jjdbike

Smoking my 1st Butt on BGE, any suggestions?

Rate this topic

19 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

Midnight Pass (a.k.a. Butch) is my inspiration for attempting this. I'm attempting my 1st smoked pork butt to pull for 4 people for dinner on Thursday. 

Up to this point I've had trouble keeping the heat down and maintaining a low & slow temp on my egg. To be honest, I was penny wise & dollar foolish w/ my egg. I spent $500 on a generic egg imitation. Now, 5 or 7 years in (I forgot exactly when I bought it), it's starting to fall a part. The upside is the ceramic egg is fully intact and in good shape so I'm replacing the parts w/ real egg parts. My 1st move was to make sure it's sealed. I replaced the felt gaskets. I also replaced the top vent w/ an egg brand rEgulator. It fit lovely and fell off when opened. I put felt gasket around it and pushed it down. It sealed well. 

I have a Flame master 500 on order. I hope I get it in time. If not I'll use my Maverick digital thermometer. 

Here's a question, what is the advantage to using chimneys to start the charcoal other than speeding up the process of lighting it? Might using chimneys hep me keep the heat under control? Also, for longer cooks, do you guys own two chimneys of do the first, then add the second?

I was displeased to find out that my local butcher shop only sells boneless butts. I got the largest they had at just short of 4 1/2 lbs. I also bought some "Honey Hog BBQ" from meat church. I coat it and let it sit for 24 hours. Then top it again just before I place it on the egg. 

I'm thinking I'll try to maintain 225 until it reached 190 internally. I'm guessing at 1 1/2 hours per pound it'll roughly take 7ish hours. Then I'll pull it, wrap in aluminum foil. Open up the vents, add wood and crank up heat. Then put the butt back on to add some more smokey bark. Then rewrap it in foil and rest it for an hour or so before I pull it. 

Does this sound right? Any suggestions or cautions? 

What do you guys generally serve w/ pulled pork? I was thinking Kings Hawaiian slider rolls, fresh sliced onion, bread and butter pickles, and some Cooper sharp. Perhaps some Carolina Gold barbecue sauce. Some baked beans (my wife has a decent calico bean recipe) and potato salad on the side. Sound about right? 

Looking forward to your input and suggestions. 

JD

Edited by jjdbike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a large bge and I never have to add lump during a cook.  Fill it With the bigger lump you have and you will be fine.  I light a half full chimney to start, dump it in and dial it in about 225 degrees. I use a dry rub for my pork butt and make a vinegar/ ketchup based bbq sauce a few days before.  The butt you are smoking is pretty small so I would not wrap it on the grill.  I usually pull mine about 195-200 then wrap in foil/towels for a few hrs until ready to pull.  As far as sides, coleslaw and baked beans a must.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful with smoking times.  My earlier Boston butt attempts were way too smokey.   There's a fine line between nicely smoked meat, and meat tasting like it was in a house fire.   My first attempts resembled the house fire variety.

What I've been doing of late is, no more that 3 hours of smoke.  After that, double wrap it in foil, and finish it in the oven @250* for about 7 hours. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 mins ago, bob_G said:

Be careful with smoking times.  My earlier Boston butt attempts were way too smokey.   There's a fine line between nicely smoked meat, and meat tasting like it was in a house fire.   My first attempts resembled the house fire variety.

What I've been doing of late is, no more that 3 hours of smoke.  After that, double wrap it in foil, and finish it in the oven @250* for about 7 hours. 

Hummmmm,

I wouldn’t have thought of that. Thanks for that heads up.

id really like to keep it on the BGG. It’s small, I.e 4.39 lbs, so it shouldn’t take that long, e.g   6 1/2 hours at 225. Should I take it upto 250 to shorten the time, e.g more like 5 hours or so? I suppose I should limit how much wood. I was going to place some chunks around the perimeter. I would you think 6 or 8 chunks would be too much?

What about bark? Would you crank it up at the end?

JD

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 min ago, jjdbike said:

Hummmmm,

I wouldn’t have thought of that. Thanks for that heads up.

id really like to keep it on the BGG. It’s small, I.e 4.39 lbs, so it shouldn’t take that long, e.g   6 1/2 hours at 225. Should I take it upto 250 to shorten the time, e.g more like 5 hours or so? I suppose I should limit how much wood. I was going to place some chunks around the perimeter. I would you think 6 or 8 chunks would be too much?

