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Calling all butt experts

GrillerGriller Posts: 88
edited 8:42AM in EggHead Forum
Ok, so here is the deal.

The wife is up in Philly this weekend and after my ribeyes from last night I'm looking for an Egg project. Seeing the post by Tripmaker has convinced me I need to do my very first pork butt this weekend - especially given we're expected to have beautiful weather.

As I'm putting my list together for things to do/buy for this eggsperience, I have several questions I'd like to throw out to the Egg Braintrust.

I'm looking to pick up a 6-8lb pork butt and rub it liberally with a dry rub I've yet to create or buy. Any suggestions? If the BBQ Outfitters has Dizzy, I'm definitely picking that up as I've seen it appear in so many posts. Otherwise, I may have to improvise a bit. If anyone has an overwhelming love affair with a particular type of rub for this kind of cook, I sure would love to hear about it (unless it gets graphic... :lol: )

Second question - what kind of wood? I have mesquite and hickory in the backyard but have been dabbling with pecan recently and was considering picking up some more of that for this cook. Apple is also great but I'm wondering if it wouldn't give this kind of cook enough of the good smokey flavor. Anyone have any strong opinions on the wood?

Mop: for my ribs, I create a brown sugar, apple vinegar, and apple juice mob and mop the ribs once an hour. Right or wrong, I've had decent luck with this. I obviously won't be mopping the butt every hour as it cooks overnight but should I mop it first thing in the morning? If so, are there any good mops out there anyone would recommend

Lastly is temperature. I've seen varying posts on how folks have cooked their butts and have seen temperatures between 250-325. I plan to start the cook late in the evening and don't plan to eat until tomorrow for dinner so I was contemplating going a little cooler (~250F). Does that sound about right?

I have to admit I'm giddy in anticipation. I've done numerous briskets, ribs, and pizzas. Countless breasts of chicken, full chickens, and steaks. This is my first pork butt so I feel like it is almost a BBQ/Egg rite of passage. :laugh:

Lots of questions in here so any advice is welcome and appreciated!


  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    Pretend it is a brisket, Yellow mustard, then your rub,225 tops, careful of sugar with your mop. Don't forget the coleslaw. visit TNW and thirdeye's site for pics and tips. Good luck.
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit for BRISKET HELP
  • "Sparky""Sparky" Posts: 6,024
    We all do things a little different.I would go 250 dome until meat is 195-200.I like to use dizzy dust for the rub.I don't mop with anything,I don't even open the dome during the cook(maybe to snap a pic).As for wood,I like a mixture of hickory and apple.Again,this is a personal preferance,and others will disagree ;) Good luck,and let us know how it turns out ;)
  • TomM24TomM24 Posts: 1,364
    Not an expert but I've done two with excellent results. Most here will tell you 225 is hard to hold without electronic help. If you,ve held it before with the briskets and a longe cook fits your timing go ahead. Most people rub with or without mustard and close the lid until done. Thats what I've done. I like hickory John Henry Pecan and Dizzy Dust are good choices.Good luck its a very forgiving cook.
  • "Sparky""Sparky" Posts: 6,024
    BTW,I use a cheapo remote meat thermo from Home Depot(about 15 bucks).This way you don't need to open the dome for anything ;)

  • I've tried several different rubs but none have come close to beating Elder Ward's. The Naked Whiz has a great tutorial on everything from building the fire, this rub recipe, etc. for cooking a butt. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll send you the link.
  • Found the link.

    Wow, great stuff in there and thanks for the replies.

    I'm settling in on the following:

    Use the mustard coat + rub. I've had great success with this approach with ribs and brisket and I'll add that to the pork butt so as to have completed the holy trinity of BBQ prep. ;)

    Narrowing in on pecan for the wood. Should I add some apple in there too or stop over thinking it? ;)

    Get the temp to about 225. I've been able to sustain 200F dome temp with little difficulty on 12+hr cooks so I don't anticipate 225 being a problem.

