Originally Posted by jburch3
Hi. I'm a new Big Green Egg owner and am also new to BBQ-Brethren. I've been using my BGE on a trial and error basis for the past two weeks. I've overcooked some stuff (a few steaks/chops, a brisket that turned out really good but slightly dry) and I've made some awesome dishes as well (ribs, smoked chicken, a bbq chicken pizza). I'm doing my first pork butt this Saturday, and need some advice.
First off, the butt is about 8.5 pounds and I'm planning on entertaining 12-15 people. Should I smoke two or will one do? Next--should I baste/mop/spray at any point during the cook? A lot of the videos I've seen and blogs I've read recommend not opening the Egg until its time to start checking internal temp (hours and hours). However, on shows like "BBQ PitMasters", cooks periodically baste/mop/spray the butt. What do you all recommend?
My last question (for now) involves prep. Should I brine the meat or not? I plan to use my own rub, coat with yellow mustard, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. I also figured I'd inject with a "Texas Butter" marinade by Stubbs. I used this stuff to baste the ribs I cooked earlier this week halfway through the cook and it was great. Based on what I'm planning to do as far as rub and injection is concerned, is there a need to brine?
Sorry for the very lengthy inaugural post. I promise I won't always be this "long-winded"! Cheers!
I agree about cooking two butts. Make sure they have some separation between them for good heat circulation. My Large Egg has a hot spot toward the rear, so I put the big end of the butts facing the rear of the Egg.
I spray mine with apple juice that has some salt and Worcestershire in it after about hour 5 or 6, then again around hour 10. Eggs recover pit temp really fast, so opening the lid for 30 seconds is no big deal.
The more sugar you have in your rub, the darker the bark may get. A sugar based rub combined with the sugars in an apple juice spray could be too much. If you notice them getting too dark, you can tent with foil.
If you are going to inject with Stubbs, no need to brine... In fact, brining would take a very long time due to the thickness of a butt, so most folks don't do it. In lieu of brining I will inject a lite brine solution, which provides moisture and some flavor. But combining a marinade (or some other injection) with a brine can give unpredictable results.
For me, using 7 to 8 pound bone-in butts, I plan on 16 hours of cook time using pit temps of 240° - 260°. Sometimes they are done earlier. I double wrap in foil and hold them in a cooler with wads of newspaper for insulation. They can stay hot for hours this way. I reserve the accumulated foil juices and mix it back into the pork when pulling.