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First smoke

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Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 10
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19 15 11:58 am    Post subject: First smoke Reply with quote

Just finishing my smoker build and looking for a Boston butt magic any guidance would be appreciated I've never smoked a piece of meat before only a Santa Maria style bbq is what I do
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Site Admin

Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 13183
Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19 15 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be afraid of it taking up to 1:30 minutes per lb to cook depending on your cooker, and the piece of meat, it probably wont actually take that long, but you need to be ready, (in case it does)!

The other end of the scale may see it take half as long per lb, you can't determine it before you cook on it.

So buy an 8 or 9 lb Boston butt, I like to crown out the fat side, then rub it all over, and put it on the pit once the pit has stable temperatures for 20 minutes.

It's hard to mess one up, it may stall around 160 - 165° internal, the stall can take a couple of hours, that will feel like a couple of days, personally I like to pan at the stall, using a disposible pan to catch the juices, if you save the juice, you can add it back to your pulled pork with some sauce, for a moister preduct.

Here's a change Robert.

I still work here!
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Pete Mazz

Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 195
Location: Bucks County, PA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19 15 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that!

When the bone twists and pulls easily, it's done. Wrap it for a half hour or more before pulling. If it's boneless, stick a knife it it and twist. It should start to fall apart easily. A good instant read or digital therm is really helpful if you don't have one.
If it's tourist season, how come I can't shoot 'em?

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Smokin Mike
BBQ Super Pro

Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3143
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19 15 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarge, I'm from the "keep it simple club" so I don't get too wound up with things like injecting, spritzing, mopping, etc. A basic rub, some clean smoke @ 225° - 250°, cooked to 195° to 200° will most definitely get you there. I prefer fat side down so that I don't mess up the bark from the rub + shields the meat from the heat... but that's just me.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is don't over think it, do the basics, and later down the road after you know how it all shakes out, then you can experiment with the other stuff.

The other thing since you're messing with a new cooker, let the cooker tell you where it wants to be in regards to temperature. There's nothing cast in stone that says you have to cook at exactly 225°. If she wants to run hotter then let her go there. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to chase cooking temperatures. Pork butt is very forgiving and can take the extra heat.
My current cookers: 80 gallon vertical tank
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BBQ Love

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07 17 4:52 am    Post subject: pork butt Reply with quote

Be ready anywhere from 12-20 hours ish. All depends on smoker and how much surface area you have. Plan for the worse. You can wrap the butt in foil, blankets, and towels and then put in a cooler to keep warm for hours and hours till serving time.

Its all about the temp. About 195-203°F, 91- 95°C is a good pulling temperature.

I just created a post with video on a Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork Butt with Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning in a Masterbuilt Vertical Smoker. Check it out and hope it helps! http://bbqlove.net/2017/03/28/smoked-bbq-pulled-pork-butt-brown-sugar-bourbon/
Loving Everything Backyard BBQ!
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Pit Boss
BBQ Super Pro

Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2362
Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07 17 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good advise already.

Forget about hours per pound. That is temperature specific and we have no idea what temperature you'll be cooking at (you may not know either).

So, I recommend a few things for a beginner...with a brand new pit.

If you haven't already, load the pit and cook with it empty. I'd aim at a six hour cook. That will help you get used to your equipment. Also, as already stated, many pits have a temp they prefer. Your test cook might help you determine that. If the pit likes 215, then go with it. If it likes 255, don't fight it. If it likes 280, then just learn to cook at that temp. Let the pit talk to you...and LISTEN to it! After a few hours you should have an idea of the pits quirks & how it likes to eat (fuel).

As for your first cook, the pork butt is the most perfect candidate. They are incredibly hard to screw up so you should end up with a good product regardless of what you do. If you're comfortable with going all out and following someone's "recipe", then go for it...I won't stop you. But if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed at that seeming infinity of options out there, then just go simple & get this first cook under your belt.

If you want to go the simple route, I would recommend seasoning the pork butt with nothing but salt. That's it...salt. Most people are amazed at what flavor they get with just salt & smoke. Plus, that gives you a base line to judge all your future experiments off of.

The biggest thing I try to remind people when they are new is this...don't be intimidated. I have a saying..."It's just heat & meat."

That's all.

It's just Heat & Meat.

Best of luck to you.
Somewhere in Kenya...a village is missing their idiot.
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