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View Full Version : How to tell if pork butts are done without a thermometer ?


Pappy
08-26-2011, 07:30 PM
How to tell if pork butts are done without a thermometer? Is it like a briskit? Poke it with a probe until it goes in like a hot knife in butter?

Randbo
08-26-2011, 07:34 PM
Yes! If the probe goes through like butter it is done. Yummy!!That is always my final test.

landarc
08-26-2011, 07:36 PM
If it is bone in, wiggle and pull the bone, if it moves easily and pulls loose, it is done. If it is without a bone, you can reach in and try pulling a chunk free, if it comes free, then it is done.

Lake Dogs
08-26-2011, 07:38 PM
If it's bone in, even in foil, it'll "wiggle" and feel like it's about to fall apart. First MBN comp I'd done we were cooking 9 20# whole shoulders. Having never cooked this volume of meat, I'd figured/added additional time. Silly me decided not to put the therm in until the last turn of the meat. WRONG. We opened 'er up and as soon as I grabbed the first shoulder I stopped, paused, and with a panic I looked to my team mate and said "Oh $*(#, they're done". It was 3am. I'd planned on them cooking until 7am. Anyway, you can tell by the feel...

Oh, for the guys who say it's about 1.5 hours per pound; all 9 of the 20# whole shoulders were DONE (slightly over-done actually) at 10 hours, at 250 degrees. Reverse flow smokers apparently have this convection type of thing going on....

Pappy
08-26-2011, 08:15 PM
When I smoke 2 buttsat the same time, I have always taken them off at the same time. I guess it would be best check each one for doneness. They are never the same size in a 2 pack. One is always bigger. I was checking temp on the largest, thinking if that one is done, they must all be done.

Blackened
08-26-2011, 08:26 PM
I do the bone wiggle test, or you can stick a fork in it and if you can turn it 360 degrees it should be done..

thirdeye
08-26-2011, 08:26 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v377/thirdeye2/Barbecue%202/7c583015.jpg


I agree with everyone. Poke it and wiggle the bone. It will let you know when it's done, because it will start to slip free. Be prepared with some gloves, it will take both hands to move the butt off the grate. Foil it and let it rest as long as you can stand to.

fnnm358
08-26-2011, 08:28 PM
one thing for sure is knowing your cooker and how it works i have cooked pork shoulders that should have con for 13 hours and were done in 9 and my temp gauge was correct holding steady at 250.
you will deffinetly know when it is done without a therm.

pitbossJB
08-26-2011, 11:22 PM
+1 on that! If the bone pulls free you are home free. jb

If it is bone in, wiggle and pull the bone, if it moves easily and pulls loose, it is done. If it is without a bone, you can reach in and try pulling a chunk free, if it comes free, then it is done.

Boshizzle
08-26-2011, 11:25 PM
Yes, check that bone!

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=491&pictureid=4010

Pappy
08-27-2011, 06:35 AM
Good advise "Wigglin the Bone".
How big of a window is it before it Goes from being done to overcooked?

tjus77
08-27-2011, 06:49 AM
Good advise "Wigglin the Bone".
How big of a window is it before it Goes from being done to overcooked?

pretty large window if cooking at 225-250. butts are very forgiving too, everyone should start there and work into briskets.

Ribbin' Randy
08-27-2011, 08:15 AM
If it is bone in, wiggle and pull the bone, if it moves easily and pulls loose, it is done. If it is without a bone, you can reach in and try pulling a chunk free, if it comes free, then it is done.
X2...I smoked for years without a thermometer and to be honest, it has gotten me into more trouble than when I didn't use one. The cheaper ones inevitably fail and ...:doh:

QuietOne
08-27-2011, 08:21 AM
Stick a fork in it.

Twist.

Goes round it's done.

Babyboomerboy
08-27-2011, 08:31 AM
Oh, for the guys who say it's about 1.5 hours per pound; all 9 of the 20# whole shoulders were DONE (slightly over-done actually) at 10 hours, at 250 degrees. Reverse flow smokers apparently have this convection type of thing going on....

Really found this out yesterday. I cooked two pork butts and a brisket. I was figuring on an hour and half also. The five pound brisket was done, (over done actually), in three and half hours and the pork butts were at two hundred IT in six and half hours. I also have a reverse flow smoker and was cooking at 250. Anyone know any more about this convection thing?