Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, see our new showroom and check out the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

First Pork Butt ... Here we GO!!! PLEASE POST ADVICE!!! : )

Hello, hello, All! I am about a year into my BGE and BLISSFULY HAPPY with the cult I have joined. I've cooked almost everything on the egg from chickens to fish to steaks to pies and crab legs ... Pizzas and Carnitas ... And so much more. But ... I have never attempted the low and slow pork butt. I am diving in with FULL FORCE!!! I have purchased a beautiful pork butt from my local butcher. I've spent the past hour reading various discussions and soaking up advice. I am going to do a rub on my butt tonight. It is a 5.5# boneless butt. We are hoping to eat around 5:30 or 6:00. I have looked at Grandpa Grubs visual vent map and have read the advice on loading the coal. Here is what I THINK I should be doing. Please let me know if anyone has any advice that is a MUST!!! I am going to load the BGE with large coal pieces on the bottom and smaller ones on top .... Clean out the ash tray before I begin .... Use one starter to get it going in the middle .... Leave the dome open for 10-ish minutes before closing .... And AIM to get the dome temp to 275 for a grate temp of 250 for at least an hour before putting the butt on. My MAIN question is .... When to light the grill. I've read that some people light it late the night before? I am thinking my butt will take around 11 hours. Is there a possibility of running out of coal if you do light it the night before? How high do you fill the egg with coal? I am most nervous about getting and holding a low temp and making sure that I don't run out of coal. ANY ADVICE IS SOOOOOO APPRECIATED! I know this topic is done to death .... And I DID read so many of the discussions, but .... If anyone wants to help a rookie ...I'd LOVE It!!! Thank you ... And wish me LUCK!!!!


  • reh111reh111 Posts: 178
    edited August 2013
    Well, the first thing is that I wouldn't light it the night before.  I assume you're going to cook it all day tomorrow and you want to cook it for about 11 hours and eat about 6.  So, I'd get up about 6 tomorrow morning, take the butt out of the fridge and go light the fire.  I'd leave the bottom vent and top open until the fire is going good. Throw on some apple wood chunks.  Then I'd put on the plate setter, legs up, a pan filled with some sort of liquid (bad wine, beer, water, apple juice, etc), the grate on top and then the butt. Close the bottom vent to about 1/2 inch.  Close the top and leave the daisy wheel with the hole open until the temp comes to where you want it - about 250 - and then shut down the daisy wheel holes to a sliver and the bottom vent a little more and play with it until the temp stabilizes.  Let her rip!  The good thing is that a pork butt is about the most forgiving cut you can do a low and slow with. About the only thing you can do is overcook it turning it into a piece of burned crap.  It's done when you can pull the bone out which will probably be at 200 degrees internal - IMO it will be done before 11 hours.  If so, wrap it in a towel and put in a cooler until you're ready to eat.  Have fun! 
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,574
    I would light the egg an hour before. Might take 11 but could only take 8. Each butt is different. I do clean everything out on a slow cook but really just dump and go. I light 3 places and close the lid. At 250 I put the ps in. Don't sweat it... Butts are easy. Post pics... Good luck
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Thank you so much! It's up early and to the BGE for me! : ). Do y'all put the super fatty side up so that it will baste the rest while it cooks.
  • SookieSookie Posts: 325
    I would personally.  Above all, just make sure you go by an actual thermometer in the meat.  Learn from my mistakes; the first one I did it "looked" done at about 180 but was hard to pull.  Good luck and very excited for you!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 9,753
    Given you have a year of eggsperience, coupled with above then you know you have many choices: low&slow or turbo-I prefer the low&slow and as described it will take around 10-12 hrs at the 250+/- dome (calibrated thermo) to the finish-line. You can go hot&fast (aka turbo) and finish in around 3+ hours but you will need the wisdom of a turbo guru for that instruction.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • Que_n_BrewQue_n_Brew Posts: 577
    I personally don't think a 5.5 lb butt will take 11 hours. I do 8-9 lbers all the time @ 275 Dome Temp. They usually take 4-5 hours to get to 160 IT, I then pan and foil and it takes another 2.5-3 hours to get to "Done" (anywhere from 190-205). I then let it rest for an hour. So that's 9 hours total for an 8-9 lber. You can always FTC it for 3-4 hours. With your first butt, I'd recommend having it done at 3:00 and doing the FTC method vs trying to time it out perfect. I don't see any reason to get started until tomorrow morning. Have fun...your family will be bowing to your greatness tomorrow night. Post some pic!
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 6,384
    edited August 2013
    I agree with @Que_n_Brew on the timing but every chunk of meat has a mind of its own and some are cantankerous and stubborn so better off finish early and FTC. I like to cook my butts hot and fast, right about 325-350* grid all the way thru with no foil then rest for 30-45mins and pull. I have done a 10lb butt in 7 1/2 hrs with this method. Don't get me wrong low and slow is still a great cook.


