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difference in quality from ....

MopMop Posts: 496
edited 4:41AM in EggHead Forum
190º to 207º in pork butts.[p]Does anyone find that there is any difference in the quality of their pork butts when allowed to go over the 200º mark?[p]I have on occasion had my butts at 207º or so by the time I got to the cooker to get them off and have found them to be as moist and tender as those taken off at 190º-200º...[p]Has anyone found there to be a difference at these temps?[p]Mop


  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    I have read a couple posts/websites lately that talk of going to 210° and had honestly considered trying that on my next this point I cant answer your question..but look forward to some helpful respponses that have experience with this..good question..[p]Wess

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    WessB,[p]I'm interested in this, too. I've always read "185-200," but have never really had much clarification about what is best within or beyond that range.[p]Sorry for the off-topic BBQ-related post; I'll post something arguementative to stay on topic later,

  • Cornfed,
    I find that if you allow the butt to cook to where it's got a jello like feel to it, it seems to have a sweeter taste to it.
    This will happen over 200º

  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Mop:[p]Doing butts at 200º grill and bumping the temperature slightly as the cook ends to bring the internal to 205º I have experienced the same thing. My success was time and low temperatures.[p]Which cooker did you do this on?

  • MopMop Posts: 496
    WessB, I have had several butts under 200 and several 'over' 200 and to be honest with you, I have found no difference, providing it was a low and slow cook of approx 225 to 250 throughout the entire cook....[p]
    I`m just curious as to other peoples findings...[p]Mop

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    Mop, It does not hurt to get it to even 210 but just don't leave it there for an extended period of time or you will start loosing moisture. An hour or so will not hurt it, but 2-3 or more you will notice a difference.[p]Marv

  • MopMop Posts: 496
    djm5x9,I do all my butts on the egg except when I do a cater that requires more meat than a hog can provide, in that case I do a few in the hog cooker but there not as good as the ones I do at home, they are cooked at two different temperatures.....[p]
    the ones I`m refering to here are ones done indirect on the egg.....did you say that you do yours 'direct'?[p]Mop

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    I have cooked many at 250º dome and internal temps ranging from 200-210º with no noticealbe difference in either taste, tenderness or moisture. I cook mine indirect using a v-rack over a 14" deep dish pizza pan lined with foil.

  • MopMop Posts: 496
    JJ,yeah, I do mine, in a vrack over a pan on top of firebricks or the pizza stone at 250 as well, I may be a non purist but I don`t do them at 200ºto 225º anymore, for me I see no difference and the time is cut way back.[p]Mop

  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Mop:[p]Yes, the only thing I do indirect is brisket.
  • MopMop Posts: 496
    djm5x9, I would be curious to see the result of a butt cooked 'direct', the last comp we did, we did two butts, one indirect the way we do it on our own decks at home and we also tryed doing one 'direct' just to have the two to select from come 'turn-in' time.[p]For us there was no comparison in the two, the indirect was far superior to our indirect butt..we actually were awarded first place for that butt...[p]Anyways, I would like to know more about how you do them direct?[p]Mop[p]
  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    <p />Mop:[p]I always try to use butts in the eight pound range. This is easy as I purchase on sale by the case and the two pack contains two eight pounders. The cooker is preheated to 200º grill - exterior must be warm. I rub and slather with mustard placing the fat/skin/rind side down. If I want smoke I add dry wood chips and choke the fire down for thirty to fourty minutes for a good smoke. Near the end of the cook I add a polder or two for monitoring. When they near 180º/185º I bump the fire to help bring them to the 200º/205º range. Hope this helps. The small butt on the right was a five pounder.

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    I am a little confussed here. If by 200 you mean dome temperature then I think it is easier to do it up to 250 degrees and no problem. If you are talking internal temp. of the pork, 200 degrees is just the level at which the colligen starts to breaks down so that the meat falls apart with little to no work. So any temp above that as long as the meat does not dry out does not matter. [p]Having said that it is my personal opinion and my personal experiance that the only way to have the meat have the desired pulled pork texture is to do it slow and long both of which are determined by the individual cut. Some will reach temperature early and some seem to take forever. [p]I respect anyone who is willing to compete on any level at any thing. but i do not feel obligated to compare my methods to those that feel the need to beat others in a contest. Nor do I think that they have any edge over anyone else on this forum or most back yards in America. I feel in my heart of hearts that there are folks out there that are cooking Q that would put us all to shame and they do not even know we exist. Nor care. [p]If you got em smoke em,
    Elder Ward

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    djm5x9, I was just saying that it could be done, that's all.
    Now if you are in competition, that is another story.
    But I think I can saftely say that most here just want a finished product that they can eat and be proud of at the same time. Of course no one wants a butt or anything else that is over/under done to the point of not being good.[p] But some times I think when we post here we come of as if unless the procedure is done excatly as we say, you might as well give it to the dog (lucky dog). This is just not the case in most cooks. After all as I have seen posted here many times "BBQ is not an excat siceince" a few degerees here or there is not going to hurt anything on most cooks.[p]Marv

