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First Butt

edited 12:16PM in EggHead Forum
We'll be trying our first butt this weekend. Any advice about picking out the butt? What's all the talk about the "fat cap".[p]I have read the Elder Ward recipe and it looks like the way to go.[p]Any other advice would be appreciated.[p]P.S. Thanks to everyone for the advice on the tuna last weekend but my fish man wasn't thrilled with the tuna he had so it will wait to another day.[p]Big Cat


  • Mike OelrichMike Oelrich Posts: 544
    Big Cat,[p] The fat cap is the layer of fat on the outside of the butt (usually on one side only). It is good to get one with a thick fat cap because it is this fat that keeps the meat moist and "lubricated" as the internal temperature gets high and the water gets cooked out. When you put the butt on the grid, make sure the fat cap is facing up so the fat drips down through the meat instead of right onto the fire! Another thing I've found is that it pays to leave the rub on for a couple days befoer cooking. Apply the rub, then wrap the butt very tightly in Saran wrap (now that I've got a Foodsaver, I use that when the butt is small enough to fit in the 11" wide bags) and put it in the fridge. I let it sit there at least 1.5 days. Be careful, if you don't wrap it tightly, juice will leak out. ALso, I've been using picninc roasts instead of butts lately and they work fine, too. The reason I've been using them is because I can get them in bigger sizes than butts. Only thing is that I have to skin them first (begin careful not to remove very much of the fat!)[p]MikeO
  • MikeO,
    How thick is a "thick" fat cap?
    Is 1/2 lb. per person a reasonable amount?[p]The more I think about this the more questions. I hope I'm not being a pain in the butt.

  • Big Cat,
    Be sure to use indirect heat, low and slow. I used oak wood on my last pair and finished up with some hickory. Use a lot of brown sugar or raw sugar in the dry rub. It's a beautiful thing.

  • Mike OelrichMike Oelrich Posts: 544
    Big Cat,[p] 1/2" would be nice. Normally with the picnic roasts I've been using, the fat averages about 1/4" after I unskin them and that seems to work OK. The key here is tho be careful and look before you buy. Many grocery butchers will trim the roast before packaging it (to be helpful to us paranoid-fat-crazy consumers!), then put what used to be the fatty side against the opaque part of the package (because it is the bigger, flatter side) so there is no way to tell what you're getting. Hopefully, others will chime in and let us know what they can get in their neighborhoods![p] If you plan on eating the pork on rolls with an assortment of salds on the side, 1/2lb per person will probably work, but if you have some big eaters you'll definitely want more. A couple weekends ago, I had a total of nine people at my place. We ate about 3/4 of one 9lb (precooked weight -- remember, there are bones in there too) picnic roast. I'd err on the side of having a bit too much. You can always use the leftovers for pizza topping![p]MikeO
  • MikeO,
    Is there anyway to estimate the time based on the weight?

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    MikeO,[p]It is good to read a post from someone else that cooks the picnic cut. Skinning it is the only way to cook this meat.[p]I offer the following for your consideration and would greatly appreciate a response if you do try it. Thanks in advance.[p]Skin the picnic (one piece of skin), leaving as much fat on the skin side as possible. Expose the meat on the picnic. Store the skin/fat for later use. Rub the meat using your favorite mix and method. Smoke using a cold meat (33-38F) and allow the done temp to slowly rise to cooking temp. Cook until the internal reaches the begining of the plateau. Add the skin/fat back over the picnic and continue the cook until done.[p]The result is a very nice penetration of rub and smoke flavor with a higher percentage of chewy Mr. Brown to juicy Mrs. White than when cooking with a fat cap. Adding the cool fat layer on top extends the plateau cooking time, resulting in a better dissolving of the internal fats.[p]This method does add 45-60 minutes to the cook. Hey, its low and slow.[p]Spin
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,411
    Big Cat,
    All of mine have been between 2.5 and 3 hours pound at 250 indirect. Have fun!
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