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Cuttin' Butts-- Choose my own adventure

Good morning!

Tomorrow is our big annual party for the 4th.  Yes, it's on the 3rd-- our piddling town can't get the good parade attractions, so we do the parade on the 3rd at night, and then I have about 30 of my friends and hangers-on join us for a pulled pork party.

When I was at the butcher yesterday, the only ones they had for the food I wanted were two 8.25 lbs butts and a 5 lb butt.  So, I have 21 lbs of butt to cook, but I'm not sure that I want to.  Is there a place on the butt that I can cut them down a bit?  I only have a Large, with a half grid extender, so getting all of the meat on their would be a challenge. 

Should I:

1) Nut up and get all the meat on there somehow?

2) Cut down some of the big boys? If so, how?

3) Only cook the two big 'uns?

4) While I'm at it, since the 5# butt is going to take a lot less time, how does waiting to put the third butt on affect the cooking temp?  Should I put them all on at once or wait a few hours and then drop it on?

Help, advice, and ridicule welcome.  I want to pull them off at between 4:00 and 5:00  tomorrow. 

Thanks folks!

30 miles west of Chicago, buried deep in the suburbs.

LBGE (May 2011), SBGE (June 2014) and a growing pile of accessories.


  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,013
    I say nut up. I presume you have some type of heat deflector like the plate setter so I would foil the grid over the open areas that aren't blocked. While the small one may finish earlier, it could finish later, butts are funny like that. I would try and time your cook to finish around 4 hours before eating. Then "FTC" the butts(foil, towels, cooler) until serving time. They will still be over 140F so safety is not an issue.

    You can add the smaller one on later but the cold mass could cause the temp to drop, delaying the cook. You can alway bump the temp up during the final stages to finish the cook. I don't if you are aware of "turbo" smoking, but you can cook the butts at 350 and greatly reduce the time. I would not do this if you have a comfortable method already so the whole process remains as easy as possible for you. If you cook at 250, it can stay there and you can bump it up to 3325 to 350 once the butts are cruising at 160-170 and you are freaking out about them needing to be done it 2 hours.

    I have dealt with all of the the above for a 40 person cook one time with 23 lbs of pork on a medium egg(2 butts, 11 and 12 lb each). Good luck, I am sure you will be fine.
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 2,650

    i wouldnt cut them up- either cook the two big ones or a big one and a small one depending on how much you need.  Or cook them all and freeze some of the pulled pork before the guests arrive.

    The smaller one (likely less diameter) should cook faster- so put probes in both of them and be ready to take them off at different times.  FTC will hold it over until the other one catches up.

    Greensboro, NC
  • bonemusebonemuse Posts: 53
    The 4-5 o'clock target time is so that I can get them off and FTC them for a few hours while we enjoy the parade.  I am just worried about the little guy finishing way early and being in the faux cambro for seven hours... I usually go low and slow-- 250 is my target +/- 25 degrees.

    30 miles west of Chicago, buried deep in the suburbs.

    LBGE (May 2011), SBGE (June 2014) and a growing pile of accessories.

  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 5,670
    I agree. Get all three on the Large. Just keep an eye on them when it starts to get close to finishing temps.

    BTW, nice avatar.  I'm a self proclaimed Bourbon County Stout fiend.  I have a ton of friends that live in Chicago as well as one out west in the burbs of Aurora.
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • WalrusBBQWalrusBBQ Posts: 151
    Option 1
    Beers & BBQ

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,777

    +1 with cook them all-and spot the 5 # one a couple of hours before you add it to the mix.  Given your good-sized FTC window you have many options to hit that target with all three.  And as mentioned, they will each cook on their own schedule and could finish a couple of hours apart.  Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth!

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,013
    I'm getting "Goosebumps" about the ending.
  • bonemusebonemuse Posts: 53
    Meat went on at 1 am. Did the two big 'uns, will put the third on about 6am.

    Drinking: Central Waters Peruvian Morning, Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout


    30 miles west of Chicago, buried deep in the suburbs.

    LBGE (May 2011), SBGE (June 2014) and a growing pile of accessories.

    Is that an adjustable rig? 
    XL BGE 
    Joe JR 
    Baltimore, MD
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