Questions Before Trying First Boston Butt Smoke

Discussion in 'Pork' started by toddwchandler, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. toddwchandler

    toddwchandler Newbie

    I've been kind of lurking in the shadows and reading all of these great posts for a few weeks now and just trying to learn as much as I can.   I'm going to take the plunge on Thursday and smoke my first Boston Butt.

    I will be smoking it on a Chargriller Akorn Jr.

    I feel like I'm ready, but I have a couple of lingering questions that I have not seen answered yet:

    1.   Do you all trim the fat cap off of the butt prior to smoking or leave it on and trim it off after the cook?   If you leave it on, do you place the meet on the smoker with the fat cap facing up or facing down?

    2.  Do you all apply your rub the night before and wrap it up in the fridge overnight before smoking, or just apply your rub right before putting the meat on the smoker?

    3.  Do you all place the meat on the smoker right out of the fridge, or do you let it sit out and get to room temperature first?

    If these are answered elsewhere, please accept my apologies.   Just trying to learn as much as I can so that I can get this first one right!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. matchew

    matchew Smoke Blower

    You're gonna get thirty different opinions on how, what , and when but, this is how I do it.

    I always trim the fat cap off. This means more area for rub and bark. That's a good thing!

    I apply the rub the night before and as soon as the smoker is up to temp it goes from the fridge to the smoker.

    However, there is no wrong answer to this....

    Good luck!
  3. ravage811

    ravage811 Fire Starter

    Just as match said you will get varying answers. Really it comes down to personal taste. A pork butt is very forgiving, play around and experiment with it and see what you and your family likes and stick with that.

    As far as fat cap on I personally leave it on, and place it fat cap up, and then will worry about it when pulling the pork, and discarding all the fat.

    When it comes to rub, I have not noticed a big difference with doing it the night before, or while the pit is getting to temp. I usually will do it when I have time, or depending on what else I have going on the next day while the pit is coming to temp.

    No letting the meat come up to room temperature, I believe that smoke will stick to a cold surface better, correct me if I am wrong.

    Here is a pretty excellent write up for a pork butt, gary has layed it out step by step:

    Good Luck
  4. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    I try to add rub night before and remove from fridge/cooler an hour or so before going in smoker. I always trim and never pay any attention to weather fat cap is up or down. I always inject, wrap in foil pan around 160ish, remove at 190, and rest in cooler or wrapped in blanket for 2-3 hours. Always juicey and tender

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. cksteele

    cksteele Smoking Fanatic

    well the one thing ill add  never let pork  go to room temp only beef add it to the smoker cold 
  6. griz400

    griz400 Master of the Pit

    smoke it to around 202 - 203 degrees internal ...Here's what I always do, I trim some of the cap off, leaving about 1/2 cap .. put all mu rub on it right before I go to bead ...put back in fridge .... when I go out in am to fire up smoke, I lay it on kitchen counter .. when smoker is at like 200, I fire that baby on .. I smoke it at around 225 - 235 degrees, let it smoke for 5 hrs ... then I wrap mine .. it will have a good bark on it then .. That is when I put the thermometer in, I put it in 2 spots, I usually put a little BBQ sauce on it and sprinkle it with a little brown sugar .. wrap real tight with foil, and wrap it again ... making sure the meat is on the shiny side of the foil ....most times , it will be done in about 3 more hrs or so ... watch temp close after 2 -3 mark... pull it at 203 degrees, lay it on a pan, cover it with a towel for about 30 minutes, then remove foil, save the juice ..pull it all apart ..  . put the juice, in a container in the fridge, and overnight will separate, the fat will be on the top, throw away, keep the other juice for some dip-pin sauce ...

    here is some rub
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  7. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Hi there and welcome!

    As said earlier, pork butts are quite forgiving so as long as you cook it long enough AND you probe/poke it to ensure it is tender you probably will get a pretty good pork but that you will only improve upon during the next attempt.

    I take it pretty simple with the pork butt and with it being forgiving you can try what you feel from all the info that gets posted here.

    1.  I don't trim but that is because I have yet to have an excessive fat cap and if it was I would probably trim some.

         I place fat side up, which is opposite of my heat source that comes from beneath.

    2. I just apply rub right before putting it on.  My drive is simple time management.  I go turn on the smoker to get up to temp and during that time I open and season the meat.  I have no objections to seasoning the night before.  My approach is just more efficient for ME since it uses up my waiting time for the smoker to come to temp.

    Also after I pull I mix in more seasoning/rub into the pulled meat.  The pork butt is just too thick for the outside seasoning to get that deep into the middle of the pork butt so seasoning the shredded meat makes a world of difference.  Others also add BBQ sauce but I save that for the table since mixing in the seasoning/rub adds great flavor.  You just mix some in, toss meat around, tasted, and repeat until you get the amount of flavor you are looking for :)

    3. Go from the fridge to the smoker.  The safety danger zone for meat is between 40-140F degrees over 4 hours.  So, you want the meat to be over 140F before you exceed 4 hours of cooking.  If you leave the meat out on the counter for an hour and then do not get over 140F in 3 hours of smoking then you have gone into the danger zone of producing meat that will make you sick or kill you :)

    Just keep in mind that your pork butt will be ready when you can stab a toothpick/probe/skewer through the meat without resistance.  So start checking around 200-205F.  With pork butt being so forgiving I foil around 160-165F and kind of lazily cheat by letting it go to 208-210F and pull it and rest it for a couple of hours wrapped in 3 beach towels.  Never had one be mushy and it all pulled perfectly.  Hence it being forgiving. BTW, I smoke em at 275F.  I've seen no reason to add more time by smoking lower and longer.  Go with the smoker temp you feel comfortable with :)

    As stated in an earlier post you will get a million different approaches.  This is because they all work for people and you should be able to pick and choose what you want to try and what you don't.

    Best of luck and be sure to post what you make with pics :)
  8. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member


  9. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Score the fat cap in a diamond pattern.. save your drippings after 160 by placing your rubbed butt in a pan to finish to 200 or so..😎
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017

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