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More butt questions...

Ellen aka GormayEllen aka Gormay Posts: 63
edited 2:08AM in EggHead Forum
I read an earlier post in which someone's fire had gone out while cooking a pork butt overnight. The writer had concerns over whether the meat was safe to eat. This is not the first time I have read about this predicament and have concerns about cooking something overnight.[p]Is there a way to cook a small (say 5 lb) butt without it being an overnight cook. Can it be started early in the morning to be ready to be pulled at 6 PM?. If not, could it be started early in the morning the day before and cooked as late as needed and then reheated the next day? If so, would one mix in the vinegary sauce before reheating or wait until it is hot to add.[p]I have a small butt in the freezer and am just waiting for the right occasion to make it. As a fairly, new user, I don't feel confident sleeping through the cook even if I employed a remote thermometer. I also like to do as many things ahead as possible so a day ahead cook is appealing. I wouldn't, however, like to sacrifice quality I appreciate any comments you experienced EGGers can give this Bklyn bred, AZ transplant who never even heard of pulled pork until she happened onto this site :-)[p]Ellen


  • Ellen aka Gormay,
    I thought you were going to ask if the Egg made your Butt look big.. Heck yeah you can do it in one day. at 250° a five pound butt will be done in ten hours, easy. You can cook it at 275° if you want.. It will be fine.. Pulled pork re-heats great too.. [p]

  • Ellen aka Gormay,
    You can try scoring your butts to get them to cook faster.[p]It's really simple. Just make cuts 1/3 the way through, about an inch apart both length wise and width wise. Do this on the top and bottom.
    This will also allow you to put more rub on in the cuts and get it down further in the meat.[p]Cook to an internal temp of 150-160 and then wrap it tight in plastic wrap and foil.[p]The butt will explode right through the temperature plateau and be done a lot sooner than 10-12 hours.[p]We did this on 30 butts last year at a charity gig. The butts went on at 9pm (some were 8 and 9 pounders) and the first ones came off at 2am. 5 hours. Done.[p]I'll take some pictures of the process this weekend as we are doing another chairty gig and I'll post them next week.

  • Jolly Roger,[p]You really wrap it in BOTH plastic wrap and foil, then put it back on the egg?[p]The plastic wrap really surprised me. I am FAR from the expert, but I would think the wrap would melt, or at the very least break down at temperatures like that for extended periods. [p]Five hours for a butt though - WOW. Do you feel that you lose any quality versus a longer cook?[p]- Mike

  • Charcoal Mike,
    Yes in deed. PLASTIC WRAP. This is NOT a post april fools day post.[p]The trick is to wrap it tight in 3 or 4 layers, making sure it's well sealed. Dare I say this, the butt will cook in it's own juices.[p]BUT, you have to wrap it in foil as well. If you don't, well you can only imagine.[p]Again, I'll post pics of this process next week.

  • Jolly Roger,[p]Thanks for the easy to do response. I am not surprised about the plastic wrap as some are made to tolerate extreme heat especially when used in microwave cooking. I even saw a cooking demonstration in Provence where the chef seasoned a pureed, raw chicken mixture which he then wrapped in plastic wrap (twisting each end tightly). He submerged these "quenelles" (soft sausage like rolls) in very hot water to poach. This technique worked perfectly and the plastic held up well.[p]It sounds as if the quality of the finished product will be fine as this meal will be for family and not a competition. Foregoing an overnight cook and being able to monitor Mr Butt's progress is a great advantage. Timing, however, is still an issue. I would like to know how to treat the meat if it gets done hours early. I ask from the perspective of safety i.e. how long to keep warm, when to refridgerate, when to add the sauce etc. I also need to know how is the best way to reheat and serve.[p]TIA for all and any help now and in the future[p]Ellen
  • Ellen aka Gormay,
    as long as you keep the butt intact, wrapped in the plastic and foil, and above 140ºF, you'll be fine.

  • Q.N.E. tyme,[p]Cute...! No, "my" butt needs no augmenting assisstance from the EGG, thank you very much. I just remember what my mother told me as a young girl, "Marilyn Monroe had a big rear end and it didn't do her one bit of harm!" Butt, that's another story :-)[p]E
  • Ellen aka Gormay,[p]If your meat finishes early, make sure it is wrapped in aluminum foil and then (if you want) you can wrap it in a towel and then throw it in a cooler. It will stay above the 140º in the cooler for hours. Although, you might want to put some old newspapers or something on the bottom of the cooler, because it might warp it...
  • Ellen aka Gormay,[p]Thanks for the info, guys. I guess, keeping a 140+ degree temp is the key.[p]E
  • Ellen aka Gormay,
    Last Saturday I cooked 3 butts on my large egg starting at 6:00 AM and taking them off at 7:00. I rushed them a bit because I was hungry and pulled them off at about 195 degrees. They were still delicious. They were 4.33 lb, 4.88, and 4.6 lbs. All had the bone removed. There was a bit more fat than other times but nevertheless good. I should have left these on until about 205 degrees.

  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    Charcoal Mike,[p]Plastic wrap will fall apart at temps in excess of 265º doesn't really melt. So, low and slow cooking and even boiling will not hurt this stuff.[p]Stogie
  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    'buffy',[p]When doing low and slow cooking the terms "rare, medium and well done" do not apply. For instance brisket, needs to get to 1885-190º to become tender. MUCH above the well done state, but it needs to get there to be tender. [p]Same with pork need 200º+ to get the pork to the point where you can pull it easily.[p]Now, doing other cuts of meat..pork loin, beef roasts, etc. even though you may be cooking them on the smoker, you will need to stick to the traditional temps for doneness.[p]Hope this helps![p]Stogie
  • Stogie,
    If it's shielded by foil, it can go higher. I've had my WSM running at 300 before with a wrapped butt on there and the plastic was intact. It's weird. It melts to itself like a big shrinky dink, but doesn't melt to anything else.[p]I'll take some pics this weekend of the whole process, start to finish, and post them next week. Hopefully monday.

  • 'buffy',
    Not to say you're wrong, but I'd check the accuracy of your thermos. There ain't no way IMHO of shreddin' a butt at 180. But then again, you might have more upper body strength than me and using a weedwacker to pull them! :-)[p]Test 'em out. I think they're running a little cool on ya.

  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    Jolly Roger,[p]I have to agree. I have had butts that have been at 190º internal and wouldn't pull easy. [p] time try taking it above 200 and see if you notice a big difference.[p]Ultimately, YOU DA JUDGE! So, cook how you like it![p]Stogie
  • Jolly Roger,[p]Wanting to copy your post, I reread it and realized that you did not mention what temperature you used for the cook. I've seen instructions to cook butts at temperatures ranging from 180 to 250 degrees. What do you recommend with your "scored method?[p]TIA[p]E.
  • 'buffy',[p]I don't know that you can overcook asnything in the Egg...I have, on more than one occasion, been distracted (beer, young girls around the pool, beer)while Q'ing and have left whatever on the Egg WAY too long...Everything just seems to get better and better.[p]I once cooked a whole beef tenderloin...Cooked it to the traditional 135 degrees for rare. When I cut into it, it kinda jerked and whimpered, so I put it back on...pulled it back off at 145, still too rare (and I like my meat RARE!)...I finally felt it was done at 165 degree internal temp and my twenty party guests all heartily agreed.

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