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My plan for my first PBC pork butt

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    My plan for my first PBC pork butt

    I think I'm going to try for my first (second ever) pork button the PBC. I've got an 8 lb one in the freezer that I'll start defrosting Monday night for a Saturday morning cook.

    My goal is to keep this simple and straightforward. I plan to trim the roast up, if needed. If the fat cap seems too big, I'll trim it down to 1/4" or so. I'll then use a thin layer of yellow mustard (just because its viscous and easy to work with) on the roast, followed by a moderately heavy dusting of Malcom Reed's Hot Rub.

    At the moment, I plan on hanging it, double-hooked on each side of the roast.

    Given the moist environment of the PBC, I don't plan on spritzing it. Let me know if I should. I'm going to endeavor to keep my PBC temps below 350. After about two hours and every hour thereafter, I'll check the bark. Once the bark is where I want it....dark, but still red, not meteoritic like my first one was, I'll double-wrap the butt in pink butcher's paper and place it back in the PBC on the grate.

    From there, it is just a matter of time until it gets to 203-205. The longest cook I've ever done on the PBC was six hours. Judging from my first pork butt (Weber Kettle), this will take eight hours, perhaps more. It will be interesting to see if the coals hold out.

    Once it reaches 203-205, I'll take it off and wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooler for 30-45 minutes. (Let me know if this is took short, too long, or unnecessary.)

    I'm also not sure what I'm going to do with meat. I've got leftovers already planned -- tacos, pizza. I may just do pulled pork sandwiches, for the first night.

    #2
    No need to leave a 1/4” fat cap on a butt. There’s plenty of fat inside. I trim off most of the outer fat so the rub and smoke reach the meat. I’d expect about 10 hours on the PBC. No problem using kbb, just make sure to overfill the basket a bit.

    Comment


    • Michael_in_TX
      Michael_in_TX commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent point on the internal fat...after all that is what makes a pork butt a pork butt.

    • Steve R.
      Steve R. commented
      Editing a comment
      Good advice on the trimming. I like to see meat all the way around.

    • Santamarina
      Santamarina commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ll trim heavily if it’s a bone-in shoulder. If it’s boneless you’ve got to be careful because you can trim too much and end up with a dry chunk of meat.

    #3
    Really nothing wrong with your plan as I see it. Its hard to mess up a butt. First, I doubt it will take more than 8 hrs start to finish. Do temp it rather than worry about time. Your plan seems well thought out. Fill the basket up. If you light it correctly, the coals will last for the full cook. Do you plan to slice or pull? If pulling which I prefer be sure its really soft before taking it off. If slicing you can take it off earlier.

    Personally, I do not hang butts in the PBC. I would lay it on the grate. At about the 3 to 4 hr mark, I would simply flip it on the grate then forget that part until time to wrap. I would go until the bark looks dark and set before wrapping......around 170 to 175 degrees. It will be great!

    Editing to add the following: Your plan to wrap after cooking: I would be sure foil wrap is tight. Then wrap in old beach towels and put into clean cooler until dinner time. I see more folks talking about the need to use their 2 or 3 Yeti coolers, etc.........BS! An old $35 Igloo or Coleman will work fine unless you think you need to hold for the next 10 days! You time of holding of about 35 minutes might be a little short. Don't be afraid to hold for up to a couple of hours. If you think it will be a long hold, put a temp probe from a digital thermometer into the center of the roast and be sure you keep the temp above 145*.
    Last edited by Alabama Smoke; February 23, 2020, 07:31 PM.

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      #4
      I'm a couple of hours away from starting a PBC pork shoulder cook, 2 7ish pounds.

      From previous cooks, I typically get through the stall in 5-6 hours. I then remove from hooks and wrap in heavy duty foil. I've used pink butcher paper once and didn't really like how the bark turned out...unwrapped gives a super crunchy bark. I also plan on a 2-4 hour rest at least...this one will probably have a 6-7 hour rest!

      Comment


      • Michael_in_TX
        Michael_in_TX commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting. I do like bark, but not too much bark. The bark on my last (and first) one was really tough. I may switch to double-wrapped foil. It's arguably less messy in any case.

      #5
      Good plan, my only change would be using foil instead of paper if you are planning on pulled pork. for brisket i use paper because it helps keep that bark intact but for pulled pork that bark is going to be mostly lost in that shredding process and i think the foil will help keep the meat moist.

      For me i am usually good for an 8-10 hour cook on the PBC, but if its windy i have had it burn through in less than 6 hours so keep an eye on the weather and the temps and you should be good.

      Comment


      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        Crutch with foil on a butt, save the juice to mix back in or use it to make injection for next butt cook.

      #6
      I hang PBs in the PBC until they reach a temp of 160° or so then move them to the grate. They soften up a lot as they get hotter, and I don't want to risk losing one to the PBC BBQ gods, even if only for a minute or two.

      Also, I let them ride all the way to probe tenderness uncovered. But then I don't cook them as hot as you do. I like to keep my PBC in the 275-290° range for pork butts. They're not exactly meteoric, but they've got a nice bark. Pig candy, I call the pork butt bark. Yummy.

      Have a great time with your cook.

