Questions before first pork butt smoke

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jprovance1, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. jprovance1

    jprovance1 Newbie

    OK so I got my first smoker for Xmas and smoked some pretty good ribs. Now for the football game I'm gonna get a pork butt. I see it takes about an hr per 1 1/2 pounds?? My question is and I was thinking this the whole time when coking ribs was how often do I put wood in the smoker? I have a master built propane smoker. I see in pork butt videos that there isn't much smoke or non in all. I just don't want to over do it. When I did the ribs I'd place a few wood chunks and when the smoke was almost gone I'd place more wood.

  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    jprovance1 likes this.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Time depends upon smoking temp. Find the temp that the smoker likes and use it and allow your time table accordingly.

    There are a mllion recommendations that can be made, but my biggest suggestion if you want it within a 6 hour time table for finishing, cook it the day before, pull it, give it some finishing sauce and into the reefer till that ball game. Reheat and serve with the game.

    Butts are the meat that actually gets better with age, and thankfully so. No one ever taught pigs to tell time and they will mess with you every time you think you know what you are doing.

    Cook it a head and really make the Pizza deliver boy mad!

    I highly recommend Chef JJ's finishing sauce ( I modify it a little with just a little honey added).

    As to my butts besides cooking ahead, I usually do a 10 lber, I allow 24 hours at 220 for my butt. Its always a happy camper even if something messes up, you still have time to fix it.

    PS   don't be getting all locked up on that wood. The only one who knows how you like it is you. Start at "A" and next time knowing that amount you can add or subtract. Just remember that you never heard anyone say, "I can't eat this, it doesn't have enough smoke". You will hear at least once, "I can hardly eat this it has way too much smoke".
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
    jprovance1 likes this.
  4. jprovance1

    jprovance1 Newbie

    What I'm struggling with is how much smoke to use. Do you smoke the butt the whole time? 20 hours will the smoke cause a bitterness?
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Look at the smoke. is it thin and blue. if you can barely see it and it is smelling good then keep on trucking. smell the smoke. good smoke like that will not oversmoke a Butt. period.
  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You can always foil too if you get in a bind for time,it will help you get through a stall  quicker.
  7. I like a lot of smoke. Remember not everyone has the same taste. Start out with a little and work your way up. You can't take it back after you have added it. Weigh the pieces of wood and adjust for the next time. Yes you can make it bitter or not even eatable. I add TBS the whole time.
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Keep the top vent open all the way. The only way it will be bitter is if you have stale smoke in there or if you use a really strong wood like mesquite. I like apple for Pork myself and sometimes a little sugar maple or hickory. But I usually only do the harsher woods for a little while at the end if I want some kick. I have heard it is hard to control the smoke in those propane smokers. I think there is a group of folks on here that have done mods and stuff to make them work better. The search bar at the top of the page is very good.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stale smoke? Oxymoran?


    Will you be using a thermometer? Possibly a remote? I usually give my meats about an hour in the smoker before even start appling the smoke. It gives the meat a chance to sweat out some liquids, also a chance to heat the meat some. I have read the optinium temp for the meat to absorb smoke is 100 to 140 IT (Internal Temperature of the meat), usually that hour in the smoker gets you closer to that "Golden Range".

    I don't believe I have ever used a gasser other than a cute little natural gas grill....LOL I will bow to those with more experience.

    A little smoke goes a long way when applied properly. I regulate my vents for both heat and smoke on the firebreathers. Its something you'll just have to acclimate yourself to with that specific pit. Knowledge without experience is great, but it ultimately takes both. Keep notes on what you do especially at first. It will really help you the next time. Heres a site for some samples you might reference.

    Just some ideas. My memory is no longer any longer than my .........................  foot. so I need notes. They at least show you what you might remember. LOL

    And as Timberjet alluded to above, different woods do different things. Heavy smoke woods for long smokes like butt and brisket are usually either hickory, mesquite and possibly oak, respectively. These are normally refered to as hard smokes.

    Fruits and nuts are generally lighter smokes. My usual preference is Pecan but its because I have pecan trees. This is something you'll learn as you see and use more woods. But remember even a hard smoke wood can be used on a short smoked item if you can vary your quanty to adapt. In the begining a light-handed approach, I would most definately recommend. Like I said as you become more aqquainted with the different woods you'll more easily understand.

    You can smoke from start to finish if you keep it light, Heavy smoke is a killer. Someone here once said it best, the only flavor in white smoke you don't want. If you smell your smoke and can't see it, its doing all the good to your meat. Start with your vent full open, its safest till you get aclimated to your smoker. Yes, you'll burn a lot of wood, but it reduces the chances of incomplete burn which causes un-tastee things to occur to your meat and leave that nasty residue in your pit.

    GWAD... I am writting a book here, simply to say what Mule said so much simpler.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015

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