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Meathead's approach to the PBC

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    Meathead's approach to the PBC

    I'm cooking two 8lb pork butts today. Haven't tried two at once, but here goes. Got them on at 8:30am this morning, and for the first time, I let them sit in rub overnight.

    I came across Meathead's youtube video on making pork butts in the PBC. Some interesting observations:

    1. No crutch, while Noah crutches around 160. I've enjoyed the crutch for the au jus and flavor from the beer that I add. I'm going to cook one butt with the crutch and one without to compare.

    2. No hanging, Meathead just put the butt on the grate.

    3. Meathead ran the thermometer wires over the lid of the barrel, not through the rebar holes.

    4. Meathead cooked the butt to 203.

    5. It looks like Meathead lit a full-sized chimney full of coals (not the 40 that Noah recommends) for 10-15 minutes, and poured the full chimney of hot coals into the bottom.

    None of these probably make much of a difference, aside from the crutch and cooking the butt to 203, but I thought it was interesting. I'm not sure that I would run the thermometer lines over the lid of the barrel because of seal issues, but maybe it doesn't matter. Would certainly make things easier though!

    It's actually easier if the probe runs through the rebar hole.
    Take Noah's videos as guidelines. You're better off finding your own way of running YOUR PBC. There are too many variables to actually follow Noah's videos to the T and expect same results.
    As far as hanging a butt, I think the shape of the butt would make no difference whether it is hang or "grated".


      I drilled a hole in mine for the probe with a little stopper in there, late one night with a couple heavy buts the rebar moved on top of the thermo wire messed it up. Now it has its dedicated space and no worries. I still crutch sometimes when time is important, but not much any more. I actually prefer it wrapped buy laziness on overnight cooks, especially with 2 layers on the WSM makes it not worth messing with.


        I agree with Ernest. Follow Noah's video guidelines in the beginning. I can't wait to hear what you think of the wrapped vs unwrapped butts. I prefer unwrapped.


          Just my two cents: I did a 10lb butt on the PBC last Weds and put it on the grate. Ran the probe through one of the rebar holes. Took it to 195 without wrapping and then foiled in and put in cooler to let rest. I think I prefer the meat unwrapped. It takes longer but I believe it tastes better (better bark maybe?) And I agree with everyone about using Noah's videos for guidelines.


            I've done four pork butts and each one was better than the last. I use a liberal dose of Meathead's Memphis Dust and I've always wrapped them in heavy duty foil with 1/4 -1/3 cup Guinness draught. The last one was so good that my wife (who's not a huge pork fan) didn't complain about it tasting "porky" ( what else would a pb taste like?). I go by "the book" when lighting (Katherine's that is) and all that... The thing to do is what works for you!


            • New2Cue
              New2Cue commented
              Editing a comment
              Guinness sounds awesome. I usually put in some Lagunitas IPA or Little Sumptin Sumptin.

            Thanks guys, I agree with everyone here. Do what works best for you

            My butts have been smoking for 6 hours now, and are at the 160 degree stall. Will wrap one of them soon and let the other hang unwrapped. Actually, now that I think about it, I'll probably put the unwrapped one on the grate as well. I'm worried that the meat will be so juicy that the butt ends of tearing off the hooks.

            For you guys that don't wrap, do you hang your butts the whole cook? Or move to the grate at a certain point?


              Originally posted by New2Cue View Post

              For you guys that don't wrap, do you hang your butts the whole cook? Or move to the grate at a certain point?
              Always move to the grate. The butt will fall off the hooks eventually if you don't.


              • New2Cue
                New2Cue commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks Dave, that's what I thought. Appreciate the tip!

              • David Parrish
                David Parrish commented
                Editing a comment
                You bet!

              I got a kick outta MH's video, especially the part where he didn't run the probe wire through the rebar hole. I'm thinking you wouldn't get a very good seal with that wire running through there! I think that was an "oversight" on the video.

              Like everyone here I follow Kathryn's "how to light the beast" post. Never fails.

              I do my butt's on the grill all the way. I'm just too paranoid of having them falling off the hook. PB's not like ribs where you have something "substantial" to hang from. I typically don't wrap because I like the bark better when you don't wrap. HOWEVER, that being said, if I'm doing a carnitas butt then I wrap as I don't want a heavy bark buildup and I want the carnitas seasonings to "steam in" to the butt.

              Bottom line, no right or wrong way to cook a PB. Just depends on your pleasure!


                I prefer to hang my butts because the ones I get have a shape.

                When propped up on their side they taper, which works great when hanging multiple butts

                And if you tie with 4 strings, and get the hooks under a string, you can hang as long as you want. Not saying it will be pretty coming out the barrel, but everything will make it to the table.
                Last edited by Jerod Broussard; October 12, 2015, 06:18 PM.


                • PappyBBQ
                  PappyBBQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well duh on me! Never really thought about trussing them! I don't cook in the large volumes you do - at least I haven't yet. I'll keep this idea in mind though!

                Well that was interesting. Both butts were 8lbs almost on the dot. The one I crutched took 10 hours to reach 195. I didn't get as good a seal on the foil as I should have, which probably accounted for the extra time. But, it was well-worth the wait.

                The second one, which I didn't crutch, was finally done after 14.5 hours. I hit a tough second stall on both around the 190-195 mark. The second (non-crutched) one took a good two hours to break through that stall. I had added some extra charcoal at the 160 degree stall and again at the beginning of the 190 degree stall, but the PBC started petering out. I got the butt to about 194, then put it in the oven at 320 for another hour and a half to get it to 203.

                Comparing the two, I think I like the crutched version a little better. The beer and au jus are a nice enhancement to the flavor of the meet. The bark on the non-crutched version was a little better, but not enough to warrant the extra cooking time.

                Cooking to 203 versus 195 did end up resulting in leaner meat it seemed. At 195, a butt can have pockets of fat. There didn't seem to be as much of that on my second butt.

                Anyway, just thought I'd share...


                  Great information New2Cue. I have only done one PB but had similar findings as you. From hours 7 through 9 I got stuck at temps ranging from 179 to 192, taking readings from several locations. I finally gave up on the PBC assuming it had just cooled off too much and finished in the oven. I didn't know enough to know that you could get multiple stalls. From my notes I did mention that the butt could have benefited from additional cook time. It was very good but next time I will be a little more patient.



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