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Wood Chunks for Pork Butt

alyndalynd Posts: 130
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
This is my first time cooking a pork butt (8lbs).  I plan on starting it around midnight tonight and I think I have a handle on everything except for the wood chunks.  I'm using apple wood chunks, and I don't know how much to put in the coals.  Also, do I need to soak them before using them?  Any help would be much appreciated.


  • For chunks, most ppl end up putting any where from 3-4 to 7-8 (the more you put, the more potential smoke you can get). 

    Try to place them in various spots, not only left to right, but also "up & down" throughout the coals to maximize the fire's chances of reaching the chunks.

    As far as soaking - I used to soak, but don't soak any more.  Some folks do, others don't.  If you keep the lid down most of the time, then you shouldn't have any worries about the wood actually catching fire & flaming up (it'll just sit there & smolder, and produce smoke that way). 

    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • tnbarbqtnbarbq Posts: 248
    I never soak chunks or wood chips.  As far as how much wood to add, that really depends on how much smoke flavor you want.  Apple wood usually produces a mild smoke flavor.  So if you want to have more of a smokey flavor, use more chunks/chips.
    Mid TN. Hangin' in the 'Boro. MIM Judge
  • alyndalynd Posts: 130
    My dome temp is hovering around 290. Any advice for how to drop it by about 40 degrees?
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,852
    Well this may be late, but....
    Just close down the vents a bit and......
    Try not to do what I did, and overreact and chase my temp up and down. Its a long cook. 40 degrees over for a bit won't kill it.
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • BuckdodgerBuckdodger Posts: 948
    My dome temp is hovering around 290. Any advice for how to drop it by about 40 degrees?
    Good advise from the guy's above...What I do is close the holes on the daisy wheel and leave a crack of about 1/4 inch on the side, about the same on the bottom vent. I adjust if needed from the bottom vent. BTW Apple gives a great flavor to the BB. Another good choice of wood for butts, IMHO, is pecan chunks.

    Alex City Al 

    Alexander City,Al
  • alyndalynd Posts: 130
    Thanks for the very helpful advice everyone. Adjusted both vents and now I'm rocking and rolling at about 235. One last question....when it is done cooking, what do I do with the fat cap? Cut it off? Mix it in with everything else when I pull it? Thanks.
  • rsmith193rsmith193 Posts: 219
    Apple is really nice to use, next cook try either Pear or Cherry. Both are great with pork. If you try Cherry try a Mojo Brick, those are fantastic! I normaly trim the fat before I cook, so there isn't much after the cook. If you still have fat I would trim it, that way you don't end up with a mouth full of just fat.
  • +1 on Apple...I use apple and hickory for pork.  Be careful with cherry as it can become VERY overpowering very quickly.  Not saying it's a bad smoke wood, but a little goes a long way.

    Alder is another wood that is good with pork.
    Love smoking chicken...but they are hard to keep lit ;-) Small Egg / Weber OTG 22" / CharGriller Trio / Masterbuilt 30" Electric
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