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Behold My Butt! (2003–2006)


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It is a big party. Approximate 125 people. I'm assuming that 4 butts, once pulled will feed that many! Will it take longer to cook 4 at once or should I expect around the same amount of time it takes me to do one?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Marlene, I'd like to think that four butts will do it, but I smoked a 12.75 pound brisket last week, and 30 people devoured the whole thing. Outside of one tiny little piece that "fell off" I didn't even get any. And this was a group of adults between the ages of about 30 and 70 -- not teenage boys.

I also think, if you are worried about time and smoking, there's nothing wrong with taking them to somewhere in the stall, pulling them, wrapping in foil and finishing them in a low oven.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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^

I think it would take a little longer. In my experience, it is way better to err on the side of finishing early. There is no harm in finishing an hour or two before you want to pull them, as they need to rest anyway. You can pull them when they are done, wrap them well in foil (and then I wrap them again in an old blanket) and put them in a cooler until it is time to shred them.

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I'm no SSB, but my days as an engineering student suggest that an increase in mass requires an increase in energy to cook that mass, meaning longer cooking times. Yes? No?

Chris is right, one can't ignore the physics. For this cook the amount of meat mass means a longer time. Also, I would not bother with water in the pan as the amount of meat will serve as it's own heat sink. I do not think the additional time is a one to one ratio. That is if 10 pounds of butt takes 8 hours it does not mean 40 pounds will take 32 hours. You certainly may need to re-fuel the cooker. I would not be surprised to see 4 10 pounders to take 18 or 20 hours. However, I never like to predict times, we all know every one seems to be different.

And Chris, SSB? Smokin son of a bitch? Or is tha a degree , like PhD.?

Edited by lancastermike (log)
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Marlene, on the amount thing, I'd look at it like this. You'll need a minimum of 4 oz of cooked meat per person if you're serving it on buns, more if it's the only protein. That equals a bit over 31 lbs of cooked meat. The butts are going to lose weight in the cooking process - I've never weighed it out, but let's assume it's 30% loss as the fat melts and from the fat you take off when you pull it. So starting with 40 pounds of fresh meat, you should end up with enough for one good sandwich each for 125 people. Adjust from there depending on the rest of the menu, and whether you eyeball the meat as having more than 30% fat.

Personally, because some people inevitably want more pulled pork, I'd probably go for 50 lbs fresh weight.

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And Chris, SSB?    Smokin son of a bitch?  Or is tha a degree , like PhD.?

LOL! I love it!

I believe that SSB = Smug Scientific Bastard :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

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I think Abra's right about the quantity. Like I said just a few posts above, 30 guests devoured what had been a raw almost 13-pound brisket, and I know that had I had more, it would have gone (and I could have eaten some of it). I've served a lot of butt at a lot of parties, and in my experience, not many people are going to eat just one sandwich. I'd be tempted to smoke 6 of them.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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If I smoke six, that's two days of smoking. I'm not sure I'll have that much time. I figure first of all, not everyone will stay and not everyone will eat pork. We will get a mess of fried chicken in, and I'll have baked beans, potato salad and slaw. I'm sure I'll have other foods as well. 4 is going to have to do it. That is assuming I can get my hands on three more butts, since I have one in the freezer already!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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You could see if you can find a Bradley smoker to rent somewhere. Then you could set it and forget it each day.

I loved my brother dearly, but I am not, repeat not, renting a smoker! 4 will have to do!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Butts are not all that easy to find in Oakville Ontario. I usually get them from Whole foods and I don't think they take orders. I'll find some somewhere.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Marlene,

Is the Boston butt the same as a pork shoulder? ( I know a shoulder is a shoulder, but is a butt really a butt?) I always get shoulders at Loblaw's or Sobey's.

Ok, I went looking for an answer because I'm inpatient

From Ochef.com

Q. I am currently in culinary school and wonder where the name "Boston Butt" came from. I know the location of the cut of meat, but was wondering about the history of the name specifically. Also, why is the shoulder of the hog sometimes called "Picnic Ham"?

A. Well, one of your classmates may have beat you to the punch — seldom do we receive nearly identical questions from the same state on the same day. We took your questions to the experts at the National Pork Board and received the following answer:

"In pre-revolutionary New England and into the Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or "high on the hog," like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as "butts") for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as "Boston Butt." This name stuck and today, Boston butt is called that almost everywhere in the US,… except in Boston.

