My First Pork Butt On My New Traeger - A Few Questions?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by huskerphil, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Hello Everyone!

    Well I just got my Traeger last week and it couldn't have come at a better time because tomorrow is my son's 2nd birthday party.  We will have roughly 40 guests and I thought pulled pork would be a great choice for the meal.  I do have a few questions though.

    My plan right now is to try and get four, 7-8 pound pork butts.  Do you guys think this will be enough to feed everyone?  I don't mind have extra.  :)

    My next question is about cook time.  I've read that I should give an hour to an hour and a half cook time per pound.  So will that mean 8-10 hours should work?  Or since I'm cooking four at one time do I need to plan on more time.

    My plan was to cook at 3 hours at 225.  After that I will transfer to a foil pan, kick the heat up to 250, and cook for 6-8 more hours.  The recipe I took this from was only cooking one butt.  Do I need to plan on more time since I have four pork butts?

    I figured getting four smaller pork butts will cut down the cook time as opposed to one, big pork butt.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on this!

    Thank you.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I usually figure a 1/3lb per person, if serving with other sides. Also you need to figure in a 40% loss, especially if these are bone in butts. I wouldn't bother starting at 225* there's no reason for it. I smoke all my butts at 265* now. Also I do not foil, that's because I like the bark. It will take the same amount of time to cook 4 butts as it will 4. I would figure more along the lines of 2hrs per pound. If your heaviest butt is 8 pounds that would be 16 hours. My last butt that weighed 9 pounds took right at 20 hours to hit an IT of 205*. My last 8lb butts took 18 hours. You also need to figure in at least an hour of rest time foiled prior to pulling.

    Initially your smoker is going to lose a bunch of heat from the cold mass of meat. SO I would crank it up to 300*+ then put the meat on. AS the smoke chamber temp rises adjust the heat until you get to your cooking temp.
    huskerphil likes this.
  3. Thank you for the reply dirtsailor2003.  Looks like I will be starting the pork butts tonight to be sure they are done by 6:00 tomorrow.  I still haven't purchased them yet so I better do that ASAP and get my dry rub on them.  Thanks again!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always smoke my butts a day or two in advance and then reheat the day I am going to serve them. Since you are doing them the same day/night you can add an additional 3-4 hours just to make sure. The butts will keep warm that long after the smoke wrapped in foil and towels in a large towel packed cooler.
  5. Yes, I will definitely give myself 3-4 more hours extra.  Hopefully I can find some smaller butts, maybe 6-7 lbs to get my cook time shorter.  Was hoping to have my rub on for a while, but that might not happen now.  Thanks!
  6. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good luck let us know how it comes out and pics plz, I am with DS on this one  I just did a 7lb took 16hrs but I was at a lower temp of 220 just cause my smoker wont go any higher.
  7. Thanks for the advice.  I will try and update you guys on how it turns out.  Excited to get started!
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I used to rub and let my meat stew in it overnight. Now I season right before I put it on and have found that it tastes the same! If it was a liquid marinade or brine that'd be a different story.

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