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • I LOVE this forum!!! You guys are all awesome!!! Thank You SO Much! So ... At the risk of being laughed off the page ... FTC? Foil ..... Towel .... Cooler??? Is that what you are saying? If so - that is FABULOUS Advice! Better to get it done and keep it warm than to wait around! Ok ... I will post pics as the process progresses! I'm off to do the rub now. THANK YOU!!! Keep the advice coming!!! : )
  • And ...l. Does anyone ever do a quick sear on the stovetop before you put it on? I do that with almost anything that I am cook low and slow any other way. Thoughts???
  • Que_n_BrewQue_n_Brew Posts: 577
    Yes...Foil, Towel, Cooler. And No on the sear. You want to allow the meat to develope a nice bark. image
  • reh111reh111 Posts: 178
    CCTriumph said:
    Thank you so much! It's up early and to the BGE for me! : ). Do y'all put the super fatty side up so that it will baste the rest while it cooks.
    I put the fat side up because there's some wisdom that as the fat heats up it melts and works its way down through the meat and makes it more flavorful - however, there are others on here who say it doesn't matter - again, have fun - you're not going to screw it up!
  • Que_n_BrewQue_n_Brew Posts: 577
    Like @reh111 said, there are different opinions on the fat up vs down. I personally do the fat side down because I feel it helps protect the meat during the smoking process. Potato / Potaato
  • Que n Brew ...THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!!! I am soooo excited!!!  Thank you for the advice on the sear!!!  Reh111 ... I'm doing the fat side up too! It just makes sense to do it that way, right? OK ... The process has begun. The meat is coated in EVOO and rubbed with LOVE and sitting in the fridge until I take it out tomorrow morning to get to room temp while I get the egg ready. I did a chicken on the Egg tonight and just let the grill continue to burn so that I can empty it out and start with fresh everything tomorrow am. Let the FUN Begin!,! YEEEEEEE!!!!!
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 297
    Most certainly, with that size butt, wait til morning to start. I might even wait til 7 am to light the grill.

    As others have already said, each butt will vary in time. But smaller butt like yours should be done in plenty of time no matter if it stalls stubbornly or not.

    I remove as much as the fat cap as possible and place it down. I think the idea of leaving it on and placing it to the top comes in from brand X grills that dry food out. The Egg is great for retaining moisture so this is not a problem. In my opinion, it takes energy to melt all that fat and that energy could just as well go into cooking your pork. Melting all that fat with the fat cap up can wash a lot of your rub off and into your drip pan too.

    Use yellow mustard to glue your rub on. It will not flavor the final product any.

    Let us know how it turns out!
  • mdoziermdozier Posts: 86
    Just finished eating an 11-1/2 pounder from my local butcher. At 275 dome it took 10 hrs to 198. Pulled it , foiled it in with a bit of apple juice poured over, then rubbed it with butter and added brown sugar rubbed into the buttery top. Wrapped the foiled beast in towels and dropped in the cooler for 3 hrs. I don't think you'll need as long as you think but it's better to be ready early and give it more time in the cooler if it peaks sooner than you plan. Remember it can stay in the cooler hot for HOURS with out you needing to worry. Have fun! m
  • Thank you, twlangan!  Now I can sleep a little longer in the am!  Why Mustard?   mdozier - WHOA!  That IS a Beast!!!  I just LOVE all the advice!!!  I will keep everyone in the loop!  THANK YOU!!!  
  • Here We GO ...    YEEEE!!!   : ) 
  • @CCTriumph... Good luck! FWIW, I'd get a remote thermo (e.g. Maverick) for these types of cooks. It makes it so much easier to monitor your grill and internal meat temps.
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • Que_n_BrewQue_n_Brew Posts: 577
    @CCTriumph... Good luck! FWIW, I'd get a remote thermo (e.g. Maverick) for these types of cooks. It makes it so much easier to monitor your grill and internal meat temps.

    +1. You can also add some water to that pan next time you open the lid. That will (in theory) create some steam to help add moisture to the outside of the butt.
  • Good luck! Looks like you won't need it though :)
  • Anything under 6 pounds I have tried have been done in 8 hours or so. 

    Second the remote temp, I use a cyber-q wifi so I can check it if I have to run to the store for something. 

    I read someplace to pull at 203 vice 190... that seemed to make it much easier to pull and it wasn't overdone. So now I aim pulling it off the Egg around 200-203 and let it set for 30-45 minutes before pulling and that seems to work out well,
  • Fwiw, olive oil before rubbing has held just fie, so I haven't used mustard-you'll see a lot of suggestions for mustard but I haven't seen a need for it. Last weekend I FTC'd 3 butts-pulled one 6 hrs later and it had only dropped 10 degrees. Pulled other 2 after 12 hours & they had only dropped 25-30 degrees. No sear-you'll get great bark with the slow cook. And a remote digital dual probe has been a huge help to my recent long cooks. Maverick is widely recommended, and I got the same product re-branded as Remington for 60% of the Maverick price.
    It's an obsession, but it's pleasin'
  • StlScottStlScott Posts: 77

    How did this cook turn out?


  • Update?!
    I finally took the plunge and bought my large Big Green Easter Egg from Roswell Hardware in Roswell, GA 03/31/2012
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.