jjdbike

Boston Butt: Selection & fine-point details questions?

Rate this topic

29 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

I know there have been several informative threads about pork butt. I just watched nearly an hour and a half of video instructions by Myron Mixon. He's kind of entertaining & a good teacher in my opinion. I find it interesting how he pays close attention to some details and all but ignores others. I have a suspicion it has to do with his sponsors. 

Here's my questions:

 

Bone in or boneless trimmed? Most everyone says to do bone in butts. In general I know that bone, fat, skin, basically as intact as possible generally results in more juicy and flavorful meat no matter what animal or cut. Myron did his to slice the "money muscle", the "horn" and the four "tubes" behind the money muscle". I just want to make pulled pork. I've heard that boston butts are very forgiving and hard to screw up. I did one before and it was boneless trimmed. In my opinion and everyone who ate it it was vey good to excellent. Bone in untrimmed takes A LOT LONGER because they're larger and heavier. 

Here's the question.... How much if any difference does bone in untrimmed vs boneless trimmed for pulled pork? 

 

Grade or quality of pork? I know beef is graded e.g. select, prime, etc. Is pork graded at all? Are there diff types or designations for different or better quality pork vs lesser or worse? I know Steve in Mass raves about Heritage hogs. I looked them up and they're too pricey for me, especially for pulled pork. Are there  any specific brad or grades I should look for in the butcher shop or grocery? 

 

Inject or not? I believe the pork butt is pretty fatty and stays fairly juicy, but that's just an assumption. I watched a side by side smoke w/ one injected and the other not. They said they preferred the uninfected. Yet, Myron insists in always injecting to make it more juicy, tender and flavorful... of course, he's advertising for a product. Is injecting important or even worth it for butt for pulled pork? 

 

Hot & fast vs low & slow. Similar to brisket, most folks I talk w/ say low & slow 225 - 250. Couple folks here suggested 275 - 300. I did 275 and wrapped 1/2 through w/ some liquid. It was juicy, tender and fine. Is 300 safe if wrapped 1/2 way or after bark is set? I know that many rubs, including the one I use has a good bit of brown sugar in it. I believe sugar burns at 265 doesn't it? if that's the case, wouldn't 275 - 300 burn the sugar in the rub and make it bitter?

 

Pre rub or not? Most say to rub meat the night before. Myron at one point in another video said don't do that because the salt will pull out moisture. I've read several threads the ebbing the night before (if the rub has salt with most do) will cure pork and make it taste hammy and tough. What do you folks think, the night before or just before going on the pit?

 

Sauce it? I want to sauce it and caramelize the sauce on the bark. Should I unwrap it when it's done, sauce it when it's at temp and put back on grill for a few to caramelize it? Does that risk drying it? Is it worth doing or just sauce it after pulled? 

 

Two small or one large? I believe two smaller ones will take less time than one large one, is that correct? I was hoping boneless trimmed was fine so I could easily fit two on my egg. I want to portions it out and freeze the second one for latter use.

 

Any other considerations? My first one was good, but would like to up my game.

 

Thanks in advance!

JD

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally the bone will give the cut more flavor, but in a pork butt it is a blade bone that has no or little marrow. If I was to take the blade bone, free of meat , and boil it the stock would be lacking flavor. That being said , the bone is removed and now you have a nice pocket for some seasoning. I have used pork butt in a crock pot for pulled pork but never smoked one yet. This opinion is from a meatcutters point of view. Also there is a gland that should be removed. Hope this helped. Thanks.

Share this post


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

Generally the bone will give the cut more flavor, but in a pork butt it is a blade bone that has no or little marrow. If I was to take the blade bone, free of meat , and boil it the stock would be lacking flavor. That being said , the bone is removed and now you have a nice pocket for some seasoning. I have used pork butt in a crock pot for pulled pork but never smoked one yet. This opinion is from a meatcutters point of view. Also there is a gland that should be removed. Hope this helped. Thanks.

Thanks Ribeye,

So perhaps for this particular cut, the bone isn't all that impactful.

Haven't heard of needing to remove a gland, that's interesting.

in the vid I watched, Myron removed some fat from the "money muscle", but left the rest of the fat on the bottom to protect the cut from heat which comes up from the bottom. 

Problem I see with leaving so much meat on is the rub doesn't penetrate. Also, fat that think will not render and there will be no bark on that surface. If one is using indirect heat (e.g. plate setter), would one still need that fat for protection? Would that need for fat protection be increased due to hot and fast?

