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Behold My Butt! (2007– )

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I smoked a butt part last week. The exciting photos that follow, are raw and uncensored, so take this as your warning; If hardcore images of mis-labeled bone-in butts offend you, then I guess... well, prepare to be at least somewhat offended.

These photos chronicle the hot action from the moment I bought the butt from the butcher to the point at which I pulled the butt off the grate.

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Here is where the mis-labeling comes in... It's actually a bone-in portion of sweet, sweet porcine leg carcass.

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This is the rub. Your basic paprika, etc...

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While I prepared the rub and got the smoker ready to go, I put the butt in the freezer to get a bit of a chill. Unfortunately, the slight freezing adhered some of the butcher paper to the meat. It came off easily, but is conspicuously visibile in this photo.

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After a thorough hand-rubbed application of seasonings, the butt was ready for action.

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Only 16 or so hours to go...

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Way too early on the following morning... It's time to start spraying the butt with something. I think this was apple juice.

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Cup of coffee later... Yep, it's apple juice.

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With a lot more smoking yet to go, the butt is already starting to look like something.

....about six hours later (about 15 or so hours after going in the smoker):

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After the lengthy cooking the butt was disposed of quite unceremoniously...

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Wow carp, I want to dive in and taste it. Great pics and I'm sure it tasted as good as it looks.

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There I was minding my own business drinking a cup of coffee and reading the Sunday paper. Leafing through the circular for one of my local grocery stores and I bolted upright in my chair and almost spit up my mug o' mud. My heart raced, sweat broke out on my brow.

My wife looked at me with concern, or like I am crazy, which she often does. I stood up and exclaimed, "Those rotten bastards!"

"What, she said, whats wrong?"

Whole pork butts!!! On sale for 89 cents a pound!!!!!!

This can mean only one thing, smoked pork! I yelled

My poor wife could only say, "Dear Lord, not again". "And he had been doing so well. Off the wagon again."

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There I was minding my own business drinking a cup of coffee and reading the Sunday paper. Leafing through the circular for one of my local grocery stores and I bolted upright in my chair and almost spit up my mug o' mud. My heart raced, sweat broke out on my brow.

My wife looked at me with concern, or like I am crazy, which she often does. I stood up and exclaimed, "Those rotten bastards!"

"What, she said, whats wrong?"

Whole pork butts!!! On sale for 89 cents a pound!!!!!!

This can mean only one thing, smoked pork! I yelled

My poor wife could only say, "Dear Lord, not again". "And he had been doing so well. Off the wagon again."

:rolleyes::smile::biggrin::laugh::raz:

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For a long time, I hate to admit I thought this thread was about dieting!! haha...

Having a party in a few weeks and decided on pulled pork sandwiches. Was going to do it in a crockpot, but decided to look at this thread again and decided after reading MANY of these pages to cook it in the oven, combining lots of ideas here (450' for half an hour, then 4 more hours at 275', making sure it got up to 200'.)

All I can say is WOW! I can just imagine how fantastic this would be on a smoker since it was amazing in the oven. I heartily agree with the person that said to have lots of cook's bits. Sooo hard to stop nibbling while shredding!

Thanks for all this info...that's what I love about egullet; it just doesn't give you a recipe, but the how and whys too.

Question, what's a good estimate of how much cooked meat per sandwich? Want to make sure I have enuf. :) Nothing worse, to me, than running out of food.

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For a long time, I hate to admit I thought this thread was about dieting!! haha...

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Question, what's a good estimate of how much cooked meat per sandwich? Want to make sure I have enuf. :) Nothing worse, to me, than running out of food.

I don't have a good answer for your question, because we always make more than we need. I can say that one boneless butt comfortably fed 11 people this weekend (granted, we also made salmon and a bunch of other dishes). Sorry I don't have a better answer for you.

But (heh) one of the nicest things about smoking pork butt is the abundance of leftovers, which made for an easy meal tonight. Pulled pork, reheated with homemade BBQ sauce. Smoked sweet potatoes, peeled and microwaved with butter, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt. Leftover Waldorf salad (made with jicama).

Instadinner!

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I've been smoking now for about 5 years and have accumulated 4 different smokers...love pulled pork, I do it Eastern NC style, definite vinegar based. While you can give approximate times for weight of the shoulder (butt) I find that sometime the meat just wants to hang out at the plateau. I've already had a plateau for almost 4 hours. Once it releases though it's usually not that much longer! Here are the sauces I do for my pulled pork. I don't brine, I rub a plain yellow mustard all over the butt then sprinkle with my rub. The mustard will not leave a flavor, I do this with ribs also, helps hold the rub. Preferably do this the day before, let the rub sit over night in the fridge...next morning butt on the smoker, I use apple and cherry combo, sometimes add some maple in there. You don't wan't white billowing smoke, just a nice thin blue coming out of the stack. Moisture in the smoker seems to help the smoke ring. Anyway, smoke it until it reaches about 205*, then foil and let rest (in a cooler) for at least half an hour. While resting, here's the sauce...

