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Trouble with First Boston Butt

mal206mal206 Posts: 4

I am a relatively new BGE user and took my first shot at a Boston Butt to make pulled pork this past weekend.  It did not turn out the way I had hoped and I would like to get some sage advice from the community.  Here are my stats:

Large BGE
7.2 LBS Boston Butt, injected it with a apple juice/sugar/salt combo and used a basic rub
Set the BGE with the platesetter in place right at 250 degrees

I put the BB on at 7 AM and did not open the lid until late in the day (around 8 PM). The dome temperature fluctuated a bit from 250-280, but it was mostly around 260.  It was cruising right along and hit the stall around 140 degrees.  This was about 6 hours in.  From there, the internal temp never made it above 150, and at 9 PM, 14 hours putting it on, I finally took it off and finished it in the oven, got it to 195 and then wrapped it in foil and put it in a cooler for 90 minutes.  I took it out to pull it and it was still very solid inside and did not pull apart at all.  

Can anyone give me some thoughts on what I might have done wrong?  From all that I have read it should have been about 11-14 hours to get to 195ish. and yet it never came close to this until I put it in the oven.  I am excited to do another one and wanted to see where I may have gone wrong. 

Thanks for the help. 


  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,149
    Was it bone in? Maybe probe up against bone? Seems low for stall too but possible.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 2,848
    edited July 2013
    It looks like you did everything right, I did two 7.5 lb Butts last friday put them on at 6:15 at 260 and they were at 195 at 5:00 and 2 other Butts two friday's ago with the same results. The first thing I would check is your dome thermometer and make sure it is accurate. To test it get a pan of boiling water and dip it in, it should read 212 at sea level. If its off you can adjust it with the nut on the back with a 7/16 wrench. 

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014
    Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • LBC DawgLBC Dawg Posts: 114
    From all that, the only thing I can think of is your thermometers are off. if that's not it, I guess it coulda been a rogue piece of meat.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 8,217

    Six hours to 140*F with around 260*F on the dome is well outside (too long) the norm-points to checking your thermo as mentioned by @JRWhitee .  Check any thermos you were using to monitor the butt as well.  If your thermos check out fine then I'm at a loss-

    BTW-welcome aboard and even with this adventure the journey is the fun part.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,948

    Like @Chubbs asked, was it bone-in?  If it was, was the bone ready to just slide right out of the meat?

    If it was bone-in, and the bone wouldn't just pull right out, the butt simply wasn't done.

    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • mal206mal206 Posts: 4
    Thank you very much for the thoughts. The thermos were calibrated earlier this week but I will double check it. I could have been up against the bone, but not sure. The bone was still very tight so it definitely was not ready. I will give it another shot in a couple weeks and will let you know the results. Looking forward to learning lots from y'all.
  • All I can say is that if your thermos are good, don't limit yourself strictly to temps for done. Feel and tenderness are more important than temps. Pork is cheap. Jump in and do another one right away because I highly doubt you will have trouble again right away. Pork is very forgiving and very rewarding. Do it again and enjoy your success and put that one behind you. I often go to close to 205 with pork before I am happy with it's doneness, but again, it's all about the feel.
    LBGE 2013, SBGE 2014, Mini 2015
    Columbus IN
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,104
    Mal, I recommend you try Mickey's turbo butt method. Very easy - did one yesterday. Welcome to the forum!
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • mal206mal206 Posts: 4
    I will give that one a try.  Thanks for the thoughts!
  • six_eggsix_egg Posts: 679
    Mal, I recommend you try Mickey's turbo butt method. Very easy - did one yesterday. Welcome to the forum!

    That is all I do anymore. I do two 8 pounders at a time take off at 200 or 205 FTC for at least an hour a little more is better. Bone comes right out no meat on it.


    Texarkana, TX

  • DMurfDMurf Posts: 481
    If I am going to go the lo-n-slo method I get my butts on around 10:00 p the night before then let it ride all night long. I have had one take 20 hours to get to the finish line but most often it is in the 14 to 16 hour range. When these are done they look like a burnt up meteor! Lots of good crispy bark. 

    As the "stall" seems to be that magic time when the collegen breaks down and the meat is able to take on that silky texture I wonder if yours was not impacted by being injected. I have never injected my butts and they have all come off very moist and flavorful. Now I am speaking off the top of my bald head at this point, wait my head is pointy too, but the duration of the stall may have been extended by the amount of fluid in the butt. Now this is the part that is rocket science to me as I put mine on and trust my meat probe as to when I am allowed to open the egg, but just a thought. 

    If you are wanting to get the butt done the use Mickey's method, the quality does not suffer and you do not have a fear of the fire going out or losing any sleep. I just did a turbo butt for the fourth and followed Mickey's method and they both came out great, softer bark but fabulous flavor. 

    Welcome to the forum and get back up there for your next butt cook.
    BBQ since 2010 - Oh my, what I was missing.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    From a distance, sounds like you already reached the same conclusion I would - it just was not "done".

    At 250 dome - you are starting the cook at 210 or 220 at the meat.   I would not hesitate to cook at a higher temp from the start.  Also, after I had been in stall for a while- start opening the vents and warming things up.

    Not sure the time delay from when you pulled from the egg and went to the oven - that could have dropped the temp some.

    If you were to run into this situation again - not getting where you want after 12 hours, foil it, put it back on the Egg and open the vents - take the dome up to 300 or 320 - that will get it finished.   ( some cook all the way at that temp - I think the term is Turbo.... )

    Cookin in Texas
  • mal206mal206 Posts: 4
    These are great peices of advice.  I am definitely going to try a turbo in the next couple of weeks.  Thanks for all the great advice- you are all very helpful!
  • If the timing is right, turbo is the way to go IMHO.  Get up early enough in the AM and have it rested and ready to pull for dinner.  Unless you need an excuse to stay up drinking all night. >:)

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

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