What about bark? Would you crank it up at the end?

JD

 

IMO 3 hours would give you ample bark.   I'm assuming your primary hear source in charcoal?  If you want to maximize or enhance your bark towards the end, sure unwrap it and just use the residual heat from your hot charcoal.

But it's the chunk wood that can be the culprit.   Esp hickory and mesquite.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

17 mins ago, bob_G said:

IMO 3 hours would give you ample bark.   I'm assuming your primary hear source in charcoal?  If you want to maximize or enhance your bark towards the end, sure unwrap it and just use the residual heat from your hot charcoal.

But it's the chunk wood that can be the culprit.   Esp hickory and mesquite.

 

Thanks,

I appreciate your experience and advice. 

Yes, charcoal primary heat source.

I was planning on using hickory. Would fruit wood be less biting? Now that I think about it, being so small, it'll have a higher ratio of surface area.What wood would you suggest

So you're suggesting wrapping it at 3 hours to limit smoke, and finish it wrapped? Boy I really don't want to use the oven. 

Could I do this?

  • pull it off at say... 190 - 195.
  • Rest it for 2 hours in an empty cooler (no ice),
  • then crank up heat, unwrap it and add a little bark?

I feel like such a googan here.

JD

Edited by jjdbike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JD,

The only reason I use my oven is because I don't want to have to tend my smoker all night long.  Nothing worse than waking up at 3 a.m. only to find out your fire went out and your Boston butt is 100*.

 

However if you feel confident new your egg can maintain a temperature for eight to 10 hours on charcoal, then by all means just leave it in the egg.  Double wrap in foil, try to maintain your temperature at around 250 degrees, no wood only charcoal.   It'll turn out great.

 

As for wood.  Often a serious discussion.   For most of my stuff, I prefer plain old local  dried oak.  Does not burn overly hot. Burns at a slow rate. Produces a real pleasant smoke. It's easy to get for free.

  This is esp important when smoking fish.   Fruit woods such as apple burn very hot and fast.  This can lead to temperature spikes that can ruin a whole batch of delicate fish.

Don't get me wrong, hickory is great wood, and some great bbq guys use nothing else.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Are you using a basket with a divider, a heat deflector plate, or neither?  I find using a chimney gets the grill too hot too fast.

For a single pork butt on mine I use a basket w/divider.  Load up half with charcoal and light it from the top with a propane torch.  Let it catch with the lid open for about 15 mins and then close the top and adjust your dampers.  The bottom one stays just barely cracked open, maybe 1/4", and the top one stays open between 1/2" and 1".  Once it sits between 250-300 F for 10-15 mins I drop a large chunk of fruit wood and a medium chunk of oak or hickory on the coals and the pork goes on the indirect side.  I keep the smoke going for the first 1-2 hours only otherwise its can be overpowered.  Pork butts are one of the most forgiving BBQ cuts.  Keep the temp relatively stable and monitor the internal temp and it will turn out fine.

 

I wrap my butts during the stall around 165 when the bark is already nice and dark and don't remove them from the wrap or grill until it hits 203F internal.

Edited by sbcbmx112

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 mins ago, bob_G said:

JD,

The only reason I use my oven is because I don't want to have to tend my smoker all night long.  Nothing worse than waking up at 3 a.m. only to find out your fire went out and your Boston butt is 100*.

 

However if you feel confident new your egg can maintain a temperature for eight to 10 hours on charcoal, then by all means just leave it in the egg.  Double wrap in foil, try to maintain your temperature at around 250 degrees, no wood only charcoal.   It'll turn out great.

 

As for wood.  Often a serious discussion.   For most of my stuff, I prefer plain old local  dried oak.  Does not burn overly hot. Burns at a slow rate. Produces a real pleasant smoke. It's easy to get for free.

  This is esp important when smoking fish.   Fruit woods such as apple burn very hot and fast.  This can lead to temperature spikes that can ruin a whole batch of delicate fish.

Don't get me wrong, hickory is great wood, and some great bbq guys use nothing else.  

Thanks bud!

7 mins ago, sbcbmx112 said:

Are you using a basket with a divider, a heat deflector plate, or neither?  I find using a chimney gets the grill too hot too fast.

