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Question on wood chunks and spritzing for Pork Butt

I am going to smoke a pork butt on Sunday at 250 indirect and am really wanting a good bark.  Was considering spritzing with apple juice but didn't know if this was necessary given pork butt is pretty forgiving, I plan on wrapping around 170 and will put some apple juice in when I wrap and didn't know if the spritzing would take away from a good bark?

Also, I have only used wood chips and have always scattered them around the charcoal so I have never been concerned with most of them not being lit and smoking.  However, this will be my first time using chunks and was a little concerned that if I only put 2 or 3 chunks in and the charcoal not lighting some of them.  Should I light the apple wood chunks directly or rely on the charcoal to light them? Thanks in advance for any advice to these two questions.



  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,552
    Everybody is different and I am no expert . . but if the bark is very important to you, I would think about skipping the foil step but spritzing throughout.  Foil helps keep it moist but also steams which softens the bark.  

    To answer your second question . . . no need to light the wood chunks and just put them in with the coals.  You will get great results by randoming placing them as you fill your firebox full with coals.  I usually put a nice sized chunk in the center though and I also use Hickory and Cherry (or Hickory and a different fruit wood).
    Columbus, Ohio
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,925
    If you want "good good bark" I usually dont foil them, but that is me. I let it ride uncovered the entire time and I personally DO spritz with apple juice and apple cider vinegar. As you said, forgiving cook. As long as you dont get drunk and leave the vent open and go to bed you will be fine. Dont ask me how I know this.... meteorite.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    I'm no expert but I just put them on and take them off when they are done.


    Caledon, ON


  • BudgeezerBudgeezer Posts: 635

    I'm no expert but I just put them on and take them off when they are done.

    I use the same system.

    Edina, MN

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,496
    No foil for me either, when I have foiled, to speed up the cook, the bark is soft. These were not foiled and cooked around 260 dome temp. Two 7.5lb on at 10 hour cook to 195-200.

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    No foil here either. I Spritz my ribs but not my bb. Pull it around 205 but I always do the bone test.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,911
    Don't worry about the fire lighting the chunks it will work fine. I prefer chunks over chips but you could always toss in some chips as well if it will ease your mind. I'm with @NDG hickory or a combo with hickory is a great way to go. 

    For the bark I think your best bet is to stay low temp and lift the lid as little as possible. Here is a pic of two butts at 275° I managed to not open the lid for 9 1/2 hours and then pulled one at 10 hours and the other at 11 1/2 hours. Here is my post if you want to check it out. Pulled Pork one day / Carnitas the next


    I wrap my ribs and brisket when I do just Flats but personally I don't think you need to with a pork butt. It will be moist and be plenty juicy without foil or spritzing. But that is just my method by all means try it out and let us know what works for you. 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,771
    I'm in the camp of "let the BGE do it's magic" so once the butt goes on, shut the dome then next open when checking for the finish-line.  All good info above regarding foil, spritz etc.  That's the beauty of "Q" almost any road will get you there.  Just remember what you try on this one-change it up a bit if not to your specifications and go again.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • bezdecrbezdecr Posts: 30

    Thanks to everyone for the great advice! I will go without the foil.

    Chubbs, great story, you had me lol at work.

  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 10,535
    Ditto the comments above. I also blend some hickory in my chips or chunks. The apple will give you great color. Just allow more time if going camando without the foil. It will be great.
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