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Smoking pork butt and ribs at the same time?


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On Sunday I'm having some people over to eat the products of the Weber Smokey Mountain that I picked up for free last year and have barely used. I got a 9 pound pork butt, but I'm wondering if it'll be enough? There will be 14 people or so, so I was wondering if I could do a couple racks of ribs at the same time? I know ribs cook much faster, so maybe put the ribs on in the last few hours of the butt going? Has anyone else done this?

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On Sunday I'm having some people over to eat the products of the Weber Smokey Mountain that I picked up for free last year and have barely used. I got a 9 pound pork butt, but I'm wondering if it'll be enough? There will be 14 people or so, so I was wondering if I could do a couple racks of ribs at the same time? I know ribs cook much faster, so maybe put the ribs on in the last few hours of the butt going? Has anyone else done this?

Yes. I used to smoke pork ribs, butt, duck and chicken (or 2 or 3 of them) all at the same time. Just remove things as they are done or put ribs on for last 3-4 hours or so of smoking time.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On Sunday I'm having some people over to eat the products of the Weber Smokey Mountain that I picked up for free last year and have barely used. I got a 9 pound pork butt, but I'm wondering if it'll be enough? There will be 14 people or so, so I was wondering if I could do a couple racks of ribs at the same time? I know ribs cook much faster, so maybe put the ribs on in the last few hours of the butt going? Has anyone else done this?

My recommendation: smoke two pork butts. Having extra pulled pork in the fridge/freezer is never a bad thing. Extra smoked pork disappears quickly around here, but our house is infested with hungry teenagers.

Yes, you can throw ribs in with pork butt. The problem is that BBQ is "done when it is done", so getting the timing right is tricky. Pork butt will hold for a long time in a cooler ("warmer"), so that helps.

Good luck!

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Bruce, I fear two butts will be expensive - I'm very particular about meat, - the local organic butcher charges $6 a pound, so the one I have was nearly $60. I suspect spareribs will be cheaper..

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I used a WSM for many years. Absolutely do the ribs with the butt. And there is no reason in the world to soak them in hot water for a full day. Both the ribs and the butt will turn out great in the WSM. When doing ribs I would often give them a couple of minutes on a hot grill to crisp a bit before service.

The WSM is a great cooker just get it settled in and it will hold a steady temp for a long time

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I used a WSM for many years. Absolutely do the ribs with the butt. And there is no reason in the world to soak them in hot water for a full day. Both the ribs and the butt will turn out great in the WSM. When doing ribs I would often give them a couple of minutes on a hot grill to crisp a bit before service.

The WSM is a great cooker just get it settled in and it will hold a steady temp for a long time

Given a 9 pound (untrimmed) butt, would you put the ribs on after, say, 10 hours of the butt being on there, or when exactly?

I have done it many times.

Sous vide both 24 hours.

5 - 10 minutes on the grill.

dcarch

I don't think that is what the OP was asking about. There are several thousand topics on this board about water soaking cookery. I don't think this is one of them

Bingo! The thought of sous vided barbecue is terrifying.

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I have two WSMs, the 18 inch and the 22 inch. Doing ribs and butts (shoulders) at the same time is no problem. I'd put all the meat in at the same time and put the ribs on the top rack so they're easy to remove. If you try to put the ribs in when the butts are halfway done the cold meat introduced into a cooker with a diminishing fire might make keeping temperature up a slight issue.

In my experience, baby back ribs take around 5-6 hours, spare ribs 6-7 hours and pork butts 11-13 hours. I keep the cooker

between 225 and 250. Times can be a little longer if you are doing a lot of meat as it takes a little while to get the temperature up. I've done 30 pounds or more with good success, just takes a little longer. It helps to use hot water in the water pan if it's chilly outside or if you're doing a lot of meat. Actually, I always use hot water unless I'm smoking fish at a lower temperature.

Also, I'm a big fan of the Minion method of firing up the smoker http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html#minion because of it's ease in getting the temperature right and the longevity of the fire.

WRT how much butt is enough, I've found that my yield of finished pulled pork is usually about 35-40% of the starting weight of the butts.

Edited by DTBarton (log)
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I have the 18, for the record. My plan is to put the butts on before I go to bed tonight (midnight or so), so they'll be ready for when people come over at 7 tomorrow. Given that, I'd prefer not to put the ribs in there at the same time, even if I wake up super early, because I don't want to hold them for the better part of a day

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Bruce, I fear two butts will be expensive - I'm very particular about meat, - the local organic butcher charges $6 a pound, so the one I have was nearly $60. I suspect spareribs will be cheaper..

