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Unread 05-22-2013, 08:38 PM   #1
bmoorhouse
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Default Pork butt cut in half?

My wife bought a pork butt for me to bbq this weekend for a party we are having. She bought a 10 pound butt and had the butcher cut it in half so that I now have a 5.5 lb and a 4.5 lb pork butt.

In questimating the cook time, I normally use 1-1.5 hours per pound as my rule of thumb, but I am not sure what impact its having been split has on that formula.

Any advice? Should I plan on 10-15 hours, or 5-7.5 hours? Also, as they are not the same size, which is likely to finish first, i.e. which one do I probe with my iGrill?

Thanks for the help.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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What temp are you going to cook at? Is the bone in only one of the pieces? I would think that the piece with the bone would get done first, but don't quote me. I would put the probe in the smaller piece and check it at 180*F. At this time I would check the other piece and see which is farther along. Put the probe in the one with a higher temp and reset you alarm.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ View Post
What temp are you going to cook at? Is the bone in only one of the pieces? I would think that the piece with the bone would get done first, but don't quote me. I would put the probe in the smaller piece and check it at 180*F. At this time I would check the other piece and see which is farther along. Put the probe in the one with a higher temp and reset you alarm.
I usually cook at 225°. The bigger, heavier one has a bone in it. The smaller one does not seem to have a bone, but as it is still wrapped, it is hard to tell.

The other thing I noted is that the big one has a round bone visible on one end as well as on the side. I am fairly certain that my previous butts only had a bone on the end. Is it normal to see it in both locations?

Otherwise, your idea to check at 180 makes perfect sense.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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The round bone is not the bone you would find in a Boston butt. I'm suspecting you have a large picnic which as been cut into two pieces.

Cutting a picnic or butt into two pieces shouldn't effect the cook time all that much, but you might want to check for doneness a bit earlier than normal just to be on the safe side.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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Upon closer look, the bone are not quite round on either side, and one does actually have the airfoil shape, just larger than normal.

The butcher offered her the pork shoulder with big bone or Boston butt with small bone. As she asked for the Boston butt, I hope that is what we have.

If it is a pork shoulder or pork picnic, do I do anything different?
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Unread 05-23-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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Oops, serious miscalculation on my part... Pork butt cooks at 1.5-2 hours per pound not the 1-1.5 I was originally planning.

As these two halves were cut from a 9.8 lb pork butt, should I plan on cooking them for 15-20 hours?!?! That seems like a ridiculously long time. Will they cook any quicker having been cut in half?
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Unread 05-23-2013, 09:10 PM   #7
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For me a 10 lb pork butt can range from 14-16 hrs. Funny thing when I cooked a 5lb butt and it took 12hrs. I guess the wise bbq men are right bbq happens on its time.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmoorhouse View Post
Oops, serious miscalculation on my part... Pork butt cooks at 1.5-2 hours per pound not the 1-1.5 I was originally planning.

As these two halves were cut from a 9.8 lb pork butt, should I plan on cooking them for 15-20 hours?!?! That seems like a ridiculously long time. Will they cook any quicker having been cut in half?
calculate your cook time for each piece of meat...I would suggest upping your cook temp to 250, or even 275--you'll keep your times to more like 1 hour per pound, or just under without sacrificing quality. One will probably be done before the other, but that's not an issue...just double foil, then into a prewarmed cooler and fill with towels. Add the other when it's done, and let rest for 1-6 hours, then pull. They'll both still be hot, and they'll come out great.

BTW, looks like a blade bone to me--I think you've got a butt. If it was a picnic, nothing would change except the shape of the bone.

good luck!
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Unread 05-23-2013, 09:31 PM   #9
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I would 'guess' 10-11 hours at 225, 7.5-8.5 at 250, 5-6 at 275. This is on an insulated cooker with wrapping in foil at 6, 5, 4 hours respectively and 'done' at about 198 IT. Don't worry about them getting done early. You can hold them for a good 4-6 hours and they will still be too hot to handle. You do not have a picnic. That is a butt. The flat part of the bone is usually on the side of the butt. The round part is in the back and opposite the money muscle.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 04:44 AM   #10
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Thank you everyone for your great advice and help.

Honestly, I was not planning on wrapping it in foil during the cook. Relatively new to the Kamado cookers, I want to avoid opening the lid at all as I am still working on temperature control.

I know those who do foil say that it helps keep the meat moist, but I have done two pork butts without foiling, and both were incredibly moist when pulled. Those were much smaller, however. Weighing in at 4 lbs, they only took 8 hours to cook.

With this cook being so much bigger, will the longer cook time dry it out more? If so, maybe I will reconsider and try foiling this time. As we have guests coming, however, I would rather not change my method if I don't have to.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 05:21 AM   #11
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I always figure 1.5 hours/lb, then I add at least 2 hours to that time.
If it gets done early you foil it and let it rest in a warm, dry cooler wrapped in some old clean towels.
Follow your reqular method and have fun.
The nice thing about the 2 smaller cuts is more bark.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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I will be cooking two butts next weekend. I recently started using Myron Mixon's method of cooking butts. Temp @ 250, after three hours add butt to pan and cover with heavy duty foil (Myron cooks the entire time in pan...I did not for the first three hours)

Note: according to Myron the meat will not accept any more smoke after three hours @ 250.

When I pan and foil, I insert meat probe to monitor temp. Cook until probe tender (usually 198 - 205) Once probe tender, he removes foil and brushes with glaze and puts it back in the cooker for 1 hour uncovered and lets them rest while the fire slowly cools.

I really like this method because you have "some" flexibility in overall cook time because once you foil, you can bump the heat up some in order to finish the cook and can be done on time without drying/burning the meat. This is probably why he does this method in competition, but he's been cooking long enough to know exactly how long it will take to cook a piece of meat. After the last hour, the meat is ready to pull.

For my 2 butts next weekend, I will not deviate from this method. I expect 10-12 hours depending on the size of the butts. I will go to Sams and pick up a double pack. I hope both butts will be similar in weight.

Good luck with your cook!!!

My 2 cents.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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Kamados in their nature lend to not drying out meat on slow and low cooks (They are small and with a platesetter/deflecter it is essentally a tin pan with better convection currents). I would try and move the 2 hunks apart a bit becuase the heat doesn't circulate well when they are with in 2 inches (I am not sure how big your cooker is) so I don't know if that is possible. Plus use a meat thermo that stays out of the grill and that will save you the peaking. Peaking after the 2nd stall (175-195) will be when the bulk of my peaking happens. and it in noramlly just long enough to test how the meat probes.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 10:22 AM   #14
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I almost always cut BBs in half. They DO cook quicker and as LMAJ said... more bark!
I take mine up to 200°-205° for easier pulling.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cholloway View Post
I almost always cut BBs in half. They DO cook quicker and as LMAJ said... more bark!
I take mine up to 200°-205° for easier pulling.
Thanks! My target has always been 195, but I usually overshoot a little.

How much quicker does the split BB cook for you? As my wife is adamant that it is ready to serve on time, I am going to plan for 2 hours per pound and use the original 9.8 pound weight. Like everyone has said, I can keep it hot if it finishes quicker. Of course, it if finishes in 10 hours, I will be hosed and forced to reheat.
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