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I've gotten a lot of emails about it being "lost".

Here you go. Thought I'd throw in the "old stuff" while the new one is being written.

FYI, this an oldie and a goodie, first written in 2001 (forgive me, it wasn't very long)

Pulled this off the old cookshack site, wanted to post some of the "best of".
Please add your information that you've learned so others may learn.

So, today's lesson: Pork butt, Pork Shoulder, Picnics... etc.

What are they?

Old link was bad, anyone have a good link to a site with Pork Cuts???

There are many sources, lots of information, but we'll try to put a little here for you to get started.

For purposes of this post, I purchase a pair of butts at Sams (they use IBP and I've had great success and this is NOT an endorsement for them)

For the new folks Pork 101: A pork shoulder(front part) can be divided into two parts: Butt end. - so called because it is the butt end of the shoulder (it isn't the actual "butt" of the pig...just the shoulder) Shank end. -so called because it has the shank bone in it. The back "shoulder" of a pig would be called a haunch or a ham. You generally make "pulled pork" from a Pork shoulder cut (either butt or shank). The butt portion is most popular because it has less bone and less connective "stuff" in it. The shank portion can make some tasty pulled pork as well, but it will have a slightly different texture, and more connective "stuff" in it, not to mention the big ol' shank bone (good for soup stock).

I was trying to "generalize" for someone who wanted an exact listing and I didn't have my log with me to recount how long everything has taken.

I'm at work (hi Boss) and the preferred method is indeed to use a Polder. Some controvery on what temp I've seen mention of everything from 180 to 205. I also shoot for an internal of 205 (and I check several places before I'm sure -- it's hard to get a good consistent read on pork lots of fat can throw the reading off). If it's a small pork butt, I might cook it only to 190. I go on my instincts more than my polder...

I've also seen everything from 1 hour to up to 2 1/2... yes really.

My recommendation: plan for 1 1/4 hours per pound, but don't do this blindly. I start checking mine about 1/2 way through my estimate and keep and eye on it when I'm mopping it.

I'm not a fan of foil but it does a great job of keeping the moisture in. My complaint is that I want some of the "renowned Mr. Brown" bark with my butt and you can't get that with foil -- it's too "mushy". Now what I have done is finish them off in foil to get them moist and then pop them on the grill for 10-15 to crisp up the outside.
It's also hard to get some mop onto the meat. A good vinegar based mop does wonder for pulled pork. (if you're interested, I'll post a killer apple juice mop that the family loves).

I've got a lot more comments about pork butts, but I'm interested in others input also. Do you apply a rub? how about mops? Do you serve in with sauce? mustard based? try it I can go on and on

FYI, in my Model 150 (that's my big one guys) I've done up to 8 butts and it average almost 1.5 hours per pound total. These each averaged about 12-14 pounds each.

So, what do you do with a Butt after cooking?

Eat it.... ....aahh Grasshopper, come along on this journey we call "pulled Pork". Being an Okie (go figure with my handle)in the Air Force I had the pleasure of traveling the world and the US and I've always found time for learning how different regions love their Q. I've learned about Pulled Pork from those in the S.E, particularly the Carolina's. I won't go into a full blown discussion of the virtues of Lexington versions, east carolina, and whether to use vinegar, mustard or a tomato sauce.

My suggestions for Pulled Pork

Once you've cooked it (remember cooking is a whole nuther lesson about vinegar mops), let it sit for 10-15 min (you always let the meat you cook sit for a few minutes to let the juices settle). You can then pull (you can pull with your fingers, you can pulled with forks, you can pull whatever you got, you just pull). Some actually like it sliced, but you have to cook it only to 180 to do that. Now, when you're pulling, look for "Mr. Brown and Mrs. White" in the pork, there will actually be two slightly different colors of meat, hince the names. Look for these and taste them, they WILL be different. Some swear by the Mr. Brown. If you didn't cook in foil (you didn't did you -- shame on you) then you'll also have some "bark" this is also something many pork pullers look for and eat. When done right it's not all dried and crusty, it just has a firmer texture and not quite dried out. So, now you have this huge mass of pulled pork.

The two traditional ways to eat pulled pork is either on white bread or cheap, small hamburger buns. And you know what, it's great that way. Now for the hard part. Some will eat this with cole slaw on the top -- yup, on the sandwich (also call a "samich" in some parts). Depending on which side of the mountain in Carolina (Lexington) you'll either use a mustard based sauce, a tomato based sauce or a vinegar sauce.

