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Help - Boston Butt ?

Egghead WillieEgghead Willie Posts: 185
edited 1:26AM in EggHead Forum
10# butt went on at 11pm @ dome 250. 1am went to bed. [email protected] 250. Checked at 4:30 dome at 190. Opened vent a tiny bit. Went bact to bed. 7am [email protected] 275. Should I leave it? Also when checking meat temp later with my thermapen what part of the meat to I take my reading from. Thanks all for your help.


  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    Well, your temp swings over time is no big deal on a butt.... and since you are only about halfway through the cook, you have plenty of time left. I wouldn't go higher than the 275°, but find some temp below that where the Egg is happy running at and let 'er go.

    When temping meat, it's a good idea to know some geography. The picture above is a cross section of a pork butt. You will notice several distinct muscles, tied together with some veins of fat, as well as the bone. Ideally you should temp a butt in the center of those muscles, trying to stay away from any pockets of fat (you sometimes can feel them as you insert the thermometer), and staying away from the bone (it is a heat conductor). The best thing about a butt is that the bone will begin to loosen somewhere above 185°, and when the roast is done the bone will slip free. Often I go by feel alone using an ice pick type of probe and wiggling the bone.

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • I would try and get it to around 225 and try to maintain it around there. Mind you there is a difference between the temperature that you dome is reporting and the one on the grill/rack. It is usually a bit lower that the one measured by the built in dome probe.

    To measure the meat temperature stick the thermapen into the tickest part of the butt and try to avoid fatty parts as they will throw off the reading a bit.
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    You do realize he is speaking of 275 dome temp right? If he lowers it to 225 DOME temp it will likely be more like 200 at the grate and he will be eating it tomorrow sometime. 225 dome is too low unless your into day and a half cooks. Stay at 275 dome if thats where it's settled at. No problems.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,636
    When you insert a probe, you can usually tell if it's ready to pull, regardless of the temp. If it slips right in, it's probably ready, if there is resistance, I leave it on a bit longer.

    Sometimes, different parts of the butt finish at different times. With this one, I was hungry and one end was done, the other wasn't. I pulled dinner right on the grid! Let the rest cook while I ate! :laugh:


    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • glennglenn Posts: 151
    I cook probably 10 or so butts a year
    and I always cook witha a dome temp between 250 and 275, I use a maveric ET-73 smoker thermometer
    to monitor the dome and the meat
    I do not pay much attention to the time only the temp
    I usualy get the meat on the smoker around 6-7pm and monitor things until bed time
    by that time the egg is all settled in and stabilized
    typicaly the butt is done between 6-8am the following morning I pull it at 180 wrap in foil and keep in a small igloo cooler until I am reay for it round lunch time, it is still hot (140-160) and very moist and pulls apart easily

    I typically use about 1/2 of the butt for ABT's
    My kids eat these by the dozens

    By the way if you have your butcher slice a butt in 1/2" thick slices it makes some really good and inexpensive pork chops and bode well to grilling on the Egg
  • I see the butt sliced up all the time in the case. I think they call them country ribs. any tricks to the cook? or just like Pork chops? direct till 140-145?
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • Hi thirdeye,

    I am by no means a competitive bbq'er, but from watching the horrendous show pitmastersthe one thing I did take away is pork butts have a "money muscle" which is considered the most desireable part. Is this identified on your lettered picture?

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    Yes, it's over in the C section. They are much easier to see when the butt is cooking, as they kind of pooch out. The money muscle is easy to see in this pit shot photo I got from Todd Johns. One of his presentation boxes and one from Old Dave show off the money muscle.



    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Wow that is easier. Thanks for posting those!
  • glennglenn Posts: 151
    Country ribs are different, they are cut to resemble the shape of a rib, I cook these usualy in a crock pot, with onions celery garlic,chicken broth and a can of rotels, and serve it over white rice or noodles, I dont cook them on my egg, in my honest opinion they taste nothing like ribs, And I believe that it is a gimmic by the grocery store to make the unsuspecting public believe that they are buying boneless ribs and they charge a premium, I rarely buy them

    But I do buy a butt and have it cut into what they call pork steaks, most stores will cut the butt down for you with out charge, but if you buy the precut packaged pork steaks you usualy give an additional $1.00 a pound
    and I grill these like I would any other pork chop Roughly 500 deg at the grill for maybe 3 to 4 minutes total per side, rotating the meat 45 deg after the first minute and a half ,repeated on both sides
    just for the pretty grill marks
    hope this helps a little
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