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Pork Butt Questions

I do not post that much but I do lurk on this forum daily.  I am relatively new to egging (since June).  I have some success's due to everyone elses posts and a few failures as I like to experiment.  However, the my next big low and slow can't be an experiment.  I am going to be doing roughly 40lbs of butt next week for a work event.  I have a few questions to ask based on the results of the first 2 butts I have done.

  1. What temp?  I have been doing 225 dome and bumping it up to 250-275 to power it thru the stall.  Is this correct or would it be better to let it stay at 225?
  2. Should I inject?  If so, with what?  I have injected the last two with an apple juice, garlic and brown sugar mixture and they were moist but the bark was real thick.  Was it the brown sugar making it too thick? Should I eliminate the brown sugar or the complete injection?
  3. What to use for a drip pan?  I have been raising the cheap disposable aluminum tin trays raised on hose clamps but the dripings and apple juice it put in there always burn.  Is there a trick to it not burning/evaporating?
  4. How much smoke?  I generally scatter about 8 chucks split between apple and cherry on top of the coal,  is that too much or too little?  The smoke seems to be real thick and last about an hour or two and then nothing for the remaining 12 hours.  Is that correct?

Any advice you all could give me would be greatly appreciated!!!


Rochester Hills, MI


  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,795
    edited October 2013
    1. I generally cook at 275* and would suggest you start at a higher temp. Butts are vey forgiving and this will help speed up your cook time. 2. Injecting with apple juice, peach or other flavors work well. keep it simple but don't add to much that would discolor the meat fom he injection. 3. No suggestion. I generally cover the plate setter in foil and let the butts drip away 4. You could scatter ome chips around he unlit coals if you want longer or more smoke throughout. Unless I am doing comps, I don't stress over the wood, you will get enough from the lump.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    8 pieces of wood is a lot in an egg. I'm not the biggest fan of smoke flavour but usually one chunk is plenty.


    Caledon, ON


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,791
    I'm not getting the connection between injecting and a thick bark unless the leaked injection fluid is the cause.  I would think your rub application, and quantity of sugar within the recipe would be the biggest factor in the bark issue.  Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • RLP443RLP443 Posts: 24
    Thanks all.  Yes, there is a touch of brown sugar in the rub so I will eliminate that going forward.
    Rochester Hills, MI
  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,795
    lousubcap said:
    I'm not getting the connection between injecting and a thick bark unless the leaked injection fluid is the cause.  I would think your rub application, and quantity of sugar within the recipe would be the biggest factor in the bark issue.  Just an opinion and we all know what those are worth.

  • QDudeQDude Posts: 667
    250-275 works great. Do a search on Chris Lilly's pork butt injection recipe . It's great!

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 784

    -I prefer 250-275 all the way through for butts.

    -I never use injection for pork butts.  With the amount of natural fat and moisture retention qualities of the Egg, I just never saw the need.  Just a light coating of mustard and dry rub only for me.  I even trim some of the fat from the top generally.

    -I like lots of smoke and will layer chunks (6-10 depending on size) of whatever wood I'm using (hickory, apple, cherry, oak, pecan or a combination thereof for butts) throughout the lump when I load the firebox.  Makes the smoke last a little longer through the cook. 


    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,056
    I like to go hot & fast. Generally I will cook at 325-350* straight thru. Nice bark and still real juicy. Occasionally there will be a small portion(golfball size) that won't pull but still gets eaten. I wrapped in foil for the first time last weekend and really didn't notice much of a texture difference other that capturing some of the juices to mix back in and the bark was kinda mushy


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • RLP443RLP443 Posts: 24
    Ok. Here is the start of the cook. 35lbs is as much as the large can take. I am a bit worried that they are touching but I figure some shrinkage will start happening. Having trouble stabilizing the temp right now and am shooting for 250. Been above and below just not holding yet. Anyone's thought on when these will be done? I am shooting for 8am so that will be 20 hours. Thinking the touching butts will take longer then 1.5 hrs a lb. if they finish early then I will need suggestions on reheating. Thanks all,

    Rochester Hills, MI
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 299
    Run your temp at least 250 - even 275-300 works fine. Ditch the brown sugar and use turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw - comes in brown box, sold at WalMart) - it will withstand the heat better than brown and won't burn so easily.

    I don't inject. I use yellow mustard to glue my rub on, let it sit for 12 hrs or so in fridge, and put it on to cook. I'm not saying not to inject though - to each his own. Maybe I'm missing out on something great, who knows.  :)

  • O cook my Butts a 225 until a meat temp of 185 to 190 as far as injection I think that the additional liquid increases the stall yes it adds flavor but I feel that the stall time is longer as far as kicking up the pit temp to power thru the stall it's not wrong ,I usually just ride the stall if I'm not in a hurry either way because Butt is very forgiven it's hard to mess up on a Butt
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.
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