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Really tough butt

KruegsKruegs Posts: 121

I'm embarrassed to say that I had my first real egg failure over the weekend on my first attempt at a couple butts.  I'm interested to hear what I may have done wrong.  I tried the turbo method.  I used my CyberQ Wifi...2 eight lb butts...pitt was at 350, took about 5 hours to reach internal temp of 200*.  I removed and foiled for an hour.  When I tried to pull, the majority of it was really tough.  I couldn't even pull it I had to cut it. 

Should I have ignored temps more and gone more with the feel?  I'm bummed about the results because I really wanted to see something nice come out of it after reading all the posts here. 

I also notice that when I pull the fan out of the attachment to the egg there was liquid in the fan assembly...is this normal?  Is it because I didn't use a drip pan?

XL BGE; CyberQ Wifi; Adjustable Rig, Woo2 Green Bay, Wisconsin

Comments

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,198

    Can't comment on the turbo fail since i've never cooked a turbo butt.  Sorry it didnt work out man.

    In regards to the the liquid, yes, it's because you didn't use a drip pan.  Butts have a lot of fat so I definitely recommend using a drip pan.


  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,488

    Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking there are 2 basic possibilities.  1) you just had a really tough piece of meat or 2) it was undercooked.  Some butts need to get up to 208 or 210 to get really tender.  That's why most people cook to a combination of temperature and "the temp probe slides in and out of the meat like butter".  So in reponse to your question:

    "Should I have ignored temps more and gone more with the feel? "

    I would say "yes" to that.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • ptmurphyptmurphy Posts: 42
    I would have starting checking the tenderness before 200. I usually pull mine at about 195, and start checking at about 190.

    Guessing here, but if you were cooking at 350 and the most inner part reached 200, when you pulled it, it probably continued to rise internally too much, over-cooking and drying it out.


  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,279
    edited May 2013
    Were the butts boneless? Perhaps the probe was in an air pocket. 5 hours is really fast for turbo @ 8 lbs. I usually get around 1 hr/lb.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,481
    I've only done one... It's my understanding that at 160 you foil till finished. I did mine that way... Very tender. I'd pm @mickey... He's the turbo king.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,676
    TURBO BUTTS
    · Hot'n fast, 350 for 3 hours to internal to around 160, then wrap in foil and 2 more hours to 195/200 and then let it rest for an hour or so wrapped in towels in a ice chest. Falls apart and oh so good! Have fun!
    · Be sure you only get a 7lb butt or so for the time (or a couple )
    . Note: The butt box is not required.
    I use mustard & Bad Byron's Butt Rub (both not required). I put on the rub, then mustard, then rub once more.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,488

    I've done several all the way through without foil at 350 and have only had good results. 

    I thought I was doing the classic "Mickey method" but I'm just not that good at following detailed directions so I missed the "foil it at 160" part.  I suspect the foil gets you through the stall faster and that you retain moisture a little better, but I've had not had any complaints.... 

    I did cook it until it was very tender when the thermometer was inserted.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    If you foil BEFORE reaching 160 degrees and wrap in foil, the butt will not pull right.  The center section of the butt will be cooked like a pork roast.  Turbo Cooking rerquires wrapping in foil, thats what shortens the cooking time because the meat cooks faster and there is no "stall period".
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,732
    You did a nitro butt. I've only done two, gotta be a little more careful with them sense there is no foil.

    @mattman3969
    @500

    These guys will know more.


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,481


    Mickey said:

    TURBO BUTTS


    · Hot'n fast, 350 for 3 hours to internal to around 160, then wrap in foil and 2 more hours to 195/200 and then let it rest for an hour or so wrapped in towels in a ice chest. Falls apart and oh so good! Have fun!

    · Be sure you only get a 7lb butt or so for the time (or a couple )

    . Note: The butt box is not required.

    I use mustard & Bad Byron's Butt Rub (both not required). I put on the rub, then mustard, then rub once more.

    I've done Mickey's turbo method, I have to say Mickey knows butt.  Simple and great results.

    Trust a person who likes big butts, for they cannot lie.


    These other guys can't deny...
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,571
    Hard to say for sure...but I am betting that you might not have got a good temp reading. Like @Eggcelsior said the probe could have been in an air pocket, or just not pushed in very far.  

    I think if you had over-cooked it the butt would pull easily but just be dry.  Since it was hard to pull, I'm guessing didn't cook long enough. 



    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,279
    henapple said:
    Mickey said:
    TURBO BUTTS
    · Hot'n fast, 350 for 3 hours to internal to around 160, then wrap in foil and 2 more hours to 195/200 and then let it rest for an hour or so wrapped in towels in a ice chest. Falls apart and oh so good! Have fun!
    · Be sure you only get a 7lb butt or so for the time (or a couple )
    . Note: The butt box is not required.
    I use mustard & Bad Byron's Butt Rub (both not required). I put on the rub, then mustard, then rub once more.
    I've done Mickey's turbo method, I have to say Mickey knows butt.  Simple and great results.

    Trust a person who likes big butts, for they cannot lie.
    These other guys can't deny...
    That when Mickey walks in with some 3-hour pork,
    cooked on a round thing on the porch...
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    Did you calibrate your dome thermometer? I know you have cyber Q-- I have never used it so cant comment on that.  Anytime I do a long cook now I calibrate my dome thermometer. It is easy and takes a few minutes to do. 

    The only time I experienced what you are talking about, I didnt use my maverick until the next morning. Woke up a 7 am thinking I would have 5 hours left to go and it was at 212IT. Turns out my dome thermometer was 35 degrees off, so I was cooking at 400 degrees. The bark was tough as nails. 

