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Any reason to NOT use a continuous temp probe on a pork but?

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    Any reason to NOT use a continuous temp probe on a pork but?

    Doing my first pork butt today. Watched a few videos and it seems the “pros” never used an internal temperature probe when doing pork butts. Reasons? Or just preference?

    No reason NOT to use, many just smoke to color, before they wrap, if they wrap. You eventually need to probe the meat for done tender. I always use thermometer, just so I know where I’m at, but I wrap when color is correct, never at a particular temp.


    • jsaniga
      jsaniga commented
      Editing a comment
      I only found one guy who said @ 150 he’ll check the fat to see if it has rendered and then wrap. I am I going Harry Soo mode so the fat cap is on the bottom
      And I’ll spritz every hour. I dry rubbed with Meathead’s pork rub. First time for me, so I am not positive what the right color needs to be. Harry did say that the tenderness seems to exist in the 190-200 degree range after wrapping. Mad Scientist basically said the same.

    In my experience you can kind of tell when pork butt is done by touch or buy poking it with a thermometer. I always hear them say it should soft as butter on some videos.

    Personally I would at least want a thermometer to know what my cooker temperature is especially if I’m using my WSM.


      I use the temp probe on my Traeger just to monitor the internal temp via WIFI. Pretty handy.


        I always use an internal probe on all big hunks of meat, including pork butts. I generally follow Meathead’s method. I don’t wrap unless I have to in order to get the cook done on time.


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          radiodome21 I think wrapping is a personal preference. Can do it either way. Heck, I cook ‘em both ways.

        • radiodome21
          radiodome21 commented
          Editing a comment
          Me too. I just did one unwrapped yesterday that we had for dinner last night and I had for lunch today and it was damn good.

        • jsaniga
          jsaniga commented
          Editing a comment
          ecowper helpful as always, much appreciated!

        When I first received my FireBoard, I used the probe for pork butt - I found it to be fun but not essential. Since you have one and this is your first cook, I would definitely use it. It will be very helpful.

        Once you have a number of cooks down, you will find that pork butts are very forgiving. You could overcook it, but due to the fat content, it is hard to do (if you have experience). Brisket is a much tougher cook for “getting it right”. So much so, I don’t think many would compare the two in terms of complexity.

        Have fun with the probe, do a few of them with it and once you learn, you will likely find you won’t need it for this type of roast.


        • mrteddyprincess
          mrteddyprincess commented
          Editing a comment
          tbob4 already wrote what I was going to write. I probed every chance I got until I started seeing how pork butt cooks go and now I only use the probe to feel whether it's done or not. I don't pay attention to pork butt temps now that I have a good feel for it.

        No reason to have one for hours upon hours in the beginning of the cook. Later on, it’s up to you how close you monitor it (if at all).


          I do it because it’s easy and it works. No reason not to.


            No reason NOT to ... in fact, (in my case) it really IS necessary due to the need to show SWMBO what an essential TOOL the fancy WiFi probe thermometer is ... and why I will always need to buy more of them ...
            Last edited by MBMorgan; November 21, 2021, 12:36 PM.


              The key is your first post. you're doing. your first pork butt. The videos you see are likely made by people who've done dozens of those. I would use (and do use) a thermometer so you can get a feel for what butts look like at 150, 180, etc. Eventually you probably wouldn't need one. But there's not any reason to avoid their use.


                I'm with everyone else, if you have it, why not use it. Yes you can just go by time and start probing with an instant read every 30 minutes to an hour after the 12 hour mark.


                  IMHO, there's really no point in monitoring the IT until the last couple of hours of cooking. And even then, it just lets me know when to start checking for tenderness.

                  But I also like data, so I understand why someone would want to track the temperature and time from start to finish.


                  • rickgregory
                    rickgregory commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree on the utility of the internal thermometer for most of the cook but it's easier, to me, to just put it in there and let it ride.

                  • Steve R.
                    Steve R. commented
                    Editing a comment
                    rickgregory , it's definitely easier to just put it in there from the start, and I have always done it for that reason. Unless I'm starting with a frozen butt, which has become my go-to method over the past year or so.


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