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I am going to be smoking my first pork butt on my 009 this weekend. I have read many of the archives and suggestions here and most people seem to be smoking butt's 7lbs and higher. My Pork butt weighs just under 4 lbs. I am just trying to figure out approximate smoking time for this. I have read on the forum to estimate 2 hours per pound. Is that correct? Any other suggestion? Thanks!!!
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Get a good thick rub on those small butts and do them on max temp. They will dry out too much on a long 200-225 temp cook. Take them to 190*. The 4 pounder might take 12 hours, anyone's guess. It is done when it reaches the temp you decide it is done at. Don't use too much wood! 1 chunk?

Yes, CS RibRub is super on butts!

I did a 5.3lb butt for the office last week. Put on at 6:30PM at 225 with 1 chunk of apple. It was 151 at 10:30PM. Kinda scared me that it came up so fast so I turned the temp down to 200. Checked again at 6AM and temp was 171. Cranked it back to 225 and it hit 190 at 11AM, just in time for lunch. Great bark, pulled easily, moist, tastes great...and very filling!!

To be honest....I just stood around and watched the Cookshack do it!
If we read the archives, there are some pretty good thoughts.

One is that in slow and low cooking ,weight,time ,and temp do not have a linear relationship.

i.e.,collagen is broken down and fat is rendered by low temps,over time.

Thus,a 10 lb butt,at 235*,may come tender in 15 hrs and be pullable.

1 1/2 hrs per lb.

An 18 lb shoulder may come tender in 15-16 hrs.

Less than an hr /lb.

A 140 lb hog may come done in 20 hrs.

Seven lbs in one hr.

An 8oz slice ,across a pork shoulder,in a medium hot skillet,may be done in 2 mins a side.

One lb done in eight mins.[Does this mean 10 lbs would be ready in 80 mins?]

Which is edible,and which is not?

You could find that the meat in a small boneless butt,could take about as long as a bonein butt-twice the size to come tender.

Just a couple of thoughts.
I'm no expert and I haven't had a chance to cook on an Amerique yet,but is anyone checking the temps at the grate.

You can worry pork to death,down around 200*,but I can't figure out why anyone would want to drag it out more than a day-unless there were some personal timing issues.

As Smokin' says,many folks cook about 7.5-8 lb butts,and around 12 hrs seems to produce a timely and tasty product.

Just a couple of thoughts.
Overall I was satisfied. The butt was a little dry. Not too bad though.
I used about 2oz of cherry wood. I would have prefered hickory/cherry mixture but I ran out of hickory. I think I could have had a bit more smoke. Not alot but a bit.

This was my first pork butt EVER so I dont have a lot to compare it to. It did taste very good and I didnt want to stop eating it.

What would I do differently:
A bit more wood
Perhaps injecting the butt
Buy bigger butts so I can start the smoking overnight and finish earlier in the day -- rather than start early in the morning and finish late. Also I would set the smoker at a slightly lower temp this way.

Overall I was happy but I know I can do better

Any other suggestions?
If you have the time when the butt is done, wrap it up in a couple of layers of foil with some liquid (I use apple juice, about 1/2 cup or so), then place in a dry cooler with some loose towels (old ones!!) or newspaper for a couple of hours. The butt has a chance to rest and re-absorb some moisture and the liquid. Good luck!
Sometimes I use a cheap timer to start the cook... say at 5am or 6am when I'm not getting up that early. I think I like that better than starting the night before (assuming the outside temps are amenable with no safety problems). And it gives the rub time to work in. This gives about 12 hours before an evening dinner.
The timer is a great idea. I didnt think of that.

I let the rub work overnight -- I used the cookshack rib rub -- it was great. I started smoking around 9:30 (I overslept) and was done about 11 hrs later. Straight out of the fridge and into the smoker with about 2 oz or so of cherry. I didnt peek at all. I just used my remote thermometer to monitor the temperature. Pulled it off the smoker at 195* and let it set about 30 minutes before pulling it. Perhaps I will try wrapping it as was suggested. Whenever I foil in the smoker it always gets soggy -- which makes sense I prefer it a bit 'crustier' I dont know if it will be different if I wrap after the cook.

I ate some of the leftovers yesterday and I think it tasted better than right after it was done.
I have attached a pic (I am not quite sure how that works on this forum) -- Dont beat me up too bad -- remember I am new at this Smiler

Thanks for the helpful hints


Images (1)
  • Pulled_Pork
Do differently:

I have measured out my wood chunks time and time again, I cannot tell the difference between two ounces and four ounces. If I am cooking serious poundage, I throw in an extra block.

I have heard of a few people injecting butts, but I wouldn't bother. The real flavor is from the rub and the smoke, which will be mixed throughout the meat when it is pulled. Secondary flavor is the sauce, which is easier to add after cooking. The only meat that I think really benefits from injecting is turkey, and only if you are going to inject some serious fat like italian oil and vinegar.

My opinion: bigger butts and lower cook temps. Drop the pork roasts down to 225 on the cooker, it gives you more time in that 200 degree collagen melt zone. Reaching 195 in the center with 225 on the cooker means more meat hovers above 200 for longer periods than if the cooker is set at 250. Ribs I cook at 250 because their goodness is more fat than collagen.

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