneness.You want to use the oven, take it out of the smoker at 165*F and transfer.

    Hope you can take it to the end in the Smoker. But wrapped in foil in the Oven will suffice.

     A few about to come off...
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  4. Thanks for the info.  I don't know what WRT means, I'm basically piling up the charcoal on one side of the grill and lighting it with a paraffin cube.  Zero technique involved.
  5. Thanks for the added info OldSchool.  That pic makes me want to leave work and start smoking the butt now.  But I'll have patience :)
  6. Welcome to the addiction Izzib. Everything oldschool said was spot on. Butts are done when they're done, definitely give yourself some additional time if you're worried about them not making it. If they're done early you can always double wrap in foil, wrap in a blanket and put them in a cooler.
  7. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    WRT= With Regard To  

    I see that SeenRed pointed you to the Minion method for your charcoal.  I'd definitely give it a try.

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