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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 10-23-2017, 08:42 AM   #1
alisonalivesey
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Join Date: 09-21-17
Location: Rugby Warwickshire
Default First time with a pork butt on the Kamado

Hi there I am going to try cooking a pork butt on my new grill this weekend. Any tips for a successful outcome?
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:31 AM   #2
BillATL
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Assuming you're new to a kamado and pork butts.

Clean your firebox out before starting a long cook, ash choking out your fire is a PITA.

Make sure you load plenty of lump. Running out of fuel mid cook is a PITA.

Start your fire early so it can get established and your cooker come up to temp and settle in without rushing it. Once you know your cooker better you can rush.

Start earlier than you think you need. A pork butt can be wrapped and left in a cooler covered in towels for several hours and still be hot and fine. That's way better than everyone waiting to eat.

Don't let your cooker get too hot. It's really hard to bring a kamado temp down once it overshoots.

Make sure you salt it well, don't go overboard with rub. It'll be delicious with just salt. It can be bad with too much of the wrong rub. Somewhere in between is your sweet spot, work up to it slowly.

BBQ is about the meat, don't sauce it for people.

Relax and enjoy, pork butt is a pretty forgiving thing to cook.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:42 AM   #3
alisonalivesey
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Join Date: 09-21-17
Location: Rugby Warwickshire
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Thank you. I am just trying it out on the family this weekend, prior to getting some friends round in a couple of weeks. Have had a couple of goes with the Kamado since it arrived in September and understand what you mean about getting the temperature right - I am planing to do it Saturday so I can be on hand to monitor it! Have managed an amazing chilli in it and some great tandoori chicken so far, so hopeful the pork will be OK.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:34 AM   #4
OklaDustDevil
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I do my butts North Carolina style, more particularly East North Carolina style. I usually dry brine with kosher salt 12-24 hours in advance, then apply a salt-free rub before putting it in the smoker. ENC-style then needs to be served with a very particular clear, vinegar-based barbecue sauce and a particular cole slaw recipe. (West North Carolina-style involves a red sauce with tomato in it, very different.). I'm sure this site includes great recipes for East NC-style pork; I've used recipes for the pork/sauce/slaw from the Smoke & Spice book and amazingribs.com, or google it.

You can serve it in piles on a plate, or the traditional NC way is on cheap, plain, white buns; pile pork on bottom bun, douse with sauce, add slaw, then top bun. FANTASTIC!!!
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:21 PM   #5
alisonalivesey
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Thank you - I was going to make coleslaw so I will have a look for some recipes!
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:23 PM   #6
EdF
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That ENC method is my favorite too. Here's a vinegar-based slaw recipe that is go to at my house:

From the Naked Whiz website:

Mary Lee's, "I Fought the Slaw and The Slaw Won"
These are from the Jack Daniel's old time Barbecue cookbook by Vince Staten. (with an Elder Ward twist)
3 LBS. cabbage
3 ribs of celery
1 onion (yellow)
1 bell pepper
3 carrots
2 C sugar (Hawaiian when you can get it.)
Shred, chop or dice all and mix with sugar. Set cabbage mixture aside.
1/2 Cup of white vinegar
1/2 Cup of Apple Cider vinegar
1/2 C olive oil (my twist)
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp (kosher salt)
Bring all to a boil and pour over cabbage mixture and chill overnight.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:40 PM   #7
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When smoking on a kamado, be careful not to overshoot your target causing temp.

Let it come up to temp and get locked in with small adjustments.

If you let it get too hot you may fight for hours to get it back down to the temp you want to smoke the butt.


I run my butts 250-275 and it has been working well.

Fill your firebox with quality lump and stack it in a pyramid. Use a lighter tab or similar to ignite a smallish amount at the top.

Let it catch real well with the grill top open for 10 minutes and then close her down and get your vents positioned in the way that will yield the results you'd like.

Not sure what brand of kamado you have, but the fine folks over at kamadoguru.com have forums for a dozen or so different brands. Lots of active posters over there who can give you model specific advice.

Pork butts are super to cook and yield great pulled pork with minimal work.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:45 PM   #8
mstewart39
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It's hard to get the pork butt wrong.

Over-estimate charcoal requirements. You can always re-use charcoal.
The trick is "probe tender". Some will tell you to shoot for a temp, but probe tender is the trick.

I don't bother with a water pan of spray. Kamado's are moist cookers. I do use a drip pan, though, so the drippings do fall onto the fire.

I agree that sauce isn't required, but I love a good vinegar sauce. It's basically vinegar, a little sugar, a little red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Let it sit for a few days to get all tasty. I've also added smoked jalapenos to mine.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
DubfromGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstewart39 View Post
It's hard to get the pork butt wrong.

Over-estimate charcoal requirements. You can always re-use charcoal.
The trick is "probe tender". Some will tell you to shoot for a temp, but probe tender is the trick.

I don't bother with a water pan of spray. Kamado's are moist cookers. I do use a drip pan, though, so the drippings do fall onto the fire.

I agree that sauce isn't required, but I love a good vinegar sauce. It's basically vinegar, a little sugar, a little red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Let it sit for a few days to get all tasty. I've also added smoked jalapenos to mine.

Total agreement to all points !!!!
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alisonalivesey View Post
Hi there I am going to try cooking a pork butt on my new grill this weekend. Any tips for a successful outcome?

I've had Big Green Eggs for 13 years or so years and kamado style pits are really nice for the longer or overnight cooks like butts. My general routine is to put larger pieces of lump at the bottom of the fire bowl, then I add a few smaller splits of wood in a wagon wheel design along with a handful of flavor pellets. Next I add another layer of charcoal, wood splits and pellets... then repeat this one more time bringing the level almost to the top of the fire ring. This gives me a great delivery of light smoke throughout the cook.

When lighting I use a MAP Pro torch and light the charcoal in one center spot, then add the plate setter, drip pan and cooking grate. I watch the pit temp rise and begin to close down the vents when it gets to about 30° from my target temp, so the pit temp sneaks up slowly. I allow the pit temp and the wood to settle-in for 45 minutes or so before adding food, and I monitor my pit temp with cable probe not the dome thermometer which can be 25° +/- lower than the actual temp at the grate.

Keep a little space between your butts and don't have your temp probe too close to the meat. 240°-250° is my favorite pit temp for butts. I have an early analog forced draft set-up with pit and meat probes, but I only use the pit probe. And to be honest, the controllers are very handy and you sleep easier knowing they are running your pit... but by design kamado's are very good cookers, so if you don't have one it's not a big deal. I do use a wiggle rod before turning in for the night and always get up and check on my pit every 3 or 4 hours... and luckily have never had a fire issue.

I prefer to not use a wrapped finish, but I do wrap before going into the Cambro/Cooler and like a minimum of 2 hours resting before pulling.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:56 PM   #11
ncmoose
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I agree with above, it's easier to come up to temp than to try to tame it.

Also, be patient. Let that toxic smoke burn off first before throwing your butt on. Should be thin blue to minimal smoke. It'll get smoked.

finally, when that shoulder blade slides out, you are usually good. I usually pull my pork butts. However, if it's not quite as tender as you'd like, chop away.
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