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rundrave

Pork butt wont pull

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yesterday I attempted to smoke a 6lb pork butt and this piece had a bone in it. I cooked it at 225 until it hit an internal temp of 165. I then promptly wrapped it in foil and let it rest in a cooler.

 

It had a nice bark on, was plenty juicy on the inside the stuff just would not come apart. What do I need to do different? Do I need to take it to a higher temp say 190-195 range?  Cook at a higher temp?

 

Just kind of bummed out, thought pulled pork would be easy. I have did ribs, whole chickens, turkeys, and other stuff in the smoker and all turned out great. Was on sale for $.99 a lb so not out a whole lot. It actually didn't taste bad, just was more sliced and diced than pulled lol.

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You didn't cook it long enough. I did the same thing with my first attempt. This old thread has some really good info about "the stall" and how long it takes to get past it - be sure to read McGurk's explanation. You want to be a lot closer to 200 internal temp:

 

Edited by Getanet

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You will get plenty of opinions, and there is a lot of good info on this site for pulled pork. I shoot for  195-200 degrees internal before taking it off the smoker in order to pull it.

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No problem. I think it would be easier to tear a phone book in half than shred a pork butt that's not ready!

 

 

Edited by Getanet

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160-170 is a common stall point. It can shoot right past it okay on some smokes or linger there for hours... I say don't rush it! In other words, don't crank your heat real high to compensate and just let it run its course instead. It'll get there. You are looking for connective tissue to break down, and that happens around 185 or higher.

 

Pork, for the most part, is tender under 150 (loins, steaks, etc.) or after 185 (butts). Anything in the middle is frustrating.

Edited by pikestabber

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Don't pay any attention to your thermometer except for a guide as to when to start testing your butt.

Its done when you can easily pull out the bone by grabbing it using a paper towel, usually 200 plus (start testing at 195ish).

All butts are different.  You can also cook it at higher than 225, (250 or 275) It will come out great just lets you get more sleep.

To quote a guy on another BBQ site "BBQ isn't rocket surgery"

 

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2 hours ago, rundrave said:

thanks guys, not sure why I got stuck on the 165 number but lesson learned.

165 is the official gubbmint temp for safety.  Regular pork is actually safe at 140 or above, besides it has been decades since anyone got trichinosis from domestic pork.  

 

Getting the collagen to dissolve in a pork butt so it pulls and is tender is a different story.   Needs higher temps and a longer time.  

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I  dry the butts in the smoker at about 165F. for an hour or so. When the butt is dry apply smoke for about two hours or more depending on what you like.

I then put it in a crock pot with a little water or apple juice and cook it untill tender.

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1 hour ago, Thunderbird said:

I  dry the butts in the smoker at about 165F. for an hour or so. When the butt is dry apply smoke for about two hours or more depending on what you like.

I then put it in a crock pot with a little water or apple juice and cook it untill tender.

 

 

You could get the same effect and make it easier on yourself by adding liquid smoke to the crock pot and skipping the first two steps if your not going to finish it in the smoker:)

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Usually the 165 temp is when some people pull the butt wrap in foil and put back in smoker to finish I usually put some apple juice and rum in the pan before I wrap if I do this. This can get you past the stall quicker if need be.

 

I have always pulled mine at 195 and let rest usually it will climb to 200 during the rest and I have never had a problem.

 

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Quote

 

Smoke it for about 3 hours at 200, then put in aluminum pan covered with tin foil with apple juice and stick in oven for 3 hours at 200-225 depending on size of roast and you should be good.

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I like to cook mine in the smoker till the bark from the rub is set up enough that it doesn't scrape off with your fingernail easily. Then I use a foil pan with apple juice and covered tightly. I use a meat thermometer to check when it's ready. When you insert it and it glides in like you are sticking it in a stick of room temperature butter it is done. That can be from 195 to 205 depending on the shoulder. If there is any resistance it needs to cook longer.

Edited by Grainbelt

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18 hours ago, jeffeg64 said:

Don't pay any attention to your thermometer except for a guide as to when to start testing your butt.

Its done when you can easily pull out the bone by grabbing it using a paper towel, usually 200 plus (start testing at 195ish).

All butts are different.  You can also cook it at higher than 225, (250 or 275) It will come out great just lets you get more sleep.

To quote a guy on another BBQ site "BBQ isn't rocket surgery"

 

 

Good advice ^^^... for pulled pork, probe for tenderness and let that be your guide.  And actually, there is nothing wrong with sliced pork butt, but even then the internal will be in the 180 to 190° range.  I like the "bone wiggle" test too. 

 

To quote a guy on another BBQ site "BBQ isn't rocket surgery"  Heheheheee.   I'm that guy!

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8 hours ago, thirdeye said:

 

Good advice ^^^... for pulled pork, probe for tenderness and let that be your guide.  And actually, there is nothing wrong with sliced pork butt, but even then the internal will be in the 180 to 190° range.  I like the "bone wiggle" test too. 

 

To quote a guy on another BBQ site "BBQ isn't rocket surgery"  Heheheheee.   I'm that guy!

You are That guy!

Didn't know you were on this forum, I would have quoted you by name if I would have remembered who said it. I've used your cure techniques and advice often, thank you!

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Gave it another try today and it turned out fantastic. Took it up to 200 and after resting bone pulled out by hand. Entire thing pulled apart with ease.

 

thanks for all the help. Just finished dinner and was expecting more left overs to take for lunch this week but wasn't much left. We all couldn't stop eating it.

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This thread helped me do my first pork butt in the smoker.  Thanks for all who contributed.  I was amazed how simple it was.  Most videos I watched had guys getting out of bed at all hours of the night to put more smoke on, check temps, etc.  Injected it with a two to one of apple juice and apple cider, mustard her real good, put generous amounts of rub on and let it sit covered in the fridge for eight hours.  Put it in the smoker at 8:30pm, temp set at 225.  Woke up the next day and internal temp after 12 hours was 190.  An hour later she hit 200.  Took it out, wrapped it in foil then put a towel around it and placed it in a cooler for 6.5 hours.  Took it out and it was still very warm.  Shredded it, put some sauce on and mic'ed it for one minute three separate times.  Turned out absolutely wonderful!  Partially froze one of the butts then vacuum sealed it to be eaten another day.  Thanks for the help!  BC

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Smoking a butt is actually really simple after the first time you do it.  All I do is put a rub on it, tie it up to keep the muscle together and then put it on the smoker at 225-250 for as long as I have time to keep the charcoal going, usually 8-10 hours, then it gets tented with foil and put into the oven to finish until it hits 195-200.  Then wrapped in foil, wrapped in a towel or 2 and into a good cooler while I get some sleep.  It pulls apart like nothing when I wake up in the morning and its usually just barely cool enough to touch at that point.  There really isn't much monkeying around you need to do with it.  Just set it and forget it for 10-12 hours, take it out when its tender and you're good to go.

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14 minutes ago, bobberineyes said:

Your right rs_ld,  a full smoker is the way to go, leftovers can always be frozen and re heated..good eats.

 

You can also be a little creative with the leftover meat.  For example: The wife and I will whip up a spanish rice mixed in with the pork and make Enchiladas or heat the pork on the stove top, mix in some BBQ sauce and make quesadillas (the grandkids love them).   There's more to pulled pork than sandwiches. ;) 

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