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Pork butt question

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    Pork butt question

    Hey all. Wanted to ask a question regarding a pork butt I smoked this last Sunday. I had a 9 lb butt, slathered with yellow mustard, then rubbed. Placed it on my RecTeq smoker at 225 until 165 then wrapped. Took it up to 205 when I pulled it (I verified temp with Thermoworks MK4. Let is rest one hour. When I went to pull the blade bone it resisted big-time. Started shredding the meat by hand and it acted like it wasn’t done yet, even though I cooked to temp. Does anyone have any thoughts on why this happened? I’ve done many butts in the past. First time this has happened.
    Thanks in advance for any advice I can get.

    Don’t cook to temp. The internal temp is an indicator to begin checking for tenderness. This can be done with a toothpick, skewer, probe thermometer, etc. I wrap my pork/briskets when I’m satisfied with the bark texture and color. I pull from cooker when it is probe tender. It should feel like peanut butter. I think you pulled too early.

    Thing to remember is each cut of meat is different from the next, so that shoulder that was done at 205F last time will not replicate to this time since fat and meat ratios vary from one hunk of meat to the other.


    • Swug
      Swug commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Ron. I think you are correct. It makes sense. Dumb mistake on my part.

    • Swug
      Swug commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you au4stree. That’s what I love about AmazingRibs.com, all the help, tips and encouragement that fellow cue-ers offer.

    • Greygoose
      Greygoose commented
      Editing a comment
      Swug,,,,,I like to classify the mistakes I make when BBQ’in as minor miscalculations,,,,, sounds better,,,

    Time in temp may be the science of BBQ, but cooking to perfection is the art of BBQ.

    Your post really is a fine example of this and a great reminder.

    When I BBQ I get asked the one question that drives in crazy, "When will it be done? Is it done yet? Is it done? Is it done yet?"

    I BBQ Therefore I Am
    Last edited by bbqLuv; June 8, 2021, 03:28 PM.


      I don’t recall that ever happening for me, but I usually wrap when it reaches 200 letting it rest in an ice chest for at least 2 hours. I don’t care for the results when I don’t let it rest for at least 2 hours. But, as other posts have pointed cook until it is probe tender is the safest way to tell if it is done.


      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        My comment exactly. Let that sucker rest in the cooler. If wrapped properly and allowed to finish off and ramp down that may have solved your undercooked issue.

      I usually take my butts up to 180 and wrap in foil with coupla ounces of stout or porter.
      Back on the smoker and take it up to 200 , unwrap and back on the smoker again till 205/207
      I don't always let my butts rest, depends on as bbqLuv says, how restless the natives are.
      And sometimes its the meat, could be some cute lil sow's butt, sometimes some tough old boars arse.


        The last one I did the bone came out clean, but it wouldn’t pull worth a darn. It was up around 210, wrapped, when I took it off the pit, but I didn’t cambro it. So I ended up chopping it and I actually liked it better than pulled. The chunks were juicy, and the mouth feel of a bite of the firmer pork was better IMO. The only thing I did different was the lack of holding time. I am going to try to duplicate it from now on.


          Just smoked an 8.5 lb this weekend. Tossed on at 225 and let it go until it stalled in the low 170's at around 9 hrs. Wrapped in B paper and started checking with probe at close to the 12 hour mark. Probe said 200-203 throughout, but it still was not probe tender in the center next to the probe reading 203. It took about another 45 minutes to an hour to get the center just like butter at a temp of 209. Let it rest 2.5 hrs in a cooler and it was fantastic. Family was all saying they ate too much. Mission accomplished in my book

          Had I pulled when temp was at 203, it would not have been ready.


            There ya go, probe/toothpick method 7, thermo-meter 1. I vote with the toothpick & use the thermo-meter as a gauge to start checking.


              Ran my pit a bit hot one time and had this problem. They def like a longer cook to let everything render properly. I run my pit around 250°F, and don’t wrap my shoulders until I pull them to hold. Keeping a full water pan keeps things moist. Pork shoulder is my longest cook. Usually 12-16 hours. I pull when the blade bone is ready to slide out easily.


                Thanks to everyone for all the helpful info. Will smoke another butt soon using yer suggestions and update the results.


                  The other thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to cook to probe tender unless your goal is to shred the meat. I've pulled a butt when it's in the 190s. The collagen is broke down and meat is tender enough to work as a sliced roast or as sliced chunks as Klflowers mentioned.

                  I have to say I like the texture of the meat a little better when I pull it a little sooner compared with cooking the meat to probe tender.


                    To echo some comments, I it was not fall apart shredding, then I would Slice it! Sliced pork butt is delicious as a sammich! I have pulled them off at 175 and pushed them into a cooler for an hour+, so I could have sliced pork. Also, i would definitely check with the thermometer in multiple places for final temp.


                      (Haven't read all of the above responses), but 205 temp and then an hour hold should've been plenty soft & shreddable. Have you verified your thermometer's accuracy? MK4s should be more accurate than anything, but there's always a chance it could be wonky. Also, did you verify the temp in many spots? You may have found a single hot spot when the rest wasn't that hot.


                      • Swug
                        Swug commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hey Huskee. I had a probe from the RecTeq in and then checked it with both my MK4 and classic. They were all very close together. You could have something tho with the single hot spot mention... Thanks.


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