Prepare the pulled sauce (not finishing sauce)

This is the sauce you add to pulled pork after it has been smoked and pulled.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup hot water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

PREPARATION:

Combine water and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Combine with remaining ingredients. Set aside until needed. We will be using this sauce in a few minutes.

Time to Pull:

Get some serving forks. Unwrap and PUUULLLLLL (hehehhe)

It will fall apart. Be mindful to break up the bark as well. It adds so much to the dish if you do this.

NOTE:

The Bark is the outer crust that is on the pork butt. The spraying with apple juice/water combined with the

heat/smoke has created this deep colored crust. This crust has so many layers of flavor. It is this

dimension in taste that makes your pork one of legend.

Preheat a really big pan to med heat on the stove:

Add all the pork into the pan over low heat. Once all the pork is in the pan, slowly add some of the pulled sauce liquid you have set aside. Stir and evaluate. Remember, the sauce will change in terms of visible moisture while it is in the pan. Add liquid until you like the texture. For me, it is at the point where the pork is shiny and there is the slightest, and I mean slightest, sauce in the bottom of the pan, neither dry nor soupy.

The Finale:

the Finishing Sauce:

This table sauce is a classic combination of cider vinegar for sour, brown sugar for sweet, tomato for color, and cayenne for heat. This recipe uses the Carolina preferred vinegar based sauce. I find that it enhances the flavor rather than changing it.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer while stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and serve warm. This sauce is for people to add to pulled pork if they wish. Serve this on the table as an option for your guests.

Native Eastern NC'er here. I do love a good butt! Your sauce sounds divine. the only thing I'd like to add is a true eastern NC bbq is not pulled pork rather it is chopped pork butt. Put your butt on the chopping block and using a large knife or cleaver chop away. then add sauce. This way you get succulent meat and crunchy browned bits in every bite.

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I agree entirely with KeystoneNate. Considering that the Carolinas are famous for vinegar-based sauces with pork, it seems only natural to top a pulled pork sammy with a vinegar-based slaw. You don't see them seasoning/saucing their BBQ with fucking mayo, now do you? It just don't work. :)

The crunch and sweetness (must have some sugar) of a finely chopped mayo based slaw is a nice counterpoint to the zing and heat of Eastern NC BBQ.

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Bumping this thread back up, now that it's spring. I cooked my first butt of the season yesterday -- about a four-pounder. Rubbed it down heavily with a dry rub of chili powder, paprika, ancho chile powder, coriander, salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, dry mustard (I think that was all). Let it sit over night, wrapped in plastic, to marinate in the rub. Put it on the grill with a heap of coals on either end, and went away and ignored it except to turn it a couple of times. At the end of three hours, I was starting to lose my heat as my coals were burning out, so I transferred it to a baking dish and finished it with another hour in the oven. Marvelous!

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So my butts are on my weber as we speak and ahve been for almost 5 hours. getting a pretty nice crust at this point. Just gotta wait a bit. about to add my first additional chimney of coals. Thanks for all the advice in this thread especially snowangel. can't wait till later.

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Since my wife let me in on the secret that my early bday present is the Sous Vide Supreme, I am hereby allowing myself to spend the money I WAS going to use for that on the larger sized 22.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain. I've got 3 of the smaller ones already, but managing one vs. two when doing big cooks will be nice. Herbs get planted this weekend, and then it is OFFICIALLY bbq season (meaning- guests coming over to enjoy it outdoors, I almost don't know how to cook bbq in reasonable weather)....heading up to my butcher to pick up some Berksire butts next week and try putting in an order for some Wagyu briskets, points-only...burnt ends are the end all be all for me, :laugh: .

Good luck and delicious results to all this spring!

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Sounds awesome. Has anyone experimented with the various heritage breeds of pork and butt and how that equates to quality of the finished product. I'm always suspect on cheaper cuts how big the difference would be. I can see how for beef it would make a big difference, just not sure on pork.

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Sounds awesome. Has anyone experimented with the various heritage breeds of pork and butt and how that equates to quality of the finished product. I'm always suspect on cheaper cuts how big the difference would be. I can see how for beef it would make a big difference, just not sure on pork.

Zeeman did a side by side comparison of Berkshire vs on sale $1.99 pork butts at the eG Gathering in KC a couple of years ago. There really was no comparison, the Berkshire pork was much darker and richer looking and the flavor was much better. The on sale stuff was almost white. Another benefit was the Berkshire cooked in about half of the time.

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I usely just add my seasonings at the pulling Table:

I will smoke in the Brinkman about two pans of what wood I like.. apple, mesquite or what ever.

I then finish in the oven, till 190.

If done correctly.. you can get these lovely cracklings. to eat by them selves or chop and put in the pork

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Zeeman did a side by side comparison of Berkshire vs on sale $1.99 pork butts at the eG Gathering in KC a couple of years ago. There really was no comparison, the Berkshire pork was much darker and richer looking and the flavor was much better. The on sale stuff was almost white. Another benefit was the Berkshire cooked in about half of the time.

thanks for the quick response. I'll have to search out some heritage breeds. I wonder how kurobota or some of the other breeds would do or if the berkshire is probably the best option.

