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dry pork butt

uncledaveuncledave Posts: 90
edited December 2011 in Pork
I love to cook a pork butt for pulled pork. I have had good success doing a 10 lb. bone in butt at 230 degrees at the grate for 15 hours. After I pull it and put it in a crock pot to keep warm it seems to dry out. Is there something I could add after I pull it to keep it moist?


  • I double wrap in foil then wrap with large towel and place in dry closed cooler for couple hours.
    Large & MiniMax in Lexington, KY
  • I also do that. I'm just saying once it sits for an hour in a slow cooker keeping it warm during a football game it tends to dry out. Was wondering if there was something I could put in it to add moisture. I don't really want to use barbecue sauce as I want my guests to choose how to fix theirs.
  • I put mine in a slow cooker also. I always add about 1 1/2 cups of beef stock to keep it moist. Don't think it effects the original taste enough to notice. I often cook my pulled pork the day before I'm going to serve it and then reheat it in the slow cooker with the stock and I think it tastes like it was just pulled..
  • Do you leave the lid off of the crock pot?  Leaving the lid on when possible will help.  Also a vinegar based sauce or a mop sauce will help.  Put a little in there ever so often.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • I do leave the lid on. I will try the beef stock idea next time. I don't have a vinegar based sauce recipe.
  • I think the idea behind the foil wrap and towels/cooler approach is to keep the butt warm until serving time.  That way, you don't have to pull it until you're ready to eat it.  If you wrapped it in foil so that no juices can escape, a quick reheat should be all that's needed to achieve the same juiciness fresh from the egg.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited December 2011
    moisture in pork butt is fleeting. that's just how it is.

    two totally different things in pork butt make us perceive it as moist: melted gelatin (converted from collagen), and water.

    the gelatin is slippery, and 'wets' the surface.  it's what makes the pulled pork, which is essentially way overcooked (dry) pork taste soft and moist.  it's dried out overcooked pork re-wetted with some thing that doesn't evaporate, gelatin. that gelatin is why it is stiff the next day in the fridge.  it re-congeals.  and heating it up takes as much energy as making gelatin from collagen in the first place, which means the pork can get even drier with each reheating.

    the other thing that gives meat its moisture is water.  when you cook a steak or pork chop to medium rare, you have a lot of water left.  lot of so-called 'juices' on the plate and in the meat.

    but when you heat a giant chunk of meat for hours on end at 250, and then take that meat to just a few degrees under the actual boiling point of water, you are driving off that water.  then, shredding it, you expose what little water there was left to the air.  that water is at 200 or so degrees, and so it evaporates quickly, leaving you banking entirely on the gelatin to trick your brain into thinking the meat is moist.

    you can disguise the loss of water by adding broth and sauces, but the very nature of pulled pork is a fleeting perfect thing which can't be then bent to your will. 

    once it is pulled, the moisture is gone.  but letting it cool whole, in an attempt to 'keep moisture in' is a fool's errand.  because you will need a lot of heat again to melt the gelatin, and that will send what little moisture (which actually was retained by wrapping and cooling the meat) heading for the hills.  you'll dry it out more in reheating, and it will seem that much drier than if you just pulled it and ate it.

    if i can't have it right then and there, immediately after cooking (which is rare), i pull and put into ziploc bags for reheating the next day.  it'll be good, but it can't be as good as it was when first cooked.

    anything left gets vacuum sealed and frozen, or used in things like ABTs, pizza, etc, where the lack of moisture won't be as apparent

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    I'm on board with it. Sounds sooooooo good. I'm guessing you are putting in apple jelly? The only reason I ask is because it's not like you to put comas,,,,,, where you didn't mean for them to go. Would the portions be equal parts cider and jelly with half the amount of vinegar? Say 1/2, 1/2 and 1/4 cups then reduce?
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    Thanks, this sounds like it's right up my alley for some sliced butt!!!
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • You can add cola also.

    Little rootbeer, little apple juice,little orange juice, drippings...

    I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    I saw a recipe for mountain dew brined turkey legs. How is the dew? I have made the Pioneer Woman's apple dumplings with dew - very good. Hummmmm, just wondering.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • Apple cider has always worked best for me, never tried cola or the dew. sounds interesting though
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    Wreckt01, next time you make a butt divide it up and try some new flavors. Variety is the spice if life.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    What did I do now? Slice butt or make meatless chili? I don't know what is funny - I am just a little thick at times.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,479
    Oh, OK, now I get it. Well it's just something that I always say so I didn't read it the same as you did. I just like variety and can't stand to get in a rut of only one way being the right way. I like options. Thanks for explaining, my gray got in the way again.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • Something that has worked for me...

    I use apply juice for the drip pan, refilling as necessary during the cook.  I strain the drip pan after removing the butt and keep the remainder.  After pulling pork I add a small amount back into the pulled pork and mix it all up.  Adds good flavor and moisture.

    When I put in ziplock to put in the fridge I will also add a small amount of the liquid back to the ziplock before putting in fridge.  We've had nice and moist bbq out of the fridge for a couple of days.

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