    No mop.

    Pulled pork on NFL Kick-off weekend. *sniff* It's going to be beautiful.
  • EggZonaEggZona Posts: 108
    Just a newbie here but I am going to take a shot at this pop quiz. I have done 3 butts so far and all have turned out excellent.

    Wood- I have been sticking to the BGE lump. I believe it is a mixture of different woods and burns low, slow, consistant and last's the entire smoke. That gives me a lot of piece of mind. However, I use real Hickory Wood chunks which I soak for hours before putting on. I then place about 3 large pieces (3x3 or so)and maybe sprinkle a few smaller pieces around flush in the top layer. 1 close to the initial light spot and the others spread out. They just smolder and smoke like there is no tomorrow. They cause the dome temp to burn a litter hotter when that spot starts to burn as they end up going off at different times. As I know it, you need to do your flavor smoke'n early before it crusts over. After that point I don't know if it will get absorbed.

    Temp-I agree with TomM24 on the temp. My BGE runs real nice for hours at 200-210. 225 could be hard to hold. It's not big deal just allow yourself plenty of time. I usually put mine on at 10:00pm. Go to bed and finish it the next day. 12-14-16 hours or more. That makes it noon-2pm-4pm.

    I take mine off at about 200 degrees. Great thing is that they hold so well. Double wrap it in foil and put it in a warm cooler or the oven or warming drawer and let it hold until you are ready. It can wait hours.

    Rub- They all seem to be good to me. I have been using Bad Byron's Butt Rub and love it. I even use it on my Ribs. Be aware it does have a bit of a bite to it! I would call it more of a bold pepper type taste then a sugar based type rub.

    I bought a thermometer over at BBQ's Galore that has a remote beeper that goes with it. It has a digital display that stays with the grill and a remote that beeps me when it hits the desired temperature or time. I just set the temp at 195 degrees and it let's me know when it is done.

    No mop needed in my opinion.

    Shred it when you are ready and try not to fill youself up before it gets to the eat'n table. Eat it as it is or add some of your favorite sauce.

    How'd I do eggperts?
  • i competlely agree. I am a new egghead and followed elder ward's recipe to the letter. First butt came out PERFECT. I used hickory with some green apple slices. I had no problem keeping 225 all night by following the clean out fire building process. Wrap your thermo in foil to insure accuaracy for the long cook.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    250-260 dome temp is perfect.

    Apple and pecan work very well with butts. If you want a more traditional and heavier smoke flavor go with the hickory. I personally do not like mesquite with pork, but it is a personal preference.

    If you can find Dizzy Dust it is very good. You can also make a rub with turbinado sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, etc. All sorts of rub recipes floating around out there.
  • DaddyoDaddyo Posts: 209
    Mustard. Rub. Hickory (or any other wood I'll bet) that you've soaked in water to keep it from burning real fast. Temp at 210-230. 18 hours or so later you are good to go.

    I'm in love with Butch's Magic Dust rub. If you can't find it where you live, your wife may be able to get some in the Philly area and bring you home a present.

    No need to mop. You want that nice bark on the butt to remain unaltered in my opinion.

    There is zero trick to making a great butt other than holding the temp, but don't let that secret out.
  • I'll second the recommendation of JH Pecan rub on butts and ribs. An excellent rub.
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Most of the warehouse clubs sell a twin pack of butts, often 7-9 lbs each. To me, might as well do two assuming you have a large(or xl) egg to accomodate. Doesnt use any more lump, or effort of any sort,... twice the yield.
  • I am no eggspert but I have cooked both butts and brisket in my Brinkman smoker, usually at 225 if I can hold it there. The BGE is much easier to set and forget.The bottom line is if you can smoke a brisket you Q a butt. As to which rub, I don't think it matters. Some will say it does but then some prefer red cars over yellow ones. Go with what you like. I don't mop, I like a crusty bark.

    Good luck! Post a picture of your results.

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