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Boston Butt Question (One Large vs Individual)

Quick question on smoking one large Boston Butt vs several small ones. My intentions were to buy a large 8 lb bone in butt at the butcher this morning but they only had boneless 2-3 lb butts so I bought three of them. I'm assuming my cook time will be greatly reduced from about 16 hours (1 8lb butt) to about 6 hours since the biggest individual butt is around 3 lbs. Is that correct? Will all three cook about the same time? Thanks!

Comments

  • You are about right on the timing.  Keep in mind that each butt will cook a little differently, so bottom line try and moniter them all.  Start by keeping an eye on the smallest and go from there. 
    Edina, MN

  • Thanks! Is there benefit to smoking a large one if it takes 16 hours vs the 6 hours for the small ones. If there's not, I'll probably go with several small ones from now on.
  • I like to maximize the egg, so I generally do a couple of 8 pound butts, and freeze the leftovers in 2 pound packages to be repurposed @ a later date (usually mexican).  I have not tried the smaller butts, but your logic makes sense. 

    Edina, MN

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,469
    I smoked 2 4lb and 2 5lb last Saturday. Averaged around 275....6 1/2 hours. Turned out good. I was surprised how quick they cooked but you know every roast is different. Good luck.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 1,682
    Another bonus with the three smaller butts as compared to one larger butt, is the surface area.  More bark!
    XL BGE and Mini Max in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • As Always, much appreciated responses and great info from this board!
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,137
    Just my $.02 but I have found that bigger butts turn out juicier vs smaller butts.  Like YEM said- you get more bark with smaller butts so it's a trade off.   Me...I cannot lie.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,305
    edited November 2012
    My limited experience is that the larger the hunk of butt, the better the final result. I never had one come out as moist as I liked until I got one over 4 pounds. And the bark seems to me to be a lot better.

    I think that the lower surface area of a large piece means the water has less space to evaporate. The longer time "sweating" gives the smoke more time to accumulate on the surface, and migrate inwards toward the center of the meat.

    If I'm short on time, I'll resort to "turbo" methods of higher heat and foiling. But so far, the results of doing that have been lesser than a traditional lo-n-slo.

    Personally, I'd take those smaller portions and tie them together to make a large mass.


  • gdenby said:
    My limited experience is that the larger the hunk of butt, the better the final result. I never had one come out as moist as I liked until I got one over 4 pounds. And the bark seems to me to be a lot better.

    I think that the lower surface area of a large piece means the water has less space to evaporate. The longer time "sweating" gives the smoke more time to accumulate on the surface, and migrate inwards toward the center of the meat.

    If I'm short on time, I'll resort to "turbo" methods of higher heat and foiling. But so far, the results of doing that have been lesser than a traditional lo-n-slo.

    Personally, I'd take those smaller portions and tie them together to make a large mass.

    I'll bet if you applied the rub before you tie them together, it could be a pretty tasty experiment!
    Large BGE and a couple non-greenies
    Roanoke TX
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,305


    I'll bet if you applied the rub before you tie them together, it could be a pretty tasty experiment!
    I did something like that once. I used a package of pork butt sections, aka "boneless country ribs."  After a good coating of rub, I mooshed them together in a big ball. I thought it would turn out super, but the result was very disappointing. That was a couple of years ago, and my memory isn't too detailed. I recall the meat was tender but dry, and way too salty.

    If I were try that again, I suppose I would marinade the pieces. Keep the salt down, and up the fatty acids.
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