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Pork butt - drip pan & grate questions

twlangantwlangan Posts: 293
edited May 2012 in Pork
Planning my first pork butt this coming weekend for a Sunday family picnic. Read a lot of posts and have a plan in place for the cook, but wondering what you guys are doing for a drip pan. Are you putting water in it to prevent drippings from burning - and if so, how often do you have to add water to replace what steams off? Cold water or are you pre-warming it?

Also - I have a Hi Q grate coming this week. I plan to do my cook during the day so I can keep an eye on the first one. Would you recommend using a Hi Q or the stock grate? I ordered the Hi Q for getting high temp pizza cooks going quicker, but will use it for this low and slow if you think it would work better than stock.

I plan to do this cook on Saturday, pull it, and reheat in a crock pot with a little water or apple juice on Sunday morning. Anyone see any reason this will be a bad idea? I know that fresh cooked would be best, but I don't want to gamble on an all nighter the first time until I get some experience under my belt.


  • I would reheat in plastic bags in warm water. If you are going to put liquid in the crock pot, do sauce instead of apple juice or water. You won't need tons. Reheating in warm water is the best I have found. Ziplocks are safe up to 170. Food savers are safe much higher.

    I put mine on a v-rack in a foil drop pan. Info out water in at first and usually not again. You can check throughout the cook but you will lose several pounds of water/fat from the butt and that is usually enough for me to keep the pan full.

    If you have the hi-Q, to ahad and use it. No biggie either way.

  • Sorry for the typo: I PUT water in at first and usually not again again...

  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 293
    Thanks for the tips, Cen-Tex.
  • No sweat. Enjoy the cook. Sounds fun.

  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,851
    I put water on the drip pan, and also raise the drip pan off the the plate setter. The airspace helps prevent burning. You can use balls of foil to raise the pan or copper plumbing tees.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,659
    either grate is fine and its been along time since ive used a drip pan for a butt cook, i cut most of the fat off the butt before cooking and let it drip on fire bricks. 250 plus minus and dont notice any burnt smoke taste from the drippings. its an easy cook thats hard to do wrong, 250 dome, cook till it falls apart
  • I may be committing bbq sacrilege (depending on who you talk to), but I like taking my pork off the grill when it gets to the stalling point in the mid-160's F. Then I wrap it in foil and let it rest in a cooler wrapped in a warm towel for 30mins to an hour. After it rests, I slap it back on the grill until the internal temperature hits 190-195. Then I take it off an pull.

    I have not tried it yet, I have heard that when people reheat the leftovers they put a can of coke in the croc pot and toss in their left overs until they are warm. Then its game on. I've heard this from several sources but have not confirmed myself.
  • trip150trip150 Posts: 29
    Like the others, I take a pie pan and cover it in tin foil, fill it full of water, and place it on top of the plate setter to catch the drippings.  I fill it only once.  My take is you get the dual benefit of additional moisture in the air and it keeps the place setter clean.   Attached are two photos of my setup (one recent, one from March from one of my first tries at it).  I do my cooks at 225-230.

    I did a reheat recently for a party i had and i was not completely happy with the results - the color and flavor just isn't the same as having it freshly pulled.  Tough to gamble on the first overnight smoke going well, so i suggest cooking one every night from now until Saturday until you get it right!  Then stock up on plavix. 
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 293
    Tough to gamble on the first overnight smoke going well, so i suggest cooking one every night from now until Saturday until you get it right!  Then stock up on plavix. 
    ROFL!! That sounds like a good plan!  

    I appreciate all the advice. I'm really looking forward to this cook. I'm not a real big fan of pork (other than bacon, ham, sausage), but have been to pig roasts and it was some of the best meat ever. If this turns out even half as good as that, I'll be as happy as a pig in slop.  :)
  • Get ready to start liking
    Pork.......a lot.

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