Okay, this is a follow up thread from my "Butterfly Butt" thread. It seems everyone is caught up on the idea of contamination. I just have to ask...have any of you ever worked in a restaraunt? :-)
Seriously though, the amount of food handling that goes on in that environment is MUCH more excessive than what I'd do at home. Those "food contamination" classes that people have to take to get a food handlers permit are geared for that environment. They're MEANT to scare people into being overly cautious.
Now, I'm not saying that this isn't important. But come on folks. I bring home a butt, split it in half, rub it down, let it sit in the fridge for a few more hours, and then put it on the grill. There is very, very little risk of food poisoning that will arise BECAUSE I butterflied the butt. Any poisoning that I would get would happend REGARDLESS of whether or not I butterflied the butt because it would have been present already because of the way the meat was handled prior to me getting it. Of course if I don't use clean utensils and other things, then my risk is increased. Just assume I'm taking the proper, practical cautions without being a germophobe.
So, back to the meat of the discussion (pardon the pun), does anyone think that butterflying a but would result in the meat not being tender enough? I for one don't think it will matter. After all, ribs get tender in just a few hours. And it's not like I'm going to be fast cooking the things. The butt should still be a good 2 inches thick after butterflying, and I'll be cooking it low and slow of indirect heat. I imagine it should still take a good 10 hours or more to come up to temp. I want more bark, perhaps less cooked bark, so that the meat has a more smoky flavor with less internal mush. One of the drawbacks of a low-and-slow butt to me is that the internal meat can get very mushy if you really give it time for the connective tissues to break down. I want it to be a bit more firm, with more flavor from the external smoke ring.