Jump to content


14 Hour Boston Butt (Overkill Galore!)

Recommended Posts

Update 04/15/2014


Since this thread was added to the recipes forum, I figured I'd give it a quick review to see if anything needs to be changed. I listed my changes below:


1. I talk about cooking at 225 degrees in my recipe write-up but I have found, as many of you already know, that butts are very forgiving when it comes to grill temperature. I have had great results cooking at 225, 250, and even 300. Your cook time is shorter with the higher temps of course. I just wanted to add this so our newer readers don't focus too much on 225. It can be a challenge to maintain 225 for 14 hours and it's not necessary.


2. Brining is easy and inexpensive and I love it as part of my butt BBQ ritual. That being said, I don't think it actually makes a huge difference in the final result. I don't find my brined butts any more flavorful or juicier. I have entered two office BBQ contests, I brined one and just rushed through the other one. I won both contests; with and without brine. I still do it because I enjoy the whole process and it makes for fun conversation when your guests are in awe of how great your BBQ is! 


3. I believe the Chris Lilly injection is key! I love how simple it is to make and how the results turn out. Lilly's recipe listed below is for TWO BUTTS. Either cut the ingredients in half of save the other half of the injection. Don't try to pump the whole thing into one butt. More is not better. I tried that one time and it was entirely too salty.


Original Recipe Write-Up


This is the kind of cook that I would only attempt when time and patience are not a factor. I went all out on this Boston Butt for the fun of it. I know there’s a lot of debate as to whether brining, injecting, rubbing with good mustard and cooking at 225* is even worth the trouble, but for me, I just enjoy every step of the ritual and the results are outstanding. The 8 pounder took over 14 hours to reach 203* internal temperature cooking at 225* and a couple of days worth of brining.


I trimmed most of the fat cap off my 8 pound butt but tried to leave about 1/8 of an inch like AmazingRibs recommended. I let it sit in a simple beer brine for a couple nights just because I had the time. I didn’t want too many flavors in the brine since I was injecting and rubbing later.


Simple Beer Brine Recipe (I got this from an old BBQ cookbook that I have, can’t remember name)


12 oz beer

12 oz water

Crushed bay leaves

½ cup salt

½ cup sugar

A little pepper




Next, I rubbed the butt heavily with Meathead’s Memphis Dust which is great on its own but I add 2 tablespoons of cumin to mine.


Meathead’s Memphis Dust Ingredients


3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup paprika

1/4 cup Morton's kosher salt

1/4 cup garlic powder

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons ground ginger powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 teaspoons rosemary powder

+2 tablespoons cumin (not in original recipe but I like the taste of cumin in BBQ)


Then I injected the butt with an apple juice based injection. The butt came out super juicy but I’m thinking that was probably more due to the cut and the slow cooking. The injection is easy and cheap to make and as long as my BBQ doesn’t turn out tasting like an apple pie, I like it. The injection recipe is below (Chris Lilly’s). I only used half of this:


Chris Lilly's Six-Time World Championship Pork Shoulder Injection


3/4 cup apple juice

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar       

1/4 cup table salt

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.




I set up my Akron with a full firebox of Kebroak lump charcoal in a well configuration and about 10 hickory chunks. I lit a starter cube, threw it down the well and closed the lid in about 5 minutes once the coals starting lighting. I set the bottom vent at 1 and the top vent at barely open.




It took the grill about an hour to reach 225* but I was in no hurry since I was leaving it overnight and didn’t want to overshoot my target. I know 225* is probably overkill, I was more curious to see if I can get my Akorn to maintain that temp overnight. My Akorn is completely unmodified by the way. I kept myself busy while I was waiting for the grill to come up to temp. That was a phenomenal stout on a cool afternoon.




Once temp was stable at around 225*, I put the butt on. It was 8:30 PM. I never opened the lid again until 10:30 AM the next morning. What was very scary about that is 4 hours into the cook, and a few beers later, I couldn’t remember if I had my diffuser in there or not. Luckily it was there otherwise we would’ve had some crispy pork.