For a single pork butt on mine I use a basket w/divider.  Load up half with charcoal and light it from the top with a propane torch.  Let it catch with the lid open for about 15 mins and then close the top and adjust your dampers.  The bottom one stays just barely cracked open, maybe 1/4", and the top one stays open between 1/2" and 1".  Once it sits between 250-300 F for 10-15 mins I drop a large chunk of fruit wood and a medium chunk of oak or hickory on the coals and the pork goes on the indirect side.  I keep the smoke going for the first 1-2 hours only otherwise its can be overpowered.  Pork butts are one of the most forgiving BBQ cuts.  Keep the temp relatively stable and monitor the internal temp and it will turn out fine.

 

I don't remove mine from the grill until it hits 203F internal; there can still be a lot of connective tissue left to break down at 190.  I don't think you'll build any bark by pulling and then returning to the grill.

I'm using the plate setter heat deflector plate, so indirect. 

So are saying that those two chunks of wood will last one or two hours then they're burnt up and no more additional wood? Or do you actually pull the wood out at 1 - 2 hours?

Do you wrap yours in foil at 1 - 2 hours to limit smoke?

250 - 300? Most instructions say 225. 250 - 300 would certainly be easier to maintain and get it done quicker. How long do you think a 4.39lb butt would take at 250 - 300 indirect? 

JD

P.S. Please also check out my food safety thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 mins ago, jjdbike said:

I'm using the plate setter heat deflector plate, so indirect. 

So are saying that those two chunks of wood will last one or two hours then they're burnt up and no more additional wood? Or do you actually pull the wood out at 1 - 2 hours?

Do you wrap yours in foil at 1 - 2 hours to limit smoke?

250 - 300? Most instructions say 225. 250 - 300 would certainly be easier to maintain and get it done quicker. How long do you think a 4.39lb butt would take at 250 - 300 indirect? 

JD

P.S. Please also check out my food safety thread.

With the plate setter the grate itself can take a little longer to heat up due to added mass of plate and changes in airflow dynamics but once it gets going it's rock steady.  You might need to open the dampers a bit more w/plate in place.

 

Yep the chunks will last an hour or two and then burn up.  Sometimes I use a long thin metal rod to poke them around a bit if they stop smoking too soon but I rarely need to add more.  I wrap the pork when it hits the stall and the bark looks nice and dark, usually around 165.  I find cooking at 225 not to be necessary for all the but the most finicky BBQ cuts (aka brisket).  If you maintain around 275 a butt that size with no bone should be done in around 5.5 hours but as with all BBQ that's a guess.

 

One thing I've learned is that if I shoot to be done one hour earlier than I think I need to be it'll be ready just on time.  If it's done too early you can always leave it wrapped in foil and towels and stick it in a cooler until you're ready to pull.  They can easily rest for 3-4 hours stored this way and still be piping hot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sbcbmx112 said:

With the plate setter the grate itself can take a little longer to heat up due to added mass of plate and changes in airflow dynamics but once it gets going it's rock steady.  You might need to open the dampers a bit more w/plate in place.

 

Yep the chunks will last an hour or two and then burn up.  Sometimes I use a long thin metal rod to poke them around a bit if they stop smoking too soon but I rarely need to add more.  I wrap the pork when it hits the stall and the bark looks nice and dark, usually around 165.  I find cooking at 225 not to be necessary for all the but the most finicky BBQ cuts (aka brisket).  If you maintain around 275 a butt that size with no bone should be done in around 5.5 hours but as with all BBQ that's a guess.

 

One thing I've learned is that if I shoot to be done one hour earlier than I think I need to be it'll be ready just on time.  If it's done too early you can always leave it wrapped in foil and towels and stick it in a cooler until you're ready to pull.  They can easily rest for 3-4 hours stored this way and still be piping hot.

Excellent! Now I feel prepared for sure!

Thanks gents!

JD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bob_G said:

What I've been doing of late is, no more that 3 hours of smoke.  After that, double wrap it in foil, and finish it in the oven @250* for about 7 hours.

 Agreed.

 

The oven to finish is fool proof.

 

To make it even easier set your temp probe to 204 degrees and pull when it goes off.

 

You can douse it with apple juice right before the foil wrap just for good measure.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put it on the egg around 11 am ish. It’s currently 1:50 & grill surface is stable between 297 & 298 & Boston Butt is hovering at 163. I’ll wrap it in a double layer of heavy aluminum foil & put back on grill till international temp hits 204. Then I’ll rest it.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

JD

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.