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Author Topic: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done  (Read 1796 times)

Cellar2ful

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Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« on: May 30, 2018, 10:13:58 PM »
That's an easy statement to make as this was my first time using smoking a pork butt and first time using a WSM. I read the Weber Blog by Mike Lang on how to cook a pork butt on a WSM.  Seemed simple enough. Got up at 5 AM to get things going. Used a homemade rub recommended to me by Mike in Roseville. It was a full moon and being up that early gave my an opportunity to take a great photo of the moon disappearing behind the ridge.



Sorry, as you can see I get easily distracted. Set up the WSM and started the coals as recommended on the blog. It said 225 is the ideal temperature for smoking and it should take 8 to 10 hours. Piece of cake, I got this. The WSM came up to temp quickly and settled in around 225 degrees following the instructions from the blog.  I put on the butt and added three chunks of cherry wood.  Added water to the pan and started smoking at 6 AM.



Here's the butt three hours in. Internal meat temp was at 131 degrees.



This is to easy.  Should be off by by 4 PM, wrap and rest and will be eating by 6 PM.

Everything was great until around 3 PM.  The internal meat temp had reached 177.3 degrees and all of sudden stopped climbing and started dropping.  No worries, this must be the "stall" I hear everyone talking about.  I watch it keep dropping until it reaches 176 degrees and still dropping.   Now I start to to panic. This is not a stall, it's a full on retreat. Text my smoking sensei Mike and explain to him what is happening.  He asks what temp is the WSM at.  I text him 225.  He responds that I need to spike the temps in the smoker.  I open all the bowl vents, crack the lid a touch and within 15 minutes have the temp up to 250 degrees.  After about 30 minutes the meat temp starts to slowly climb again.  The smoker temp continues to rise and at Mike's suggestion, I start spraying the butt every 30 minutes with a apple juice and apple cider vinegar mixture.  At about 6:30, with the meat temp only at 185 degrees, I made the tactical decision to eat leftover pork ribs I cooked the previous evening.

Eventually, after 13 1/2 hours, the internal temp of the butt reached 200 degrees.  It was an epic battle but I think it came out looking pretty good.




Around 8:30 PM, I removed the pork from the ice chest.  The bone pulled out using two fingers.  I broke it apart into meal size chunks and after letting it cool, bagged it in ziplocks and refrigerated it. For two days now my wife and I have enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches on grilled potato buns with apple coleslaw. I used Kinders BBQ sauce cut with 1/4 apple cider vinegar.



Big props to @Mike in Roseville for talking me in off the ledge and walking me through the finishing steps.  I now have a bit more knowledge to tackle my next attempt at using the WSM. 


 

« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 07:02:05 AM by Cellar2ful »
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Firemunkee

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 03:25:04 AM »
Looks delicious! Thanks sounds exactly like what happened with my first pork but attempt, except I didn't know Sensei Mike back then!

Love that shot of the moon! You're pretty fortunate to have that vantage spot where you live. I'd have to drive a long way to find that. If you could get a shot of that moon and a kettle that would totally be calendar worthy!

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Mike in Roseville

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 06:10:26 AM »
Jim,

Excellent write up! You did a great job with the cook and I am glad you found a process/method that you felt comfortable sticking with all the way through. Having done these at different temps it's easy for me to say "take it to 290" or "do this instead." I'm glad you stayed the course and saw it through with a prescribed method.

The "stall" happens when you cook a large hunk of meat this way. Depending on your temp this evaporative cooling period can last for 30 min or 2 hours. I have even had meat stall twice (155, then 175). Then again, I cooked a brisket once that didn't stall at all (and I'm glad I didn't cook it overnight because I would have ruined it!). Increasing the temp is one trick to get you through it and keep right on climbing.

Now you can figure where you to make your adjustments for next time. Different smoke wood? Hotter temps? Inject? Different sauce?

Also, glad you comfortable with the WSM. It's a great cooker to use once you learn the ropes.

I told Sidney a small scale and a vacuum sealer are two of the most valuable tools that I use when I have large quantities of meat cooked on a WSM. Portion out the final meat into .5/1/1.5 lb packages, vac seal, toss in the freezer. That way you don't have to eat smoked meat for 4-5 days in a row. Besides, it's really nice to pull out a package of chopped brisket or pulled pork to jazz up any weeknight meal.

Lastly, that "homemade" rub...is Big Bob Gibson's shoulder rub. The one Chris Lilly has used to take first place with 11 out of 21 times at Memphis in May (including just last week). Suffice it to say...it's legit.

Great job again!


addicted-to-smoke

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 06:18:20 AM »
Many a man has been absolutely certain their thermometer was broken or the probe somehow came out/got into a "cold" area during the stall. Especially when accompanied with "reverse temperature" ... it's a cruel joke.

Awesome cook!
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Cellar2ful

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 07:05:18 AM »
Many a man has been absolutely certain their thermometer was broken or the probe somehow came out/got into a "cold" area during the stall. Especially when accompanied with "reverse temperature" ... it's a cruel joke.

When the temp started dropping, the first thing I did was lift the lid and see if the butt clinched it's cheeks causing the temp probe to fall out. 
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JEBIV

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 07:15:28 AM »
Awesome cook I remember the first time doing a butt and having no clue what the stall was or how to overcome thus a 16 hour cook and it was awesome
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mhiszem

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 07:21:18 AM »
Great cook! That looks delicious


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pbe gummi bear

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 07:48:25 PM »
Nice job, Jim. The WSM really spoils one for long low and slow cooks. Some meats can have two stalls, one at the high 160's and another at the high 170's. Pretty concerning the first few times you experience it. After many smokes on the WSM, I rarely smoke at 225F anymore. 275F simply works just as well with shorter smoke times.
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FireJoe

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Re: Best smoked pork butt I've ever done
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 12:28:40 PM »
Thatís a great looking cook.


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