  • Cornfed, around here nobody knows what pulled pork is . everything here is sliced and thats the way people want it so at 185 i remove and cool before slicing . its still very good but i personally like the 205 for the depth of flavor and then again i inject every butt i do . reg[p]so i guess if i want to argue i'll have to go to another ceramic site or your's. lighten up, i'm joking, i'm joking

  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    Mop,[p]As you know, I have been experimenting with the longer cook times. I now will take 22 hours to cook a 8-9 lb. butt. I do this for CONVENIENCE!! I get to sleep AND get to serve pork butt fresh from the smoker. Everything I cook is done at 225º grate temps and I imagine my meat temps are well above 200º...though I have never measured them.[p]Now, keep in mind, the last several hours of this cook are done in a pit where the fire is being choked, in a sense it is being "held", but at temps around 165-180º.[p]My experiences have found 2 things.........[p]MUCH less fat in the finished product, with almost NO large "pockets" of fat. Those large muscle groups have completely rendered out.[p]The butt will NOT lose it's moisture after this long a time AND the meat is not mushy from being overdone.[p]I do believe there is a rather large difference between a butt at 190º and a butt at 210º. One is the pulling factor, the higher the temp the easier to pull. I have heard many say they can pull a butt at 190º...I have never been able to do that without much of a struggle. I have had butts give me trouble at 195º. [p]I was glad to see that Cook's Illustrated seemed to support the cooking to 210º and then cooking some more. They did their tests on beef, but the roasts they used are very similar to what a butt would be like.[p]Their advice......take the meat to 210º and then cook for another hour. [p]Someone also mentioned that if the long cook was so effective you would see it being done at competitions. IT IS!!! The difference is, we use much smaller butts because of time constraints! I normally will cook a couple of 5 pounders thus being able to finish in around 10-12 hours. That is the only difference....the size of the butt.[p]If you are curious..go to a contest and check the pit temps.[p]I promise to do some side by side testing this summer....I will try the various "quick-cook" techniques and have my panel of "judges" ready to test. [p]bbqflames.gif
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,521
    Well, Mr. Direct, those do look rightly righteous. Do you have any troubles with the large amounts of fat dripping on the coals? It looks like something worth trying.[p]cheers
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Nature Boy:[p]As long as I maintain a grill temperature of 200º or slightly more when I am encouraging the rise in temperature to the 200º internal range I am OK. If the dome is open for any length of time (inserting polders etc.) the fat will flare up. Once the dome is closed things settle back down.[p]I like the bark and flavor I get when my butts are done direct. Must be a hold over from eating those wonderful pit cooked pigs The Uncles used to do.

  • Elder Ward, if i may, i'd like to bring up a couple of points for discussion, not argument, discussion . [p]1. i was always under the impression colligen (sp?) started to break down in the area of 160 degrees and proceed from there into the 185ish mark. have i been taught wrong ?[p]2. you say " Nor do I think that they have the edge over anyone else cooking on this forum or most back yards of America.[p] it has been my experience that MOST (not all) comp cooks would have a large edge over the majority of regular BBQer's because of what they have to overcome to succeed on a competitive circuit against the best BBQer's in the country and probably the world for that matter. [p]not that i'm putting anyone down here, most just would not have enough experience to turn out BBQ at that level.[p]your third sentence i totally agree with . have a good one .

  • Mop,
    I cook ALL of my butts into the 200's but usually pull them when their at 210ºF.[p]NO effort at all to shred them. I don't see the point in pulling 20 degrees early and then working hard with forks.[p]Work smarter not harder. :-)[p]Labatt's to you

  • MopMop Posts: 496
    Steve in KC, I hear you on the 'ease' of pulling, I have had a few run up past 200 and found them not really any easier to pull then ones I have pulled off the cooker at 190 195 but those were cooked at 220 or so for AT LEAST 2 hours or more per pound so I guess the time is the important factor here...low and SLOW...[p]Having said that, I do all my butts at 250 now, for me its a happy medium for time and quality of product.......[p]later....[p]Sleeman's to ya...[p]Mop

