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1st Boston Butt a Semi- Bust

edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I studied up a bit on how to cook a boston butt in my new medium egg. This was my first time and I know I have much to learn, but I was a little disappointed and wanted to solict any thoughts on possible causal factors. A bit of context: I purchased a bonless (all that was available) pork shoulder at a nearby grocer that was 4.74 lbs.; followed Elder's instructions and rub; put it on at 9am with dome temp range generally between 225 and 250 sometime a bit lower and sometimes a bit higher; internal meat temp stuck at 160-170 range for a long time and it wasn't until 8:30 pm that I was hitting about 190 when I took it off. This was longer than I planned (roughly 11.5 hours vs. 9.5 hours using the 2hrs/lb guide I saw posted) so my family dinner didn't happen. Anyhow, the meat tast was great, but both my wife and I felt that it wasn't very moist and was actually the driest and toughest meat yet cooked on this great Q. Maybe the meat was lousy and tough, or maybe I should have gone with bone in, or maybe I screwed somethign else up. Not sure, but wanted to solict the experts thoughs as I'm scratching my head a bit over this.
Thanks.

Comments

  • GrillMeisterGrillMeister Posts: 1,611
    NW Egger,[p]Did you use a place setter or fire bricks for an indirect method?[p]I usually start my Butts around 10 PM the day before. When they hit 190, I take them off, wrap in foil and place in a cooler till ready to pull. I did two butts last Friday for a Saturday pot luck dinner. People were fighting to take home the leftovers.[p]Don't dispair, it will get better and lots of folks here are ready to help.[p]Cheers,[p]GrillMeister
    Austin, TX

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Pictur1.jpg
    <p />NW Egger, lets just hope it was a bad piece of meat. I've done 'many' bone-in butts on my medium and every one has turned out great. With that said, I have yest to have one finish in less than about 18 hours. Actually, 20-21 is more typical, but then I usually do 2 6-7 lb. butts together.

    [ul][li]Pulled Pork[/ul]
  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Gordon,[p]Where in the world have you been old friend?[p]You have been missed.[p]Bob

  • Angie2BAngie2B Posts: 543
    Bob, I have been wondering the same. Where has Gfw been?
    I've missed the info he posts too.--A2B

  • JoderJoder Posts: 57
    NW Egger,
    It had to be a fluke. Also, plan on 21 hrs. Go for 200 F. I just did my 1st and it was great.

  • Love HandlesLove Handles Posts: 253
    NW Egger,
    I did a 8-10lb pork butt this weekend and cooked it for 17 hrs. Took it off and wrapped it in foil, then wrapped it in towels and put into ice chest for another 7 hrs. It was still hot when we took it out of towels. It was the most tender one for me yet. Also added a little BBQ sause to the meat before serving it. This was the first one I've tried since I attended DR. BBQ's class and it was great. Thanks DR. BBQ

    P.S. It was a bone in butt. See Yaa
  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    NW Egger,[p]First thing to do is check both your dome thermometer and the probe you were using to measure the meat temp. It may be that one or both of them are not calibrated correctly and it's possible that resulting temperature is off. That's what happened to one of mine once when I thought it should be done hours earlier. The meat probe was off and because I overcooked it, thinking that it hadn't reached the proper temp, it was drier than usual.[p]I also try and maintain a 250° or so dome temp. Going too much lower and your grid level isn't much above the 200° you're aiming for the internal of the meat, so it'll take a lot longer to get there.[p]Another thing to consider is how much the butt was trimmed before you bought it. If the store you buy from trims away most of the fat to make the meat as lean as possible, that's another reason it might have been drier than usual, since you need that fat rendering to make the meat tender. You mentioned it was boneless, so I wondered if it was trimmed too...[p]One thing I've found with BBQ is that it definitely isn't an exact science. Not all of them go 2 hrs per lb...some go faster and some go slower. Keep trying, though. It's well worth it when you nail it![p]Tonia
    :~)

  • glennglenn Posts: 151
    NW Egger,
    I also did pulled pork this weekend, but I had to settle fo the picnic cut of the shoulder,Albertsons had em for 69 cents a pound and I couldnt resist although I much prefer bone in boston butt. My cook also turned up a little dry but I let it cook to long, I slept thru the 190 alarm and when I did wake up the internal was at 205. I wrapped it and let it set for 2 hours or so before I pulled it, It was a little dry so I poured on a little apple juice and mixed it in real god with the pork, that helped quite a bit,
    I made ABT's with about half of the meat
    and made pulled pork samages with the rest seasond up a tad with some dizzy pig rub and mustard based q sauce
    no left overs.
    I cooked mine at 225/250 with 1 spike at 285
    my 6 pound picnic went on at 9:30 pm saturday and came off at 8:00 sunday am so mine didnot take 2 hours per pound either. It might have something to do with the size of the bone that reduces the cooking time... just a guess
    see ya Glenn

