Pulled pork...a few questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dan bon, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. dan bon

    dan bon Newbie

    Hi...trying my second pulled pork on my bullet-style smoker and have a few questions...

    1...How long per lb give or take should i expect to cook at 225? I'm cooking for a group of about 30 but am sort of pressed for time so am thinking 2 butts (one on bottom grate, one on top) and also considering smoking only to 160 or so and finishing in the oven.

    2...whats the best way to keep the meet after its done? Can i keep the meat whole in the oven at 175 or so and just pull it when the guests arrive? or should I pull it, refrigerate and reheat in the oven?

  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I now always figure 2 hours per pound, after being burned a couple of times by the stall. If it's done earlier, just wrap and hold. When it hits 200 IT or so I'd pull it then and keep warm in a crockpot, or a very low oven,with some of the juice. I'm not against chilling it down if done a day or so ahead but if only a few hours is involved I'd avoid that if possible...but, that's me. With 30 guests watching my every move I'd want this pretty much in the bag ready to go. HTH, Willie
  3. dan bon

    dan bon Newbie

    don't know why i didn't think of crockpot...guess the way to go is pull it and keep warm with some juice, maybe apple juice also. thanks!

    any idea if i have to increase the cooking time for 2 pieces of meat? ie would i be looking at a longer time for two 5 lb butts than one? more meat = longer for the smoker to come to temp maybe?
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Chef Willie nailed it as usual.  I'd add that you don't look at the total weight when trying to calculate time.   2  8lb butts will take roughly the same time as 1 8lb butt.   Same with 4, 5 or 6   8lb butts.

    WRT being pressed for time, you could always crank the temp up and get done sooner.  Some around here do their butts at temps upwards of 325ish.

    How to keep/hold the meat depends on the amount of time you need.   I'll take butts off the smoker and wrap them in foil.  I'll let them rest on the counter or in the oven for an hour or so to let the cool down enough for easy pulling.   If I need to hold them for quite some time, I'll throw them in a towel lined cooler for 4-6 hours if need be and then pull them.    
  5. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    More meat equals more thermal mass, equals more fuel needed to reach and maintain heat.   Cooking times will largely be the same.

    In short, if you normally preheat your smoker to 250 for a single butt, aiming to settle in at 225 for smoking, crank it up to 265ish if you put 2 butts on.   This will speed up recovery time as well as provide the additional heat needed for the added thermal mass of the 2nd butt.
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good info., dabon ... To keep it hot I use a Slow Cooker . Add a bit of the drippings and have the BBQ sauce ' on the side '.

    Have fun and . ..
  7. dan bon

    dan bon Newbie

    thanks everyone for the advice. 
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're welcome Dan.

    One last thing to add is that the whole "X mins per pound" concept only applies to whole entire cuts.    What actually determines cook time is the thickness of the cut, not it's weight.   As a whole butt increases in weight, it also increases in thickness which is why the "X mins per pound" will be somewhat accurate.

    However, IF your butcher splits a Butt and sells you a 4 lb piece, then the timings are going to be way off as the 4lb  1/2 butt that is 4 inches thick will take the same amount of time to cook as a whole 8lb butt that is also 4 inches thick. 

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