View Full Version : 1st & second smoke

11-20-2011, 08:53 AM
I used the new smoker yesterday for the first time. Pork butt turned out great. Well, at least the wife and I liked it. My question is should I pull the butt out at 190 degrees IT or should I wait till 200 degrees? I pulled this one out at 190, then foiled it for about an hour then pulled it apart with 2 forks.

I did not take any pics of the first one but I have a couple of the second one in progress. It was rubbed and put in the smoker last night at 10:30 p.m. air temp outside was 27f. At 6:30 this morning the smoker ( bradley ) is at 226-230 and the internal temp of the butt is 165.
I opened it to add water to the bisquette pan, and to take the picture.
temp dropped to about 185 for the short time the door ws open ( amazing how fast that happens ) temp is back up to 226f. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated on what temp you take your butts out of the smokers.
Thanks, Chuckster now if I can figure out how to add pics.

11-20-2011, 08:59 AM
I usually pull at 195 , but anywhere above 190 should be ok.

BBQ Bandit
11-20-2011, 09:12 AM
Congrats on your first run!

Here's the deal with butts. Running with low and slow in the low 200 range... may take 12-16 hours overall.
The key is not just the finished internal temp, but what is the overall texture/density of the meat.

When butts cook down... you're cooking a bundle of muscles/fibers surrounding a few bones and a shoulder ball and socket joint.
Its a bunch of connective tissues which holds it all together.

There's a time during the smoke ... (around 155-165) - which is where you're at right now - will see a physical transition inside the meat. It will appear the thermometer will stop and "hang" for a few hours... and that's normal. The slow heat will be dissolving the connective tissue over a long time... slowly dissolving into collagen and gelatin.

After that time period... about 175 and hotter... check with the bone "wiggle" test. ... should feel like a very, very loose tooth. What you're seeing is how much of the connective tissue freed up around the bone. It will start to free up. if not... let it ride a bit longer. For deeper aspects... use a long thin rod/probe (a thermo stem works, too) and press into the center of the meat... feeling for density of the meat lightening up. The probe should slide "like soft butter" easy all of the to the center of the meat. If you do hit resistance... not ready yet. Utimately... somewhere between 195-205... checking for texture/tenderness with the probe.

Short answer: that's what is known as "It's done when its done".
The meat will tell you when its done.

To ourselves... could be a 12-16 hour process.

Good luck on your run... you can do it!

11-20-2011, 11:56 AM
BBQ BANDIT, thanks for the awesom information. That explains a few things I noticed yesterday and I am also seeing on the butt that is in the smoker right now.
This is just another reason I will be getting a subscription to this site. Tons of great information, and lots of really nice people.

Once again, thank you for the info.

11-20-2011, 04:48 PM
wow thanks for that great explination, that helps alot, I thought I understood the probe like butter method but that helps me understand it even more.

11-20-2011, 07:04 PM
Thanks to the BBQ BANDIT and his great words of advice earlier today.
I waited and pulled out of the smoker at 200f IT. Made all the difference in the world on how the pork pulled like butter. This one tasted better than the first. Might be due to the rub I used.....Ordered it from here and got it the day before the second butt was smoked. Simply Marvelous cherry rub...tasty stuff...YUMMY!!
Here is some PRON to show the results.


BBQ Bandit
11-20-2011, 07:31 PM
Oh yeah!!!!!!

Happy to help... looking good!

[BTW: Another Brethren Brother helped me with my first pulled pork a long time ago. More then happy to return the favor]

11-20-2011, 08:51 PM
Looks good!!


11-20-2011, 09:17 PM
Looks great! Making me hungry.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk

11-20-2011, 09:50 PM
Gotta love the Cherry Rub!! And the Spicy Apple, if you've not tried it too! Butt looks great... no pun intended! LOL

11-21-2011, 01:03 AM
It's also nice to see a Bradley Smoker also. Good Unit.