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Butt math

rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum
New egger, have a LBGE for about a month. Tried butts yesterday for the first time. I had 2 butts one was 4.1 lbs and the second was 4.9lbs. Egg set up was indirect around 230. I thought I read to figure 1.5-2 hours per lb. with that I thought the first butt would be finished in 6-8 hours and the remaining butt would another 2 hours. The cook time was 11.5-12.5 hours. Does this make sense? Should I have used the total weight to calculate? I also had a drip pan with some apple juice in it, could this have added to cook time. Since they finished later than planned I have wrapped them and placed in fridge. How can I reheat them so I can pull them? Thanks for your time reading this.

Comments

  • Welcome to the world of cooking pork shoulder. While the 1.5-2 hours is a guide, it can vary tremendously by cook. I usually assume 2 hours based on the weight of the largest and then add an hour or so if I am doing more than one butt to account for the additional meat in the cooker bringing down the heat. Doing that math, I don't think you we're that far off. I always try and leave lots of extra time because if they are done early, you can always wrap in put in a cooler. As for reheating whole and then pulling I will defer to others. I like to pull when they are hot and have never put in fridge whole so sorry I can't help you there. Good luck and you will figure this out. And it will taste better than you can imagine.
    Clarendon Hills, IL
  • BamaEGGBamaEGG Posts: 168
    My experience with smaller butts is that they take the same amount of time as larger ones. I always figure cooked time based on individual size not the total weight. If the two butts were touching during the cook they will cook as one at least until the shrink away from each other. That could have added some time. Also, 230 dome temp is about 210-215 grid temp on my Egg. That difference in temp can slow them down. 

    I would say given their size that your cook time was a about right. What temp did you pull them off the Egg? I used to push all the way to 200 but now get them off at 190.

    Butt's are very forgiving. You can give em high heat or cook em slow and they won't vary too much. My typical butt cook starts at 250 (grid) for about 4 hours, then finish at 275-300 depending on when I need them finished. 

    Hope this helps.
  • BamaEGGBamaEGG Posts: 168
    Ive put them in the fridge whole and pulled. reheating a whole butt is a pain. You basically have to wrap in foil, fire the oven or egg up to 400 and reheat. Even at that temp it can take an hour or 2 to reheat. Easier to pull them hot then reheat later. Throw it in a casserole dish, pour some coke or other beverage in it for some moisture, cover with foil, and give it hell in the oven. It will turn out great.
  • rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
    Thanks Bama for the info. Is the liquid for reheating the pulled or whole?
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,160
    Yes, 230 is most likely the reason they took so long. The well known "stall," or "plateau", when the meat does not rise in temperature much past 165, has been shown to be the result of evaporative cooling. At 230, the water in the butt takes forever to steam off. 250 to 275 works quicker. Even w/o foil, the temperature can be even higher, as long as the outside of the butt does not become dessicated.

    Also as above, its best to pull and then reheat. While a lot of the moisture in the butt cooked out, the amount of heat needed to re-soften the pork will drive even more moisture away. You can also chop it up cold so that the smaller bits re-heat more quickly, and further disintegrate.
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    230 dome? how did you measure your temperature? and, as others have said, there's no rhyme or reason for cooking pork shoulders. Shoot for 275 dome next time. Should get you closer to the 1.5hrs/lb
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,203
    Maybe try a turbo butt. Did one yesterday. Pretty quick and pretty good taste. I did 5 lb, 350 till 160 then foiled till 205 when the bone pulled out. On at 11, off at 4.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
    xraypat23 said:
    230 dome? how did you measure your temperature? and, as others have said, there's no rhyme or reason for cooking pork shoulders. Shoot for 275 dome next time. Should get you closer to the 1.5hrs/lb

    I measured temp with the supplied BGE thermometer, I'll try a higher temp next time
  • rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
    henapple said:
    Maybe try a turbo butt. Did one yesterday. Pretty quick and pretty good taste. I did 5 lb, 350 till 160 then foiled till 205 when the bone pulled out. On at 11, off at 4.

    henapple said:
    Maybe try a turbo butt. Did one yesterday. Pretty quick and pretty good taste. I did 5 lb, 350 till 160 then foiled till 205 when the bone pulled out. On at 11, off at 4.

    henapple said:
    Maybe try a turbo butt. Did one yesterday. Pretty quick and pretty good taste. I did 5 lb, 350 till 160 then foiled till 205 when the bone pulled out. On at 11, off at 4.

  • rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
    Sorry for the happy quote finger. I need to try turbo cook also and see what works best for me
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    yea, 230 dome is probably under 200 or right around 200 grate level. Have you calibrated that thermometer? couldve been even lower. For an overnight butt, I shoot for 300 starting temp, than put the meat in, pit drops to about 275 and i adjust the top and the bottom to hold that accordingly
  • rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
    xraypat23 said:
    yea, 230 dome is probably under 200 or right around 200 grate level. Have you calibrated that thermometer? couldve been even lower. For an overnight butt, I shoot for 300 starting temp, than put the meat in, pit drops to about 275 and i adjust the top and the bottom to hold that accordingly

    No I didn't calibrate the thermometer, didn't think I needed to. I'll get that done before I use it again. Thanks
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118

    A drip pan is needed to save all the grease from hitting your platesettter, but you will find that adding liquid to the drip pan is not necessary in the BGE.  Inside the BGE is a very natural moist heat.

    Also always err on the side of getting done too early.  You can hold pork butts, ribs and briskets for hours by FTC.  F=HD Alum Foil     T=towels or blanket   C=cooler.

    Wrap in HD alum foil, put towels around meat taking up as much space as possible in the cooler.

     

     

  • rgl55rgl55 Posts: 9
    Duganboy said:

    A drip pan is needed to save all the grease from hitting your platesettter, but you will find that adding liquid to the drip pan is not necessary in the BGE.  Inside the BGE is a very natural moist heat.

    Also always err on the side of getting done too early.  You can hold pork butts, ribs and briskets for hours by FTC.  F=HD Alum Foil     T=towels or blanket   C=cooler.

    Wrap in HD alum foil, put towels around meat taking up as much space as possible in the cooler.

     

     thanks I've learned to plan more time than necessary, had to go to plan B fot diner last night. i just placed the double foiled wrapped butts inthe oven at 225 to reheat and then pull. hopefully it won't be to bad for a first attempt



  • HashmakerHashmaker Posts: 149
    I usually shoot for a 275 dome temp and I never put liquid in a drip pan but I think liquid is a personal preference for some. If you stabilize your egg with a drip pan with liquid in it, it shouldn't affect the cook. Each hunk of meat is different so your times won't always be the same. Good luck and don't give up!
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