what's easier/better 2 5lb or 1 10lb butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by stoaway, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    hea stoaway, been a long time member but kinda infrequent as of late. anyway i stop in for a visit and i run across this thread. i am amazed at the misinformation you have been given. lets address things one by one.

    1, will two smaller buts cook faster than one large one... absolutly. if you want to prove this take a 10 pound chunk of ice, put in your smoker, and compare it to splitting another 10 pound chunk in 2 pieces. which do you think will thaw first. it takes less btu's to penetrate the smaller pieces.

    also the amount of bone in the butts is fairly negligible. in a situation like you are in the time saved far outweighs the small amount of meat lost.

    2. cook time, dealing with chunks of meat it is most important to go by temp and not time.(i am assuming you have the neccesary digital thermometers needed to monitor meat temps and smoker box temps) the first thing when you put your piece or pieces of meat whatever the case may be, on the smoker, is to be sure to NOT insert the temp probes. yes 40-140  is a standard danger zone parameter. but for chunks of meat such as briskets, butts, shoulder clods, etc. there is an allowance for time, it is referred to as the intact muscle rule. it refers to any cut of meat which iis solid muscle which has not been injected, butterflied, or messed with in any other way to open up the muscle to outside organisms. and yes this includes your temp probe. so when dealing with an intact muscle, only the outer 1/2 inch of the muscle must reach the 140 degrees in four hours. this assures a seal around the inner portion so you may continue on with your low and slow cooking. after 3-4 hours at 250 degrees it is safe to guess the outer 1/2 inch has reached 140 degrees.  

    so that said, even if you have 2 identical sized pieces of meat. you should really monitor them both.

    3. sounds like this may be the first time you smoked a pork butt... not what i would recommend doing for an event where you are depended on to supply the food especially if it is at a scheduled time. if anything start way early, have a cooler filled with hot water. when you are done with the meat and it will be wrapped in foil, wrap it up some more with some towels, dump the hot water out of cooler and quickly dry out, put the wrapped meat in cooler. use newspaper, more towels, etc to fill the space in cooler. cover it back up. the cooler can be your best friend in a situation like this. will keep the meat HOT, above 140 deg for a long time. 4-5 hours easy. it will be ready for you to pull when its getting close to time to eat.

    i really think you ought to have done this a few times at home previous to this engagement. not to discourage you, but so you have the best possible results.

    and last, and i know i am repeating... cook to temp, not by time. make sure you have good thermos and that you have checked them for accuracy as well. do not depend on any thermo that came with a store bought smoker. first they are generally not accurate and second, they are not place in a location to even give you accurate grate temp readings. i know its been a while, but i really hope new members are recieving better information than this thread has provided.
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for your SLAM Chef Erain. [​IMG]
  3. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like erain has you covered.

    Let us know how it goes and,

    Don't forget the Q-view!
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    At 225° to 250° I have been averaging 80 minutes a pound on my reverse flow.

    So two 5lb butts would be around a little over  6-1/2 hours or a 10lb around 13 hours 20 minutes.

    I have not had an increase in cook time, per/lb with the larger butts.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  8. stoaway

    stoaway Fire Starter


    I guess, for me.  I ask,... then listen,...then try to make a determination if it's right for me.  Meateater was helpful and made me think.  Answers may or may not be perfect but as a newbie I search and read and try to put the bits and pieces together.  Hopefully the post questions I have are not too silly.

    You were helpful also and I appreciate your interest and time on your post reply.

    * Do you mean, in #2 Not to probe the meat until it's been on for a couple hours.  I had not thought about that....safety concerns.

    * Probably needed a 10lb butt. I was going to smoke and then reheat.  But still pondered a fresh butt.  And since I just ordered the Mav 732 I'll have a second meat probe.  So I thought about 2 - 5lb'ers.  Then I thought that smoking 2 might be more difficult than 1.  That's how I got to the original post question.

    * Yeah a practice smoke would help.  But I'm pressed for time till the final smoke day.  I'm pretty confident I can pull it off.  I'm ready to stare at the temps all night if I have to.

    * Have not used my ECB for probably 10yrs.  For all the obvious old reasons.  Then found SMF and the mods got me interested again.

    Thanks for you help
  9. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    not a problem, i am sure Meateater has helped alot of people out in his 8,000 plus posts and regardless of what anyone may try and read into it i am sincere.

    It is good to see you, being a so called "newbie" take some initiative to try and have the correct info in place before you. one cannot ever be over informed.

    you are correct in #2, you want to maintain the "intact muscle" premis so that you may continue your low and slow cook onto advanced hours of smoking. so go the first 4 hours at 250 and at that point you may insert your probe into the meat. it is important that the probe be disinfected. if you read into the link i supplied you will find alot of information regarding this.

    i guess the only difference i see between the 1 or 2 butts is the time saved going to the smaller butts. i am also going to think that with the 2 smaller ones, you will have more outside surface area and probably more bark which i think is a good thing. i cannot tell you which way to go as far as the one or two butts, dont really see much difference as far as which is easier. they both would still need to be monitored if doing 2, but not that big a difference to monitor 1 or 2. i also prefer the food the first time around, meaning not cooled down and then reheated. seems its always better the first go round.

    yep sounds like you are in the game and no time for a trial run... so guess it is game on. a couple of things worthy of mentioning, ever thought of brining the butt? have done it with some good results, thought about a finishing sauce, decide whether you are going the reheat way or store them up in a cooler, also any sides to go with??? generally coleslaw goes with PP sammies real well, some people would even say it wouldnt be a sammy w/o coleslaw. just some more things to think about like that what you needed. good luck on the smoke and hope all turns out excellent!
  10. stoaway

    stoaway Fire Starter


    I'm glad I further investigated 5 vs 10lb.  With 2- 5lb'rs  I won't have to start at midnight or earlier.  And you convinced me, fresh is best.


