Should I split an 8lb butt before smoking to get more bark?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by husker3in4, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Im smoking up a pork butt and having some friends over tomorrow. One of the guys supplied the meat, and he brought me an 8lb, bone in butt. I was considering cutting it in half to try and get more back (more bark more flavor!) and speed up smoking time. Is this advisable? Any of you guys done it?

    The game everyone is coming over to watch is at 2:30pm. I want to get it up to about 195 degrees. If I remember correctly, I should assume 1hr & 15 mins per lb right? If  I keep the butt whole, at 8lbs it should take about 10 hrs to smoke, right? or is that just to get it up to 165? Its been awhile since I smoked a butt.  Im still curious as if I can get good results by splitting the butt in half. Any help is appreciated.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    At 225-250 you should figure 1 1/2-2 hours per pound. If you cut in half, then you would be around 6-8 hours. I take mine to 205, renders the fat out more. I smoke my butts at 285-300 now and a 8 pound butt takes about 6-8 hours to hit 205.
  3. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    More surface area = more opportunity for bark
  4. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I have had to do a speed cook before and i smoked for about 6 hours at 250 and got plenty of bark. then i put in a pan with apple juice and apple cider vinegar (about 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 apple juice) covered in foil and put in the oven for about 2.5 hours at 325 degrees to it from the stall to about 197 degrees and come out wonderful. i mean after 5-6 hours of smoke you either don't really get any smoke flavor. so if you are gonna wrap put in some liquid and braise a little and get it done.

    just my 2 cents.

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  5. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys, in regards to cutting it in half, Is there any sort of rule I should follow? Im thinking one side will have the bone and one wont. Will that make a difference?

    Ive never thought about smoking it at 300, does it still come out real tender? Is there a drawback to smoking at 300?
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you keep the roast whole, there is no draw back in cooking at a higher temp. Still get super moist meat, great bark and smoke. If you halve it then you will get less smoke. I'd keep it whole of going higher temp.

    If you half it you will want to trim the bone out. Just like if you were going to make buckboard bacon.
  7. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    I think I am going to try that, smoking it at 300  and keep it whole. How long did you say that should take? I just want to make sure I get it on the smoker with enough time so its done before 5 or 6 hungry guys start raiding my kitchen because the smell of smoking pork is too much for them!

    Also, have you ever use Worcestershire sauce to rub down the butt before applying rub? or do you just stick with mustard or vegetable oil?

    Age old question: vent fully open? half closed? fully closed?

    How long do you let it rest? do you cover it while its resting?

    Thats all :)
  8. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    This is what you should do
    No need to put anything on the butt except the rub, no oil or mustard or fancy fish sauce.

    Top vent always fully open, control temp by changing the airflow into the pit.

    I cover my butts with a loose foil tent and rest for about 15 minutes.

    Allow 8 hours for an 8 pound butt, that gives you plenty of leeway. It will probably done in about 7 hours. YMMV.
  9. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Thanks! One question I forgot to ask. water in the pan or no water in the pan?
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like to smoke with a dry smoke chamber. There is no need for water to be in your smoker. The evaporating water will only make for unstable heat and make it more difficult to control temps. Leave the pan in and wrap it with foil for easy cleanup.
  11. lucc

    lucc Smoke Blower

    Depends greatly on the smoker being used, one where you can control airflow and what not like a WSM you can fill with sand and cover with foil. If talking about an unmodded Brinkmann Gourmet or similar that water pan keeps temps from skyrocketing. 
  12. husker3in4

    husker3in4 Smoke Blower

    Just an update. To clarify, Im using a masterbuilt electric smoker. It only goes up to 275, so I smoked it for about 8 hrs , whole. It hit 200, and then actually started to lose temperature according my meat thermometer. The  smoker showed it holding steady at 272.In any case, I took it off and let it rest for about 20 mins. I just let it rest on the rack, in the kitchen, I didnt tent with foil. It turned out pretty good, it was a little harder to shred that I expected, but the meat turned out very flavorful and tender.

    So in short, thanks for your help, everyone loved it!

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