Best way to Collect Dripping from Boston Butt?



I would like to collect the drippings from a BB to work back into the pulled meat after it has rested. I find that when I use an aluminum foil pan on the lower grates to collect the drippings I often wind up with little actual juice and more often a dry pan with some baked on evaporated juices remnants.

The solution seems to be to include some water or broth in the collection pan that will not evaporate over a 10+ hour cook but the issue I foresee is that water will dilute the flavor of the drippings and chicken or beef broth may alter the flavor I am seeking. Maybe pork broth (do they even make that?) is the solution but if I'm going to use the "fake" stuff then why even collect the actual BB drippings in the first place?

Is there a practical and useful solution to my little problem?

Thanks and smoke on! :wsm22:

Nick Matthews

TVWBB Member
I always wrap my butts in foil when they get to the color I am looking for(usually around 160), and I will add a little apple juice at that point. Most of the time the foil has more liquid than I want to mix back into the meat.


TVWBB Olympian
I normally do HH butts so they are already in a pan with a beer added. I usually get about 2 cups of liquid maybe 1/3 of that is fat
You could try like a double boiler setup on the lower grate. Smaller empty pan set in a larger pan with water added to the lower.
You probably have to keep adding water during the cook but your drippings won't get scorched.


Andrew F

TVWBB Super Fan
I use a double pan set up. I have two disposable pans of the same size and set one inside the other with about a 1/2" of air space in between from some foil balls.

David DeVivo

I always use a pan big enough to catch all the drips and never use the foil. I do sometimes add, say a cop of h2o at the outset. BUT, I now only do the butts as deconstructed and don't usually add water at the outset. Usually I have a lot of great bark on three large pieces with several cups of drippings to be defatted. BUT, my love is this....I bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or more...all the trimmings, nasties so-called, major bone and skin and fat...then into a strainer, press for all the liquid. Reduce and taste the magical porkiness as she goes. I only season with salt and pepper at this point. This will be the basis for whatever I want adding more concentrated porky flavor to the pork at pulling time........or adding to the pan drippings after defatting, and really all kinds of things can be done . I especially like to braise some hen-of-the-woods shrooms in the reduction for an OMG sauce base. Have fun...

Robert T

Just my opinion but I like losing all that fat to my drip pan and then throwing it away. I feel that maybe then I can categorize my pulled pork as semi healthy? :)

Kevin L (NKY)

TVWBB Gold Member
I am with Robert at my age if I look at any fat it stags with me. You can add liquid and flavor without all the fat. I do not use bacon fat in other cooking either like some places you pay to eat. Fat is over rated.

John Solak

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I cook butts to 160 then place them in a pan and foil till done. While the butts are resting run the drippings through a fat separator.


TVWBB Olympian
I thought it was a given that we were discussing de-fatted drippings?
Anyhew ,I do like John and get rid of the fat and save the good stuff.


Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
I've been doing my butts just like John does. I typically do two butts at a time and place each butt in an aluminum foil pan, foil tightly at 160-170 internal temps until finished. I use a fat separator, then freeze the good liquid separate from the pulled pork. I add the liquid to the pulled pirk when reheating.

Keep on smokin',