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creek bottom
08-26-2019, 12:36 PM
I did 4 boneless pork butts (8-10 lbs. each) on Friday to make pulled pork for a small gig on Saturday. Got them on by 8 AM. Ran the cooker at a steady 275-300 the entire cook. By 5 PM, temp on all of them was 200-205. Got them off, let them sit for maybe 15 minutes, and started shredding. First two were beautiful. Easily fell apart. Got to the third one, and I could tell right from the start something wasn't right. Some of the muscle on the outside pulled right off and shredded easily. Then I got to the center muscle and I literally had to "rip" it apart by hand. It wouldn't shred at all. It was horrible! It tasted okay, a little dry, but good flavor. It was really white also. Just odd looking compared to the others. Then the fourth butt, same as the first two. Fell apart effortlessly. Has anyone ever had this happen? Could it have been the butt? Did I do something wrong? Any advice would be appreciated so I can avoid this if possible... Thanks in advance... :blah::blah::blah:

toymaster
08-26-2019, 12:44 PM
Sounds like the third one didn't get done. Without any details, I would say maybe you had an airflow problem inside your cooker around that third butt and it didn't cook the same. Sometimes it's just the piece of meat. Maybe that one needed a little more time than the others. Every piece of meat is different, Learned that the hard way.

rus_bro
08-26-2019, 12:46 PM
Kinda sounds like that one was a little under cooked. Temp isnt always the exact determinant of doneness (if thats even a word). Did they all probe smooth and effortlessly?

rb

hurricanedavid
08-26-2019, 12:56 PM
I've had this issue before when cooking four Butts at one time. A portion of one Butt wasn't as done as the other parts. I simply ripped it into shreds and finished it off in the oven. Blended it back into the other meat and all was good. :thumb:

El Ropo
08-26-2019, 01:05 PM
Got them off, let them sit for maybe 15 minutes, and started shreddingThis really stood out for me. My experience cooking well over 100 butts in the past 8+ years has taught me that a long rest is very beneficial to completing the process. I try to allow for 2 hours minimum rest time, and prefer 4 hours plus of rest after the cook before pulling butts, picnics, chuckies.

That in combination with what was already mentioned, possible air flow issues in the cooker. Every animal part is going to cook slightly different, so I try to probe for tenderness in several areas of the butt before deciding they are done. I ignore any sort of target temps as I've had them finish at 200 on low n slow cooks and had them finish at as high as 216 in hot n fast cooks. Bone wiggle test along with probing multiple spots and a super long rest never fails me.

creek bottom
08-26-2019, 01:09 PM
Kinda sounds like that one was a little under cooked. Temp isnt always the exact determinant of doneness (if thats even a word). Did they all probe smooth and effortlessly?

rb
They all seemed to probe smoothly when I poked 'em with the Thermopen... Maybe I poked it in the wrong spot. Just got frustrating! :tsk:

creek bottom
08-26-2019, 01:28 PM
This really stood out for me. My experience cooking well over 100 butts in the past 8+ years has taught me that a long rest is very beneficial to completing the process. I try to allow for 2 hours minimum rest time, and prefer 4 hours plus of rest after the cook before pulling butts, picnics, chuckies.


Yeah. I probably got a little impatient. I was trying to just get them done (I had some other stuff to do). I've done as many as 8 butts at once and I never had this trouble before (I've probably done 50 butts in my lifetime). They have always been done for me by 205. Have to stop relying on temp and go by feel... Just was an odd thing to me with the others being fall apart...

thirdeye
08-26-2019, 01:38 PM
They all seemed to probe smoothly when I poked 'em with the Thermopen... Maybe I poked it in the wrong spot. Just got frustrating! :tsk:

A few times a year we'll cook 10 to 12 butts at the same time, usually 5 or 6 will tender up at the same time, the others can take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to get where I want them. Speaking of the "wrong spot" here is a photo of a boneless butt I Buckboarded, then chilled. You can really see all of the different muscle groups, so it's a good idea to probe in several areas (and when injecting, you need to be mindful of this as well). And by the way the lighter colored meat you mentioned is less flavorful and a little harder to get pullable.

https://i.imgur.com/uOtl2It.jpg

toys4dlr
08-26-2019, 01:45 PM
What brand where they?? I like Seaboard, will take swift or Smithfield in a pinch. But, never Hormel butts. We got a case once in the restaurant as they were out of Seaboard. I could not get those tender no mater what. I think they are just really lean, and BBQ Needs the fat. So brand of pig can be the difference too.

creek bottom
08-26-2019, 01:55 PM
What brand where they?? I like Seaboard, will take swift or Smithfield in a pinch. But, never Hormel butts. We got a case once in the restaurant as they were out of Seaboard. I could not get those tender no mater what. I think they are just really lean, and BBQ Needs the fat. So brand of pig can be the difference too.
I got them at GFS. I buy them by the case, 8 in a case... Like I said before, the one that gave me trouble was dry. I would think at 205 it would still be moist even if it wasn't ready for pulling...

creek bottom
08-26-2019, 01:58 PM
A few times a year we'll cook 10 to 12 butts at the same time, usually 5 or 6 will tender up at the same time, the others can take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to get where I want them. Speaking of the "wrong spot" here is a photo of a boneless butt I Buckboarded, then chilled. You can really see all of the different muscle groups, so it's a good idea to probe in several areas (and when injecting, you need to be mindful of this as well). And by the way the lighter colored meat you mentioned is less flavorful and a little harder to get pullable.
Yeah, it was really white colored... Way different than the others. And you're right, that one muscle was not very flavorful...

Mikhail
08-28-2019, 01:23 PM
Funny you should have mentioned this Monday while I was smoking a butt, separated, for my daughter. The no bone half was perfect and shredded easily at 6 hours. The bone half went 7.5 and I had the same white muscle/hard to pull experience. Unfortunately I did not have time to let them rest, but it turned out very well because I used SirPorkALot's Lexington NC finishing sauce.

I really think it just needed another hour.