    Sorry for the failure-- could have just been a tough piece of meat... that or he was a body builder. 
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 13,676
    Foghorn said:

    I've done several all the way through without foil at 350 and have only had good results. 

    I thought I was doing the classic "Mickey method" but I'm just not that good at following detailed directions so I missed the "foil it at 160" part.  I suspect the foil gets you through the stall faster and that you retain moisture a little better, but I've had not had any complaints.... 

    I did cook it until it was very tender when the thermometer was inserted.

    I am with you. Not sure if it makes a rat's butttt.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • Egghead_DaronEgghead_Daron Posts: 537
    I have done turbo at exactly Mickey's advice and it came out great. But I still prefer to make enough time to do low and slow any time I can. It is hard to beat (or mess up) when you keep it at around 250 all the way through.
    LBGE Columbus IN
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,388
    You did a nitro butt. I've only done two, gotta be a little more careful with them sense there is no foil. @mattman3969 @500 These guys will know more.
    Really sounds to me like your temp reading was incorrect  Most of my butts are cooked at 350 all the way thru without foil. The last one I cooked pulled really well except for one spot the size of a golfball right next to the bone. My mistake for being hungry and not doin the bone test. I start checkin with the probe for that butta slidy kinda action at about 190 or so. I dont think I have ever gone above 198 -200 for an IT .

    -----------------------------------------


    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • Plano_JJPlano_JJ Posts: 448
    I have only done two butt cooks. Used Mickey's method and they couldnt have been more perfect. We have eaten all of them and the family is still talking about them. Foiled at 160, pulled at 205, put in the cooler. 
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,732
    Oh one more thing to loosen it up...

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • WiltOnTiltWiltOnTilt Posts: 102
    I had an interesting result when I tried the turbo method. I had 2 8lb butts going turbo at the same time in the same lbge. One of them turned out great and the other one had some real tough spots in it. I'm glad I did 2 because if I only got the tough result doing one I'd be massively turned off to this method. I'd say give it another shot and see what you think. I felt the low and slow got a better smoke flavor and bark, but turbo is more convenient and still got a good result (well I'm batting .500 at least). Good luck!
  • Its not just about the temperature, its the dwell time at temperature.  Cooking at higher temperatures will bring the internal temperature up faster, but if the meat doesn't maintain an adequate internal temperature of over 160 for long enough, the collagen breakdown won't complete.  When the collagen in the connective tissue starts to breakdown, the meat actually gets tougher until the final conversion to gelatin occurs.  Foiling and putting the meat back on heat as high as 350 will result in steam cooking as well.  Toweling or foiling and then putting it in a cooler, etc. allows the internal temperature to stay high enough for the process to complete.  There is a variable amount of connective tissues in each cut, so the time varies.  Low and slow will give better flavor development on the the meats surface and a better smoke ring.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,481

    Oh one more thing to loosen it up...

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Oh wow... So wrong.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • sariverssarivers Posts: 67
    edited May 2013
    Its not just about the temperature, its the dwell time at temperature.  Cooking at higher temperatures will bring the internal temperature up faster, but if the meat doesn't maintain an adequate internal temperature of over 160 for long enough, the collagen breakdown won't complete.  When the collagen in the connective tissue starts to breakdown, the meat actually gets tougher until the final conversion to gelatin occurs.  Foiling and putting the meat back on heat as high as 350 will result in steam cooking as well.  Toweling or foiling and then putting it in a cooler, etc. allows the internal temperature to stay high enough for the process to complete.  There is a variable amount of connective tissues in each cut, so the time varies.  Low and slow will give better flavor development on the the meats surface and a better smoke ring.
    I've been wondering about that "dwell time" you speak of.  It makes sense to me but I know a lot of people will argue for the turbo method.  I compare it to cooking spaghetti sauce.  You can brown your meat and get the sauce up to heat in 30 minutes but it is always better when it simmers for hours.  The low and slow cook for a Boston Butt seems to be like simmering instead of trying to get the butt to temp as fast as possible. 
    Columbia, SC

  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 441
    Hard to say for sure...but I am betting that you might not have got a good temp reading. Like @Eggcelsior said the probe could have been in an air pocket, or just not pushed in very far.  

    I think if you had over-cooked it the butt would pull easily but just be dry.  Since it was hard to pull, I'm guessing didn't cook long enough. 

    x2.  Hard to pull pork almost always means it was undercooked.  I would guess you probed a hot spot.  185 degree pork can be really tough to pull, especially if it was at 185 for a short amount of time.
  • KruegsKruegs Posts: 121

    Thanks to everyone for the comments.  If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

    XL BGE; CyberQ Wifi; Adjustable Rig, Woo2 Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Well it looks like I got rained out for today so I'm going to try this. I am assuming this is 350 indirect but wanted to clarify? When foiling do I add apple juice? Heading to pick up some butts...any reccomendations? Assume I want a bone in? Thanks...looking forward to trying this.
    Albion, PA
  • Indirect - yes Bone in - yes Apple juice - idk, I have never foiled a butt. I wouldn't think it would hurt anything

    -----------------------------------------


    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • I am not a fan of turbo when it comes to pork buts. It is just too fast. It takes time to break down the muscle tissue and make it tender. Invest in a temp controller and cook overnight without the possibility of the temp going too high or low and you will get it right every time.
    San Angelo, texas
  • six_eggsix_egg Posts: 593
    I only use Mickey's Turbo method. I have done 5 - 9.5 LB butts bone in. I have never had any problems. I have had lots of people tell me it was the best they have ever had. I have even had them ask me to cook some for there friends and families or other events. IMHO I think it is the 1 hour rest period that makes it great. 

    XLBGE, LBGE growing accessories.

    Want: Ceramicgrillworks 2 tier large, Dutch oven, Cyber Q Wifi

    Grenada, MS

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