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First Party...Help With LBS. and Cook Time

r270bar270ba Posts: 763
edited September 2012 in EggHead Forum
What's up guys and gals!  I just got my BGE XL for Father's Day and I am getting ready to do my first party.  I have experience cooking on my dad and my father in laws BGEs, so this is more of a planning and cook time post.  

I have about 36 people coming out and I have a few questions:

1. I have 25 lbs. of boneless pork shoulder.  I think this is way to much meat but this is how I had to buy it at Costco.  My thinking is cooking only 3 butts (about  19 lbs. of the meat) and freezing 1 butt for later.  Assuming a 40% reduction in weight when the butts are cooked and shredded, that gives me 11.4 lbs. or 182 oz.  If I assumed 5 oz portions on averages (50% men and 50% women will attend) then that gives me 36.4 servings of pork.

    Is this enough?  I also have appetizers, baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad.  Should I just go ahead and do the full 25 lbs. and freeze what we dont     eat?  Pork is cheap so my decision here is based more on waste and less on $.

2.  Based on my research, and the fact that my brother in law is going to help me and he knows what he is doing, how long will the 19 lbs. or 25 lbs. take to cook?  His method is to leave the butts on the egg until they have taken in all the smoke they can (he says about 5 hours) and then wrap them and put them in the oven.  Thoughts?

Very glad to be part of the community!

Ron
Anderson, SC
XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

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Comments

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,876
    5 oz is a fairly large amount for a single sandwich, but if you assume the guys will eat 2, and the gals 1, you might be pushing your limit. Just do it all.

    The butts will take smoke as long as they are in a smoky environment, if the surface does not dry out. The longer they are in the Egg, the tastier they will be. Your BIL methods works, but to me is a sort of hurry up method. Once the butts are wrapped, they can't "sweat" to cool themselves, and so cook much quicker. The down side is the bark doesn't get any better, and what there is gets kind of mushy. 
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,876
    gdenby said:
    5 oz is a fairly large amount for a single sandwich, but if you assume the guys will eat 2, and the gals 1, you might be pushing your limit. Just do it all.

    The butts will take smoke as long as they are in a smoky environment, if the surface does not dry out. The longer they are in the Egg, the tastier they will be. Your BIL methods works, but to me is a sort of hurry up method. Once the butts are wrapped, they can't "sweat" to cool themselves, and so cook much quicker. The down side is the bark doesn't get any better, and what there is gets kind of mushy. 
    Oops, edit. Should have said "but if you assume the guys will eat 2 4 oz sandwiches, and the gals 1"
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks @gdenby!  Any ideas on how long the cook should take for 19 or 25 lbs?  The 'stall' is what is scaring me a bit and I think that is why my BIL puts his in the oven when he is doing larger parties.  

    By not putting it in the oven, you are saying that it should be more flavorful?  Should I keep moisture of some sort (apple juice maybe) on the outside of the pork?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,876
    The rule of thumb is 1.5 - 2 hours per pound per piece. Its not total weight unless the meat is one huge mass.

    The stall has been shown to be due to evaporative cooling. When the meat is foiled, it doesn't stall.

    See this page:

    http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/the_stall.html


    Using the above technique, you will get good flavor and moistness. My experiments with it have not yielded PP that was as flavorful. I don't think there is any substitute at present for the hours of smoke and slow heat. The texture was also different, not as "slurpy," it seemed to me.

    My preference is to keep the butts in the Egg cooking for as long as it takes. Unless I have hungry company coming, and time is getting short. Then I will foil or/and raise the dome temperature.
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    @gdenby Thanks!  That was quite an intense read but I feel like if you are going to be passionate about something then you need to take the time to be passionate about it :).

    So the rule of thumb would be 1.5-2 hours based on the biggest piece of meat and not the total weight of all pieces?

    Therefore if I have 4 x 6 lbs. butts then I need to plan on 1.5 - 2 hours x 6 and not 1.5-2 hours x 24 correct?

