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First Boston Butt- Have a few ???

autiger2000autiger2000 Posts: 29
edited 10:39AM in EggHead Forum
OK I know this topic has been talked about extensively but I still have a few questions.

1. What is the ideal size butt to cook on a medium green egg? I've seen where most say 8-9 lbs...but I'm going to doubt i can find one that large on short notice?

2. Should I use the V-rack?

3. If i do use the V-rack does the drip pan go underneath the grill rack or the v-rack? I don't currently have the plate setter.

4. Also I've seen people who put water in the drip pan is this necessary?

Thanks and any other suggestions or secrets would be greatly appreciated...


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,565
    You may have to ask the butcher at the market for a whole one. I've never had good results with anything less than 5 lbs. Bigger is better.

    A whole fresh picnic also works well.

    I'm assuming you have a way to raise the grill to the felt line. The V-rack is fine if you want to use it. It will raise the meat even farther into the dome. Careful the dome therm doesn't get stuck into the meat.

    You will want a drip pan underneath. That will shield the meat from the direct IR, as well as keep the drippings from falling onto the coals and burning.

    I only put water in the pan if the drippings are blackening there. The Egg holds moisture very well with a fire small enough to keep the dome at 250.

    Early on, I did do a butt at the lower position, with a drip pan beneath the V-rack. Had to keep adding water to keep the drippings from turning to char. As I recall, the results were poor.
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,649
    1. What is the ideal size butt to cook on a medium green egg? I've seen where most say 8-9 lbs...but I'm going to doubt i can find one that large on short notice?
    6,7,8,9 What ever size you can get will work very well, I get the biggest I can because I freez what is left over.
    2. Should I use the V-rack?
    The v-rack will make it easy to pick up when done.
    3. If i do use the V-rack does the drip pan go underneath the grill rack or the v-rack? I don't currently have the plate setter.
    Yes I put mine under the grid, but you could set the v-rack in the drip pan.
    4. Also I've seen people who put water in the drip pan is this necessary?
    I have done it both ways, I'm too lazy now.
    As many have told me they are very forgiving and I;m sure you will do well. If you don't have pit controller keep an eye on the fire in the night to make sure the fire does not go out or the temp spike. 250 dome temp is what you want.
    Jupiter Jim

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • I do not have a way to raise the grill to the felt line?

    The only accessory I have is the v-rack right now...

    Sorry I'm a newbie
  • Gotcha thanks...

    I don't have a pit controller yet...gonna try to do this first one the old fashioned way and see if i can handle it...

    Honestly how hard can it be everything else has been great...

    1.5 to 2 hrs per pound @ 200 till the internal temp is 200???
  • Don't cook at dome temp of 200*, as the grid is 25-40* cooler than the dome temp. Make sure dome temp is 250-280*.
  • Thanks...I need all the help i can get
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    easy and great cook...

    I don't have a pit controller (and probably never will) and do plenty of overnighters....

    BJ's, Sams, Costco those type of places tend to sell the Boston Butts two to a pack, so you end up with two pieces in the 6-9lb range each. Many of the super market butts or picnics contain a solution so be careful. You don't want those.

    As mentioned let the egg settle in between 250-275 dome and you will be fine. Temp will climb a little as the cook gets close to the end. I don't adjust it as long as it stays reasonable. some bump it up near the end to finish anyway...
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,598
    I've never had a problem finding an 7-9 lb at my local Kroger, but maybe I'm just lucky. I would recommend going with the biggest you can as others have stated.

    If you don't have a plate setter then I would use the v-rack and find some way to raise it up a little and to block the direct heat. Maybe just turn a casserole/baking dish upside down on the grid, then set another disposable baking dish on top of that (right side up) and set the v rack inside that.

    I usually add a little water in the drip pan. Some say it keeps the initial dripping from burning up too bad. To be honest I'm not sure if it makes a difference- the water evaporates and the drip pan turns into a charred mess anyway ;). If you don't use a disposable drip pan make sure to line it with aluminum foil for easy clean up.

    Good luck!

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,565
    The easiest way to raise the grill is to buy 3 fire brick splits. They are pretty cheap. I think I paid .70 apiece. Place the splits long side down on edge on the fire ring. The grill on that in a medium will then be almost at the felt line.

    Then just a drip pan, with the rack on the pan.
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    If you don't have a plate setter and the pan is going to be your shield between the fire and the meat then I would put liquid in the pan. Otherwise, when the fat starts dripping into that hot pan it'll just burn and smoke. If it were me I'd look for a pizza stone that'll fit correctly and use it as a plate setter.
  • I think i may have to go get the plate setter...seems to be an essential item.
  • I like your thinking ;)

    So if you raise the grill will the v-rack be necessary so i don't burn the heck out of it...Seems to be no real preference
  • The platesetter is good to have but I egged for 12 years without one. Most of the accessories can be rigged up yourself.