"Picnic ham" is a little challenging, even for the Pork Board folks. Generally, the shoulder is smoked, they say, which gives it a very ham-like flavor. Since picnic shoulder/ham is an inexpensive substitute for real ham (which only comes from the hind legs), they speculate that it would have been considered a good cut for casual dining — such as a picnic — rather than for use at a formal family dinner, such as Easter or Thanksgiving.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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I think Abra's right about the quantity.  Like I said just a few posts above, 30 guests devoured what had been a raw almost 13-pound brisket, and I know that had I had more, it would have gone (and I could have eaten some of it).  I've served a lot of butt at a lot of parties, and in my experience, not many people are going to eat just one sandwich.  I'd be tempted to smoke 6 of them.

FWIW we had a party earlier in the summer of about the same size - a little over 100, many of whom were kids. Went through a little brisket (10lbs or so) and about 6 broiler size chickens, and ~50 - 60 lbs of butts. (The brisket and chix were intended as options for those disinclined to pig, hence the uneven distribution of meat.) We cooked off about twice that much pork but fortunately it makes for excellent leftovers - my deep freeze is filled with vacuum packed frozen bricks of piggish deliciousness.

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Marlene's butt problem is solved. 4 butts will arrive on her doorstep next week, ready for the smoker!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Marlene, if you can't smoke enough butt, I'd get small dinner-type rolls to serve it with, that way it's maybe a 2 oz serving per person.

I think with four full butts plus all the sides plus whatever nibbles we come up with and some fried chicken we should have enough. If not, we can always order pizza!

Marlene's butt problem is solved.  4 butts will arrive on her doorstep next week, ready for the smoker!

What a girl! You know you've got a friend when they're willing to go on a butt search for you! :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Now that my butt's been secured, a final smoking question. In smoking 4 butts at one time, will the ones on the bottom rack be done quicker than the ones on top? Should I rotate my butts occassionally?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Yeah, ok. I missed that! :biggrin: I have 4 of the most incredible butts. Jake and I lugged over 50 lbs of meat into my house on Thursday. Now, however, the wake has been postponed until next Sunday, which is just as well since I am going to need two days to smoke these. They are so large, that I can only fit one on each rack, not two as I had orginally planned. But god, are they gorgeous!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This might be the wrong place to ask this, but please be kind!

I've got a craving for pulled pork, so I'm trying to do a little teeny tiny "smoked" butt in my oven (it's not really smoked, since I don't even have any woodchips in the oven, but I'm using very low heat and a long cooking time, so it's pretty close!). I looked it up, and it seems 190-195F-ish is the best temperature for pulled pork. I set my polder-style thermometer to 89C (192F), my oven to 100C (212F), and I've been "smoking" for the last 2 1/2 hours.

It seems my thermometer has been stuck at 69C (156F) for the last hour or so. I'm not sure what I should do. It's a little butt--only about 500-600 grams, and I'm very afraid of it drying out. It should make decent sliced pork sandwiches at this point. Should I just pull it out of the oven? Or hope that its temperature will starting rising soon?

I'd also like to go to bed soon, so the sooner I can turn off my oven, the better!

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I'd do two things: turn up the oven to 250F or so, and wait out the stall. It's very typical, I'm afraid!

Also, I'd pull when it's ready to pull, which is likely to be over 200F and after an hour rest. I've learned that temp isn't the way to judge when to pull. When it pulls gently into tender ribbons of pork, it's done.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'd do two things: turn up the oven to 250F or so, and wait out the stall. It's very typical, I'm afraid!

Also, I'd pull when it's ready to pull, which is likely to be over 200F and after an hour rest. I've learned that temp isn't the way to judge when to pull. When it pulls gently into tender ribbons of pork, it's done.

I've turned it up to 130C. So you have to pull when it's ready? I can't set it aside when it reaches the right temperature, and pull tomorrow morning? Darn! I'm going to be up for another few hours, at least then! Perhaps I can just take a little nap...

Thanks for your quick help!

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Rona, I've definitely pulled when ready -- it's easier to do that when it's warm instead of cooled off -- but haven't pulled after cooling it. I'd think you'd want to bring it back to temp before trying to pull it.

As for sleep, well, dark circles under the eyes are a sign of a fine pulled pork! :wink:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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