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Trying Pull Pork for the first time

EGGs N@EGGs N@ Posts: 50
edited 2:24PM in EggHead Forum
I will making my first attempt at pull pork this weekend...I will follow Elder Ward’s method on the Whiz site. My question is should I get 2 - 5 lb Boston Butts or 1 whole Shoulder in the 8-9 pound range? What can I expect on cook times for the 2- 5 lb’ers VS. a whole shoulder?


  • I myself actually prefer the larger butts. (And I cannot lie . . .) Here's why: With a smaller you have to start real early in the morning. Everyone generally estimates about 1.5-2 hrs./lb. on this site. I like the larger butts because I like to throw it on around 8-10 pm the evening before and have it ready by 2pm the next afternoon. You do the numbers yourself, but when I want to go to sleep, and when I want to eat are big factors in whether to go smaller or larger.

    Another point is that with smaller butts you're going to have more bark (dark crispy crust) in comparison to amount of tender, inside meat. But, this is offset by the fact that a much longer cook time is going to produce a darker, more caramelized bark which I prefer. So, I hope these two factors help you decide. Either way you go, the flavor of the actual majority of the pulled pork is going to be exactly the same. And BTW, I also follow the Elder Ward directions to the T. (Except I use Dijon mustard to make the rub stick.) And watch out on his amounts of cayenne, you might want to step it back a touch if you have timid dinner guests.

    In the end, I say "go big or go home".
  • CheavenCheaven Posts: 30
    I am not a huge fan of the picnic, but its all a matter of taste.

    I do like cooking the largest piece of meat I can, so I'd probably try to 2 7lb butts. Not much more money and you will have some tasty leftovers.

    The cook time will be about the same if you do 2 5lbs vs 8-9lb shoulder.
  • You don't necessarily have to have a picnic/Boston to have a 10lb. butt. I did two 10+ lb. Boston's a few weeks ago and they were all shoulder, no picnic attached. Big pig!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Depends on where you are buying this meat. One make sure the package doesn't say "Enhanced" or "Solution Added" That solution is a brine and your paying for that extra 14% solution.

    If you are buying at Costco that whole shoulder is actually two boneless butts.

    Shoulder/picnic are interchangeable. A true "whole" shoulder contains the shoulder portion and the butt.

    Sam's and Costco sell two butts to a packages. BJ's has started just selling one per package.

    As for the cook times each will get done at their own rate. Plan the cook on the larger butt and start checking based on the smaller one. Having two or more butts in your egg doesn't double the cook time
  • EGGs N@EGGs N@ Posts: 50
    Thanks all...I'm looking forward to it. Looks like I am getting two 5-6 lb butts...what is the avg cooktime per pound of meat at 250 dome?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    1-2 hours per pound (avg 1.5 hours). Use that time as a guide line not an absolute. They are done when they reach 195 internal.

    No matter how I plan the butts I cook I always have one or two done early or done late.
  • CruzrCruzr Posts: 91
    single 5 lb butt was 10 hrs at 235* grid in a mBGE couple weeks ago. You got some good advice above, you'll be really pleased with your cook, I'm sure B)
  • Mark0525Mark0525 Posts: 1,232
    My last cook was 2 8# butts and they went turbo on me for some reason. Cooked both in 8hrs. But still perfect
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