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Two-stage pork butt?

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    Two-stage pork butt?

    OK, I know the topic line is cryptic but I wanted it to be short I've got a 9-lb bone-in pork butt I'm going to smoke on Saturday. I expect it'll be at least 6 lbs of meat by the time all is said and done and the bone removed.

    I was contemplating lopping off about a third of the butt when it gets to 190 F/88 C for slicing, and leaving the rest to get to 203 F / 95 C for pulling. We'd have the sliced for our meal, and portion up the pulled (well, we'd sample of course) for leftovers (it's just my wife & me).

    Do I risk screwing everything up by that major a move at that point? I can imagine exposing a big cross section of the meat could have bad effects. And at that temp, is it already likely to be too tender to mess with without the butt falling apart of its own weight?

    I guess it boils down to, do I need to just pick my format, sliced or pulled, and cook to that? Alternatively, is it worth cutting the piece before cooking, and just taking out the piece intended for slicing at 190? Thanks!
    Last edited by DaveD; January 16, 2022, 07:48 AM.

    #2
    Lop it off at trimming.

    Comment


    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      +2

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      +3

    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      +4

    #3
    I would cut it before cooking. Easier to manage, and you'll have more bark.

    Comment


    • Draznnl
      Draznnl commented
      Editing a comment
      +1

    #4
    Just thinking out loud. Maybe cut off the section you want to slice before cooking and then butcher twine the butt back together. Then when you hit the temp you want to slice the piece at, cut the twine and remove then continue your cook for the other part.

    This could be a terrible suggestion but it’s what popped into my mind.

    Comment


      #5
      Thanks folks, doing the surgery beforehand seems like the way to go. Will update here later today when I do the trimming.

      Comment


        #6
        Maybe leave the butt alone and add another cut of meat. Say a tenderloin for slicing?

        Comment


        • bbqLuv
          bbqLuv commented
          Editing a comment
          Like the way you think,
          I would add Pair both with PBR

        #7
        Originally posted by Starsky View Post
        Maybe leave the butt alone and add another cut of meat. Say a tenderloin for slicing?
        I don't need to cook any more meat than this at once... it's just my wife and me. And I want to see the difference between stopping at 190 to slice and going all the way to 203 for pulling, and using a single piece of meat is the obvious way to eliminate other variables. One of the many things in Meathead's book that resonates fully with me is "change only one thing at a time". As a lifelong experimental scientist (well, before I became a full time bureaucrat, that is), I can absolutely attest that that concept is bedrock.

        All of this assumes I can actually cut the thing properly... depends on just where the bone is situated. I'll find out in a few hours when I open 'er up to trim & salt ahead of tomorrow's cook.

        Comment


          #8
          My experience is that butts for slicing need to be pulled off the smoker well before the meat hits 195 to 205, i.e. pulled pork temperatures. Otherwise, the meat is just too fall apart to actually cut slices off. At the very least, pull that portion off the smoker at 195, and let the rest of it ride until probe tender (for me the magic number I set my alarm to is 203F).

          Here is a good article on the subject of SLICED pork butt over at Thermoworks:

          https://blog.thermoworks.com/pork/sm...or-sliced-bbq/

          They recommend 175 as the done temp for butts you intend to slice rather than pull.

          I smoked some butts for a lady at my church one time, and she wanted one of them for slicing, the other for pulling, and I followed that guideline, pulling the first one off after it hit 175, and letting the other roll along until 200 or so. She said both were good - she had one teenage son that preferred sliced to pulled for some reason. I've not done one for myself with this method, but might try some time.

          EDIT: If you do cook to higher temps, which will render more of the internal fat, you probably will have much better slicing results if you wait for the pork to cool down a good bit.
          Last edited by jfmorris; January 14, 2022, 10:41 AM.

          Comment


          • DaveD
            DaveD commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for this great info!

          #9
          My first thought was sliced butt sound good. went to the website, looks good too. My second thought is the try this also too.

          Comment


            #10
            I thought this was a rocketry post for a moment. A two-stage what?
            Last edited by Bruceski44; January 14, 2022, 03:53 PM.

            Comment


            • Jim White
              Jim White commented
              Editing a comment
              Exactly. I was just now coming back to this post to say I was disappointed to read it yesterday and not find someone attaching pieces of pork butt to a two stage rocket. I'm here for the video when that happens.

