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psych

Moister meat for my butt

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I've made quite a few butts since picking up my Akorn a few years ago, and now my KJ. My wife, friends, and the rest of my family all seen to enjoy the butts but I've always felt like the meat could be moister. In general I follow John's guide on "How to Cook A Boston Butt" and it always comes out well but when it comes to good meat I don't know what I don't know and I feel like we could stand to experiment a bit.

 

So far I can think of a few ways to do this

 

  1. Spritz the meat every few hours with apple juice or something similar. This might work but I would rather not open the lid so frequently. I was also hoping to cook these overnight and there's no way I'm getting up.
  2. Toss some apple juice and use it as a water pan.
  3. Wrap the butt during the stall.
  4. Similarly, while reading the "Cook a Boston Butt" thread I came across a method called the "Texas Crutch." The gist of it seems to be to wrap the butt in some juice after the stall, bring it up to probe tender or so, and then unwrap it to get the bark back to a good, not soggy, condition. This seems like a decent enough plan. I can sleep through the night and won't have to worry about opening the grill until the end. The only downside I can see to this is ruining the bark, but maybe it won't.

 

Thoughts on any of these? We've always done the butts the same way, but I'm curious if I can improve.

 

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These things are full of intramuscular fat. I do none of the above and have not experienced a dry butt yet. Granted, I am a brisket cook as opposed to a butt cook, but, I'd personally look elsewhere. How are yu judging doneness and when are you pulling it off the grill. Are you resting it, and if so, for how long?

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I tend to agree with CentralTex here.  You may be pulling it off the grill to early or not resting it long enough.  Most of my butts go to 205 F before I feel they are where I need it to be.  Then it gets wrapped in aluminum foil twice, two towels, and into a cooler that I preheated with hot water.  It typically stays in there for 3-4 hours.

 

*That 205 temp varies depending on the but.  I want it so I’m nervous it’s going to fall apart pulling it off the grill

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When I’m feeling ambitious I sometimes inject with apple juice mixed with some butchers bbq  pork injection. Wrap at the stall and cook to probe tender. Usually about 205.  Butchers bbq rubs and sauce are delish too.

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#4 Will definitely give you juicier meat.  Also, I don't put it back on to firm up the bark (no need to) and it doesn't ruin the bark either.

 

If you really want to take it the next level, when you "wrap" put it in a deep aluminum pan and then seal the top with aluminum foil.  Thus you have essentially wrapped it but you get to collect all the yummy juices.

 

Then, when your butt finishes, use a fat separator to remove the fat from the juices in the pan.  When you start pulling to make BBQ, incorporate the saved juices back into the pulled pork.

 

Finally, keep clear as your guests dig in just in case their mind blows.

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7 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

These things are full of intramuscular fat. I do none of the above and have not experienced a dry butt yet. Granted, I am a brisket cook as opposed to a butt cook, but, I'd personally look elsewhere. How are yu judging doneness and when are you pulling it off the grill. Are you resting it, and if so, for how long?

 

I usually start probing for done-ness at about 200. Sometimes it takes a little longer but it usually happens right around there. I might start a few degrees earlier just to see what that feels like. I do wrap. Generally about a half hour to be honest. I'm a poor judge of time and usually pretty hungry by the time it comes off. I could probably stand to do longer.

1 hour ago, Bgosnell151 said:

I tend to agree with CentralTex here.  You may be pulling it off the grill to early or not resting it long enough.  Most of my butts go to 205 F before I feel they are where I need it to be.  Then it gets wrapped in aluminum foil twice, two towels, and into a cooler that I preheated with hot water.  It typically stays in there for 3-4 hours.

 

*That 205 temp varies depending on the but.  I want it so I’m nervous it’s going to fall apart pulling it off the grill

 

Gonna do this tonight/tomorrow I guess. Try and wrap it for longer before digging in. I'm just not patient enough.

45 minutes ago, prowe said:

When I’m feeling ambitious I sometimes inject with apple juice mixed with some butchers bbq  pork injection. Wrap at the stall and cook to probe tender. Usually about 205.  Butchers bbq rubs and sauce are delish too.

 

This is something I hadn't quite thought of. I have an injector kit I've never used. Maybe now that I have two butts, time to give it a try. How much liquid do you inject/how do you know when to stop?

18 minutes ago, moloch16 said:

#4 Will definitely give you juicier meat.  Also, I don't put it back on to firm up the bark (no need to) and it doesn't ruin the bark either.

 

If you really want to take it the next level, when you "wrap" put it in a deep aluminum pan and then seal the top with aluminum foil.  Thus you have essentially wrapped it but you get to collect all the yummy juices.

 

Then, when your butt finishes, use a fat separator to remove the fat from the juices in the pan.  When you start pulling to make BBQ, incorporate the saved juices back into the pulled pork.

 

Finally, keep clear as your guests dig in just in case their mind blows.

Good tips. Since I have two butts I might try it both the normal way and this way just to see what kind of difference I notice. Wonder, do you think it's worth injecting and wrapping like this? Or maybe one or the other for the first time.

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I prob use just a cup of juice if I use it at all. listening to your reply about you being hungry and impatient I'd be concerned that you are possibly pulling before probe tender when all that connective tissue is liquified.

injecting... wrapping etc will do you no good if you jump the gun.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, psych said:

Gonna do this tonight/tomorrow I guess. Try and wrap it for longer before digging in. I'm just not patient enough.

 

THIS...

 

If the butt is too hot, the moisture has done an Elvis and vacated the building. As it rests, the muscle relaxes and reabsorbs some moisture. Overly simplistic explanation...

 

If a moist butt can be achieved without wrapping or injecting, I personally am not going to add other steps in an attempt to correct an issue because I tend to think I am just hiding the issue and not resolving it. I want to gain the experience of correcting the mistake. Then i have a skill that I have added to my repertiore. If I was to start wrapping during the cook or injecting my butts, it would be for reasons other than moisture- i.e. flavor profile or speed up a cook, etc.

 

Edited by CentralTexBBQ

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8-10 lb butt in 5 hours or so at 290-300 put in a deep foil pan and covered tightly with foil will give you plenty of juice to reincorporate when pulling. Resting an hour or so let’s it suck that juice back in. Usually probes tender around 215 or so but I don’t pay too much attention to temp, just probe tenderness. 

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Posted (edited)

Here's a wild idea that I have tried with good results. Cook one butt, (or part of your butt) in a pressure cooker. Then mix the butt you smoked outside in with the pressure cooker cooked butt. You will get the smoke flavor from the outdoor butt, and super-moist meat from the pressure cooker.

 

Also, as a few others have pointed out, a few hours in a faux cambro makes a huge difference.

Edited by Thunder77

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I've completely dropped injecting, brining and braising from my pork but routine and now go with what for me produces the most consistent, full flavour, moist and all around awesome butts my guests have ever tasted.

 

Step 1) 24-36 hrs before hand, liberally salt the exterior with diamond kosher sea salt.  Leave uncovered in the fridge 

Step 2) Smoke between 250-275 4-6 hours until you're happy with the bark.  After the first hour I spritz with water (ft cap down) 

Step 3) Wrap in foil or butchers paper until probe tender (IT range 190-205, go by feel)

Step 4) FTC two hours ideal

Step 5) shred, add in a little of the vinegar based serving sauce if you're so inclined 

Step 6) enjoy the applause 

 

 

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