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Thread: Pork butt overload on WSM

  1. #1
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    Pork butt overload on WSM

    Church group wants PP BBQ. I am breaking one of my rules today out of necessity (i.e., I should have started days ago) and dropped 6 small butts on the WSM 22 before dawn, total raw weight 43#. They just fit without touching each other or the edges. I usually run the full cook on the WSM for 15 hours or whatever, but with this much meat I think I'll need to pull them and foil wrap them and oven finish them. I figure the bark will be soft (assuming I get any real bark with two crowded grates) but the flavor should be fine if I watch the smoke levels.

    The first thing I have noted is that with this much meat keeping the smoker up to temp was initially a challenge. I did sit it all on the counter for an hour to bring it to room temp while getting the fire going, but apparently I am pushing the limit on the WSM. So alas and alack, it seems I will need to forego any honey-do chores around the house today and instead have to stay close to the thermometer -- and to the college football games on the television that happens to be visible from my smoker.
    Just an old WSM 22. Til death (or rust) do us part.

  2. #2
    TVWBB All-Star BFletcher's Avatar
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    Good luck! Just curious: what is your pit temp (or your target pit temp)? And are you using water in your water pan?

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    water pan: yes.
    wood: apple and hickory chunks
    charcoal: Kingsford briquettes

    I am running at 245 at present (2 hours into the cook.) Temp was 260 when I put the meat on and immediately dove to 210. I had to work vents and coal for about an hour to get it back up to the 235-255 range I try to hit. Right now I am on coffee cup number 3 and enjoying the morning.
    Just an old WSM 22. Til death (or rust) do us part.

  4. #4
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Just a FYI, putting your meat on the counter for an hour is a waste of an hour. I read elsewhere that that is an exercise in futility.

    Next time to prove this to yourself, take a steak out of the fridge and measure the internal temp. After an hour, measure it again. Virtually no change. Waste of an hour.
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

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    Glad to hear that you accepted a challenge that pushed you outside your comfort zone and have come up with a plan to achieve your goal. As you mentioned, now you just have to sit back with your coffee and watch thew temperature gauge. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
    Smokin and Grillin my way of Chillin
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    TVWBB Honor Circle Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Agree with Len, don’t bother next time with the hour, get it right on.
    I think you’ve given yourself enough time, don’t worry about it too much.
    Given the amount of meat, I might have skipped the water but, I never use water either. That is a lot of meat, you will have a fine feast when all is said and done!
    Strong work!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

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    Thanks for exploding the counter top myth, I'll heed that next time.

    Cook was a success. 11 hours on the WSM and two of the butts were done. The others were around 175, so I wrapped them and oven baked them at 285 for about another 2 hours. Yield was 21 pounds, 15 ounces. Actual starting weight was 46.25 pounds (I just did the math) so my yield was 47.4%, which seems about right for bone-in.
    Just an old WSM 22. Til death (or rust) do us part.

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    Glad that it went well, as that was an awful lot of meat!!! If I may offer up a suggestion;you knew going into the cook that you were going to have to finish in the oven at a higher temp, ( in this case 285) why not just start out cooking with that temp on the smoker? Try foiling the water pan, and running the smoker in the +/- 275 range and see what you think. Again, you had a plan, executed it, and your plan resulted in over 46 lbs of meat....DANG THATS A LOT OF PULLED PORK!!! I’m just throwing out a suggestion so you could skip a step or 2 at the end of your cook.
    Either way, Great job! I know everyone loved it and no one walked away hungry!
    Tim
    Weber SG Gold Mini WSM 18.5 WSM Genesis E 320 Q-200:cool '06 Blue Performer

  9. #9
    TVWBB Honor Circle Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    No Tim, he netted 21# 15oz. From a raw weight of 46.25, pretty well done I’d say! That’s a lot of meat!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

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    I have to agree with the time on the counter. It's like putting the meat in an oven set at 75F and expecting something significant to happen in an hour. I wouldn't say it was time wasted as long as you weren't waiting on the hour to end before putting it on the smoker, but it likely did next to nothing as far as raising the meat temp. I seem to recall there being some evidence that smoke particles cling to colder meat better, so for flavor it may even be better to leave it in the fridge until the last minute.

    I also think Tim K is on to something with running the smoker at 275F. You'll have to lose the water to have much chance of hitting those temps. Keep the pan. It blocks the direct heat from hitting the meat. Lining it with foil will make cleanup a bit easier. A lot of folks go even hotter and have excellent results.

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