I’ve done many a pork butt on the Big Green Egg, but by all accounts, the Pork Butt that I cooked this last weekend was my best ever. What made it so good? I’m not going to say it was any one thing in particular, but more of a combined effort across the board. But before I go into the cook and review, I wanted to cover some basic questions that are out there:
How Long Do You Cook Pork Butt?
General rule – 1.5hrs per pound (at 225-250). However, this is going to vary greatly based on your cooking setup, so it’s best to do it by feel. If the pork butt is bone in, the bone will slide out cleanly or the thermometer/meat probe will slide in with no resistance.
Typically I pull my butts off the Egg when they reach 195-200. I try to cook my pork butts (always bone in) at 225 or 250 for 1 to 1.5 hours per pound. I monitor my long cooks using either my Thermoworks Smoke thermometer or one of the Thermoworks Dot thermometers
Pork Butt Preparation?
Pork butts can be prepared any number of ways – but if you are going to rub your butt, I would recommend doing it the night before and letting it rest overnight in the refrigerator. And then when you put it on the smoker, add another quick coating of the rub – makes sure you get extra barky goodness.
I had a 12lb pork butt that I had picked up from Kroger when it was on sale – I think I paid $12 for the thing! Of course, it was immediately put into the freezer for safe keeping until the time came three months later for me to begin thawing it. I pulled it out of the freezer on Wednesday night to prepare for cooking on Sunday.
Saturday night, I took the butt out of the fridge, washed and patted dry. I score my pork butt fat cap in a diamond pattern (no trimming) in order to create awesome chicharon style nuggets in the finish and let the rub/smoke get extra deep to the meat. Then I gave it a generous coating of Honey Hog Rub from Meat Church. This rubs first ingredient is sugar, so you know you’ll get a good bark from it. And after the rub down, back in the fridge it went, overnight.
Sunday morning, bright and early, I got up and started the Egg around 7:30am. I also pulled the pork out of the fridge then and let it rest/come to room temperature for about an hour – this gave me the time I needed to let the egg get heated and prepare my setup.
Lump & Wood Chunks: For my setup, I used standard lump and large hickory chunks. I put the hickory chunks on the outside edge of the lump so that they would smoke rather than burn. This produces optimal smoke for long cooks in my opinion.
Drip tray: For mine, I use a disposable pan that I buy in bulk from Sams Club. In it, I put rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns and fill with water till about an inch from the top – this way you can place it on the Egg without spilling and putting out your lump.
Setup: Pretty simple with the inverted plate setter, drip tray on top of that and the standard grill on top of everything, resting on the plate setter.
As you can see, after resting overnight, there’s a bit of liquid in the pan and the rub has been absorbed into the pork butt. And it does have a great color to it.
Once I put the pork butt on the egg – after I get the egg to hold at 225 – I gave the pork butt another generous coating of the rub for good measure.
And then – nothing. Walk away, do yard work or go to church. I did all three. We left for church, came back and I checked the pork butt.
Then I did all of the yard work, showered, watched TV and then checked on it again. Verdict was let it cook for 2 more hours.
So after a total cook time of 10 hours, I raised the Egg temperature to 300 for the final 2 hours. I did this to make sure the bark got nice and crispy. My butt was at 195 after all of this and I tested the meat by moving the thermometer – it slide in nice and easy.
Then – I let the butt rest – pull off the egg, cover in foil and let the butt rest for at least an hour – 2 hours if you are patient.
Then, remove the bone (it should slide out cleanly – if not, you need to smoke it some more) and pull the pork. Try not to eat all of the tasty bits in one setting.
I made pulled pork sandwiches for the wife and I – set aside some for the little man’s lunch the next day and for us too. The rest I portioned into serving sizes and saved with the FoodSaver – then froze so the awesome pork butt could be enjoyed several more times without sending us into leftover regret.
More Big Green Egg Recipes