    I always cook pork butt/picnic in the pan, no rack, to collect the juices. I have been making pulled pork this way for years, with no platesetter. This is 4 - 8 lb. butts:


    This is one of the easiest cooks you can do on the egg. Don't over analyze it, it's really hard to mess this one up.
    Happily egging on my original large BGE since 1996... now the owner of 6 eggs. Call me crazy, everyone else does!
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    If you cannot get a plate setter before the cook(which would be the simplest way), I would get a box of firebricks. I think they are about $10 for a box of 10-12 at Ace Hardware. Lay a few flat in the middle of the cooking grid to create indirect-ness. Your drip pan can go on top. The butt(in v-rack)goes over the drip pan. You can put a couple of additional bricks on their side to support the v-rack if necessary. This will be far superior than using only a drip pan for a barrier, even with water in it.
    This "stack" will be lower than the felt line, but you could place a shim between the firebox and fire ring.....pieces of a broken fire brick, uniform sized balls of aluminum foil, etc.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,565
    The V-Rack gets the meat up out of the drip pan.

    If you take a few layers of HD foil, you can form a "pan" that fits the V-rack.
  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,649
    I agree I don't have one and so far I don't want one, I enjoy keeping an eye on it during the night. I sleep on the couch and watch tv sip a few beverages and check on things when I wake up from time to time.

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • I think Faith's method looks cool and I'd like to hear more how she does it. Looks easier (ie-better) than what I do!
    You can make a raised grid with a replacement grid from a hardware store (I don't know what size Egg you're cooking on, but a large takes an 18" grid) and (3) 4" or 4.5" carriage bolts and nuts and washers. Doesn't cost much and then you'll have a raised grid that you can use for chicken cooks and also a rig that will allow indirect cooks by placing a heat barrier on the bottom grid while you cook on top.

    A platesetter is good to have (I have one) but it's not the only way to achieve an indirect cook.

    I think you will want to get a remote temp probe for this cook. I use a Maverick ET-73.
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Several good ideas already posted here and none are wrong in my opinion. Florida Grilling Girl's method is simple and will cost you about a buck or two for the pan. I have used bricks, platesetter, V-Rack, foil, etc.

    One suggestion on the drip pan, I have fed one to the dogs after letting drip pan dry up and burnt drippings ruined my meat. I have also not used a drip pan and it turned out great. I play it safe and use a drip pan with water which for me makes the temp harder to control sometimes but you will get the hang of it.

    Good Luck.
  • I like FL Grillin's method but since i have the v rack i think i'm gonna use it...and put the drip pan below the grill with about an inch of water in you said the temp maybe difficult to control...

    Is it important to raise the grill to the felt line even if you are using the v rack?
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Why would you do something that you acknolwedge will make things difficult?
  • You're right i may just go with the easiest option...and go with it...
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Don't worry about raising grid this time, just use the V-rack like you plan. The pan will dry out quicker since it is in direct heat without a shield, so refill two or three times if necessary during the cook. If you could invert one pan on the grid then your drip pan and V-rack on top of that pan the inverted pan might help a little bit as a heat shield.

    War Eagle, I'm a 84 grad myself. Hopefully Kentucky will not repeat last year for us.
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Steamed Pork?
  • I am a 2000 grad...and will be cooking this for the UK game...I was in vegas last year during this game it was miserable to watch...

    War Eagle
  • I like to collect the juices so I can defat them (in a gravy seperator) and pour them back over the pulled pork. It adds more moisture and flavor back into the meat. In this case I barely had room for the 4 butts, and they had alot of juices at the end of the cook.


    Water isn't necessary in the egg, so if you just put the meat directly on the pan, you should be good to go. Make sure your pan isn't way bigger than the meat.

    Like I said, it's a simple cook. Buy the biggest one you can find and egg away.
    Happily egging on my original large BGE since 1996... now the owner of 6 eggs. Call me crazy, everyone else does!
  • don't use anything other than the pan for indirect heat?
  • FrobozzFrobozz Posts: 98
    Stop thinking so much. Thinking makes the meat dry out and get tough :)

    If you don't have an indirect rig, put the pork in a V-rack in a foil pan. Don't worry so much about the size. Heck, I've cooked four-pounders, although they take longer per pound (they're still thick, just not as big). It probably wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if you can wedge a cookie sheet between the pan and the grate, but again, I wouldn't get my shorts in a ball.

    You'll do fine.
  • Thanks for all the suggestions guys i really appreciate the help... :cheer:
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,395
    I like butts in the 8+ lbs range but I buy what I can get when I'm looking. I never used a v-rack but when I cook butts I fit as many as I can on the grate and vacuum seal what I'm not going to use. It doesn't take much more time or charcoal to cook more then one.

    I always set my drip pan on my plate setter and use pennies to keep it from contacting it. Four stacks of 3 works for me. This keeps it from burning. Lining it and the plate setter with aluminum foil helps with clean up. If I do add liquid I use a 50/50 mix of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. I think the vinegar gives it a nice flavor.
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006 is a good excuse to stay up late, have a beer and sleep on the the wife but love the couch too :laugh:
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