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May 9, 2011 06:41 PM

Smoking Pork Butt - Advise wanted!

Greetings all! I've started the art of smoking within the last 6 months and have some decent success so far. Started off with wings, then a turkey breast, a pork loin (which didn't go too well), a fulll turkey, an currently tonight I'm smoking a pork butt.

Brining - I'm fine with but will definitely take any tips to that. For this pork butt I brined it in just water, salt, and sugar.

Rub - Millions of options there but this is what I did - Brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, chilli powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.

I put the pork in fat facing up at 1PM EST. I'm going on to hour 8 and the pork is still at 135. I'm aware of the plateau of temperature when the fat is rendering however I feel as if I will never meet the 190 degrees everyone talks about. I'm going to go by when the bone pulls, but its just concerning. I am using a masterbuilt electric smoker. The pork butt was almost 11lbs according to the package.

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  1. Be advised this will be moved more to a general cooking area and not region specific. Although I do want some.....

    1 Reply
    1. re: JanPrimus

      Fair enough! I'm new to the site. Literally just signed up so I'm figuring things out. Hopefully I can get some help! The BBQ sauce I made is pretty good to go with it

    2. Hang in there. Eclectic smokers are great for low and slow but the outside temperature affects them. Does it have a thermometer that indicates the temperature inside the cooker? I would say that an 11 lb roast would take 12-14 hours at 225. Pulling it at 190 sounds about right but I would loose the foil pan. Here’s a link that will help you get your head around what’s happening with brining.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Woodfireguy

        It does have a thermometer that is there on the outside and its says 225-250 constantly. I think I've discovered my issue with discussions with others on another forum. Heres what I found out:

        I have to open the door on the smoker every hour to change out the woodchips. I don't have a loader which allows me to do that on the side. B.c. I have to open the door so often the meat can't get going at a good rate. The woodchips turn to ash within an hour which is no good...

        Thanks for the link on brining

      2. whew, 11 lbs is alot of meat density. I smoke half a butt at a time, start him around 8:30 am, and am chowing down by 6 or 7pm...steal a few pieces of bark here and there in the late afternoon. It really needs a good 10 hours or so I find with my rig. When that goofy shaped bone wiggles with little pressure, time to eat. If you get impatient during a smoking session, you can always finish in an oven (or microwave) however the "pull" won't be exactly right

        1 Reply
        1. re: BiscuitBoy

          Agreed - that's a lot of meat to get going - I find on something that big I've got to get going early in the morning (fire started by 6 in the morning) to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour.

          Opening the door to feed the fire isn't a huge deal - my smoker needs feeding every hour or so as well, though it gets charcoal (natural hardwood - those *****ford briquettes are the devil's work) and I've never noticed any problems as long as I don't open the top to let the heat out). But low & slow does mean slow.

        2. Before brining make sure you do not have an enhanced butt. (That sounds weird).

          Most of the pork sold in grocery stores is enhanced with a salt solution. Brining on top of that will lead to a very salty product. I found out the hard way with some inedible ribs several years ago.

          Good luck. I use this as my rub sans the MSG.

          1. Just be patient, barbecue is art more than science. Keep in mind the Golden Rule, "Barbecue is done when barbecue is done." Half the reason you keep beer on hand is for that spell when the meat thermometer seems like it must be broken. Trust me, it will start moving again.

            1 Reply