    What time would you suggest putting the meat on Friday for a Saturday 7pm dinner?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 5,606
    I just smoked a six pound shoulder on Sunday.  Started at 7:30 with prep,etc.  Was done by 6.  If you wake up early on Saturday, you may not have to do these overnight.
    Steve 
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    @YEMTrey just to clarify...7:30 am to 6pm for 1 6 lbs. shoulder.  Would this apply the same to 4 6 lbs. shoulders?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 5,606
    Cooking time could vary slightly, all cuts of meat are different.  If they weren't moving along and you were getting worried about time, you have the ability to foil and up the heat a bit.
    Steve 
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,885
    its close to same, the cold meat  with a big batch might add an hour. if it were me, light egg around 9 to 10 pm and stablize it at 250 dome, go prep butts and put in fridge overnight, check egg to see its stable and go to bed. 5 am shake grate with wiggle rod to loosen the ash, put smoking wood in, put butts in, go back to bed. if butts are done between 1 and 5 pm or so, wrap in foil and put in cooler to keep hot, pull as the party is about to start, recruit pullers.
  • I would do it all and either vacuum seal what is left, or let the guest take home leftovers.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks guys!  I think I have a game plan.  Dave in Florida...I don't really like your signature :)
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,885
    just remember that if its getting done to fast you can put it in a cooler, if you 5 hours to party time and it looks to be cooking to slow, simply raise the temps by 25 even 50 degrees
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks a ton fishlessman!  I have lurked these forums for a while and you guys are so active.  It really makes the experience for new comers enjoyable and not stressful!
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • My rule of thumb is around 1 1/2 - 2 hours per pound x your largest shoulder and then add an hour to account for the huge amount of meat bringing down the temp when you put it in. Just leave enough time and being done early is not a real issue. And I would just cook it all. Should go great.
    Clarendon Hills, IL
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks @BuckeyeBob!  
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • I did 2 Costco butts on Sunday. These were the best I've ever made. The package was 15 lbs. Each butt was around 7.5lbs. I put them on at 7:00 pm and they were done at 9:00 am. I used the FTC method to keep them hot. I pulled the first one at noon. It was piping hot. I pulled the second at 2 and it was still steaming hot. Cook the butts at 250 indirect with a drip pan.

    As for extras, no worries. Keep some for yourself, and send your friends home with some. They'll be thanking you for days. The extra can be reheated in a crock pot. Put a little Apple juice in the pot to keep it moist. Or, do my favorite and make pulled pork pizza!
    Mark Annville, PA
  • I did 2 Costco butts on Sunday. These were the best I've ever made. The package was 15 lbs. Each butt was around 7.5lbs. I put them on at 7:00 pm and they were done at 9:00 am. I used the FTC method to keep them hot. I pulled the first one at noon. It was piping hot. I pulled the second at 2 and it was still steaming hot. Cook the butts at 250 indirect with a drip pan.

    As for extras, no worries. Keep some for yourself, and send your friends home with some. They'll be thanking you for days. The extra can be reheated in a crock pot. Put a little Apple juice in the pot to keep it moist. Or, do my favorite and make pulled pork pizza!
    Mark Annville, PA
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks @cortguitarman!  

    So here is what I am thinking:

    I need to pull my pork off around 2:30pm on Saturday.  We are eating at the lake and will not eat until around 7:30pm but I have be at the lake at 3:30 pm to watch a football game.  Can I FTC my pork for 5 hours (2:30pm - 7:30pm)?

    If I can then I probably will put my pork (25 lbs.) on around 7-8pm Friday and let it cook through until around 2pm.  I can then pull it off and FTC it and take it with me to the lake to be pulled 4.5 hours later at 6:30pm.

    Does that sound like it would work?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    r270ba said:
    Thanks @cortguitarman!  

    So here is what I am thinking:

    I need to pull my pork off around 2:30pm on Saturday.  We are eating at the lake and will not eat until around 7:30pm but I have be at the lake at 3:30 pm to watch a football game.  Can I FTC my pork for 5 hours (2:30pm - 7:30pm)?