JD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 smaller butts will cook faster than 1 large.  Beyond that, try it any or all if it sounds good to you.  Nearly impossible to screw up pork butt.  I put rub on when I start the coals, don’t wrap and don’t worry too much if temperature is between 225 and 300.  I do wrap and rest it when it’s done if there’s time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pork butts are very forgiving.  Injecting is not necessary but can add some internal flavoring.  For pulled pork I usually do a whole bone in boston butt, leaving the fat cap mostly intact and don't worry about the gland.  Night before it gets injection (if using), patted dry, and kosher salt.  Right before being put on the pit the (salt free) rub goes on, sometimes I use yellow mustard to help it bind.  Any temp between 225 and 325 is fine; I tend to shoot for 300 mostly because I'm impatient and the end product is just as good.

 

If you are going to butcher it before cooking you can remove the gland but if you leave the bone in it's borderline impossible to remove without sacrificing the integrity of the cut.  You won't know its there when pulling or eating.  As for the sauce, I like cook it down a bit on the stove top to the right consistency, pull the pork, then either drizzle sauce on top or serve it on the side.  You can try to sauce the whole thing and caramelize but you might take away from the bark a bit and it won't penetrate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want the johnny trigg recipe?

 

Butts are easy.

 

I was booked to go to Unadilla and do a Myron Mixon 2 day school for whole hog, but Wuhan!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JimW said:

2 smaller butts will cook faster than 1 large.  Beyond that, try it any or all if it sounds good to you.  Nearly impossible to screw up pork butt.  I put rub on when I start the coals, don’t wrap and don’t worry too much if temperature is between 225 and 300.  I do wrap and rest it when it’s done if there’s time. 

Thanks. Good to know

8 hours ago, sbcbmx112 said:

Pork butts are very forgiving.  Injecting is not necessary but can add some internal flavoring.  For pulled pork I usually do a whole bone in boston butt, leaving the fat cap mostly intact and don't worry about the gland.  Night before it gets injection (if using), patted dry, and kosher salt.  Right before being put on the pit the (salt free) rub goes on, sometimes I use yellow mustard to help it bind.  Any temp between 225 and 325 is fine; I tend to shoot for 300 mostly because I'm impatient and the end product is just as good.

 

If you are going to butcher it before cooking you can remove the gland but if you leave the bone in it's borderline impossible to remove without sacrificing the integrity of the cut.  You won't know its there when pulling or eating.  As for the sauce, I like cook it down a bit on the stove top to the right consistency, pull the pork, then either drizzle sauce on top or serve it on the side.  You can try to sauce the whole thing and caramelize but you might take away from the bark a bit and it won't penetrate.

Good info. Especially about the bone, gland & sauce.

7 hours ago, Little said:

Want the johnny trigg recipe?

 

Butts are easy.

 

I was booked to go to Unadilla and do a Myron Mixon 2 day school for whole hog, but Wuhan!

Hi Little,

Yes please.

Myron Mixon, sounds like fun. Sorry to hear about that cancellation. I enjoy his stuff a lot. I find it interesting how much attention he pays to some things and how little to others.  Like I said above, I wonder how much of what he proposes is related to sponsorship, e.g use of Minors Base, American Wagu, etc, not that there’s anything wrong w/ that.

 

I’d certainly love to see the Johnny Trigg recipe please.

Thanks all!

JD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

USDA does not grade pork like it does beef.

 

As to differences, heritage pork is a totally different thing from standard supermarket "the other white meat" pork. But not sure I would waste the money and flavor on a pork butt for pulled pork, as heritage pork can be 5-6 times the price of supermarket or even butcher standard pork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jjdbike said:

Thanks. Good to know

Good info. Especially about the bone, gland & sauce.

Hi Little,

Yes please.

Myron Mixon, sounds like fun. Sorry to hear about that cancellation. I enjoy his stuff a lot. I find it interesting how much attention he pays to some things and how little to others.  Like I said above, I wonder how much of what he proposes is related to sponsorship, e.g use of Minors Base, American Wagu, etc, not that there’s anything wrong w/ that.

 

I’d certainly love to see the Johnny Trigg recipe please.

Thanks all!

JD

Ive done two wagyu briskets.  I cant begin to explain how unbelievably good they were.

