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Roasted Butt--no smoke, no pull

Howdy fellas.  I'm cooking a butt for T-giving this year, but I want it to be a roast and not bbq--- you know, a knife and for thing.  I've done low and slow butts a hundred times-- no problem, but this time I want a slicing experience.  I may or may not cook on the egg.  My plan is to use an herb rub, cook at a bit higher heat (325) and pull it at 175-180, rest and slice.  My questions are--- first, what do you think?  And, any ideas on time here?  I'm thinking 4-5 hours at these temps for a 175 removal. 



  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,860
    I haven't done this, but your plan sounds good to me.  First recipe I found

    ...5 lb butt at 350, pull at 170, expect 2 1/2 - 3 hours. 

    My only other thought is I would trim all the fat from the outside of the butt.  The butt has plenty of fat inside, and with the shorter cook the outside fat probably won't melt away. 

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

  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Thanks for that.  I pulled a butt from the freezer yesterday and it was in the 7lb range-- so maybe in the 3-5 hour range.  I'm with you on the fat--- I also trim my smoked butts pretty low so I can get more rub and smoke down to the meat.  I'm thinking I might go a little hotter on the meat--- 175 or so--- just to get that little extra melting of the collagen, but still in the slicing (not pulling) range. 
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 582

    There might be some people who will disagree with me here - but I'd be careful with temperature.  Picking the middle between roast temps and pulling temps isn't what you might think.. That's right about where the meat has given up as much water as possible and has not yet really started melting collagen = DRY AS HELL.  I have never been happy with a roast of any kind that i've cooked to 170-180.  I would suggest maybe taking it to 185-190 depending on the roast .. and there will still be enough connective tissue in tact to slice it.  I've also gone the other route .. cook a picnic to 150 skin on at 325.  The meat is more flavorful than any loin roast there's crispy skin..  you just have some fat and connective tissue to deal with  - that comes down to who you are serving if it's an issue or not. 

    Someone was on here writing about being really happy with injecting with Italian Dressing.. you may also check out Mojo Criollo which is what I use on something like that. 

  • Billy Grill EggsterBilly Grill Eggster Posts: 404
    edited November 2012
    BBQ joint I use to go in Columbus, GA pulled at 190* F and sliced or chopped after a rest.  You have to get it through the plateau to get the collagen broken down.
    Wilson, NC
    Large BGE - WiFi Stoker - Thermapen - 250 Cookbooks

  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 981
    You want to treat this as a roast, right? Cook to 160, higher than a traditional pork roast but not nearly as high as you would think. I also would braise it for moistness. Butterfly it to take out as much fat as possible and to spread herbs inside. Tie up to cook. 
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Thanks everyone--- great input.  Tony, I think you are onto something with the 170-180 concern----maybe 185-190 is a better target and that gets me to a point where slicing is still possible, especially with some of the leaner muscles after a rest.  There is no fear of fat in my house, but with that said, I think its a better eating experience to have that internal fat and collagen melted. 

    I'll tell you, I've cut one into chunks to smoke before adding to chili and while those chunks still had some firmness to them--- they were still damn good.

    I think I'll shoot for 325 -- guessing around 5 hours-- cook to 185/190, rest for an hour and give it a slice. 

    The other option would be as jlsm suggests--- cutting out most of the fat and cooking it more like a loin.  My worry would be tenderness.

    Thanks again!

  • TonyATonyA Posts: 582
    Good luck .. have fun with it.. and Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Please post some pics and stuff. I'm very curious cause the temp suggestions are all over the place. I'm going with closer to 190* did a roast to 170 and was dry and tough


  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 670

    Here is the post I made about injecting with Italian dressing...

    When I read your post this morning though I was thinking about a different kind of Italian pork roast - Porcetta.

    When I first got my egg - before joining the forum and taking pics - one of the first butts I did was boned and butterflied butt that I rubbed with Porcetta seasonings and rolled back up and tied.  I cooked it low and slow and pulled it around 190 (definitely after the plateau) and it was moist, sliceable, and full of flavour.  I actually wanted to pull it and was disappointed that it didn't fall apart.  A little more reading afterwards and I realized I pulled it too early for good pulled pork.

    Since it cooks in a compact roll it would slice cleanly and have a good presentation. 

    Toronto, Canada

    Large BGE, Small BGE


  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Good points BigWader.  The butt I have is bone in, but I could certainly cut it out--- would be easier to slice later too. 

    I will take some pics.  I'm definitely leaning towards 185-190.  I have also pulled some smoked butts at 185 that were more than firm enough to slice.
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    edited November 2012
    Here's a pork roast that turned out great. If you want moist pork roast, take it off at 145 IT. After that, it will be drier and drier until 200 degrees or so, in which case you have pulled pork.  

    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • If you go that high you won't get clean slices. Take it to the plateau, let it ride for a while. You want the fat to render but not have the connective tissue break down.


    Caledon, ON


  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Tjcoley--- if it were anything besides a butt I'd be with you.  I pull thick chops and loin roasts at 145, but at 145 that butt is a fatty beast.  (your pork looked awesome by the way--- I think I'll cook a loin next time!)

    LittleSteven--- what temp are you suggesting.  I saw this (below) -- which seemed to get good review.  Target is a pull at 170 with a rise to 175.  I would say that this is on the rise side of the stall, so perhaps the fat would be melted and it would still be in slicing shape-- kind of a happy medium.,1627,131177-242199,00.html

    Thanks again everyone.  I certainly appreciate the input.
  • JLNCJLNC Posts: 73
    Well, better late......(from T-giving)

    Ok, I promised to come back with a report and a picture or two.  First, I decided to debone for easier carving later.  I tied it up and rubbed the butt (pork) with a mix of herbs from the garden, garlic, salt and pepper.   Decided to go with the oven (for that T-giving house smell), cooked it at 325 and pulled it when it hit 180.  It was certainly not falling apart, but I could cut it with a fork.  Some of the lighter muscles could have been a touch more moist, but much of the fat had rendered and overall the texture and moisture was good.  I will say that it was very very flavorful.  After rubbing and smoking this cut for so many years it was really nice to try in a more pure form.  There is a richness and deep pork flavor to it that is really outstanding and I made a gravy from the drippings.  My wife and I both thought is was like pork prime rib (and about $10/lb cheaper!).   

    Here's some pictures.  By the way, the cooking process took about 4-5 hours.  I may do another one for Christmas, but throw it on the egg this time.
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    Looks great. Nice cook.
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
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