I left my Akorn bottom vent at a little less than 0.5 (edge of slider tangent to screw) and my top vent was only open enough to let air through the half moon part which kept temp pretty stable at about 225*-230*. I set my Maverick alarms at the following settings and went to sleep.


BBQ High: 250*

BBQ Low: 200*

Food High: 195*


Eight hours into the cook, around 5 AM, the temperature started creeping close to 250*. I went outside and closed the top vent a hair more. It really wasn’t hard to maintain close to 225* for the majority of the cook on my Akorn. Was it worth it? Not sure. I guess there’s no harm in it as long as I have all night to cook.


I slept through the first stall which probably happened around 150-160 degrees but there was definitely a second stall later on. I think 170 to 180 took over 2 hours for me. My cooking helper and I enjoyed a cup of coffee as the butt got through the second stall. I snuck him a few bites later on, he seemed to really like it but he also eats dirt so that kinda discredits him as a gourmet.




The butt looked great at 199 but when I checked on the bone I thought I could get it a little looser so I left in there until internal temperature reached 203 degrees. It was about 10:30 AM.




I took it off, wrapped in foil and a couple of beach towels and let it rest in a cooler until company got there. We weren’t eating the butt until the Alabama/Texas A&M game so it probably stayed in the cooler for a couple hours. Alabama won that day so I am dubbing this cook my lucky butt. I’ll fix another one when we play LSU.


The results were very well received by friends and family. It was very juicy with a great flavorful bark and a nice smoke ring.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a really good post and a great looking butt. Akorn at 225* overnight who would have thunk it. ;)

When I do butts on my Akorn the temp always creeps about 25* towards the end. I just let it ride, you'll never know the difference in the final product.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A final thought (forgot to mention before)

I have found for a successful long Akorn cook it goes much better if you don't peak. Seems like you helped prove that idea. I know it's hard not to look but the reward is worth it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



That was a really good post and a great looking butt. Akorn at 225* overnight who would have thunk it. ;)

When I do butts on my Akorn the temp always creeps about 25* towards the end. I just let it ride, you'll never know the difference in the final product.


I was pretty surprised myself considering this was a $300 grill with absolutely no modifications. I actually tried another 225 cook this past weekend and I left at 225 at 9 PM and went to sleep. Around 5 AM the Akorn had dropped down to about 200 so I had to opened up the bottom vent a hair and I went out for a run. When I came back at 8 AM it was stable at 230 degrees. I am slowly learning how my adjustments affect my grill temperature.


I'm still extremely impressed with this Akorn and I love my Maverick ET-732; it takes so much of the guess work out of long cooks and I almost NEVER have to peek.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still extremely impressed with this Akorn and I love my Maverick ET-732; it takes so much of the guess work out of long cooks and I almost NEVER have to peek.

+100 ^^^^^^^^^^^^

I feel exactly the same way B)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great writeup and pics! That pork looks stellar... I can almost smell it even with my allergy-wracked nose this morning. :)


I've come to realize pretty much any temp below 300° will make excellent BBQ as long as it's consistent... what temp you choose should just be a variable based on how much time you have to cook. Looks like you had rock solid temps and perfect timing... nice work.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Tarnation
      Prepped this little half butt for a work Halloween potluck last night, cooking it tonight.  Just a little teaser before I tucked in and put it to bed.

    • By Brickyoung
      Hey family,
      I plan to smoke 7 pork butts on my Big Joe using my extender rack.  All the butts weigh between 7-8 pounds.  
      Should I maintain the general rule of approx 1.5 -2 hours cook time at 225? With that, is it fair to say this cool will be approx 16 hours for all 7 butts? I just want to make sure the extra capacity doesn’t affect my cook time.
      I’d appreciate advice based on prior experience from you folks. 
    • By cwhuling
      I ended up with a mostly free Saturday and decided to cook a couple of Boston Butts.  I finished my other chores early and decided to make home made rolls and Cole slaw to go with the pork.  This was the first time I brined a Boston Butt and was pleased with the outcome.  