 

 

 

Johnny Trigg Pork Butt

 

6 Hour cook 275

Trim for the Butt-only exposing the Money Muscle

Rub is:

Peanut oil
Lawrys
Garlic pepper
Smokin guns hot rub
Zero to hero rub (Bigpoppa smokers)

Butt goes in Pan for the cook, cook for three hours

Parkay and Spritz with Apple Juice often

 

3 hours then wrap. saving the pan juice  Add Maple syrup, Parkay, and Tiger Sauce brand hot auce to the wrap.
Money muscle is done at 190  Butt at 200


Sauce is Head Country and Craigs  3:1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another tip.  Save some of the juice from the pan as said.  Dont worry about separating the fat off.  When you go to store the leftover meat, pour some of that back just to moisten a bit.*

 

  I use a "dip" when I pull a pork butt.  As I Pull it I sprinkle the meat with this:

 

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature. Pour into jar and store in refrigerator.

 

 

Also serve with it.  Thats real deal north carolina BBQ sauce.

 

If you want something more "saucy" but still carolina style, google 
"Fat Johnny's Bastardized Piedmont Sauce"

 

Sammiches with Dip, dill pickle slices and coleslaw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

In the interest of sharing, I have notes taken by my buddy from Myron Mixon's class mentioned above.  The amounts below are good for one 8 lb pork butt.  Myron sure does like his pork sweet!

 

Here is the (scaled down) hog injection from the whole hog/pulled pork section:

1 Cup white vinegar

2 Cups Apple juice

1 Cup white grape peach juice (never found this, works fine with white grape)

1/3 Cup kosher salt

1 Cup white sugar

2 TBSP thin hot sauce (Louisiana style was recommended)

2 TBSP MSG (optional)

 

Heat up injection to dissolve ingredients and then cool before injecting.  After injection let meat rest at least 2 hours to disperse.

 

And here is his pork glaze:

1 Cup vinegar BBQ sauce

1 Cup white corn syrup

1 18 oz jar fruit preserves or marmalade (Apricot, pineapple, orange all work great)

Pan and/or wrap drippings

Mix in blender

Heat on stove top to warm

 

I find the pork glaze to be much to sweet for my tastes so when I use this recipe I cut the white corn syrup to 1/2 cup or less.  Sometimes I add a bit of apple juice to the glaze if I need to thin it out.

Edited by sbcbmx112

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We need to discuss the missing unwelcome ingredient- boar taint.  Some may be familiar with this others not.  Boar taint is real and it can ruin your bar be q.  Look it up on google and learn all about it.  I've had store bought ribs, pork chops and Oscar Meyer bacon that suffered from boar taint.  You might not have noticed it before because 25% of the population cannot detect it.  What it is, is a condition that hogs can get  sows or boars castrated or not.  The butcher has no way of knowing.  The smell and taste of meat suffering from boar taint will make you say "what the hell is that". 75% of us anyway.  The cure is very simple.  When you get that butt home and before you spend any time messing with it, cut a piece of fat off and put it into a hot frying pan.  You will know immediately if your piece of meat suffers from boar taint or not.  Unless you are in that 25% group in which case your guests will notice and not say anything. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 mins ago, bobll said:

We need to discuss the missing unwelcome ingredient- boar taint.  Some may be familiar with this others not.  Boar taint is real and it can ruin your bar be q.  Look it up on google and learn all about it.  I've had store bought ribs, pork chops and Oscar Meyer bacon that suffered from boar taint.  You might not have noticed it before because 25% of the population cannot detect it.  What it is, is a condition that hogs can get  sows or boars castrated or not.  The butcher has no way of knowing.  The smell and taste of meat suffering from boar taint will make you say "what the hell is that". 75% of us anyway.  The cure is very simple.  When you get that butt home and before you spend any time messing with it, cut a piece of fat off and put it into a hot frying pan.  You will know immediately if your piece of meat suffers from boar taint or not.  Unless you are in that 25% group in which case your guests will notice and not say anything. 

I have certainly never hear of that.

How common is this?

How did I get to be my age, spent so many hours researching BBQ online and have never heard of this?

JD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not that common, but it's out there.  Most people have never heard of this. Over the last 40  years I've asked veterinarians and butchers about this and while they acknowledged it, none were spot on about what causes it or had a name for it.  People may have noticed the smell or taste and just thought hey this meat taste funny.  Also keep in mind that 25% can't detect it.  Years ago I heard the term and thought, "so it's got a name."  I looked it up on google and found out all about it.  You should do the same. 

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.