Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

My First Boston Butt on the Egg and Advice

mtnbikeninjamtnbikeninja Posts: 36
edited 10:43PM in EggHead Forum
I woke up this am about 6am to start up my egg and try to stabilize my temp before 7a. This was when I wanted to put my 9lb butt on the egg to get it cooked by 7p tonight. It took me a very long time to get the temp down to 225. I did a burn in on the charcoal first for about 30 minutes cause I didn't want that chemical taste on my beautiful piece of meat. Is there a faster way to dial in the temp and at the same time preventing chemical tastes?

Any advice would be great.


  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    Bump it up to 250 it will ride easier there I bet, that is what we do PP at. and figure about 2 1/2 to 3 hours a pound. just what you did is fine. with fresh lump like that you want it to burn clear to avoid the bad smoke. you might be a little tight for time :( are you on a large egg? and just one butt correct?
  • 225 dome temp is likely 200 grate temp - too low if you are targeting 195 or so for pulled pork. I would bump the dome temp to 275-300. Don't fret on getting it eggsactly on a number - pork butts are friendly.

    How big is your butt?
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    If you let the egg start and burn hot it is going to take a long time to get the temperature back down. That's part of the magic when cooking in a ceramic cooker.

    The 'chemical' taste, well there souldn't be one as you should not be using any kind of chemical when starting the egg. Sometimes one can taste/smell an aroma if using starting cubes which will linger until the fillers mostly burn up. If using oil/paper towel or any of the other methods of lighting there won't be any aroma other than the initial acrid aroma/taste of the lump getting to a clean burn.

    For me lighting in one spot or two central spots will take a bit longer to get the egg to temperature and to a clean burn.

    I usually light in 3 to 5 spots depending on the cook. Low temperature cooks 3-4 spots.

    Normally I can light, become stable and begin cooking within 15 to 30 minutes.

    Using starter cubes, oil/paper towel, alcohol to start there will be an initial high temperature spike then a cool down and a slow increase in temperature. On the second temperature rise don't let the egg get hotter than your desired temperature.

    Trying to reduce temperature in an egg is always takes a long time.

    These links may be of some help to you.

    Visual Guide to Vent Settings & Clear Smoke

    FAQ, Tips - Tips & Helpful Information

    Welcome to the forum and good cooking.

  • Yes, large egg and one butt about 9lbs.
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    When lighting up for a low & slow cook, I watch the initial start-up much more closely than when cooking with a hot fire. It is so frustrating trying to get the temp down if you accidentally overshoot your goal temp when getting the fire going.

    Creep up on your goal temp once you're certain the lump is lit. You only need the top of the lump lit for a low/slow fire (don't get the whole pile of lump burning). For whatever reason (others on here have scientific explanations) on a low and slow cook, as new lump ignites throughout the cook, it doesn't release nasty VOC's.

    Give it about 30-60 minutes at the low temp (200-250*) & check the smell of the smoke coming out. If it is not nasty-smelling, then it is OK to put the meat on.
    Remember to put platesetter, drip pans, etc., in during the warm-up.
    The cold meat will lower the dome temp due the cold mass, but give it an hour before you are tempted to adjust the vents - it should come back up to temp on it's own. Otherwise you will be chasing temps all morning! :ohmy:

    Good luck and post results! :woohoo:
  • Don't think your butt is going to be done by 7 unless you bump to 300-325.

    If you happen to have a turbo butt and it finishes a little early, you can double wrap in HDAF and cover with some towels in an ice chest and hold for it for a few hours.
  • SueinNCSueinNC Posts: 15
    I am considering my first butt, does the dome run 10 degrees hotter consistanly or does it run even hotter as the temp goes up. Any suggestions about a grate thermometer?
  • I did my first butt yesterday, and I was shocked at how long it took. I had an 8 pound butt and it took 22 hours!

    I had some temperature control problems that likely contributed to this (dome temp fell to 200 for a few hours), but I fixed that and it chugged away at 250 dome for about 10 more hours before I bumped it up to 280.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,011
    Sue, I never have any idea what my grid temp is. Apparently, it's lower than the dome, but I don't know (or care). For a butt or other lo n slo, I stabilize the dome temp at 250°. Whatever grid temp that gives me works fine. If I use a controller (DigiQ), I set it for 250° and clip the grid probe to the dome thermometer probe rather than to the grid. DigiQ and dome gauge both read 250° all day long. Hope this helps.

    Kona guy, unfortunately, I think you are going to have a late meal tonight. For a 9 lb butt, I would plan on at least 14 hours, possibly closer to 18-20 (though you never know with a butt). And that's at 250°. IMO, 225° is just too low. Some have cooked them at 350° to speed the process, but I have never tried that. Good luck!

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • berrygoodberrygood Posts: 372
    At 250, you should expect about two hrs/lb. I agree with Misippi - don't worry about VOC's on low-n-slow and stabilize temp with everything in the egg for at least 45 mins before adding the pork. Also, if the pork is "plateau-ing" too long or you are in a hurry (like today), don't be afraid to really bump up that temp like Frank suggests - sounds like you'll need to bump it today, if you want a dinner time finish.

    Good luck.
  • Yeah, now I realized that I put it on too late. I got the temp stabilized @ 300-325 to speed the process up. Hopefully it'll come out ok but I'll know next time to cook it overnight. Rookie Mistake.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    At those pit temps, a 9lb butt might be sliceable in 9 hours, and it will be way good. But I'm afraid it won't be to the pullable stage.

    I cook a lot of 7 to 8 pound butts and plan on 13 to 16 hours for cooking and another 2 or 3 for a coolered rest.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • texvestexves Posts: 17
    I'm in a similar boat as mtnbikeninja. I put my first butt (12 lbs) on my large egg at 10pm last night and it's been pretty stable at 225. 12 hours in the internal temp of the meat is 160. Will I be able to pull this thing around 6pm at current temp or should I bump it up?
  • Assuming the 225 is dome temp, you probably have about 200-210 at the grate. I would bump the temp a little (a micro adjustment and check 30 minutes later, so you don't start chasing temps) to get closer to 250. No problem if it finishes at say 2-3:00. Double wrap with HDAF and cover with towels in a cooler.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    I think it will be a pretty close call at your current temp. I'd bump it up somewhere between 260° and 275° dome temp. Then at 2:00 I would really take a good look at tenderness, and if you can't wiggle the bone or it doesn't feel like it's on the way, wrap it in foil and finish cooking, which hopefully only takes until 4:00 or so as it's nice to rest them for a while.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Well, unfortunately, most of my coals have burn to ashes and the temp will not go above 250. The internal temp of my 9lb butt is 160. Should I take it off, light some more coals, and try to finish this thing before 6p or just give up and transfer to my gas grill to finish it off?
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    I would wrap it in double foil, add a little liquid (stock, apple juice etc.) and put it into a 270° oven. You have plenty of flavor and most likely some nice color on it by now.

    You would be surprised to learn that many restaurants and caterers do a covered oven finish on their pulled pork.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    My thoughts. Remove it, add some more lump, give it 30 min or so to get clean smoke. Double wrap your butt in heavy duty foil and place back on with the dome temp at 300-350*. Remove when internal temp reaches 200-205*, wrap in towels and place in cooler about an hour before pulling. I think the cooler part is more important than the temp you use now to finish it. You can even kick it up higher later on, if you see you're running short on time.
    It will be awesome. Butts are very forgiving cooks. :woohoo:
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.