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Butt Question while I get some sleep

Morro Bay RichMorro Bay Rich Posts: 2,227
edited 8:15AM in EggHead Forum
Is there any specific reason for foiling and putting a finished butt (197 deg) in an ice chest for a couple of hours? I'd like to forgo this and just pull it once it is cool enough to handle unless I'm told otherwise.


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Morro Bay Rich,
    i've done it when it was finished early, and i've also pulled the meat right away, when the butt took too long.[p]personally, i don't see a difference. then again, i'm not a certified bbq judge.[p]word around the campfire is that the juices reditribute. hmmm. i dunno. where do they go if you don't wait? ever leave a steak on a plate for ten minutes? the juice redistributes itself alright. all over the plate.[p]if your guests are there tapping their toes, don't make them wait two hours.[p]...the bark won't get soft either.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stike,
    Thanks for the quick response. I'm presently at 177 deg and I need to get to bed as it's 5:23 AM PDT here. Figure another 4 to 5 hrs to get to 197 deg.[p]No guests, just the wife, myself and 18 lbs of uncooked butt at the beginning last evening at 7 PM.

  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Morro Bay Rich,
    I have only done one, so I am not expert. It was GREAT after being in the cooler for two hours. Still hot (too hot to pull with your hands)and very tender. [p]That said, I really thought of it as a way to add some flexability to the cook time, so I would have the butt waiting rather than the guests. [p]While I have only done one myself, I have helped work at group picnics, where we were pulling dozens of shoulders, directly off the pitts and they were wonderful too. We were working inside large serving pans and never lost any of the juice.

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Morro Bay Rich,[p]I've done many butts both ways. From my experience if you pull the meat within 30 minutes of removing from the egg you will lose a lot of moisture. There will be a lot of juice left on the surface when you pull the meat. The finished product is still very moist, flavorful and tender, but there is that loss of juice. I usually just pour it all over the final pulled pork.[p]If you let it rest, when you pull the meat there is very little if any juice that runs from the meat. [p]There are two possible explanations. The first is that the juices redistribute throughout the finished product. The second is that they are lost to evaporation. If you wrap tightly in foil and put in a cooler, the evaporation is kept to a minimum.[p]OK, here comes the science a la Alton Brown. I hope I don't butcher this. To paraphrase, he once explained on his show that the proteins in the meat will actually rehydrate as they cool and accept the moisture molecules that are free in the meat, thereby relaxing the physical structure of the proteins and leading to a more tender, moist piece of meat. I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense.[p]That all being said, I know I prefer to let mine rest for at least two hours. It seems to be better that way.
  • BobS,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Looks like I have plenty of time before I have to make a decision ... maybe foil one and pull the other sans foiling.

  • Fidel,
    Thanks for the response. It is now 7 AM here and things are going along fine (183 deg @ 12 hrs into cook). [p]I once attended a book signing by Alton Brown. I asked him if he had ever seen Harlod McGee's book "On Food and Cooking; The Science and Lore of the Kitchen". He said "I have worn the cover off my copy I use it so much. It is the basis of my show." I guess it is time to get my copy out and have it decide whether I foil or not but I think your paraphrasing or Alton Brown was pretty clear.

  • Morro Bay Rich,
    Let us know it turns out, doing each one differently.

  • Ross in Ventura,
    After reading Harold McGee's book, I'm going to foil both.

  • Morro Bay Rich,
    You cant go wrong with the expert's I'm sure they will be wonderful.

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