I have an excellent apple pork baste and mustard sauces which I'll post in a separate posting. So there you have it, the pulled pork tutorial (short version) Hope that helps Grasshopper. Enjoy, this pulled pork stuff is not native to Oklahoma, but my friends swear by it now -- and my Memphis Style Ribs (oops, another lesson). Welcome to the Pork Pulling Club, Good Q'in Smokin' Okie

Smokin Okies Vinegar Mop for Pulled Pork
(also called an Eastern Carolina Sauce)

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons salt (I like the flavor in Kosher/Sea Salt and bigger granules)
  • 2 tablespoon red pepper (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (I've also used Hungarian Paprika)

Smokin's Pulled Pork Baste & Serving Sauce
(makes about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (I sometimes use Hungarian Paprika)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (the secret ingredient)

Heat all of the ingredients in a nonreactive pan (the acid in the vinegar will react with some pans be careful) Bring it to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 min. I make extra and put it in the fridge and it should last for a couple of months. But it's never around that long. When I put some pork in food saver bags, I'll put some of this sauce in there with it -- when I reheat the pork it taste just like the first time.

Smokin Okie's Virgin Mustard Sauce
(virgin for you first time mustard sauce people)
  • 4 cups yellow mustard
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
Original Post

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I just smoked my first pork butt. It came out well but took a lot longer than I had figured it would! The temperature was set at 225F.
At 5 hours the internal temp was 150F
7 hours the internal temp was 160F
8 hours the internal temp was 170F
9 hours the internal temp was 180F
10 hours shut down internal temp 190F?
My temperature probe only goes to 180 so I don't know what the final internal temperature was but should have been around 190. The pork came out well done, tender and juicy...perfect!Pulled pork dinner tonight!
Originally posted by cdqr:
Smokin', I'm a little confused. Do you mop during the cooking process? How often? How long do you finish in foil or do you put it in foil once it reaches a certain temp?

All good questions.

The answer?

Do you mop during the cooking process?

Depends on the effect. You don't have to EVER mop, or you can mop once every 2 hours.

How often?
It's a factor of rub, sauce, ingredients, etc. You just have to experiment for your own flavor tastes.

How long do you finish in foil or do you put it in foil once it reaches a certain temp

I don't use foil, lots of people do. I'm working on an updated PB101, but it will be a month or so.

Many people in the forum will smoke it to about 160 - 170 and put it in foil (add juice, mop, whatever) and take it to 180 - 185 for slicing or 195+ for pulling. It's not time based it's temp based.

There are 100's of posts down in the Pork Butt Archives and they'll answer some of these.

Now I'm sure you have more questions, ask away...

Last edited by Former Member
Pulled Pork - "Smokin" you are the man !! I used your recipe of vinegar, cayenne, crushed pepper, etc, etc and What a piece of meat. I have never tasted any meat.....pork,beef,etc that tasted this good. As a 6 month old Newbee I rely heavily on this website. You & some of the other Pro's seem to be genuinely interested in helping us 1st timers and I thank you very much. I too am a USAF veteran of 22 years and remember and old saying from one of my bosses about training subordinates : Learn it, Master it, & Teach it. Thanks again for the training. Bob
Glad to hear it.

That's a pretty typical Eastern Carolina sauce to give people who've never had it a good start.

As much as I love cooking it, the simple stories keep me coming back. I never had anyone around to ask so I just learned and NO I won't tell stories of how bad it was.

Helping out newbies is pretty much 75% of what this site is about. Helping people overcome the basics so they can then focus on the fun part of it. Shoot you ought to see me give a class. As much as we type, you ought to hear it when Tom and I get together and talk Q. His wife and mine laugh that we could talk non-stop about Q and still not get it all in.

We may not be experts, but we sure talk like one Big Grin
Pulled Pork....Smokin, Ive done 3 butts using your recipe for Vinegar Mop and thought I was in heaven. The meat was 2 three pounders and 1 seven lbs. Here's my only recipe question : Should I increase the quantities for the Mop as I increase the weight of the meat ?? I plan to smoke a bunch of butts for an upcoming gathering and unless you tell me differently, I will use the same amount of Mop for 7 & 8 lb butts. Thanks....Bob

I am putting up some butts (already pulled) for a big event coming up. I am planning on reheating in the throw away aluminum pans and I am going to end up with about 3.5 lbs (1 7-71/2 pounder raw) for each of those pans. How much of your basting / serving sauce would go into each pan. I made some up and like the taste. When somebody says "a little" it can vary quite a lot Big Grin

If I had to guess, up to say no more than 1 cup per butt. But it really will depend on how much they soak it up (how dry were they).

So reheat them with about that amount, but have a warm pan with some extra in it.

You should adjust the liquid and also add some more rub as you're serving to give it a little kick. I like to grind up my rub a little to sprinkle it on like salt. I taste it and adjust the liquid/rub as needed.
Pork Butt Rookie...

I put the 8.75 pound butt in at 6:15am. Set the smoker to 225. At 4:45pm little piggy was only 167 degrees. So now I've popped it in the oven at 325 degrees (convection) to heat this piglet up. I want to eat before midnight. Smiler But the house smells great now.

Wow... them pigs like to take their time.