            • DaveD
              DaveD commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry to disappoint, gents! To compensate, I'll be sure to use as much mission control lingo as I can

            #11
            OK, I lopped off the "money end" of the butt after trimming the fat cap, and I'll pull that at 175 F/80 C and rest it for an hour or so for slicing. Looks like about 1/3 and 2/3, although I didn't weigh the two pieces. The rest I'll take all the way to 203/95 for pulling. I trimmed off just under one pound of fat. Here's the hunka pork (from Creekstone):


            Before trimming:
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220114_144312.jpg Views:	44 Size:	102.4 KB ID:	1159452

            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220114_144032.jpg Views:	42 Size:	174.4 KB ID:	1159456

            After trimming:
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220114_145015.jpg Views:	40 Size:	68.3 KB ID:	1159454
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220114_145003.jpg Views:	42 Size:	81.7 KB ID:	1159455

            Separated:
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220114_145141.jpg Views:	43 Size:	147.7 KB ID:	1159453

            All salted up:
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220114_145440.jpg Views:	41 Size:	186.3 KB ID:	1159457

            I may well stagger these, and put in the smaller piece a couple hours after the bigger, it will hit its target in less time of course. Gonna be very cold tomorrow, with a high of 30F, but calm wind and no precipitation, so I'm going for it.
            Last edited by DaveD; January 16, 2022, 07:49 AM.

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Followin right along, to see how yer cook goes, an online available fer any help I might be qualified to provide, Brother...

              Best of luck, an have a Great Cook, Amigo!
              Last edited by Mr. Bones; January 14, 2022, 04:42 PM. Reason: o

            • Draznnl
              Draznnl commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck on the cook tomorrow. That is a beautiful piece (well two pieces now) of meat.

            #12
            So, have you checked the forecast for tomorrow? 🙂

            Comment


            • DaveD
              DaveD commented
              Editing a comment
              Been watching it all week! Cold and cloudy, but dry with light winds. And I do mean dry: dew point at 0 F! Should be fine.

            #13
            A cold and calm morning, perfect smoking weather, 25F /-4C when I got out there an hour ago or so.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220115_071429.jpg Views:	15 Size:	125.0 KB ID:	1159748

            Got the two pieces rubbed with copious amounts of Memphis Dust, and put the bone-in piece on first, with the Pit Boss Copperhead on the "smoke" setting for the first hour, which has become my SOP for most things...

            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220115_072824.jpg Views:	15 Size:	169.3 KB ID:	1159749
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220115_073128.jpg Views:	15 Size:	162.0 KB ID:	1159750

            Stay tuned...!
            Last edited by DaveD; January 16, 2022, 07:50 AM.

            Comment


            • smokenoob
              smokenoob commented
              Editing a comment
              I must have slept through the launch……3, 2, 1, We have Butts on!

            #14
            Indeed smokenoob , Houston, we have cleared the tower! Go at throttle up.

            Forgot to include: running the smoker at a set point of 250F, and given the chilly conditions, it's been holding in the 225-240F range, just where I want it.

            Added the "money medallion" a little under three hours in, and am monitoring that with the Meater+. The bone-in piece was ready for a spritz as well.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220115_103842.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.80 MB ID:	1159805
            Click image for larger version  Name:	20220115_104048.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.44 MB ID:	1159806
            Last edited by DaveD; January 15, 2022, 09:51 AM.

            Comment


              #15
              Everything's cruising along nicely. The bone-in section is stalled in the mid-160s F / low 70s C, and the medallion just breached 150F / 65C, definitely catching up, but looks like it's fixin' to stall too. I have spritzed a couple times, and topped up the water pan, but otherwise hands-free. It's only a bit past 2pm, so we're in good shape.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	20220115_134346.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.44 MB ID:	1159870

              Here's the (somewhat rudimentary) data plot from an app I use called SmokeLog, which I'm using to track the bone-in piece using the two wired probes (now only 4 deg F different, I've been recording the average). Looks pretty stallin'.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Screenshot_20220115-141358_Smoke Log.jpg Views:	0 Size:	183.2 KB ID:	1159871

              T profile on the medallion from the Meater+. The big drop is when I spritzed & topped up the water pan, second small one just spritz & photos. Temperature bounces back very quickly, and you can see the inflections on the temp profile from the spritzes.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Screenshot_20220115-141423.jpg Views:	0 Size:	388.4 KB ID:	1159872
              Last edited by DaveD; January 16, 2022, 07:52 AM.

              Comment

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