Smoke on the Water- My first Boston Butts.... with QView

Discussion in 'Pork' started by wireless, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. This is my first try at Smoked Pulled Pork, and I have read many threads on this forum in order to learn how best to perform the smoke magic myself.

    I have 2 Boston Butts I got from Sams Club- a 9 pounder & a 7 pounder.

    Last night I massaged some Weber's Horseradish Mustard into them and then rubbed them with Cajun Shake and a Hombrew rub that I make up for dusting my chicken breasts and salmon. I left them in the firdge overnite, about 14 hours to soak in all the rub.

    Fired up my MES 30" this morning using a combination of Apple and Hickory chips and set the temp at 240 degrees.

    I put a pan of 1/2 water & a can of Labatt's beer in the bottom to give it a bit of extra flavor!

    The larger Butt is on the bottom rack, raised up a bit in an aluminum pan, while the smaller one is above and will drip down into the pan to catch all the juicy goodness for creating some aus jus later......

    The internal temperature probe was placed in the lower Butt, while I put an Oregon probe in the upper, so I can monitor the progress separately.

    I am still considering wrapping the butts in aluminum foil when they have attained a nice bark and are in the "Stall" phase around 170 degrees

    I started at 8 AM and hope that at least the 7 pounder will be done by 8 PM tonite- 12 hours.

    This is my 4th attempt at smoking, the first one, was 2 - 3" Rib Eye steaks that we rubbed with Cajun Shake & then smoked for a couple hours & then finished off by putting them on the Searing station on my Weber gas grill for a minute on each side- WoW!!!! they were Medium Rare, had a great crust and were the best steaks I have ever tasted... my buds & I polished them off, just tearing into them from the main serving plate, they never even made it to the individual dishes... I must add that we were drinking Sailor Jerry Rum that afternoon....  [​IMG]

    Have a Great Sunday!!!!   Jim

    crazymoon likes this.
  2. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good job Jim.  

    I never use the water pan in my MES 30--I just filled it with sand to act as a heat sink and foiled it over to keep the sand clean.  You shouldn't need to use a water pan in a MES.  Also, you won't get much, if any, flavor from it.

  3. vwaldoguy

    vwaldoguy Smoke Blower

    I asked about the water pan a couple of weeks ago.  It's really only used as a heat sink, doesn't add any moisture to the meat as far as I can tell.  Same with the can of beer in the smoker, it probably didn't add any flavor to your meat.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree but I also have to say, I like the idea that you used it and can now see for yourself what you think about it both wet and dry.

    Those are a couple a nice looking butts you've smoked so far.

    As to figuring on a 12 hours smoke, especially on butts and briskets I never even try anymore. Every time you get to thinking you can, they throw you a curve ball, just a lady does when you think you know them, I think they do it on purpose. I usually do a 10+ lb butt and I figure 24 hours at 220. Why? Because I can, some are faster, but its really easy to figure that whatever time I put it in today, it will be ready at that time tomorrow. Usually holds pretty true too. And resting time is a great variable to help it too.

    A butt and a brisket is a smoke of love, the love of the smoke smell, the love of  sitting around the pit, the love a perfect smoked meat, and its all heighted by the good friends that sit around and help you with refreshments while you wait.

    Looking forward to the plated version! We call it the "Bear-View".
  5. OK---- Well, I gotta say that was quite a learning experience, even though after following threads here for a couple months on smoking pork butts that I thought I was well prepared to have a finished product without any bumps in the road....

    The larger butt (9lbs.) was in the pan on the bottom rack, and was wrapped in foil after 8 hours at 170 degrees.

    After 12 1/2 hours the larger wrapped butt was at 187 degrees & I thought it would be done soon--- wrong. It took another 4 hours

    to finish off at 203 degrees, at which time I removed it and wrapped it in a towel and placed in a cooler for 2 more hours.

    The pan was full of delicious aus jous, which I drained into a mason jar to be mixed later as a topping for the pulled pork.

    The smaller butt (7 pounds) was on the top rack and left unwrapped. After 12 1/2 hours the IT was only 176 degrees and I knew I was in for a long night. I bumped the smoker temp up to 265 degrees & It took another 6 hours to get to 203 degrees!!  As I was removing the butt from the top rack, it literally fell apart on me, I had to squeeze it tight to keep it together to get to the plate. The middle was pink & it smelled incredible!