That pig tasted dayum good. My wife and kids put me up on the pedestal at the dinner table. The last hour and fifteen minutes in the oven worked out okay... emergency measure... may not have even been necessary. In the future I will start smoking around 3am. Would make it fall/pull apart more like I want it.
Last edited by guitarzan
Tried this out last weekend. Put 2 small butts (4.5 lbs each) in at 225* with an external thermometer. My Dad has the same Cookshack......after 9 hours it was reading 160* and 'Mr. Know-it-all' said they've gotta be done. Thermometer says no. He's hungry. So I popped them out of the smoker and put them in a 400* oven for another hour. Only got to 190*, but they were very good.

Next day I put them back in the oven for another hour and they were even better. Moral: it's done when it's done!
Smokin Okies Vinegar Mop for Pulled Pork
(also called an Eastern Carolina Sauce)

* 2 cups cider vinegar
* 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
* 2 tablespoons salt (I like the flavor in Kosher/Sea Salt and bigger granules)
* 2 tablespoon red pepper (crushed)
* 1 teaspoon cayenne (I've also used Hungarian Paprika)

I did two butts yesterday and I made up some of this Mop Sauce.I loved it,and it worked well.Only problem was I was running short on cayenne pepper,so I added a pinch of chipolte.
All in all,it was very good and I plan on using it again.
thanks for the help!

Hey Okie,

Quick question for you--unless I am blind in one eye and can't see out of the other, your Pork Butt 101 never says at what temperature you actually cook the butts. I'm assuming that it is somewhere between 200 and 250, since you mention bumping up to 250 if the meat plateau's. I know some guys are cooking at 200 for some period of time and then bumping up to 250 to finish. What's your normal strategy?

John, aka "SoulHunter"
Thanks for posting SH.

For me, pork is fine at whatever your normal range is. For me, that's 250 for PB, but...

If you're doing more stuff, pick a good overall temp.

I see a lot of CS owners cooking at 225 and then saying it takes 18 hours. Go for 250 and it'll be done sooner. If you're going that long, you're using all your smoke up anyway, so "low and slow" at 180 or 200 isn't going to buy you any extra benefit.
The baste is also a serving sauce.

Some people learned to use a "mop" (really, a little mop) and it's a way of adding flavor to the outside.

A baste was something, usually a little thicker (not always) that you brush on it with the intention of creating layers of flavor.

Two methods to the same end.
Originally posted by T-Bone44:
If you do a mop do you have to rub seasoning into the butt as well?


Some only rub,
Some will mop,
Some will do both.

It's basically what chefs try to do and "layer" flavors.

And what tastes you like. You may find you prefer one over the others or a blend.

Me, I rub, don't mop, but add in some finishing sauce after pulling.
Keep in mind what cooker you are using.

A rub is pretty standard.

If you are using a long oilfield type offset,that flows huge amounts of air and cooks very dry,folks use a mop,or sprayer,to give moisture,as well as flavoring.

A CS type cooker,that flows a minimal amount of air and cooks very moist,you may just be washing off the rub,and the door opening may cause the meat to never finish.

Just a couple of thoughts.
PB 101 Worked just as you said "Okie", here is how it went for me

I started with 3 PB about 3#.6 oz each, on sat afternoon, i sprinkeled/rubed
them all sides and then injected them with 8ozs of Tony Chachere's
"Roasted Garlic & Herb" Marinade, put them inlarg Pyrex and foiled it ,put it in the fridg for 13 hrs.
Next day i took them out and and rolled them in the marined in the bowel

In My CS 105 with 8oz hickory and 2oz maple, for 12 hours, I did keep a log as you sugested as follows, 2 Probes they were 2degs off from each other.

Start 2:35 pm Meat internal temp 45-44-44, cooker set @ 190deg / 12hrs
7:30 temps @ 150-152-150 , at this time I Vinerger Moped them, lost 100 degs in oven doing this.

8:30 Temps CS 200, 152-152-150

10:45 CS 200, Meat temp stuck 148-148-148, so i bumped the temp to 225.

00:35am CS 230 Meat @ 167-170-174

01:30am CS 204 Meat @ 174-182-182

03:00am CS 251 Meat @ 184-190-192

Pulled it at this time done cooking "Good Tasting" I Thought I was in Hogg heaven, wraped in foil for 40 min, then pulled it, took my wifa sample @ 3:45
had to wake her but she said emememgood .

I served this for a dinner 3/4 of meat had BBQ sauce 1/4 plain for Thanksgiving where each famly Group brought a diff dish, it was for a 28 member gathering, and it was enjoyed by all.

Christmas is next
PB101 12/22/2009

Christmas PB was mutch the sama s before ,only i set temp at 200, and time for 12 hrs it went as follows
start 1:15 pm

CS cool , meat 42,44,44
CS 223o, 151,150,152

5 pm Vinager Moped
CS 232, 160,160,161

CS 231 170,170,175
It seemed that the temps frooz, must have been cause the door was opened for moping

10pm 235 temps still as 8pm

00:30am CS 238, 185,185,192,

Shut down cooker, pulled the meat it was just perfect see the pictures
Lets start cooking

Marinade over nite

Done at Last

Good Mix Lite and Dark


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  • Pulled_and_good

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