Author Topic: Boston Butt - Additional wood?  (Read 4762 times)

swthorpe

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Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« on: June 30, 2013, 05:16:25 PM »
I am thinking of trying out a Boston butt for the fourth, something that I have been delaying to attempt given the time requirement.  My question for those of you that have smoked a butt in 7-8lb range...should I add addtional wood after 3 or 4 hours, or just rely on the initial wood that I use at the beginning?   I have noticed that my wood is pretty much just ash after a 4 hour smoke, so would this be sufficient for a 10-12 hour smoke?  Many thanks!
Steve from Delaware
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afratki

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2013, 06:02:46 PM »
Most people say that the meat stops accepting any more smoke once the IT reaches 140 degrees. I heard one convincing argument stating that most meat stops taking more smoke flavor at 140 because the meat is usually too dry by that point but the environment in a Smokin-It smoker is so moist that it will accept more smoke at higher IT temps.

It also is going to depend on personal taste. If you really like a lot of smoky flavor you can experiment with adding more wood. I only smoked one BB, didn't add any additional wood and there was plenty of smoke flavor. 
Andrew from Maryland

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Thin Blue

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 10:29:57 PM »
I just smoked two 7# butts, used two of the pieces of hickory that came
with the #3, had great smoke flavor, remember if your look'n
your not cook'n.
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UWFSAE

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2013, 10:37:59 PM »
I've researched this issue fifteen ways 'till Sunday ... and let's just say the opinions are mixed.

When using a stronger hardwood I'll often stick to 4-6 ounces at the beginning; if I'm using fruitwood or a fruitwood/hardwood blend I often do a two ounce fruitwood reload at the 140 degree mark.  I've noticed a slight uptick in bark integrity and flavor with zero bitterness so I'm going to ride that horse until further notice.
Joe from Houston, TX
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swthorpe

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 08:44:19 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  I am going to use cherry wood for this 7# butt, and not worry about adding extra wood this time....then, the next time I will try a small reload at 140.   I am also going to try brining this time 24 hours.   
Steve from Delaware
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Thin Blue

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 11:12:34 AM »
I have brined Turkey before, but not a Butt. Brining a Turkey helps preserve moisture and makes the meat a little more dense, a bit like Ham.
Brining a Butt may make the meat dense, may not pull as well, should work great for slicing.
Just my 2 pennies.
Others out there with expertise in brining a Butt?
Good luck and let us know how it turns out SW.
 :)
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Had: Brinkmann vertical charcoal, wore out; Old Smoky, not to my liking sold; Brinkmann Pro offset, gave to friend;  Sams Club propane smoker, junk, returned to SAMs; 2 Brinkmann vertical electric, wore out.

smokeasaurus

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 11:26:50 AM »
Sweetwater Spice Co. makes a butt/rib brine.  I gotta bottle of it but have not used it yet. Will use on my next butt and will report back.

UWFSAE

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 11:32:54 AM »
I'm assuming you're intending this to be pulled pork?  If you do brine a pork butt, it needs higher sugar content rather than salt ... apple juice with a bit of garlic powder or even some adobo on it's own would actually work if you're looking for greater moisture.  A lot of the meat sold via grocery store chains is already packed in a salt/sugar/water solution so brining isn't 100% necessary.  Philosophically, I'd treat this as macro-marinating rather than a traditional brine.  If the pork butt is low on "good fat" striations through the muscle then it could be useful.

All things being equal, if you're simply looking for flavor enhancement I'd go with an injection immediately prior to smoking.  As I'm partial to sliced pork I do think this method brings something to the table but, as always, your mileage may vary.  :)
Joe from Houston, TX
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swthorpe

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 04:42:30 PM »
Thanks, folks.  You caught me just in time!  I won't brine the butt.  I had read on some other boards that brining could be beneficial, but then others said that the fat in the butt is sufficient.  So, no brine this time...just a good rub the day before.  I do intend to turn this baby into pulled pork.

On the brining, though, I do brine all chicken and turkey smokes, with the exception of wings.  Seems to work well in those departments. 

This is a great week of smoking for me (I'm on vaca)...wings today, ribs tomorrow for neighborhood party, and then the Boston on the fourth.  The #2 is getting a work out this week.
Steve from Delaware
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smokeasaurus

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2013, 10:12:27 AM »
I think if you brine butts it is mostly to get flavor down into the roast, not so much for additional moisture.

Now the subject of adding wood during the smoking session, the Mfg recommends not adding wood during the smoke and I agree. I have never found the need (at least in my case) to add additional wood. First off, that smoker box is red hot and these smokers are so efficient, I have not had to add wood.

All I can say is, if you do add wood during the cook, please be careful with that red hot smoker box.........

swthorpe

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2013, 12:22:26 PM »
I was aware of the Mfg recommendation not to add wood, and with good reason!  I started with a bit of extra wood in the beginning and the pulled pork had enough smoky flavor, so additional wood was not necessary.  And on this smoke, when I was finished, the box was completely empty!
Steve from Delaware
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DivotMaker

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Re: Boston Butt - Additional wood?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2013, 08:30:52 PM »
There you have it!  One load of wood and you're good!  Since the meat won't absorb much smoke after 140 anyways, can't see much point in risking a 3rd-degree burn to add a chunk!  :-[
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