Overnight Pork Butt With Auber Instruments Pit Controller

Pork Butt

     Last week, we decided that it had been too long since we have done a pork butt. It just seems like we have been too busy lately to do an overnight cook. Either we’re out of town, or I’m working a weekend or something else comes up. As much as we like to do them, it just hasn’t fit in with our schedules. This past weekend, or I should say Thursday night as I had Friday off, was the perfect time.

     Not sure how much this butt weighed. Quite frequently, you will find two butt together in a cryovacced package. You might not notice there are two unless you look closely. Together, these two weighed about 19.5lbs. One went into the freezer, either for sausage down the road or pulled pork at a later date. The other one got slathered with mustard and rubbed down with Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust (Coarse).

Pork Butt going on the Egg

     One thing I was really excited about was that this was going to be my first time to try out my Auber Instruments Pit Controller on an overnight cook. If you aren’t familiar with pit controllers, they have a temperature sensor that you place near the meat in your smoker. The pit controller then monitors the temperature inside. If it begins to fall below your programmed temperature, it turns a fan on that blows air over the coals in your smoker, thereby raising the temperature. As it nears the desired temperature, the fan begins to cycle between on and off. Once the temperature has been reached, the fan turns off. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the easy, condensed version that I can understand.

     For this butt, I ran the Egg at 250F, placesetter legs up (wrapped in aluminum foil for easy clean up later), no drip pan, and used a few pecan chunks and some hickory chips.  One problem I have had since getting my Egg, is that long cooks (like butts and briskets) just don’t seem to get the smoke and the black, meteorite-like bark that I used to get with my old offset. So I tried something a little different this time. For the first 4 hours, on the hour, I would lift up the placesetter and throw a couple more pecan chunks and a handfull of hickory chips on top of the coals.

3 hours in

     After about 4 hours in (around 2 am), I decided to call it a night. As this butt didn’t need to be ready until dinner Friday night, I turned down my pit controller to 225 and hit the sack with nary a worry in my head about the fire going out or spiking in the middle of the night.

8 AM, 10 hours later

     Friday morning, I woke up a lil before 8 and went to check on the butt and the above picture is what I saw. The temperature of the Egg was at 223 F….2 degree difference from what I set it at after being left alone for 6 hours. Not too shabby!!

2:30 PM, 16.5 hours later

     Around 2:30 Pm, 16.5 hours after I had started, it was finally done. I know what some of you maybe thinking. “You burnt the hell out of it!”

Another view

     And some are thinking “16.5 hours!! I can do that in less time in my crokcpott!”  Uh-huh…I’m sure you can.

Bone slid out clean

     One way to tell when your butt is done is if the bone slides out clean with no resistance. Or you can just shoot for around a temp of 200. Once this butt was done, it was wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a small cooler filled with towels to await Mrs. G’s return home from work. At this point, your butt can safely rest for around 4 hours without any worries. After 4 hours, the meat will still be piping hot and will hurt your hands to pull it by hand.

     And for those who can do their pork butt in a crockpott in less time….does it come out looking as good as this?

Hand-shreddable porky goodness!!

After 4 hours resting in a cooler, this butt was still almost too hot to pull with gloves on, but I persevered!!

All pulled

     To go along with the pulled pork, I made a North Carolina-style Vinegar Sauce and some coleslaw from a recipe in Steve Raichlen’s BBQ USA. I’m not claiming this is authentic for that region, so don’t get all up in arms against me if its wrong. I’m just a good ole Texas boy who’s more familiar with brisket than butts. I was just going along with a recipe I found that tastes pretty good to me.

Chow Time!

     This was some smokey porky goodness!! Maybe one of the best butts I have ever done. Adding chunks and chips throughout the beginning of the cook, while a bit of a pain, really helped me to achieve that bark that I had been shooting for. And having the pit controller really eased my mind and allowed me to get some needed shut eye after having an 11 day straight run at work. Was it needed? Probably not, but boys and their toys. It was nice to just kick back and let it do all the work for me.

    9 lbs of pulled pork is a lot of food for just two people. What the hell are we going to do with all those leftovers?

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25 thoughts on “Overnight Pork Butt With Auber Instruments Pit Controller

  1. My favorite part is the crunchy part. OMG. That is beautiful!!!

    Great job.

    And anyone who doesn’t appreciate the bark, isn’t normal.

    • Lol. I think pork butt in a crockpot is just wrong, but I can see why people do it. They don’t have smokers or the time. I guess I should give them a pass, but it doesn’t compare to that smokey goodness you can only get from real fire.

  2. What to do with the extras?? I’m available for dinner. I know my husband won’t mind. Heavens, that looks amazing. I must get myself a pit controller. Wow.

    • Haha. Sorry, bagged and tagged and froze all the leftovers for another day already.

      FYI – there are all kinds of pit controllers (with adaptors for all kinds of grills/pits) ranging from simple $99 to hundreds of dollars. Some brands are BBQ Guru, Stoker, Pitmaster iQue, Auber Instruments and I’m sure there are others. Some are wi-fi enabled so you can adjust them without even being home! I just got a simple one, though.

  3. Thanks for the feedback on the Auber controller. I’ve been considering one for my egg for a few months now but haven’t pulled the trigger. Do you have any hesitations recommending it at this point? To me the only drawback is the boring design. Besides that as long as it works that’s minor.

    Nice bark too!!!

    • I have no problems recommending it. Works great. But you do have to realize that it isn’t the “best” one on the market. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and stuff. It is just a basic pit controller. I will warn you that it will overshoot your target temp a bit, and then fall below it, then overshoot a lil less and cycle like that till it finally nails that target temp (although I think all pit controllers do to some degree)….you have to be ready for that and accept it. This is bbq, not rocket science and even though some people act like 250F is some magically number, its not. As long as it averages out in the long run.

      Other entry ones you can look at are the iQue110 and the PartyQ…but I have no experience with either. Who cares about the boring design as long as it works?

      • Yes I’m familiar with the higher end models but don’t need to spend 3-4 hundred for my use. I have one egg and can’t envision myself getting a much bigger cooker or even a second one. The design on this really is secondary. If it was my watch I would care but this not so much. :)

      • I agree. They have some cool options, but I’m never going to be away from home and go online to check my pit temperature and adjust it from a phone or computer. Teh basic models all seemed like they would fit my needs.

  4. I’ve had the same problem with getting enough smoke with the egg… Just did a butt this weekend and same thing. I will have to try your trick next time. Also need a fancy pit controller so I can sleep more than 2 hours at a time :)

    • Try it out and let me know how it works for you. A little more work, but I think it was worth it. Pit controllers are nice (but not necessary) for getting some sleep. I’m glad I have one and its nice to go to bed and not worry about your fire going out during the night.

    • I also have the same problem with smoke volume. If you don’t add enough there’s not a lot of smoke and if you add to many all at once it affects tempature. This is the best trick. Just add them here and there as you go.

  5. Griff I have made your braised short rib four times and it has become my “go to” egg meal. I am going to make a port butt for only the second time tomorrow for a party on saturday. I hope it comes out half as good as yours looks. I don’t have a therma pen, can you confirm that you take the butt off at 200? Thanks!

    • Dag nab it! Guess I’m too late seeing this for my response to mean much. Pork butts tend to vary, but they can be done anywhere between 195 and 205. Best indicator is the bone. Grab hold of it and give it a good wiggle. If it seems like it will pull free with no resistance, its done. How did it turn out?

      Glad to ehar that you like the short ribs. I need to make them for the Missus again real soon. One of her faves as well.

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