    I wrapped it in foil & then a towel and added it to the other butt in the cooler.

    After 2 hours I removed them from the cooler & unveiled them- they looked pretty dam nice!

    I left them on the counter to cool & woke up a few hours later to taste and pull them for storing in freezer bags. They were so tender that I didn't need any forks to pull them apart, the bones fell out by themselves.

    A few things learned:

    Foiling the larger butt was certainly the way to go- it did finish quicker and the meat seemed to be a bit juicier. The bark was moist, not mushy and tasted the same as the bare butt without the foil.

    I would say that the total cooking time for the larger foiled butt was 16 1/2 hours and then into the cooler.

    The smaller butt took 18 1/2 hours to finish and then into the cooler.... the bark was incredible, it was fall apart tender.

    I can't say for sure that the water pan with beer in it added to the taste, but the flavor is incredible.... no denying that!

    So, from start to finish it took about 19 hours to completely cook 2 Boston Butts... I am very pleased with the results!

    The other problem is that I began a cocktail hour at about 3 PM & it lasted until 3 AM !!!!

    I could not have done it without the threads and very professional input from this forum!

    The Unfoiled Butt

    The foiled butt is on the left, the bare butt is on the right.........

    The bones as they fell out......

    The The unfoiled Butt broken apart but not pulled yet.

    The foiled pork as pulled on the left, unfoiled butt & bones to the right.
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow! Looks like everything was well worth the wait. Part of the reason I'm a advocate of hot and fast is the 12 hour cocktail hour you mentioned. Not much else to do while you're "tending" the smoker, right? I find I feel a lot better the next day when the cook time and the ensuing cocktail hour(s) is cut in half.
    Great job on a fine looking load of pulled pork!
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... I am low & Slow, I can drink and sober up. Foiling is just extra work for time saved. 12 hours or 18 hours I am going to sleep without a care in the world.

    Nice looking butts both ways and nice way to approach the butt. Everything here is only someone else's assumptions always best to make your own. Its what is best about smoking, so much meat and soooo many ways possible.

    After the initial sandwiches, I really enjoy deciding which way to go first with left overs. I have done so few but I have not quit trying new ones yet.

    Great looking smoke........ now to refine your own buns and slaw....LOL

    Oh and BTW don't ya just love that fat cap?  Ambrosia of the gods!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Jim All I can say is.



  9. Many thanks for your kind comments boatbum & foamhart!!   [​IMG]

    I have a quick question for those that use the aus jous that I have separated from the fat....

    Do you mix it in with the barbecue sauce and top off the pulled pork?

    I was expecting to use Sweet Baby Ray's and maybe mix the aus jous with it for the topping.

    Has anybody else done that?           How did it work out?          Do you use a different recipe?

    Thanks, Jim
  10. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Jim Look up Chef JJs Finishing sauce use the search bar

  11. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tasty looking pulled pork!
  12. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    W, nice looking PP sir ![​IMG]
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lots of folks mix the "au jus" with some apple juice and use it to help moisten if needed. Personally I like chef JJ's finishing sauce, I might add some juice with it. The finishing sauce when applied properly (IMHO) isn't even tasted. It accentuates the pork taste without adding to it. I use it and credit it now for folks always saying how my PP is better than everyone else's but they just can't tell why. Its those herbs and spiced sitting in the moisturizing solution you add to the meat. I use it very sparingly.

    Its Low & Slow and you'll find that your PP stays pretty moist, I use it because I normally smoke mine a few days ahead, nothing worse than calling Pizza dooddle because your butt doesn't know it should be done already! Add little bit of it when the pork is in the Ziploc to sit in the reefer.

    Everyone has bastardized or customized JJ's recipe but its still JJ's, I add some honey and Tony's to mine.

    When company is around to eat, I will warm the PP in a crock pot for the moisture and heat a small bowl of BBQ sauce and put it with a spoon next to the crock pot.
  14. Hey Foam, Thanks for the easy recipe to use the aus jous mixed with some apple juice- that sounds like just the ticket!

    MaMa brought home some soft rolls earlier & we made up the first homebrew pulled pork sandwiches- she is definately impressed with the flavor and how tender & juicy it is.... looks like this recipe will be a keeper & can't wait for the flavors to really come out over the next couple of days.... 

    Low & slow it is.... can't beat the results!!

  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry to be late to the party. Very nice looking butts! Points!


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