    2 - 5lb butts.  SoFlaQUER finishing.  BBQ sauce not decided yet.

    7 racks BB ribs  BBQ sauce undecided

    Dutch's Beans

    Cole Slaw.  Still searching for recipe

    Maybe skillet corn bread

    B-Day cake of course

    Here is a time frame.  I know BBQ is done when it's done......Does this look at least feasible?  Any suggestions or modifications?

    Eat about 3:00pm

    For the butts.

    ECB with hickory chunks.  Thought about apple chips and hickory?  Would the apple be "drowned out" by the hickory ?

    1.5hrs/Lb @230-240 hopefully.  So about 7 1/2 hrs.

    4:30 AM  butts out of the fridge

    4:31 lite the ECB

    5:30 butts on @230

    Foil at 165

    1:00 PM hopefully at 205 deg

    rest for 1 hr.  pan, tented with foil.

    2:00 pull it. and keep warm covered in 180 deg oven.  Till 2:45 or so

    Eat at 3pm

    For the ribs

    Have to use a Weber grill for these.  Hickory chunks.

    2-2-1 @225

    8:00am lite the weber

    9:00am ribs on.

    11:00 foil @225

    1:00pm unfoil and back on. @225

    2:00pm hopefully done.  Probably a little later because of foil and unfoil times.  So hopefully more like 2:30 and keep warm in oven with butts.

    Eat at 3pm

    For Dutch's Beans

    3hrs @230 Hickory or apple?  Probably a double/triple batch, at least so that's why 3hrs

    10:30 lite a 2nd weber or into the ECB if the butts cooperate

    11:30 Beans on

    2:30 beans off.

    Eat at 3pm

    Is this possible?

  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Looks good but personally I would start the butts about 2 hours earlier so if you hit a big stall you should still be alright. They will be fine foiled then wrapped and placed in a warm dry cooler for the extra time if they finish early
  12. alaskanbear

    alaskanbear Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Heck, I think 10 10lb butts, if ya gonna do some smoking do it big..LOLOLOL

    Sowwy, just had to pine in on this one. 

  13. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Here's another post I did. it's a shoulder and a butt both over 10 pounds.  It took 8 hours to get to 170 for over 20 pounds of meat, then I fell asleep and didn't write down what time they were done. I just went by the wireless alarm woke up pulled them out and went back to bed, I know it wasn't more than another two hours at the most. Lets see 10 pounds 10 hours, Oh wait 2 x 10 pounds 10 hours. Everyone knows every butt will behave different differently, some smoke slower, some longer just the nature of the beast. As far as probing I clean my probe with hot soapy water followed  by a alcohol swab. I probe mine right away and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I am also sincere. [​IMG]

  14. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    excellent plan, only things i would think about a bit, I agree with Pineywoods and the 2 hour extra head start, and if the butts are done early, i wouldnt even worry about the oven to keep them hot... foil, wrap in towels and throw in a cooler. will keep hot for long time, hot enuff that when you get close to serving time as you listed will be very hot to handle when pulling. works great,

    the other thing is on the ribs, guessing you going with baby backs if using the 221 method? if spares mite want to think more about the 321.

    oh the beans, when doing them have them set under the butts and catch some of that good pork drippings!

    but sounds like you have it under control, menu pretty much set, you have your day planned as far as when what goes on and should be comming off, and what time the feed takes place. i forsee success. dont forget to take some pix!!!
  15. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic

    Interesting topic.....I wondered the last time I smoked a butt if it would have been faster/easier to just do two smaller ones than dealing with the smoker for 13 plus hours.....I think next time I do butts I might give that a shot......PS...this is the best site to learn on and I certainly appreciate all the time you guys spend answering questions  [​IMG]
  16. stoaway

    stoaway Fire Starter

    So the cook time basis of minutes per pound.  Does not really include the plateau or stall time that can occur?
  17. stoaway

    stoaway Fire Starter

    Doing baby backs at 2-2-1

    Though about the beans under the butts.  Thought the beans might get too greasy.  I'll probably gather the butt juices and try to separate some.  Then add some to the butt and some to the beans.  At least that's the plan....

    Would mixing apple and hickory turn out???  I was wondering if the hickory would overpower the apple flavor.  Have you ever mixed woods in 1 smoke?
  18. stoaway

    stoaway Fire Starter

    No problem here.

  19. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    The only thing that I will add to this is every butt that I have ever smoked had at least a 2 to 3 hr. stall. I am using elect.
  20. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    Beans under the butts or ribs is a good idea. Last time I did that I got a tad too much grease in them, but when I opened the smoker to 3-2-1 I just laddled some out

    Mixing woods will work out fine, I always mix apple and hickory for pork and cherry and hickory for beef

Share This Page