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Two pork butts on a Medium BGE?

LostboyLostboy Posts: 9
edited April 2012 in EggHead Forum

As a bold first project on my brand new egg, I want to try two different pork butts/shoulders with a different rub on each. I have a Med BGE, just how large of a piece I should be aiming for (assuming I can get two similar sized cuts).  Two five LB butts on an egg leave enough room?


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited April 2012
    i think you'd be fine.  don't worry if they are touching, it won't take them any longer to be done
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,405
    I've done pork picnics that were 9 lbs, but I had to mess around trying to find a way that the dome therm probe did not stick into the meat.

    It is usually easier to cook at the raised grill (gasket) level. That way, there is plenty of room for a drip pan underneath. But it is possible to cook at the lower grill level with a rack sitting in a drip pan. That way, there is more space above for the meat, and the meat will be separated from what will probably be boiling juices.

    Many people have jumped right in, a few even starting with briskets. Myself, I needed awhile to learn how to get the heat I wanted. I think you could do 5 pound pieces, which might take 10 hours, or more if the meat crowded the grill.  Read thru the archives, look for Grandpas Grub vent settings tutorial. I think it can be done, but, as you say, it is a bold move.

  • I hope so. I bought a MBGE just a few hours ago for this very purpose. Actually - I think I asked the question (or used the search function) and discovered two fit quite well. I believe someone did four.

    A muslim, a socialist and an illegal immigrant walk into a bar 

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  • You'll be fine. I would suggest you get a Maverick remote thermometer before the butt cook. Remove the BGE dome thermometer and place both butts upright. They'll shrink up during the cook. I've fit two 8lbs butts on my med. At 235* it takes me approximately 13 hours to get to 195*. Give pecan chunks a try. That's all I use anymore.

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • LostboyLostboy Posts: 9
    Thanks for the help, I have a maverick on the way. It should be here before my weekend "experiment". 

    I am sure this is a very rudimentary question (I have done a search, so please forgive me if this has been answered).  In all the videos and instructions I have researched, I have seen different methods on what state the coals should be in before I do a slow and low cook.  Do I need a roaring fire to make sure the layer of coals are white (which I have read on a few sites) or do I simply need to make sure there's a flame going anywhere among my pile before I put the dome down (with daisy wheel off/open) til the smoke goes from white to clear?  My fear is that there will be hot and cool spots and uneven temperatures if I do the latter method?  Or will the fire more from center outwards as the night progresses?
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,851
    IME, on my 2 low-n-slows I lit the middle, and the fire will burn pretty much straight down.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,405
    When to put the dome down depends on the starting method. If starting with something that produces a flame, like a starter cube, the dome is best left open so the flame has all the air it needs. There should be some glowing coals when the flame goes out, and that is all that is needed for a low & slow. Put the dome down then.

    If all the coals on top are burning, it will take a lo-o-ong time for the temperature to come down enough.

    I use a weed burner, and light 3 spots around the edge. Takes about 20 seconds per spot with propane, 15 with MAPP gas. I lite 3 spots because on a few occasions, 1 went out. I prefer having at least 2 spots going.

    Usually, I leave the daisy off, and the bottom wide open till the temp hits 200, and then shut down to almost where the vents should be for a 250 dome. After a few more minutes, I set them more precisely, so that the dome temp settles in around 250 +/- 10. Usually takes at least 20 minutes more to burn clean. Egger stike recommends setting the vents to the 250 position immediately, so there will be no chance of overshooting the target temperature. This does work, but the reduced airflow means that it takes a lot longer to come to temperature and burn clean.

    It is possible to do a low & slow over a direct fire, but difficult. Most cooks use something to block the food from direct exposure to the burning lump. That way, the food is not exposed to hot spots, just hot air. I use a bunch of things. The best is an odd big aluminum pie plate that is 12" wide. I put some water in it later in the cook if the drippings are starting to burn.
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