Did a couple of turbo butts yesterday and just wanted to share some observations. The plan was 3 hours at 350 dome, then foil tightly and cook until 195-200 internal. I used two 8 lb boneless butts from Costco and rubbed them with Oak Ridge Secret Weapon. I did not use any added liquid throughout the cook (no injection, spray, marinade, or liquid in the pan). I trimmed off most of the fat cap and cooked them "trimmed" fat side up. Things went pretty much according to plan. Egg maintained 350 dome, 325ish grid for the the first stage. At a little over 3 hours in, they were a little below 160 internal temp. I went ahead and wrapped them tightly and put them back on. The egg got a little hot because I left it open too long while wrapping. Dome temp was probably close to 400 when I put them on but I shut things down and got it settled back to 350 pretty quickly. I was really surprised to see just how fast the temp rose. They actually finished a little early- I think the total time was about 4 1/2 hours to get to 200 IT. I held them wrapped for a couple of hours before I pulled them.
My observation is the meat was super tender. Lots of liquid was trapped inside the foil, so it was as moist as can be. On the downside, there was not really any bark (it was just soft and mushy) and not quite as much smoke flavor as I would like. It was still a success and I would do it again, but a few things I would do differently:
- For starters, I will do a much better job of trimming the fat next time, and cook fat side down. With the shorter time, I think the melting fat prevented my bark to set. With this method- you just don't need that fat.
- When I foiled them, I could see the bark had not set. Next time, rather than a fixed time; I would cook them until the bark has set somewhat.
- I think I would consider starting out a little lower, and "ramp up" to 350. Give them a little more time in the smoke.
- When I pulled the meat- I dumped the meat/juice from the foil into the pan. As mentioned, there was great deal of liquid in the foil. Next time I might leave behind some of the liquid (or reserve for a sauce).
I'm not sure that I am converted to the turbo method yet, but I do plan to play with it. It is great to know that if you decide at 11 AM you want pulled pork for dinner that night you have the option ;).
Which came first the chicken or the egg? I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg.