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Cooking second ever Butt, been a long time

I have owned my large egg for over a decade and have only cooked one other butt. It turned out great but I have forgotten the method I used. I have read a bit on here and I am a little unsure about a couple of things. Grate temp? Is that the temp that shows on the thermometer or is that dome temp? I don't know what you call it but I have a ceramic piece that creates an indirect situation, that I usually put my pizza stone on. Should I use this for indirect? My butt is small only 7ish pounds. I am looking for a starting point. It looks like 250ish and plan on 14ish hours? I see some can check the meat temps without opening the dome. What do you use? I have to rely on a meat thermometer that I have to open the dome to see. 

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I plan on eating the butt for late lunch tomorrow. 


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,751

    First-welcome aboard-with 10 years on the BGE you have seniority on many of us...feel free to share your knowledge.  Now, about the butt cook-grate temp is the temp at the cooking surface; dome temp is the temp that is measured by the dome thermo (the one temp device all BGE's have).  Unless normally specified, temp here means dome temp.  the ceramic peice is likely a platesetter ( has 3 legs?) and is used to create the "indirect" method of cooking-i.e. the radiant heat of the lump does not directly impact the target meat. 

    If you run with a dome temp (make sure it is calibrated-use boiling water and adjust to read about 212*F) of around 250*F you can expect the butt to take around 2 hrs/# as you note.  You can also cook with the dome around 300*F and the cook time comes down to aorund 1-1.25 hrs/#.  If finished early use the foil, towels and cooler (FTC) to hold til ready to pull and eat.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Thanks so much 'ubcap! I was wondering what the heck FTC meant. LOL. Forgot to ask. Would suggest I use the platesetter? 

    I want to make sure I understand the water boil calibration. Are you saying that water boiling on the grate(at normal 212) should equate to 250 on the dome thermometer? 

    About my egg experience, I have cooked everything from quail, pheasant, chicken, ribs(the last batch was the best ever and I cooked them slow for the first time-225*), burgers, steak(filets cooked very hot-700*), dogs, beer can chicken(overcooked my only effort but it made a killer picture), Turkey, and pizzas(some of the best pizzas I have had). 
  • Also, I guess I need to make sure there is plenty of charcoal in the egg to last that many hours?
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    You definitely want to use the platesetter, legs up with the grid placed on top.  You can use a drip pan to catch the drippings (a throw away aluminum foil baking pan).  Raise it off the platesetter with either the little green feet, stacks of washers/pennies or balls of foil. Otherwise the drippings will burn.  So it's Platesetter legs up, something to raise the pan, drip pan, then grid on top.  Butt goes on the grid.

    The boil calibration = use a small pan of water on the stove.  Bring to a boil and put the end of the temp probe into the water (not touching the pan)  There's a clip holding it in the Egg you need to remove.  If the temp doesn't read 212 F, or 100 C, you need to adjust the probe by holding the nut on the back with pliers and rotating the thermometer until it's at 212.  If you are way above sea level you might have to account for the difference in boiling temp.

    Fill the Egg to about half way up the fire ring with lump.  

    Then follow @lousubcap's advice above.
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • Thanks TJ!  I didn't know the thermometer could be calibrated like that. Very interesting. I have a fairly new replacement thermometer and I am already getting condensation or rain inside of it. Aggravating. 

    Happy New Year! 

  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 3,528
    I've had condensation in my thermometer since the first week I brought the Egg home.  Doesn't seem to affect it.  I've had to calibrate it a couple of times, but recently it's been holding steady.
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • thanks, guys, for the tips. The butt turned out great! It took about 12 hours. If I were to do anything different I might take it off just a tad sooner. It was 200 when I pulled it and was very good. 
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