      Kathryn

      Comment


        #7
        I cut a pork butt into two pieces (hence more bark) as close to the end of the shoulder blade as possible. Dry brine (and inject if I'm in the mood) a day ahead. On the day of the cook, cover with MMD rub, then hang the pieces separately for 3 hours in the PBC, spritzing every hour. Then wrap in pink paper and finish to 203 (or probe tender) in an oven - which takes about 2 hours. Wrap the pieces in a towel and hold in a cooler 2 hours or until serving time.

        Comment


        • Michael_in_TX
          Michael_in_TX commented
          Editing a comment
          I may also take your suggestion and cut the roast in half. I am all for a faster cook. Ten hours is a long time.

        #8
        Sounds like a plan. Of the multitude of ways to cook a pork butt and have it turn out just fine, this is one of them.
        Last edited by Steve R.; February 24, 2020, 08:46 AM.

        Comment


          #9
          Good plan. Two suggestions. Use foil to braise it a bit since you want to pull, it will also save juices for you. Plus the foil won leak as much into your towel. Also hold it longer. I like a 4+ hour hold. Will come out more tender, especially if you foil it. I don't cook on a PBC, and I also inject, and cook at 225°, so the part about hanging and stuff I can't comment on.

          Comment


            #10
            I once left a pork butt on the PBC hooks too long... needless to say I checked on it and found it had decided it wanted to cook caveman style right on the coals! Oops. Once I pulled off the layer of char, it was wonderful and tender. Ever since, I only use the grate for them. I've started wrapping between 150 and 160 degrees. By then the bark is usually mahogany (ish) in color and not overly thick. But, the early wrap seems to help me push through the stall so I get a much shorter overall cook time. I typically keep the PBC at the 275-300 temp range.

            Since I'm a day late from your cook... How did it go? How long did it end up in the cooker?

            Comment


              #11
              I would skip the mustard portion of the procedure. There really is no need for that. It just makes a mess, in my opinion. The rub will stick jsut fine with out it.

              If you are having trouble with keeping the temps low, try adding some weight to the lid so that it will seal better. That is what I have done in the past and it works great. Most of the time, if the PBC is running hot, it is because the lid has a slight leak. Even with that, pork butts can take that heat just fine, so really you are going to be just fine.

              It is a great idea for you to double hook the shoulder. I always use at least four hooks when I am hanging mine.

              Comment


                #12
                And P.S. No need to spritz in the PBC. The environment inside that barrel is humid enough already. Just my second 2cents worth...

                And about the mustard, you're better off using oil. Doc Blonder says the acid in the mustard retards the formation of a smoke ring (as I recall), if that means something to you.

                Kathryn
                Last edited by fzxdoc; February 24, 2020, 03:49 PM.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Personal note: I rarely wrap shoulders during the cook. I love when it comes out looking like a meteorite. As long as there’s enough moisture during the cook that black exterior is just delicious and the interior is moist and tender.

                  i wrap when I pull it from the pit then hold. 30 mins is the minimum I hold, and I’ve gone as long as 12 hours in a warming oven.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Update....

                    Was going to do this Saturday, but didn't get going early enough so pushed it off to today. (Hopefully the rain will hold off.)

                    I prepped everything last night. I filled the charcoal basket and the small chimney and left them inside the PBC overnight so all would be at the ready (I am not a morning person). I took out the pork butt from its cryovac bag and applied the Killer Hogs Hot BBQ Rub and let it dry brine in the fridge. (I didn't use any binder as the roast was decently moist coming out of that bag.) I didn't cut it in half as I, well, just forgot.

                    This morning, I got every thing lit and going fairly quickly (and before coffee!). It's been on (I grated it rather than hanging it...that is a big piece of the meat, 8 lbs) for two hours now. IT is 121 and PBC is hovering around 300. (I had to plug two of the holes.)

                    In another hour I'll take a peak at the bark and decide whether to wrap it then or wait till ~160. I know I need to minimize the time with the lid off as with my PBC, temps tend to shoot up 25-50 degrees easily when I do that.

                    It is curious to compare this cook with my first pork butt that I did several months ago on the Weber. I was so frantic, constantly fiddling with the vent settings. Here.....I'm just kinda letting the PBC do its thing.

                    I keep thinking it is going to be done so early.....but as I remember with the chuck roasts I did....the temp will rise rather rapidly and then around 140 or so it will start to stall off.
                    Last edited by Michael_in_TX; March 1, 2020, 11:05 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Red Man
                      Red Man commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I wouldn’t even consider wrapping before 160. I typically don’t wrap, but if I do it’s around 185.

                    • Michael_in_TX
                      Michael_in_TX commented
                      Editing a comment
                      If the PBC keeps the pork's surface this moist, I absolutely can see forgoing wrapping.

                    #15
                    Update number two....

                    We're 4.5 hours into the cook. The bark is forming slower than I anticipated, undoubtably due to the moist environment of the PBC and my better temperature control than I had with the Weber. We're at 178 right now. The increase in temperature has slowed, but we are steadily climbing. PBC temps have been between 285-300 the entire time.

                    I'll check on the bark at the five hour mark and see where we are at. Kathryn is absolutely right....I see no reason to spritz. The surface of the pork is surprisingly moist!

                    Comment

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