Two Pork Butts at once?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bugwump, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. bugwump

    bugwump Newbie

    Hey all - I am new here - just posted my "hello" in roll call as I saw other threads where that was requested.

    I've smoked an 8lb pork butt about 1.5 months ago and it was incredible.  Personally - the outer part (I know it's not skin but we call it the skin) is WAY better than the pulled part - but the whole thing was incredible.

    I just upgraded to a Masterbuilt digital electric smoker and wanted to smoke for my in-laws and neighbors.  Went and picked up a boneless 16lb pork butt.  Never done boneless, but the price was right.  When I unwrapped it this morning to rub it down and re-wrap it, I found that it's actually TWO butts.

    Should I tie them together to smoke them as one?  Keep them separate?

    Also - I see a lot of people recommending to wrap or double-wrap in foil at around 165 internal temperature.  Do you still get that REALLY flavorful outside skin if you wrap?  I am thinking yes because by the time you wrap, the smoking part is all done.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  From what I already read I should expect to have similar cooking times to one piece of meat.  Oh yeah - since they are boneless there is the flap where the bone was cut out.  Should I tie that up or just stick it in the smoker in a way that it stays pretty closed?

    Becoming quickly addicted to smoking, so I am REALLY excited to have joined this forum!

  2. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome aboard!

    Butts sometimes come two to a package as you have found out. You need to leave them separate, do not tie them together. I'm not familiar with your particular smoker so I can't advise on whether or not it will do 16 lbs of meat very well. If it does, then doing two is just te same as one except they will require a little more applied heat.

    Foiling is optional. I have done some in foil pans, I've done some with the pan underneath on a second rack, and i've done them without any foiling or pans. The latter is messy so I stick to having a pan underneath at least. I would suggest you do one or two for just yourself and family before you start inviting a crowd and trying to cook more food than you are capable of. Pulled pork freezes well so you could smoke each one of those with different methods to see the different results and just freeze one after pulling for later.

    Be sure to cover them when they get to 200-205 degrees and let them rest a minimum of 30 minutes before pulling. Good luck..
  3. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Smoke 'em both, pull 'em, then freeze what you don't eat.  Make sure and pour the juices from the foil or pan onto the meat prior to freezing, this will help greatly when you thaw the meat out for future meals.  We like to store it in quart size freezer bags, then thaw out a bag at a time for either stuffed baked potatoes or pulled pork enchiladas.  I'll grab a bag out sometimes and eat on it at work during the week.  Brisket pretty much keeps the same way, almost seems like it gets even better than fresh sometimes.  Good smokin' luck and welcome to the forum!
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What you call the Skin we lovingly refer to as Bark. This is the crust that forms on the outside as it Smokes. Foiling at 165*F Internal Temp (IT) will get the cooking done a bit faster but does soften the bark. The flavor will be there but not the crisp texture. There is no reason why you can't smoke the two but from start to a finished IT of 200*F and then with just a loose tent of foil let the meat rest on the counter 30 minutes or so. You will find that if you apply your Rub the night before and let it rest in the refer over night you will get a better more flavorful bark. The addition of Sugar, Turbinado/Sugar in the Raw, is the top choice around here for great bark without burning. The two butts in the MES will take the same cook time as the largest of the two. The most common cook time is calculated at 2hrs/Lb at 225-240*F or 1.5hrs/Lb at 250-275*F. 275*F is about the highest you can expect from your MES. I usually place my meat on the racks with a pan underneath to catch any dripping to be added back to the pulled pork with my Finishing Sauce. You will also find you get a crunchier Bark if you don't add water to the Water Pan. Here is a recipe for my Finishing Sauce that you may like. It is Tangy and adds lots of flavor. I then add a sweeter thick Kansas City style BBQ sauce on my sandwich with some Cole Slaw...JJ

    JJ's Finishing Sauce

    2C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  5. smokedreb

    smokedreb Smoke Blower

    Just remember by the time your IT reaches 165 it would have been on there for over 10 hours (at least that was the case for me) a lot smarter people than me have done the testing on how long a piece of meat will absorb the smoke flavor I don't know the exact number but I would not worry past 6 hours of smoking to foil the butt.

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