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FutureStarrSmoke a pork butt
Pork butt is the mainstay of many peoples’ barbecue. It’s easy to find, relatively inexpensive, doesn’t easily dry out in the heat of the afternoon, and keeps in the fridge for a long time. Pork butt is also a go-to for quick and tasty pulled pork. Some people use it for pulled pork sandwiches, with or without bread.This post is the perfect guide for your first pulled pork. Make sure to read it to the end (lots of good info here) as well as scroll below to the printable recipe card to take in all the pork knowledge so you’ll be fully ready to take on this delicious beast.
I recommend a good instant read probe thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature of the meat, and for this one reason. You’ll notice a pattern emerge as you start to smoke pork butts more frequently. Your meat rises in temperature up to about 145 degrees F pretty quickly, then the cooking process will slow dramatically and take hours to increase in temperature from 145 degrees F to 165 degrees F. This phase is called the “Stall” and is completely normal. Don’t panic, just let everything keep cooking and eventually the temperature will start to rise again.
Instead, I let the smoke continue to work on the pork shoulder and it helped to develop a really amazing exterior crust on the outside of the meat called “bark.” For those not familiar with the world of BBQ, this outer coating may appear burned, but to those in the know, that dark caramelized bark is absolutely coveted!It’s called the stall. This is where the temperature stops rising as the collagen in the meat breaks down. It can be frustrating, but all cuts of meat that take hours and hours to cook will have this. Brisket and pork shoulders are notorious for it. (Source: www.thechunkychef.com)
Ideally, you want to go for a pork butt that still has the shoulder bone running through it. This will help hold the meat together and act as a built-in thermometer. When the meat is done, the bone will easily slide out with a gentle twist. You can, of course, still cook a great pork butt without the bone as well. Sufficiently coating your pork butt with a rub will help season the meat, bring out the natural flavor of the pork, and help create that great exterior bark as it is smoking.
Many good pork rubs have a combination of salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper in varying degrees. But, don’t be afraid to create your own rub using your favorite ingredients and determine what you like best on your pork butt.To smoke any kind of meat properly, it is critical to make sure that your cooker’s temperature stays consistent throughout the entire cooking session. Remember, you will smoking the pork butt low and slow. 250 degrees Fahrenheit is a good sweet spot to maintain. Keeping your cooker's temperature consistent will also help you power through any "stall" that you may encounter with the butt's internal temperature while cooking. (Check out our article on the stall that can happen while smoking for more info on that.) (Source: bbqchamps.com)