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Pork Butts - More Bark

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    Pork Butts - More Bark

    I've been wondering about something:

    Why not cut a pork butt into three equal parts and smoke them together? It seems like they would cook faster and would produce more of the best thing about pork butts: bark. More surface area, more bark.

    Is there a reason this isn't advisable?

    I'v done halves a lot, but never tried thirds. Bark is the main reason I do this.


      I just did a 9lb butt yesterday and wished I would have at least halved it to increase the bark. Lesson learned.


        Your logic is sound, will give ya' more yummylicious bark.
        Not one single reason in th' whole wide world that I can think of that would make this a bad idea.
        Prob'ly take near th' same time.
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; December 2, 2017, 11:56 AM.


          I don't think it changes the cook time that dramatically. It's not like a steak that you are cooking to med rare and a thinner steak gets there quicker. You still need time to melt the collagen. It's probably a slight trade off of more bark for more dry pieces.


            I have done thirds. As long as you follow the cooking rules of thumb (spritz often, probe tender and cambro to finish) you'll be fine. Because the meat is cut is smaller pieces, drying out could be an issue.


              I can fit two full size so I start one half earlier and let that one go mostly the whole way without a crutch, then add the other at some point and crutch it when it has a good bark. Then they finish about the same time or put in a cambro, then pull and mix together.

              If if you let one go the whole time without a crutch and/or it’s too small it can get pretty dry.


                Yes, halving/thirding? it is always a winner. I cut mine down to 2lb hunks.


                • Pirate Scott
                  Pirate Scott commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What temp do you cook at? How long for a 2 Lbs Butt. The 4lbs I just did at 225-245 went around 14hrs.

                • Henrik
                  Henrik commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I cooked one two days ago at 225° F. It took exactly 6 hours to get to 203° F internal temp.

                Cook time is not dependent as much on weight as it is on thickness. I once had a 2x2 inch piece of pastrami that took just as long to cook as the pastrami flat (same thickness) did before it was tender.

                But yes--more pieces means more bark. Yum. Usually I only cut an average sized pork butt (12 lb or so) in two. Never tried cutting it into thirds--yet.



                  I’ve cut in two and prefer pieces over whole now!


                    I still have yet to try it this way. Maybe next week......


                      We cut ours because it is only the two of us. so we cook blade or we cook money meat. We still use trotters cause we WANT that gelatin for sauce and we've started using ears so we can smoke them for the doggies. only problem there is we were giving them to the doggies the other night and I had the "bright idea" to hold the treat at the side of Tangle's mouth so she would chew more and gulp less.

                      I forgot that The Amazing Tangle had actually starved in her street days and does NOT let food go easily and eats VERY fast! she was after that ear SO enthusiastically, she got the end of my right index finger! with her BACK teeth! CHOMP! (for reference, Boxers are part of the "Bully" breeds descended from the German Bullenbieser and have some SERIOUS jaw pressure!

                      Lucky for me, the Amazing Tangle realized almost IMMEDIATELY that she had more than the pig ear. rther than crushing my fingertip (which would have been easy since I have medical osteperosis. at my (ahem) relatively VERY yooung age<ahem> I have the skeleton of an 80 year old. a good chomp could have crushed my finger for good. thank heavens The Amazing Tangle is also smart! she let go and I only had some discomfort for a couple of days and a discoloured nail.

                      anyway, back to topic. yes, smaller cutting is a great idea. it can lead to moisture loss, be certain to put gelatin in your sauce, that will help immensely. it will give you more bark, less leftovers if you have leftovers, and, it will give you more smoke flavor since you also have more smoke being deposited on the surface.


                        I recently cut one on two pieces. It was a small 5.5 lb butt that I had originally thought I'd cook in two cooks, but was advised to cook it all at once. So I now have one piece that is 2.2 lbs, the other 3.3 lbs. Cooking both pieces side by side should be okay right? If I decide to wrap, should I wrap them individually or together? And should I temperature probe the larger piece? Btw, this will actually be my first time smoking a pork butt.

                        Appreciate any advice. Thanks.



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