    • By BBQAdventures
      So with visitors coming for dinner (the inlaws) this is the first real test – cooking for others, aiming for a set time for dinner… The pressure is on.
      My plan was for a really flavoursome lamb roast. Sent my wife off to my current favourite butcher – the Low and Slow Meat Co – at Tingalpa.. Can’t fault the product that we have bought from them. I will remember this one for a long time – Tomahawk Steak. Was looking for a boneless something and ended up with this magnificent Sovereign Lamb Shoulder 2.4kg of awesomeness… 

      Cause the meat looked absolutely magnificent , I really wanted to just try and enhance but not overpower the natural sweetness that is slow cooked lamb. Picked up an awesome Garlic rub made by Lanes BBQ , and the traditional flavours of fresh garlic and fresh rosemary , salt and pepper.
      So my prep for this cook was pretty basic – up early and apply the rub,salt and pepper and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours while I got the Kamado Joe Classic sorted for the 8+hr cook for the day. Unwrapped the lamb , covered with a splash of olive oil , inserted some fresh garlic in a few locations just deep enough to be under the surface, added sprigs of rosemary to the same cut.  Generous sprinkle of the Garlic rub , fresh ground salt and pepper plus added a small touch of the Stubbs Bar-B-Q rub just for that hint of something unique. 
      Now the Kamado set up I tried something a little extra with the deflectors and some added pizza stones. The deflectors were in the low low position , I then added a pizza stone on top of this one. Put the Xrak in place and added another pizza stone. My thinking here was to include some additional “protection” to the veggies that I would be putting in there later in the afternoon.  For the heat it was 80% fresh lump , a couple of small handfuls of hickory chips and I split some ironbark chunks that I had from our camping wood stockpile.  After about 40mins of getting warmed up , it was time to add the meat. For the initial period I just had a tray sitting under the roast , took the opportunity to add some more aromatics to this tray and catch some of the juices /rendered fat from the lamb. 
      Went pretty well and held temp like a champion. That is definitely one thing about the Kamado style cookers they are awesome once dialed in. On with the veggies at the 4 hour mark.The prep for the veggies was nothing special. Pumpkin,potatoes,carrots and a couple of onions. Drizzled with olive oil , sprinkled with the Lanes BBQ Garlic rub , added a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and that’s it. Added a tray (spuds) under the roast , and a second tray (pumpkin) on the top rack. Started to base the top of the roast with an olive oil garlic and rosemary mix – looking to keep it moist.
      At around the 6 hour mark I decided to wrap the shoulder , looking for 2 things keeping the shoulder moist and limiting the smoke content. At around the same time , I think one of the chunks of ironbark lit up and provided a tone of smoke – good for the veggies , but may have been too much on the lamb. Timing was aresy , but it worked well. For the wrap I decided to make up a liquid to add some additional flavour complexity. For the liquid I made up some beef stock , pepper , garlic , rosemary gave it a good mix up and basically poured it into the bottom of the foil wrap.
      Once the veggies probed tender , I pulled them off and put into a pre-warmed oven. At around the same time , the roast hit temp and decided to pull it off and rest. Once the roast was off , re-configured for a quick corn cook – chared corn on the cob…
      After about 30 minutes rest it was time to see what the result was… Wasn’t disappointed. Super juicy , well rendered fat , and a nice subtle flavour provided by the rub.. Awesome.
      To finish off the night , a little store bought apple pie !! Never had smoked apple pie before… Mmmmmmmm… Wont be the last either.. 

      Total cook duration : 8Hrs 25Mins
      Kamado dome Temp ~120C (250f) wasn’t too picky with the temps as I knew it was going to be a pretty long cook.

      Here’s a quick video of the cook
      Lamb Shoulder
      Thanks for stopping by…

      Joe on !!!!
      Full pictures on my blog page.
    • By brandonh
      I'm pretty inexperienced with my kamado, especially low and slow. My temp had been higher than I wanted (305) so I adjusted the top vent to nearly closed (1/8” or so). The temp held steady  at around 245 for the next 4 hours and now going into hour 6 my temp has dropped to 225 in the last 45 min. Is my fire out? I'm about 15 min from home so I don't want to go unless necessary. TIA
  • Create New...