What time to start pork butt?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by cbsmith, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. cbsmith

    cbsmith Newbie

    I recently got a Landmann gas smoker and am cooking my first pork butt this weekend. It is about 7.5lbs and I am going to smoke it at 225. I am not planning on foiling it during the cooking. We are planning to have dinner at 6:00pm, I am wondering what time I should put it on the grill to have it done in time.

  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are 220 and no foil, I suggest you approx. 2 hours per pound. 2.5 hours would be better because you will still wrap it and let it sit in the cooler or just cover with a towel on the counter. Cooler time you can get 4 hours parked easily. so I would get way ahead on my smoke to guaranty its ready when needed. Then it can set wrapped in the cooler till needed. If you are not experienced enough to be cooking competition I would never try to be ready for an exact time. That usually leads to hungry cranky people and a run to pizza hut.

    No butt is the same as the last, each has a mind of its own. Always use the toothpick test to ensure proper cook time. 200+, I usually pull at 203 to 205. Then let it sit.

    Get ahead on it big time, then forget it until time to eat. It tastes better and cuts or pulls easier when the meat is a bit cooler anyway.

    Good luck with it, take pictures and show us how great you do.

    BTW please drop in to the "Roll Call" forum and introduce yourself so they can properly indoctrinate you, and teach you the secret handshake and password. Its doesn't hurt too much.

    Its 5% preparation and 95% patience, relax, have fun, don't stress and remember to enjoy the smoke.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Chris, will this be the first time you use a gas smoker?  First time with this smoker?   If brand new make sure you break it in and cure it properly.  Nobody like the taste of a brand new smoker!!  You may want to make a test run.
  4. cbsmith

    cbsmith Newbie

    Thanks for the replies. I have been smoking a bit so far, mainly just chicken and ribs. This will be my first "big" smoke. I seasoned the smoker when I got it for a couple hours before I used it so I shouldn't have a problem there.
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would start your butt about 4 am. If its done early it will keep along time in a cooler wrapped in towels.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Have you signed up and taken Jeff's E-Course yet? It is a huge help to get the basics down. Did I mention its also free?
  7. FoamHeart, Free EClass. Where is that and how do I sign up?
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. Link did not work. I'm using my IPhone 5, do I need to be on a pc?
  10. c farmer nailed it I think. Start 4am wrap in some foil and towels when temp reaches at least 165 degrees, then throw it in an igloo or Coleman or whatever cooler till the rest of the sides are ready.... Coleslaw goes great ;)
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Both work fine for me AND I have not owned a cell phone in 15 years.....LOL I am the unplugged turned off and tuned out man!

    You have to sign up and you'll start receiving one of five per day for five days. Really is good stuff. I even saved mine to a file so I can go back to them.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMHO 4AM is too late to start if you want to be serving at 6PM. Using Foamheart's 2 to 2.5 hour per pound guideline(which I believe to be fairly accurate if you cook at 225°), then you should start at 1 AM at the latest. A start time of midnight or 11PM may be even better, given that you may encounter any number of difficulties, such as wind, low ambient air temps, or even the ubiquitous "faulty temp probe" that can make cooking at low temps problematic when you have a hard deadline.

    Unfortunately logical1's advice is incorrect, 165° is the temp at which the butt should be foiled and placed back on the pit to finish cooking, not the temp at which it is to be rested in a cooler. Since you do not plan to foil simply cook until the IT heads north of 200°, as Foamheart, suggests.

    One thing that you do not want to forget is to have a spare tank full of propane as a back up.
  13. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have never cooked one that low.

    I would cook at 275 if you could.  It will get done quicker and be just as good.

    If you find out it wont be done in time you could wrap in foil too speed up the cook.
  14. Sorry guys I take mine out at 165, we slice ours not shred it so its more like a personal preference.....I would say that my advice while maybe not aligning with cliffs thoughts on temperature does make for a very moist butt that slices easily and is enjoyed often.

    No offense taken, just wanted to let the OP know there is more than one way to skin a cat...or do a butt
  15. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for the explanation, you are one of very few that cook butts to slice.

    While I'm at it, I might as well 'fess up, like c farmer I cook at higher temperatures. If I were cooking a 7.5 lb butt, I would start no earlier than 9AM to serve at 6PM. I like to cook at a range from 285°-315°, at these temps there is no stall and the cooks are much more predictable.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  16. yes the whole cook to slice thing is really just the fact that I cook them in sausage smoker and the max temp is 250...but I never run it that hot because Im afraid of the 5000 watt element sagging down and shorting out against the element tube its held and the sausage maker customer service doesn't really recommend it...so I do anything outside of sausages at 205-215 degrees ..so that said we go for the sliced version on the butts.....otherwise I probably would have to start dinner on a Thursday for a Saturday dinner...lol
  17. cbsmith

    cbsmith Newbie

    Thanks for all the advice. I will let you know how it turns out.

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