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Rookies first Boston Butt

Bueller218Bueller218 Posts: 7
edited December 2011 in Pork
Started my 1st pork shoulder last night.Checked at 3am and it looked like the fire was almost going out. Pit temp was dropping. Made a few slight adjustments and pushed some of the un-charred charcoal and hickory chunks into the hot coals. Guess that was a rookie mistake as a few hours later I woke to a temp of 325. Made some more adjustments and burped the dome to drop the internal temp. Hope I did not mess up the shoulder.

Added more water and apple juice concentrate to the drip pan

I am now once again around 220 but slowly dropping again. It seems difficult to keep it steady below 250.

Still learning but man is this fun.
Large BGE

Comments

  • DMurfDMurf Posts: 481
    I remember my first overnight cook, I chased temp all night long...

    I keep my low and slows at 250, as many have found this is the Ronco temp just set it and forget it. If your fire is going out then there is an air flow problem, assuming you have plenty of lump in the firebox, use a wiggle rod to open up the grate holes. Take a little care in loading your EGG, I am a hypocrite here as I just dump in lump and light. 

    Be patient, 325 will not impact your cook significantly. I did a Butt last week that took 20 hours at about 250, delicious. The last part of the cook was at 350 as I was hungry!
    David
    BBQ since 2010 - Oh my, what I was missing.
  • That did the trick. Going to need to find a better wiggle rod but alot of ash fell through and the temp is climbing. I admit that I was not real careful with dumping in the lump.

    Thanks for the help
    Large BGE
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 14,081

    Here's a link that will give you lots of info about low&slow fires/pulled pork. 

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/recipes2.htm#pork

    When I'm doing a long cook, I always clean out the used lump and load fresh large pieces on the bottom, building my way up.  I start the fire generally bottom dead center and once the lump is lit then load the middle up to the level of the rest of the charcoal.  Have had good success without (now jinxed:)) losing a fire.  Can easily run 20+ hours (250*F dome) when loaded about half-way up the fire ring, LBGE. 

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.
  • We've all chased temps before - just part of the learning curve so don't stress over it.

    A real key for long cooks is starting with a clean (or relatively clean) egg free of a bunch of little stuff and ash around the grate.  I have even gone to the trouble of pouring out the lump into a wash tub and hand picking the charcoal that goes in first.  That way I get enough larger pieces in the bottom to avoid choking the fire up with little stuff. 

    Another thing is that it is better to wait until you have a stable fire at the temp you want before putting on a big chunk of meat.  Then when you do put that meat on you can go inside and watch TV or mow the yard or something, but the main thing is not to fiddle with the egg.  Just let it return, and it will, to the previous temp.  Avoid a lot of adjustments.  It takes time to become confident with it.

    I remember the first overnight butt cook I did.  Stayed up 'till midnight then set an alarm for 4am.  Now I go to bed at the regular time and get a good night's sleep.  Just let the egg do it's thing.
    Jackson, Tennessee. VFL (Vol for Life)
  • I hate to agree with Tt about anything but since it's Christmas and all......but anything 300 degrees and down is fine.

    The three most important things to remember about cooking a butt are:

    1) Make sure you have enough lump. It should be well above the firebox and near the top of the fire ring.

    2) Make sure your temp is stabilized because.....

    3) You are putting a big mass of cold meat not only between the heat source and your temp probe but also not that far from your temp probe itself. The temp is going to drop for quite awhile. The biggest mistake people make is trying to adjust the vents WAY too soon. If you have made sure your temp is stabile before you put the meat on the you need to leave it alone. Do not touch a thing.

  • The pork turned out great! Had family over tonight and got compliments from everyone.

    Thanks for all the tips, I will know what to do different next time.

    Merry Christmas all!
    Large BGE
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