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2 Butt advice needed

Hey, everyone -

I could use some advice on cooking two butts;  I have one that is 7#'s and one that is 9 1/2#'s and I want them both done for the same meal.  I'm planning on a dome temp of 250 and, assuming 1.5-2 hrs per pound, for planning purposes, I'm projected cook time of 10.5-14 hrs for the 7# and 14-19 hrs for the 9#.

My question is this;  should one drop both at the same time and FTC the 7#'er if/when it is done earlier than the 9#?  Or, do you give the 9#'er a few hours head-start before dropping the 7#'er.

I'm guessing that when you throw a 7# hunk of meat onto the egg, the temp will very logically drop for a bit until it re-stabilizes and during that time the 9#'er will slow.  That said, I was guessing I would drop both and then pull one earlier if/when it is at temp. 

But, never having done two together, I was hoping for some advice/direction from you good folks.


  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,999
    The larger one may cook faster than the smaller one. I used the ftc method this week on a butt for seven hours. Still warm when I needed it for dinner.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,675
    Agree with henapple they have almond of their own so timing is a craps shoot
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 19,276

    Here's some advice and we all know what it is worth...Each will cook at it's own pace and will finish at their choosing.  So, monitor both if you can.  Logically the larger one will take longer so you can plan with that but don't be surprised if it doesn't go that way. 

    Something to consider-dial up the dome to around 290-300*F and you will get closer to around 1-1.25 hrs/# so that reduces the variable finish window. And FTC (foil, towels, cooler) always gives you the window to get them to when you want to serve.  Start early and use the FTC if required would be my choice-no need to sweat powering the pig to the finish-line.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Lou - thanks for that advice.  I've been spooked about that higher dome temp because I have had such good results at a much lower temp (and, much longer cooks.)  The last butt I cooked higher - and, very mistakenly, pulled earlier than I should have and planned to let it finish during its was not nearly as juicy and "fall apart" as the others' have been.   So, I blame the higher temp (when, in reality, I know that it is because I pulled it too early!)

    If we're hoping for dinner on Monday, I was planning on dropping the butts Sunday evening (around 11pm or midnight) and letting them just scooch along at a dome temp of 225'ish.  At that low temp, I find the meat stalls for a looooong time around 165'ish before jumping.  I was planning on kicking-up the temp, if needed, to move things along.

    But, I'm making all this up as I go!  :)

    If I wanted to start Sunday evening late, what would you do?
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 19,276

    If my choice, and let's put dinner at 7 PM for a reference, I would not worry about the overnight low temp start (unless you have a controller).  Given that I would get the BGE going around 5:30-6 AM, stable at 300*F +/- on the dome by 7 AM and load it up and go.  Then take a nap and see where I am.  You can even go up to around 350*F later in the cook to hit the finish-line. 

    Now if you like late nights and my dinner time is too late (said another way 7 PM is the earliest time I would go with same day service) then get the BGE stable ( around one hour at least) late night and then start the cook.  FYI-I find much more over-night stability with the dome at at least 250*F...YMMV.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,999
    This is a perfect time to justify the necessary purchase of an additional egg.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Thanks, Lou!  And, ain't that the truth, HenApple!   I'll see how my luck goes with Santa Clause!

    I'll upload some pictures as things get rolling!
  • R2Egg2QR2Egg2Q Posts: 2,125
    I'd put the 9.5 lb one towards the back of the Egg as it usually runs a little hotter there and can help close the gap in cook time a little.
    I cooked a pair recently (large one about 1 1/2 lbs heavier) with the same start time and the smaller one came off only about 45 mins before the big one. However, I cook at higher temps and as lou pointed out it should reduce the gap in finish times. You have a bigger difference in lbs and I think I would stagger the start an hour. Another option would be a two tier cook with the larger one up top where it would get a little higher heat.
    XL, Large, Small, Mini Eggs, Humphrey's Weekender, MAK 1-Star General, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Santa Maria Grill, Webers: 18.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG, 22.5" Kettle Premium, WGA Charcoal, Summit S-620 NG

    Bay Area, CA
  •, my LBGE has stabilized nicely at 250* and the two butts just went onto the grid with a bunch of Hickory chunks smoking away!

    I took your advice, R2, and put the biggin' in the back.  Rubbed one down with yellow mustard and Raging River and the other with Dizzy Dust.

    I'll watch the Seahawk's smack-around the 49'ers for a little while longer and then off to bed!  Can't wait for dinner tomorrow!!!

    Thanks for all the advice, folks!
  • QDudeQDude Posts: 675
    I would plan on being done 3-4 hours earlier than dinner.  That way you have extra time if one of them doesn't finish at the same time. Foil them and put them in a cooler with towels and you can keep them hot for hours .  I have been able to keep 2 butts hot for 6-7 hours with no problem.  I put a towel on the bottom of the cooler, then put the butts in double-wrapped in foil, and then cover with another towel.  No need to heat the cooler.

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

  • You are so right, QDude.  The 7 #'er is done (or, so I think....that question is coming in a second) and the 9#'er is getting close (reading 180 right now)

    Here's the question;  the 7#'er is reading 190 (in multiple locations) but the bone is still feels pretty solid.  Do I folks recommend I pull at 190 and foil to rest or do I let it go higher until the bone is loose?

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 19,276
    Wait til the bone pulls clean..that's the best indicator...and your temp could well be in the low 200's when that happens.  Also, don't be surprised if you get a "second stall" in the mid 180's-it's a random occurrence but does happen.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Go higher.  May take it to 200F or 205F.

    GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks, guys!  I'll circle-back with more later....
  • newegg13newegg13 Posts: 231
    I've had a couple stall twice as well. Let us know how they turn out.
    Amateur Egger; professional rodeo clown. Birmingham, AL
  • So glad I asked you guys!  I've not had a cook like this before - but, then again, this has been a first on a number of fronts:

    The egg held rock solid at 249 degrees all night.....from 11pm last night until 7:30am it held exactly at 249.  I've never had one hold so steady all night.  I'm using Wicked Good lump for the first time - and, I have heard it does burn more steady....maybe that's it.

    Then, all of the sudden, the egg jumped to 300 degrees even though I hadn't opened it or touched it.  That's when I checked and one of them was reading 190 degrees. 

    Now, the egg is back down to 250 degrees and the butts are both reading 180 degrees.  I've not had a butt go up, down and back up again.

    Glad I asked you guys - I'd had been so disappointed if I pulled it early.  I have some "Northerners" coming in for dinner and they need to see how we do it!

    Thanks, again, for the advice.
  • Ok - just to report back and close-out this thread;

    First, thanks Lou for the advice!   Left them do their thing and they, sure 'nuff, rose to 195 degrees....pulled at 195 (which, of course, I could tell I had arrived because the bone became very loose and the entire butt became very "jiggly")

    Left them wrapped for 3 1/2 hours and just pulled them - they were "fall apart" tender and juicy!  Family is going to show-up in about 30-minutes and the feast will begin.
  • I like to wait until it's time to eat before pulling the butts. It looks so good, gets people hungry, and keeps the meat moist. 
  • Agree 100%, Jerold.  We were originally expecting company to arrive at 2pm which would have worked perfectly.  Unfortunately, that changed unexpectedly.

    Which is a perfect time to talk about keeping pulled pork moist.....any "best practices" people can recommend to keep the pork moist, both during that "holding period" as well as on reheating the next day??
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