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Mop for pork butt

edited 4:52AM in EggHead Forum
I just started using the big green egg. If I am smoking pork butt, is it best to use the indirect plate? In addition, recipe calls for mop sauce every hour. With the plate is it alright to mop every hour?


  • I use the plate setter for an indirect cook each time I smoke some pork butts. I place the plate setter feet up on top of the fire ring and place a drip pan on the plate setter to catch the drippings from the pork butt. The cooking grid sits on top of the plate setter's three legs.[p]Even though many prefer to not put anything in their drip pans because of the excellent moisture retention properties of the Big Green Egg, I fill my drip pan with plain tap water. This adds additional moisture and also helps prevent the grease drippings from smoking. Grease smoke is BAD.[p]BGE018.jpg[p]I have never mopped. Usually, the dome never gets opened from the time the butt goes on until it is time to take it off. I let the folks that eat my pulled port decide IF it even needs any sauce. I personally like mine straight up.

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    Timothy,[p]Don't mop if you want a great bark on you butt. Bark is the crispy black finish that holds the rub spice and smoke, in other words, the good stuff!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Timothy,[p] Number one rule of lo 'n' slo cooking is:[p]If you are looking, you are not cooking [p] Turn that mop into sauce. Sit, relax, watch TV, have a beer. Leave the Egg alone, unless your dome temp needs to be tweaked. When you put the meat on it will drop. Fight the urge to tweak the temp right then. Go back in the house have a beer, chase the wife around the house, go throw a football with your sondaughter. Every now and then look at the dome temp and remark to yourself "Dayum Fine Cooker I have" and go have another beer.
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    Celtic Wolf,[p]AMEN!
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    Timothy,[p]I've two pork shoulders on the Egg. Since last night at 8PM. meat temp is 170º Dome temp is 275º not going to touch the vents to try to get Eggie back down to 250º. It will come back by itself in a few minutes. If it doesn't then I may just TAP the lower vent once - gently.[p]Can't resist going out to sniff the morning air though the aroma of pork cooking, sunlight streaming through the tree branches and my neighbors wondering what I'm doing now!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Sundown,[p] and your neighbor is drooling too.. Now that is priceless..
  • jake42jake42 Posts: 932
    I would definately use the indirect method. However, I've done several pork butts and shoulders and never mopped any of them. I just make sure i have it heavily coaoted with whatever type of rub I'm in the mood for to create a good bark. Once I get a stable 250 degrees I put the wood in, let it start to smoke, put the meat on, close it and never open it again for the 18 or 19 hours it takes to get done.
    Dr. BBQ has a great sauce recipe for the finished product in his book.

  • Thanks to everyone for all of the advice.
    I have another question. Non green egg specific cook books reference 1 to 1 1/2 hour per pound cooking times, resulting in estimated cook time of 7 to 10 hours (I have two pork butts in weighing a combined 13 pounds, but am calculating cook time based on only the larger one which weighs 7 pounds). You suggest 18 to 19 hour cooking time. What is the difference in times? Time is not an issue for me, I just want it cooked correctly. Thanks.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    being ceramic, the egg retains so much moisture, mopping (in my non-award-winning opinion) isn't necessary. for one, it doesn't really moisten meat, like we might hope. if you want to add flavor, go ahead. but you needn't mop every hour for that. up front, or at the end...[p]for another, i'm a believer in keeping the dome closed and letting her do her thing. " if you are lookin', you ain't cookin' "[p]

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i love that mental picture. before my neighbor put his fence up, he'd sometimes see me come out of my house in the early a.m., tap the vent with my finger, and go right back in.[p]always wondered if he knew what was going on.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ChainsmokerChainsmoker Posts: 106
    cook until both are about 200 internal and you will be happy!

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Timothy,[p] Pork butts will take 1-2 hours per pound depending on the amount fat, connective tissue and bone. I have yet to have a pork butt take more then 10 hours to cook and those were 7.5 pound each.[p] A lot of this "difference" has to do where the cooker temp is being measured. Almost all recipes here will tell you 250 DOME. That will give you a grate tempof about 220 degs. This is were you want the grate. Recipes that are NOT egg specific tell you 220 degs but they don't specify grate or dome and usually mean grate. So you set your DOME temp to 220 and that will put your grate temp at 190-200. Your target for the meat is 200.. It is going to take a great deal of time to reach that temp.[p] Just remember if a recipe call for a temp and that recipe is not egg specific add 20-30 degs to it.[p] Do what we tell you and you will be fine.[p] Ohh you are right to only count one of the two butts, but you may be surprised to find out that the smaller one cooks longer. Keep an eye on both. Do not tie them together or place them up tight against each other. If you do they will be ONE 13 pound butt.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Timothy,[p]If you want to start a lively conversation with your cookin' buddies, ask about moping, basting or using a finishing sauce instead of a table sauce. [p]Some never do it, and some swear by it. Here is how I look at it. From the birth of barbecue, mopping has always been involved in the cook. It does moisten and protect the surface and can add some flavor as well. But I admit that the mop has to fit the meat. My chicken mops usually have oil or melted butter added and my pork mops are vinegar/pepper based mops. Two totally different flavor footprints. [p]One thing is for sure, you can't be mopping every 15 minutes. But with your Egg, the pit temperature recovery is so fast, every hour or when you turn, it's okay to mop. Try a few cooks and see how you like the results. [p]BTW you can use a spray bottle instead of a brush. This is really handy for ribs.[p]~thirdeye~

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • EddieMacEddieMac Posts: 423
    I love that...."Do what we tell you and you will be fine"....and Celtic Wolf is 100% RIGHT.....There are a ton of very experienced BGE cooks here that provide dead-on advice...and you'd be wise to take it....And do yourself a HUGE favor...visit the WessB and the sites....They're awesome and answer your questions before you think to ask them....[p]I've never mopped a BB yet....and they always turn out moist and good....And with Butts I run my dome temp at around 275 - 285....250 is great....But you won't taste any difference if you run at a slightly warmer temperature....and they'll get done just a bit sooner....Butts are awfully danged hard to mess up....Awfully hard....[p]Ed McLean....eddiemac
    Ft. Pierce, FL

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    eddiemac,[p] Well I didn't mean that to sound as authoritative as it did :)[p] WE = BGE Forum members :)[p] I do cook a pretty mean Pork Butt. Place 11th my second comp against some pretty tough competitiors and cooked on a Chargriller to boot.[p] My point is the recipes out in the rest of the BBQ world are geared toward Pellet Cookers, and Offsets where the Thermometers are more in line with the grates. BGE recipes are in line with the Dome Temp because that is where the probe is. There will be a difference between the too. I am sure that stike will give you the complete scientific reason for that, but plain and simple heat rises and the ceramaic dome reflex and concentrates the heat in the dome.
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