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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 04-03-2008, 11:28 PM   #1
watertowerbbq
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Default Competition Pulled Pork

I've got a question regarding timing and wrapping pork butts.

I've got a WSM and when I cook pork butts, I average just a little over an hour per pound (the last one I did was about 9 hours for an 8.5 lb butt). I'm wrapping them at 160* and cooking until 195* +/-.

Assuming that turn-in is at 12:30 and backing off for a 1 hour rest in the cooler, that gives me an approximate start time of 2:30 am. This seems awful late compared to some of the other teams that I see cooking. I'm guessing that I'm cooking at about the same rate as everyone else, so I'm wondering if teams are putting their butts in the cooler for several hours.

My question is, "What time are the rest of you starting cooking your pork butts and how long do you let them rest in the cooler?".
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:37 PM   #2
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I have only done a few competitions, but i always try to give myself more time for resting in the cooler for a few reasons. If the but plateaus for longer than expected you may not get done in time. and i have found a few more hours in a cooler will allow more calogen breakdown and you end up with a more tender but. I have let them sit in a cooler as long as 6 hours before.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:43 PM   #3
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I usually start My Butts at about 10:30 and let rest for a couple hours. But my butts cook for about 12 hours at 225.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:58 PM   #4
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Matt, last year I put mine in the Party around midnight to 1:00 am and they'd get done about 8:00 - 9:00 (about an hour a pound). A cooler will hold them til turn in no problem, in fact they are generally still very hot when I pull. I'm sure holding that long has it's pros and cons - but I'd rather hold longer then get concerned about 10:00 when it's only at 175.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Bobby View Post
Matt, last year I put mine in the Party around midnight to 1:00 am and they'd get done about 8:00 - 9:00 (about an hour a pound). A cooler will hold them til turn in no problem, in fact they are generally still very hot when I pull. I'm sure holding that long has it's pros and cons - but I'd rather hold longer then get concerned about 10:00 when it's only at 175.
I usually end up having mine in a cooler 3 hours, but mine always seem to take 10-12 hours before they reach temp. but I agree I would much rather have them in a cooler than wondering if they are going to get done in time.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:29 AM   #6
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We have a local backyarder competition coming up in May. This will be my first competition. How big a butt should I do for a competition where cooking starts at 6am and is picked up for judging at 4pm? That's 10 hours, so I was thinking a 6-7 lber tops?

Also, generally how much do you need to make for judging? They have a People's Choice Award that required 300 oz of meat to be handed out to the general public. I've sent the organizer a question if thats cooked or uncooked but I haven't got a response. The competition is May 17 so I have some time to figure stuff out.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:06 AM   #7
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i WANT mine in the cooler no later than 9-9:30. they go into the cooker at whatever time 80 mins a lb gives me to target 9-9:30. i try to stay around 7-8 lb butts.

Special little igloo for the butts, fits 2 butts and a towel perfectly. I open it at 12 to start bleeding some heat. the are still 160-175 when I take them out. at 12:30-1.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:13 AM   #8
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I try to find 9-10 lb butts. If I can find 10+, I'm in heaven. I start mine at 8pm at 180. At 6am, I wrap. They temp 145-150... every time. Then I move up to 245 and they are usually done and in the cambro by 9am-9:30am as Phil has said. Also set mine out to cool around noon.
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:01 AM   #9
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I start my butts about 10 pm for a 10 lb butts, but then I tend to not use a cooler unless they're done early. All I have to say is practice and see what works best for you.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:41 AM   #10
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I start mine at 6 pm at 180. Bump up temp to 245 at 5 am and wrap with loving liquids. Usually they come off between 8 and 9 and I hold them until pulling/slicing at 12:45.

6 hours holding is fine. 150 temp when slicing is great.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:13 AM   #11
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i think coolering from a pull temp of 200* back down to about 160* as Phil has stated, is important. this gives the connective tissue an ample amount of time to break down and i think reabsorb into the meat. as others have said, use the cooler as your buffer period.

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Old 04-04-2008, 10:24 AM   #12
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We put ours on around 10pm @225. Wrap around 6ish and pull them off around 9. The longer you hold them, the better they will be. Of course you did kick my butt last year at DU.
I had one hold for 6+ hours in Marshalltown last year. Got 9th.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:38 AM   #13
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I have only done a few comps. We learned the last time that waiting till 10 pm was a mistake for us. turn in time we needed a couple more hours, and we're 10 degrees short and no rest time.
I have noticed at the comps we we're in, quite a few of the vets and trophy collectors start thier fire to get pork butt and brisket in as soon as the meat inspection is done.
Better to have the meat holding in a cooler for a few hours than coming up short. Especially since there is absolutely no way of telling how much collogen is in a piece of meat. A good example is last weekend I cooked a pork butt and was figuring 12 hours...it stayed at the plateau for 8 hours and took total time of 17 hours to hit 195*.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:34 PM   #14
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I like to start everything around midnight and then hold them when they are done..Ribs and chicken I run my cooking times right to the last minute, but butts and briskets get a long rest period. I also dont wrap my butts, but do wrap my briskets.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:48 PM   #15
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If you are cooking on an offset or a cooker that generates more smoke, remember to not start real early. Many guys who put their big cuts on in the early evening at very low temps are using pellet cookers and they are trying to generate more smoke because pellets give off less (or possibly more of a mild) smoke flavor. If you do this in an offset you could oversmoke if you are not carefull. We put butts on between Midnight and 1am and usually have them pulled off and resting by 10am.
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