  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    NW Egger,
    You've got some input from some top-shelf Eggers and I hate to go against the tide, but this 17-21 hour stuff goes way against against what I've found.
    Get that cooker to 230-250 at the grill level, with some mass (be it drip pan, fire bricks, plate setter, pizza stone or your mother-in-law's meatloaf, I don't care) between the meat and the fire. Close the lid and cook the thing, 230-250 at grid level until it's 190-200 internal. This WON'T take 20+ hours, especially with the little wee roasts you're talking about. I'm sorry what others think, but you're making that roast turn drier than a popcorn phart by going that long and that low. It needs to render the fat and break down the collagen and then just be done with it. Do not let it turn itself into pork jerky.
    Just because the Egg CAN go 20+ hours on a load of charcoal doesn't mean you HAVE to do it; especially for a piddly 4-7 lb butt! If that was the case, we'd never be able to turn in our 10 lb roasts at a competition---we'd run out of time between meat inspection and turn-in time!
    Just one more opinion to nibble on....
    Qfan

  • StubbyQStubbyQ Posts: 156
    Well I did one the day before yesterday on my large using my BBQ Guru. It controled everything perfectly. The meat hit the set point of 190° in 14 hours. This temp does not dry the meat out like 200° and above does. I went on to cook it for 4 hours longer, just to make it tender to perfection. It was fantastic. Mine was 9.5 pounds which included the bone.[p]You might want to look into this BBQ Guru thing. Follow the link for more information. I love mine and wouldn't cook without ever again.
    [ul][li]The BBQ Guru[/ul]
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    NW Egger, I have a different view than everyone else. I have found that many grocery stores remove the bone and most of the fat from a Boston Butt and then sell it for a premium price as Boneless Boston Butts. As far as I'm concerned this is terrible for pulled pork. It dries out and doesn't seem to hav ethe flavor I want. I always try to buy the cheapest butt ($0.69 to $1.19/lb) I can because I know it's got lots of fat in it.

  • GrillMeister and all other respondents,

    First off, I just got through reading all respponses. Thanks very much folks. The price of the Egg is worth it's weight in gold when I think about this forum and the value it has to the Q'r.[p]I used a roasting rack with a drip pan placed directly on the grill.[p]

  • QBabe,[p]I know how to re-calibrate the Egg's dome thermometer, but you raise an interesting point. How would one re-cal as probe like a Polder probe or a Redi-Check? Just stick in boiling water and add or subtract the delta if any everytime you use it????? I am curious if there is some adjustability physically that could be done.
  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    ToyCollector,[p]I don't know how you'd do that...in my case, it was a case of using the wrong probe for the unit...I have both a Polder and a Maverick dual probe unit. I accidentally used my Polder probe with my Maverick unit and it would never move above 170°, for hours. I kept thinking I was in the plateau, but when it was almost 4 hours past the time I thought things should be done, and the meat was falling apart and hard as a rock in places (when I finally looked at it), we went ahead and ate. [p]We were camping, so when we finally got home, I checked all the probes and they all worked. So, I was scratching my head wondering what was up. Finally, I switched the probes between the units, and lo and behold, it was 30° off from boiling. Turns out my food was probably done for hours...[p]Tonia
    :~)

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    I thought the laws of physics were just different on my Eggs, Mike. LOL. Glad to hear that someone else finishes their pork in much shorter times than most others post here. We cook at least two 6-8 lb. butts in competition. The first one goes on no later than 7pm and it is done by 9am at the latest.[p]Frosty Ones!
    Jim[p]P.S. Ragin' River chicken will be wowing the judges again in Tryon this weekend!

  • QBabe,[p]Well, now I need to check all of mine, as I have intermixed Redi-check and Polder probes as well. Will let you know what I find out. The probes look identical visually.
  • JamesJames Posts: 232
    joder,[p]I like your handle. Does it come from Spanish? :-)
  • GWWGWW Posts: 43
    I agree, just because you can doesn't mean you should! I do (4) butt cooks all the time and never had the last one come off any longer than 16-18 hours. I really on the internal temp as a good guideline, but the true test is the fork spin. and that happens around 185. Just my .02 worth.
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