  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    reg,[p]My take on competitive BBQing would be that someone with mediocre to average cooking skills (for example, myself) would benefit greatly from competitive BBQing, as a result of the shared knowledge and rapid learning that could arise from such an event. This assumes that competitors are at least willing to impart some of their experience to the others in the event. [p]However, if participants don't share information, I think learning as a result of being in competitions would not be that much faster than learning via your own cooking at home (aside from perhaps a frequency function, in which the competitive cook, cooks more frequently than the backyard cook). Sure you might be able to taste better BBQ, but if you aren't given any information as to how it was done, how are you learning and getting better any faster? [p]Personally, I don't know how the competitions are with regard to information sharing, but being that they are comptetitions, I would think that the good competitors probably keep their cards fairly close to their vest, so that they can keep winning. At a glance, that's how I see contributions on this forum. I can almost pick out the competitive/commercial folks by their contributions (or lack thereof) in the general discussion here. Certainly, it's not in their best interests for the public at large to know their "trade secrets". (That was obviously a generalization, and person to person this is more or less true.)[p]This brings me to wonder, if the good cooks don't tell the bad cooks how to get better, how did they become good cooks? Seems to me they are simply gifted cooks. It also seems to me, that gifted cooks are as likely to be competitive as they are not to be competitive, and thus 50% of the gifted cook population is out there having great backyard BBQ, in line with what Elder Ward was referring to.[p]Now, of course, I danced along on a narrow hypothesis, that's quite likely wrong. Certainly, if the competitions actually yield a group think approach to BBQ (this would be readily apparent, if from year to year, the winning food is noticably better than the preceding year, and coming from different people), then it's possible and likely for the results of the many to typically surpass the results of the individual.[p]That's the view from way over here...[p]--sdb
  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    Competition cooks help new cooks out all the time. I've been helped along the way by many many different people from many many different places and I've helped many. They WON'T tell you everything they do and I wouldn't expect it. If you don't have the God given ability to create or at least figure out the last few steps, well I guess you just can't be one of the best. That IS what a competition of any sort is about isn't it?[p]As for the comparison to non-comp cooks, we do have to focus on the comp catagories so we do cook them more. We also can't ever be impressed with our food and consider it "good enough". It never is, we're always looking for any little edge to improve even the slightest amount. At home I have many recipes that have been exactly the same for years, in comp I'm always adjusting to stay near the top. The top cooks are obsessed with the tweaking of techniques and recipes. That is also what a Competition is about.

    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    sdbelt, I think drbbq has summed up the competitive bbq scene very well. As beginners at competitive que, we have had quite a bit of help from others, both in Canada and from folks in the States, like drbbq himself. I think what sets competition cooks aside from more 'casual' bbq'ers is just that inquisitive/never-satisfied attitude. For example, back in January, a US competition cook named Stogie posted here on the BGE forum and 'let slip' with his competition injecting liquid for pork butts. Some here may have read it. Some may have even printed it with the intention of trying it out 'some day'. Me? I printed it and have done 4-5 butts using it, changing the recipe to my own liking in preparation of the upcoming season. As well, someone like drbbq, probably by his own admission, does not give out a great deal of 'secrets' (although I understand he is getting an advise column in a bbq publication which will be of interest to many!), but if you follow the forums, they do come out occasionally. Most casual readers don't catch on when one of these little 'gems' is dropped.
    Last year, the first for our team, we started out with a KCBS contest and finished 10th out of 13 teams. Our next event we got a 3rd place in the ribs category. By the final event, we were 1st in ribs, 1st in shoulder/butt, 3rd in chicken and decimal points away from Grand Champion status. We were told afterward that many of the 'established' teams were saying 'Who are these guys and where did they come from!' The fact is, virtually every team member follows all these bbq forums at a near-obsession rate (ask the wives!), and the tips to excelling at competitive (or backyard) que are here and are given out on a daily basis; you just need to know where to look, whose posts to look for and to recognize a 'gift' when you see it.

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Quality posts going on here.
    Curious, how long would you let your injected butt rest before throwing on the cooker?
    I will be doing an 8 pounder tomorrow night and thought I'd give a variation on Stogie's marinade a try.

  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Stogie did not mention how long injected butt rests before hitting cooker, but I am imagining that it is injected just before going on. This assumption is based on the fact that it is a competition method and you are not given a lot of time between meat inspection (usually Friday afternoon/evening) and when the hog has to hit the log, which is usually late evening (after Social Hour on our team schedule of events!). If you had a couple hours for injection liquid to settle and disperse throughout the butt, I'd say to give it a try. So far, the turn-around in injecting and cooking has being fairly immediate, and I'm pleased with the results. I take it that you copied out Stogie's recipe; for those that didn't, you'll find it in the Archives for posts made January 24th.

  • BBQfan1, and WD . i did not see the recipe at so i have no idea whats in it . when i inject i usually let it sit overnite if possible . reg[p]
  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Qfan & reg,
    Thanks for the info. I will inject the night before and see what happens from there.
    Yes, I copied Stogie's recipe last month. On my printout it says Jan. 24, at 13:27:17 in reply to Marv on topic "Re: Sauce or no Sauce....."
    Reg, if you still can't find it (the archives can be uncooperative) let me know and I'll zip you a copy.
    Q on dudes.

  • BBQfan1,
    When you compete you have to show up the meat can not be
    prepared in any way so the injecting is done on site. That just gives you a few hours before it goes on to get the job done. If I'm cooking at home or for a catering job then I would inject the day before depending on the injection recipe.
    The things that a competitor won't give you is the exact recipe for the rub and glaze they use because that's their flavor print. The techinques we use we give that info freely, we have a memtoring program where we will allow cooks to cook with our team or will set up next to them and help any way we can.

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