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Zeeman did a side by side comparison of Berkshire vs on sale $1.99 pork butts at the eG Gathering in KC a couple of years ago. There really was no comparison, the Berkshire pork was much darker and richer looking and the flavor was much better. The on sale stuff was almost white. Another benefit was the Berkshire cooked in about half of the time.

thanks for the quick response. I'll have to search out some heritage breeds. I wonder how kurobota or some of the other breeds would do or if the berkshire is probably the best option.

I almost forgot about that, the "glistening with gorgeous fat" aspect of the heritage breeds plus the darker color, firmer texture and quicker cook time all make them worth the extra money. I've cooked berkshire, kurobata and red wattle at different times....more about what the butcher had onhand than comparison purposes, and I don't really recall huge differences once you make the heritage leap. But now that someone has brought it up, I have one more thing to rationalize purchases going forward.

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I almost forgot about that, the "glistening with gorgeous fat" aspect of the heritage breeds plus the darker color, firmer texture and quicker cook time all make them worth the extra money. I've cooked berkshire, kurobata and red wattle at different times....more about what the butcher had onhand than comparison purposes, and I don't really recall huge differences once you make the heritage leap. But now that someone has brought it up, I have one more thing to rationalize purchases going forward.

have you tried mangalista? Of all the breeds you've cooked which did you find came out the best?

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No mangalitsa yet. I keep trying to remember to ask about it when I'm up at the butcher, but I have this irrational fear that they're going to ask me..."ok, what food program have you been watching NOW?" :laugh:

I think overall, and this is probably just because I've cooked with it the most, berkshire is my favorite. Firm, good color, plenty of fat...and one time when I was in there one of the actual berkshire farmers was in the store and he told me "anybody who ever tells you that pork is the other white meat hasn't eaten real pork". So THAT has some influence.....loved that guy.

While it's not "bbq'd butt", one thing worth mentioning when it comes to the heritage breeds and the quality difference is that (in my experience), most bang for the buck comes from oven roasting vs. smoking. I think you just get a better overall idea of the subtle and not so subtle differences in flavor and texture when you cook it that way. Don't get me wrong, making the pulled pork is awesome, but before experimenting much with smoking different breeds I'd say smoke a berkshire and roast one and see what you think. Just my two cents.

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Great thread.

I'm a big fan of dry rubbing my butt before smoking. I usually apply my rub the morning before the butt goes on the smoker. This year I'm thinking of rubbing my meat the day before. What are the benefits of applying rub the day before and are there any risks?

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Great thread.

I'm a big fan of dry rubbing my butt before smoking. I usually apply my rub the morning before the butt goes on the smoker. This year I'm thinking of rubbing my meat the day before. What are the benefits of applying rub the day before and are there any risks?

With pork butt, I always apply a good layer of rub right before I put it on the smoker. This is just my preference, but when I'm dealing with such a thick, fatty piece of meat I like the dry rub to stay "dry" as possible so that when I'm pulling the pork and distributing bark throughout I get a more pronounced spice flavor. With the relatively low surface area considering the thickness, I personally don't see the benefit of the rub "marinade" you get when leaving it to sit overnight.

With brisket it depends on how lazy I'm feeling, but I may rub it ahead of time and I don't use as much. In my experience, ribs are good for the overnight rubdown because of the high surface area and thinness...you will get more flavor in there. HOWEVER, ribs are also the biggest candidates for over-seasoning...you want a "veil" of rub vs. the coating you give your pork butt. I've seen so many crimes committed.....but this is not the rib topic.... lol.

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I usually rub the pork butt the night before I smoke it. My rub has a lot of salt and sugar. This pulls out some of the moisture to to the surface and helps create a full flavored bark. Interesting that Jerry and I have done several competitions together but do this completely opposite.

For ribs, I use less rub and let them sit at room temp until the smoker comes up to temp, about 225 or so.

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My daughter's first birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and I've got 17 adults (friends and family) coming over to celebrate. I'm planning on cooking a couple of 8lb pork butts in my brother's Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. We're planning on eating around 4ish on Sunday and I'm struggling with when to put the butts into the smoker. It's going to be late November in Toronto so it will likely be cold. I've seen anywhere from 10hrs to 16hrs as ranges. I might play it safe and put them in at around 1AM the night before. If they finish early, I can just pull them and put them in a foil covered tray till it's time to eat though I'm guessing that might dry things out.

Anyway, can't wait to smoke my first pork butts on this thing. I'll post pictures if I get a chance to take any. Will be buying a SMK myself next summer as well as me and my brother have smoked anything and everything we could get our hands on since he picked this up a few months back and there is simply nothing like the flavour of slow cooked smoked BBQ.

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I recently did a 6-7# butt in my electric smoker which was set at 225 F. I took around 16 hrs and I foiled it when it got to around 170 and took it inside to finish in a 225 oven. Ambient temps were warm here in Florida. To tame the stall, foil it to prevent moisture evaporation as it enters the stall. By that time your meat has been exposed to enough smoke so it doesn't matter if you foil it or finish it inside.

Do yourself a favor and cook it in advance. It holds well in the fridge and even freezes well. Enjoy your daughter's party without the worry of will it be done or having to deal with it in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures.

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