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Old 01-30-2005, 10:43 AM   #1
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Another Butt post....

Well, Im sure this subject has been pretty beat up everywhere, but in doing a search here, it would appear there's still room for more..so here go's...

I picked up two 7 lb butts yestarday at Sams for the superbowl and wanted to get some input on cooking them...Im planning about two hours per pound and am going to ATTEMPT to keep the temp between 220 and 250. Gonna pull em at 195 wrap 'em and put 'em in the warmer for 1 to two hours. Heres my questions...

Does anyone see any harm in sort of halfing / butterflying the butts for less cooking time (its in the high 20's here and my smoker sucks) and more bark ?

Do you guys "spritz" when you do your butts ? Ive done the apple juice in the sprayer thing, but I also realize Im adding time to my cook every time I lift the lid. My Brinkman has a water tray which I use..I also thought about throwing a few halfed apples into the water tray for flavor

I've never rubbed aside from s/p and have been happy with that, but due to the fact that Ive got lots of time for prep (almost a week) and no life I was thinking of constructing a rub. I see a lot of you guys using purchased rubs, but I'm into trying to construct my own. I was going to look at a bunch of rub recipe's and pick and choose from each...any thoughts or ideas for me ?
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:50 AM   #2
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John, I think there are some dry rubs in the "rubs" section for you to try!

I know Fatz does a butterfly method but I think it is to attain more bark vs. a quicker cook time. I don't foil my butts because I like a nice bark on them. If you aren't that in to bark then foil at 160 internal and let ride to 195. That will help speed along the cook for sure!

I stick mine in a dry cooler double wrapped in foil and heavy towels on top...I don't put mine in a warmer.

Sometimes I make a Veggie Oil, woshti suace and cider vinegar mix to sop on the butts (in the rubs/sop section) and it works well...but sometimes(like today) I'm not doing anything...just letting the rub do its thang! I did slather the butts with yellow mustard first before applying the rub(first time for me).

At the very worst everything will be great and the fire management will be the biggest apin in the butt!

$0.02
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:04 AM   #3
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Greg, My "warmer" is actually a Carlisle cooler type. Its like a cooler but has a door and racks for trays. I read about the mustard thing. Does it change/add much flavor or is it tool for holding the rub ? I've kinda tried to avoid the foil thing so far, but depending on how my fire goes, I may go that route. Im on my way outside to attempt a mod on my smoker. If it works Ill post some picks. I missed the rub section..Ill check that out...
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:21 AM   #4
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I don't spray mine with anything...there's enough moisture from the rendering fat to keep it juicy. Plus, the bark can be inhibited from excess moisture. Relax...butts are easier to cook than Pop-tarts.
Almost fool proof. Course, I've burned pop tarts in my day.
(The last sentence is known as a "straight line", offering up an opportunity for would be internet comics to follow with witty comments that will eventually turn into a gay baiting thread.)
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:28 AM   #5
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John...first time for the mustard slather for me...but since Fatz did it and Suz said no funky mustardy taste...why not, right!
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:10 PM   #6
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Well, Im a bit new to this group to start bashing something as american as pop-tarts (and Im not even going near the gay thing). My butts have always been real good, so at this point Im looking to move up to the next level with them. Im definetly going to try the mustard and a rub. The smoker mod seems to be heading in the right direction as long as I can get the firebox unfrozen from the ground...If I can get it up to temp, Im gonna do some ABT's for my grandaughters b-day party tonight ( I know, your all thinking how can a guy that looks so young have a grandaughter ??) and if all goes well Im going to try a test butt tues night into wed.

How many people would you folks guess a 7lb butt would serve (along with a bunch of other plates)

the saga continues....
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:17 PM   #7
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John,

I’ve never halved butts for cooking but from what I’ve read, your cooking time will be shorter but not half. The collagen and connective tissue breakdown still has to occur at the temperature plateau(s) and halving the butts will allow the meat to get to that temperature quicker and there will be more bark.

I never rotate, flip or rearrange butts when I cook them and I never peek, therefore, I never spritz either. (Well, I did once but only because I had to go in there for another reason and I didn’t notice any difference in the final product.) The halved apples or anything else in the water pan has sparked debate on other forums but the general consensus was that there was no flavor added to the meat. It did add to the aroma though.

There are many that only use S/P for their pork but it’s a personal taste thing. I prefer a bit of a bite to mine and use only Texas BBQ Rub blends on my butts. Their Brisket Blend (Rub #2) has a good bite and I use that most of the time. BTW, you might be able to persuade me to part with some of it for your cook next weekend.

I’ve tried the mustard thing but have found that I can get the same results by applying a 2nd lighter coating after the 1st has become saturated from moisture in the butt ~ 30 minutes is a good wait time which is about how long it takes me to set up the WSM and get the coals going in the chimney. And as others have said, you will not taste the mustard.

I cook my butts at around 220 - 225° and have found that for the most part, 2 hours/pound is not quite long enough. If your average temp is up around 240 - 250°, that should be fine. I don’t know if it’s where our Sams gets their pork or what but they seem to take longer than the norm.

7 lbs will give you somewhere between 3 ½ and 4 pounds of cooked product. 1/3 pound per sammich should give you 10 to 12 and ¼ pound should give you 14 to 16 sammiches. Double that for 2 butts.

Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:43 PM   #8
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Good advice all!. Mustard will not alter the flavor but rather enhanceit! Another added benefit is that mustard contains tumeric which has all kinds of health bennies I 've been told. If you want quick cooking and alot of bark, do "country" or "western" style ribs. These are just butts sliced into 1-2" "steaks". I think that the compromise in reducing the size is a corresponding reduction in juiciness though. The will be diifficult to "pull", but can be easily "chopped", which I prefer any way. Good luck. Woodman
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:43 PM   #9
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Ya I know.....Ive been weighing my choices lately...heating bill....WSM....I know where my vote went, but unfort. the wife had other ideas...I sent her that link though, as my B-day is in march...give her some time to save her nickles...
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:52 PM   #10
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I'll echo what some of the others have been saying:

I found mustard to work great and not impact the flavour, but I'm still hooked on Mr.Brown and Southern sop (see recipe here. Basting and mopping seems to be about adding flavour or enhancing bark rather than keeping the meat moist (at least for butts anyway). Sugar in the baste/sop/spray will aid in bark formation. If you do mop, bring it to a boil before each application.

Halving butts will give you more bark but may not decrease cook time substantially, a guy on TVWB just the other day said his 5 lb took 16 hours; personally I've had 4 lb boneless butts take just as long as 8 lb bone in; I plan for 20 hours to cook 2 or 4 butts in my WSM. I don't foil cuz it makes the bark soft. I'm trying to not be so fixated on internal temp either. If they get to 200ºF I'm really happy, but my last ones just made it over 190ºF at 21 hours and I checked, they looked and felt great, I took them off.

How many people? using Bill's math plan 1/4 lb/finished product/person - 1/3 lb/person if serving in buns and there is lots of beans salads and stuff. Plan 1/2 - 3/4 per person if serving it on a plate (no buns). Leftovers are a really good thing, do enough to ensure you get some!

If the Brinkamnn is just too much of a PITA, consider putting the butts on it for as long as you can, at least to an internal temp of 140ºF for smoke ring formation then do an oven finish. I'd suggest try to get to 160ºF in the Brinkmann then no foil in an uncovered or covered & vented roasting pan in a 225ºF oven. Your butts will be in the oven at constant heat for the plateau. I find it more satisfying to finish on my WSM but oven works great too.
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