I'm having issues with part of the meat (next to the bone) being hard even after 15 hours at 224.  I cater and will not serve this meat...if its hard to pull apart it'll be hard to chew.  I get my butts at Sam's and seem to be having more problems with this.  out of a case (8 butts) one maybe two butts are like this...the rest fall apart.

Is anyone else experiencing this????

Thanks in advance.

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Certainly not all pork butts are created equal, especially if you are talking about portions and not the whole shoulder. I have found that Sam's Club butchers cut some pork differently than most other stores, and it was surprising to me to find they seem to cut the same no matter where the Sam's Club store is. I'm not a butcher but I find that generally there are two very different muscles. My SO calls them the "white meat" and the "dark meat." The former is lean and can be a bit tougher, and the latter is juicier and more tender. Just my observations.

What are you using to smoke these, and what temps are you smoking them at?  Low and slow is the way to cook pork butts.  You have to take them to 195 degrees IT, and then start probing them with a skewer.  When the probe goes in and feels like warm butter, they are done.  I would kick your temp up to 250 or 275.  It isn't temp and time, but the internal temp of the meat, and the feel of it when it comes out.  Pork butts, and briskets should feel and wobble like Jello when it is done.

I smoke 'em in my FE100...I use hickory pellets from Cookshack...I put them in a cold smoker and set the temp at 224 ... smoke 'em for 15 hours...I usually have 10 to 16 butts ... pulling temp is over 200 but still have a couple butts that part of the meat next to the bone is hard.  I'm thinking its gotta be the pork itself because not all of them are like this and it doesn't make a difference on what self I have them on.


The bone retains heat and I bet you are overcooking the meat next to the bone.  You are smoking the butt more like a brisket in my opinion.  The pork has a higher fat content and can be cooked at a higher temp and less time.  I smoke mine at 275 and spritz it every hour for about three hours until there is a nice bark and the fat cap splits.  Then I wrap it with foil and start temping after two hours until I hit somewhere in the 200 -205 deg range, make sure not to temp the bone inside.  Pull it and let rest for an hour.

Try injecting one ounce/# apple juice prior to smoking. I start @ 226 then wrap in foil & rotate after 12 hours (during stall) and increase to 276 until they hit 200.  Always perfect.

I buy my pork at Sam's and get rave reviews.  

IMHO 16 butts is too much  for a FEC100. (The 100 signifies it will cook 100#s of pork.)   

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