LMAO $1.29/lb all day everyday at Wegmans. Thats nuts to pay $6/lb

Edited by FeChef (log)
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Wegmans is a loooong drive. But also yeah I'm really paranoid about industrial-scale livestock raising, especially when it comes to pork.

Ok but you do realize the dangerous carcinogens in smoking meats almost makes buying organic meats a moot point. Just saying. If you want to pay almost 6x the cost to each their own.

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I don't have much to add, except that I have smoked butt and ribs together and the advice here is spot on with what I would have said.

FeChef, I am the same about my meat as Hassouni. It's not an organic issue. It's about how the animals were treated during their lifetime, under what conditions they were slaughtered, and how the meat is handled. A big issue for me is that a lot of meat for sale to large grocery stores is injected with a brine and this is not always labeled at the ultimate consumer level. I talk to a lot of butchers. I've been told that they can usually get chicken that has not been brined, but unbrined pork at the industrial scale is almost impossible to find.

You pay more at a butcher, but it's worth it if the butcher knows who grew the animal, who processed it, and what was done to it since. And butchers that cater to some cultures must show respect to the animal at all steps in the process, which I am willing to pay for.

ETA: The book Omnivore's Dilemma turned me off of industrial-scale meat. Also, the book Pandora's Lunchbox has an ironic chapter on why industrial-scale chicken doesn't have enough flavor to be used as a chicken flavor in processed foods.

Edited by Ttogull (log)
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I have done it many times.

Sous vide both 24 hours.

5 - 10 minutes on the grill.

dcarch

That's not barbecue or smoking.

I will smoke many things and then cook sous vide in order to get the texture/doneness right. I have great respect for a BBQ pro who can get it right every time using traditional methods. I can't, so I sous vide my butt after a smoke.

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nothing the matter with ComboCooking. SV and Smoker. if you get the 'bark' right, and the SV timing correct also, no one will be able to tell. and it might be on the jucy-er side.

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9 lb of butt should produce about 5 lbs. of cooked meat. Probably not quite enough for your guests.

If you are using organic, I doubt you'll save much by supplementing with ribs. But the ribs will cook a lot faster, so they could be started later.

I don't have any experience w. the WSM (altho I did have an ECB), so I can't offer time or technique specifics.

A pork butt cooked to around 200F for pulling can be held for at least 4 hours, perhaps as long as 6, wrapped in 2 layers of HD foil, some towels and then placed in a "cooler." During the holding time, the cooker can be refueled, and the ribs cooked around 350F.

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OK so I got two racks of spareribs (and it was cheaper than buying another butt) so that raises an interesting question - if I add the ribs towards the end of the butt smoke (*cue Sterling Archer* "Phrasing?") How do I actually get the wood smoke into the ribs, I understand that the wood burns off within the first few hours, so I can add more wood when I add the ribs, but then isn't more wood smoke on the butt undesirable after a point?

As for pulling the pork off the smoker and then refueling and doing the ribs, do I need to wait till it cools down? Empty the hot ashes, etc?

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I have done it many times.

Sous vide both 24 hours.

5 - 10 minutes on the grill.

dcarch

That's not barbecue or smoking.

Depends.

This is not typical sous vide by water bath.

I have a special PID controlled convection smoker, which is basically sous vide by temperature controlled hot smoke/air.

dcarch

BTW, this appliance actually works indoors, year round, without setting off the smoke alarm.

SMOKER16_zps1ec8ee30.jpg

The difference is juicer meat. Note the bones are not showing as in typical BBQ ribs, because the meat shrine much less.

smokedribs2_zps8c0d5d8f.jpg

Edited by dcarch (log)
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Is there a humidifier in it so you can control your wet bulb temperature? That thing is awesome!

Yes, there is humidification. I have a built-in ultrasonic humidifier inside. Looks like the water is boiling, it isn't. Just room temperature.

Given the different heat conduction of air and water, how do you adjust cooking times for your very cool rig?

With convection, the cooking time is reasonable. For long cooking time there is not that much difference. Once the temperature gets to set temperature, there is no difference water or air.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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Regarding where to get pork butt and ribs, I would suggest going to Costco. They typically have good quality meat for a good price. I would not bother with paying a premium for organic meats for barbecue. Also you should look at http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/ they have a whole section on smoking pork butts and ribs (http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/cook.html#pork).

The website also has the proper way to setup and use the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker as well. See this area: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/tipsfaq.html. Also for long cooks I would learn to use the Minion method mentioned in a earlier post - http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html#minion

Good luck,

-- Mache

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