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My biggest butt ever... or How I Saved My Butt

calikingcaliking Posts: 7,064
The setting: a hellacious week. Have not had more than 3-4hrs of sleep all week, working the weekend, and had to make some pulled pork for a work gathering Sun afternoon. No time for an overnight cook (my preferred method), since I'm working this weekend (@Springram : see? I work too :) ).

The plan: Cook a 10 lb pork butt hot n fast Fri evening/night, FTC, pull, and refrigerate until Sun. Warm it in the oven and take it over to the party.

First the happy part. Picked up a 10lb butt, which is the biggest single but I've cooked before. This is the second butt I've done on the egg. There will be about 20-25 mouths to feed. Slathered it up with mustard, and threw some Smokin Guns Hot + Simply Marvellous Peppered Cow on it. This thing was huge - almost filled the 11"x17" rack I had it on.

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All ready to go, raised indirect. Some pecan wood for smoke. 
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Ramped it up to 400°F dome and let it rip.

Then things starting going awry. I noticed that after a while, a lot of thick white smoke was billowing out. Didn't smell all that great. Definitely not the aroma of rubbed porky goodness I'm used to. Similar thing happened a few weeks ago when I made some pork at my sister's house, but at that time i though the acrid taste on the meat and all the smoke was coming from orange wood chunks which i had never tried before. I though the meat had taste bitter and lousy at that time, but everyone else though it was good. maybe they were too polite to say otherwise.

Then it hit me. I heard sizzling. There was no drip pan.

AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!! CREOSOTE!!! 

Pulled the butt off. IT was 125°F. Wrapped in foil and put it back on. It didn't look too bad at this point.
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I knew i could kiss any bark goodbye, but the folks i am serving would not notice. They would notice if the meat tasted like sh!t though.

I've made many butts on my UDS in the past. Only used a heat deflector or water pan for later cooks, after having done a few. But the coals are almost 2' from the meat in that setup. The first time I did a pork but in the egg, I had used a drip pan with water in it, but forgot to the last cook and with this one. What a dumb@ss.

Anyways, the cook powered through and was done about 11:30pm when the IT hit 203°F. Total time was about 4-5hrs. The bark was not to my standards but the meat tasted fine. FTC for 2 hours, then pulled it all apart at 1:30am. In the fridge about 2:30am. I had a big pan of puled pork, so I was happy.
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The meat was tender and juicy, but little to no bark, and the smoke flavor was on the low side. This is what I expected from a foiled, hot n fast cook. The eggware cap for my large was all gunked up and nasty, so i gave it a good scrubbing. Opened up the top and bottom vents on the egg and let it go for a (monitored) clean burn. Thick white smoke billowed out for a while and then it burned clean. Near-disaster averted. 

I'll be taking it over to the party in a little bit. Will be served Carolina-style - Blues Hog Red sauce for NC style and Blues Hog Honey Mustard for SC style, on Hawaiian King rolls to make pulled pork sliders. Didn't have time for slaw, otherwise I would have liked to have made jalapeno buttermilk coleslaw as the side.

Some questions for the pros:
- is a drip pan an absolute must when doing a pork butt?
- can I go hot n fast raised direct?
- would lo n slo yield good results raised indirect? how about raised direct?

Thanks for looking. I'll post an update after the party. 

#1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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Comments

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191

    This is the "liquid flavor" normally found in a turbo style cooked butt.  It is being mixed back into the pulled pork.  It is never dry..... 

    I never use a pan, only a thin piece of foil for the drippings to fall on and evaporate.

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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 8,251
    I blame your lump...your pork would have been out of this world if you used WGWW.   :P
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,064
    @cazzy: there you go being a sh!t-stirrer :) Can't be the lump - I've turned out damn tasty pulled pork burning Stubbs briqs in my UDS, and using "inferior" lump the first time I made a pork butt on the egg !

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • cazzycazzy Posts: 8,251
    caliking said:
    @cazzy: there you go being a sh!t-stirrer :) Can't be the lump - I've turned out damn tasty pulled pork burning Stubbs briqs in my UDS, and using "inferior" lump the first time I made a pork butt on the egg !
    LMAO!  Sometimes it's just put on a tee and I can't help myself.  

    I was obviously playing.  Here is my real response:

    Why were you doing turbo...like mickey does it?  He has a method to his madness so i'm wondering if you were following a process or just winging it.

    I always use a foil pan for butts, especially since they have really high fat content so will render off quite a bit.  For briskets and ribs, I use a foil ring.  In addition, I elevate the foil ring or pan off the stone so the drippings dont cook.
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,469
    Did you say raised direct?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,700
    I used a foil pan, just set it on four 1/2 inch steel nuts on the plate setter to keep the drippings from burning.  Never any problems that way.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,064
    edited June 2013
    @cazzy: I know you were joshing.... Just throwing some back at ya. I was cooking turbo because of the time constraint. Last time I did a turbo butt was in my UDS, and I may have used a water pan.

    @Chubbs: I cooked it raised indirect, but want to know if anyone cooks pork butts raised direct, either lo n slo or turbo. I don't think it would be possible to do raised direct at turbo temps.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • henapplehenapple Posts: 14,596
    What's this jalapeños, buttermilk slaw you speak of.?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,064
    Here ya go @henapple.

     I modified the recipe and added the jalapeno because i wanted it to have some kick to it. In the second paragraph, where it tells you to mix the garlic buttermilk, etc, I put 2 jalapenos (chopped), EVOO, lime juice (instead of lemon), and the garlic and ran it until finely done. Then mixed as per the recipe. I forgot to drain the slaw for 2 hrs, so it was kind of like a cabbage salad, but I liked that crunchy texture more than the soft texture that coleslaw usually has. I served it at the same party last year, and the crowd liked it too.



    Buttermilk Herb Coleslaw from The Best of Fine Cooking #65 Summer Eats 2012
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    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 7,064
    edited June 2013
    Sorry - forgot to post the post-party update (also sorry for the unnecessary bump).

    Crowd loved the pulled pork sliders. I think there were 17 people there. I liked the Blues Hog Red a little better than the Honey Mustard sauce. Wold have been even better with more heat. About half of the pulled pork was leftover, so packaged it up into aliquots for the host is a widower and my colleague. That was the plan - to leave him with enough meat to enjoy for later meals.

    It was a nice party, and we all had a good time. I had King Ranch Chicken casserole for the first time. I did not know this was a TX staple. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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