Pork Butt How to finish strong?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jevans411, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Ok so I'm 9 hours in on my very first pork butt and so far so good. I've pretty much just slathered it with mustard and hit it with some carolina style rub and left it in the fridge overnight. I started it on my Traeger @ 6:30 am and now at the 9hr mark the IT is 180. I've opted not to wrap it in foil, as I like the taste of the bark and it sure is looking good. :drool What I'm wondering is at what IT do I pull it off the smoker? 195? 205? higher? And how long should i wait before I pull it? And what do you do with the fat cap?
  2. I'm on hour 10 of my second butt IT is 187. Ill be pulling off at 195 double wrapping in tin foil then an old towel and letting it rest for 90mins or so then pulling. Only thing I get rid of is the bone for the dogs and remove some of the fat. Ill leave some in cause it taste good.
  3. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Start checking for tenderness around 195*, use a toothpick or skewer and probe all around, when it slides in with no resistance like going into hot butter then it is done.
    I trim all the fat cap off before I smoke it. I don't eat the fat and find it a waste of rub to put it on it. I like the rub to get right on the meat.
    A lot of people will tell you to wrap it in foil and put in a cooler for a couple of hours when you pull it out and that is fine, especially if it is done early and you need to hold it hot for awhile. The only thing is that nice bark you worked so hard for is going to get soft. I have been following Eric's (forluvofsmoke) method for some time now and since I am a bark lover this works perfect for me:

    (excerpt from this thread: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/...dry-smoke-chamber-q-view-prep-method-finished)

    Resting method:
    So, now that my pork has reached my desired finished temp and is tender for pulling, it's time for a rest, but do I want to foil it? NO, NO, and can I get another NO. I've pushed the limits quite a bit to get a moist and tender pulled pork and a GREAT bark with my picnic shoulder using the wet-to-dry smoke chamber method, and now, I need to finish it up so I can keep what I've worked for. Keep what I've worked for??? I added several hours to the cooking time by not foiling, and possibly another few hours due to using the dry smoke chamber about 1/3 of the way through to the end of this this smoke, so yes, I need to protect my investment in time, fuel, and smoke wood, don't you think? That's where this resting method comes through with shining colors.

    I use an elevated grate (2" rise, but it doesn't bottom-out in the roasting pan I'm using today, so it's nearly flush with the lip of the pan...could be a bit lower and be fine also) to place the pulled pork subject onto, then into a 4" high roasting pan or similar receptacle, and cover with a clean towel or paper towels. I prefer towels over paper, as they provide some insulation while still allowing evaporated moisture to escape through the towel, whereas paper just breathes well without insulating. Why do I do this? Because if I wrap it in foil to rest, the bark will soften due to the small amount of moisture evaporating from the meat while it's resting...it may not be much, but with what the bark went through to get to this stage using the dry smoke chamber to bring it all together for the finish, I don't want to loose any of that crispness, so, I'm preserving the bark until it's pulled for serving by allowing it to breath on top, sides and bottom, while the pork is cooling. If served immediately after pulling, you will likely experience a pulled pork bark like you've never seen or eaten before...unless you've already used a similar method for smoking and resting, that is.

    This resting method works like a charm, but it also brings a challenge to overcome: You need to get your pulling subject up to finished temps in a smaller time-frame if your on a schedule for meal-time, because this meat will cool about 2-3 times faster than if foiled and insulated with multiple layers of towels and placed into a insulated cooler. When foiled/towel-wrapped, I can rest for 5-6 hours with an average butt (8.5lb) ...here, I have 11lb precooked weight, and only about 2 hours to get it pulled after it comes out, or, it will likely be into the danger zone. Tip: I leave my temp probe in while resting so I know if I need to get it pulled earlier than planned and can monitor temp drop rates, as well.

    That said, it does require a bit more control towards the end of your smoke so you get it out to rest on time. When using a foiled resting, you have a lot more time to play with, and if the pork is done too early, you can rest for much longer than you can using a breathable method such I use. For me, the added benefit is more than worth the extra effort it takes to to get the pulling subject out on time, +/- 30-45 minutes, as the dining is like no other pulled pork you'll eat, ANYWHERE. The bark, if well-developed and hardened, will retain that texture throughout resting, and will be there for you when you dine on your masterpiece pulled pork. I have not found a better way to accomplish pulled pork with a great bark than using the wet-to-dry smoke chamber along with this resting method. If you like a heavy, hard bark on your pulled pork like I do, it just doesn't get any better than when I use the methods described here.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  4. Thanks for the tips! This is the first i've ever heard of this resting method. I really do want the bark to come out good so I think i'll give it a shot.
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You won't be disappointed!
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    When the bone pulls out cleanly your butt will be done, or when the thermometer probe(or wooden skewer or some other long, slender object) slides into the meat with no resistance( or as if you were probing soft butter or a jar marshmallow fluff). Other wise your butt may be done at any temp from 182° to 210° depending on your cooking temp, the amount of fat and moisture in the butt, general atmospheric conditions and how hungry or impatient you get. At least this has been my experience, YMMV.

    I always trim as much of the fat cap off before I apply rub, no sense in seasoning something you are not going to eat IMHO.
  7. I think the next one I will try trimming the fat cap just so I will end up with more bark mixed in the pull. So often you hear that "fat is flavor" and this being my first butt I was afraid that I might lose something by trimming.
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can easily trim 75% of the fat cap and the butt with not suffer. Much internal fat in a butt anyway.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  9. Well it came out alright, not bad for the first one. I definitely want to try trimming the cap next time to get more rub on there. Could have used a little more tang as well :33:
  10. [​IMG]    [​IMG]    [​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  11. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like it turned out good...congrats on a successful smoke!  Don't forget, we love Qview!


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