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).
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.
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.
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!!
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!”
And some are thinking “16.5 hours!! I can do that in less time in my crokcpott!” Uh-huh…I’m sure you can.
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?
After 4 hours resting in a cooler, this butt was still almost too hot to pull with gloves on, but I persevered!!
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.
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?