    If I can then I probably will put my pork (25 lbs.) on around 7-8pm Friday and let it cook through until around 2pm.  I can then pull it off and FTC it and take it with me to the lake to be pulled 4.5 hours later at 6:30pm.

    Does that sound like it would work?
    That will work.  Double wrap in foil, then put as many towels, etc in your cooler to take up air space.  It will be hot when you pull it out.

    With pork butts always err on the side of getting done to early, because it is so easy to hold.
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited September 2012

    Duganboy said:

    That will work.  Double wrap in foil, then put as many towels, etc in your cooler to take up air space.  It will be hot when you pull it out.

    With pork butts always err on the side of getting done to early, because it is so easy to hold.
    ^^ What Duganboy said.  The only other thing that I'd add is you also may want to pour some warm / hot (but not TOO hot) water into the cooler & let it sit there for awhile w/ the lid closed before putting the meat in.  Then, after the meat is wrapped in foil & right b4 you are ready to put it into the cooler, drain the water.  Then place foiled meat & towels in cooler. 

    The warm water will "pre-heat" the cooler first, so that there will be even less heat lost from the meat because the temp differential between the insides of the pre-heated cooler & the meat will be less than a non-preheated cooler. 

    HTH,
    HH
    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
  • Sounds like you got your answer. I'd also add that you shouldn't pull the pork until it is time to serve. I assume you knew that, but thought it was worth mentioning.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Wow...what a community!  Last question...

    I want to be respectful to my brother in law, who is guiding me through this process in person, and not tell him how he needs to cook.  He likes to foil the meat and put it in the oven once it hits the stall, especially when we are on a time table.  If I were going to foil the meat and put in the in oven to prevent the stall, how long would you expect it to take in the oven to be completed by 2:30pm?

    The reason I am asking is not because my brother in laws method does not work...in fact he makes some pretty damn good pork!  My question is more so that I can learn.

    Thanks guys...this is an awesome forum...
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,965
    It sounds like you will cook it all (which is what I'd do). Friends and family are always happy to take home extras. Or if you want to freeze any extra, pulled pork reheats really well. Now if you cook it like your BIL does and are wrapping in foil a few hours in, the foil will accelerate the cook. Do you know what temp your BIL cooks at and when he tells you is he talking dome temp or cooking grid temp (dome usually reads about 25 degrees higher than grid temp)? Also what temp does he recommend for the oven portion of the cook? Assuming the largest butt is say just under 7 lbs and you put it on at 7-8 PM Fri at a dome temp of 250, and don't pull it off until 2 PM Sat, we're talking 18-19 hrs which seems at least a few hours too long to me for a few butts no larger than 7 lbs.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, Superior Smokers SS-Two, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Thai Charcoal cooker, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    edited September 2012
    225-240 grid temp until stall and then oven in at around 240.

    Sorry for the short response. Replying on my phone.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,965
    If I were cooking at those temps & following your BILs method, I'd wouldn't put them on the Egg until 1-2 AM. Since it sounds like you have a pretty set time to remove them (2-2:30 PM) and your FTC until around 6:30 PM, I'd say if they haven't hit an internal temp of say 180-185 by around 12:30-1 PM you can bump up the temp. With them in foil you can take the Egg or oven up to 350 if needed to really accelerate and not harm a thing. Try to avoid having them come off too early since your FTC times are pretty much already set.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, Superior Smokers SS-Two, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Thai Charcoal cooker, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks @R2Egg2Q...

    So this is your suggestion even though I am doing 4 x 7 lbs. butts with no bone correct?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 1,965
    Correct. Cooking 4 butts versus 1 doesn't add a significant amount of cook time. You might find initially it takes a little longer to recover your target grid temp simply because you've added a bunch of cold meat but I wouldn't sweat it.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, Superior Smokers SS-Two, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Thai Charcoal cooker, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks again.  Recovery should happen automatically correct?  Just give it some time?  Don't adjust anything?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 5,606
    image
    Steve 
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Why don't you do 2 your brother in law's way and 2 using suggestions on the forum? It would be a good comparison and you could both learn new techniques.
    Mark Annville, PA
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