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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > Pork butt issue not all that tender
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:07 AM   #11
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Tenderness is a matter of heat and time. It takes time for that connective tissue to break down. If all we needed to do was get the internal temp to 200F we'd just throw it in an oven or hot smoker for an hour, but that won't work. I smoke my pork butts at about 250-275, takes 5 or 6 hours and the meat pulls away from the bone clean and easy.

I turned the last pork butt I bought into sausage!

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:33 AM   #12
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Based on the information you provided, sounds like you should have had a couple perfectly smoked pork butts, just right for the pulling. The only 2 things I can offer up is 1) the pork was not ideal due to it being frozen after processing, thawed somewhat and frozen again before you bought it. 2) you have a cold spot in your smoker or an area blocked from the heat source you are not aware of.

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Old 09-26-2013, 03:47 AM   #13
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So possibly lower and slower?

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Old 09-26-2013, 04:04 AM   #14
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Here's my two cents! From what I've read you need to experiment with your equipment , just like brewing beer. It takes time to learn how long it takes depending on what your cooking, the weight, type, temp, smoke. In my opinion a 4# pork butt for nine hours is some dried out and tough meat. Good luck!

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Old 09-26-2013, 04:05 AM   #15
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So possibly lower and slower?
Yea. I let a couple of them go 18 hours a couple of weeks ago. About 10 hours at 150 (overnight), then the last 8 around 225. Those things were hard to take out of the smoker... they were completely falling apart. The bone fell right out.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:29 AM   #16
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Have you confirmed the accuracy of your thermometers? If not, you may not have hit the temps you thought you did = tough butt. Newbies are unaware that inaccurate instruments are a common problem. Check accuracy by placing them in boiling water (should read 212F/100C).

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Old 09-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #17
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So possibly lower and slower?
What type of smoker do you have? Low and slow is normally the way to smoke good meats.

I agree with the posts above recommending checking your thermometer. It may need calibrating. Also, I don't rely solely on the digital thermometer on my MES, as it has been off by as much as 15+ degrees.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:50 PM   #18
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This may sound like blasphemy to a lot of folks but (no pun intended) we do the majority of our bbq sans thermometer. When the meat is done it's a feel thing to us. BigJohn is an incredible pit master and consistently puts out good results. We always wrap the meat in foil then in towels and let it relax in the cooler after coming off the smoker.
My take home message here... practice.

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:03 PM   #19
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This may sound like blasphemy to a lot of folks but (no pun intended) we do the majority of our bbq sans thermometer. When the meat is done it's a feel thing to us. BigJohn is an incredible pit master and consistently puts out good results. We always wrap the meat in foil then in towels and let it relax in the cooler after coming off the smoker.
My take home message here... practice.
Completely follow you here. The more you do anything, the more it becomes second nature. I seldom need a thermometer, as I grew up with some kind of meat in a smoker.

Regarding the OP, a new smoker has been introduced. The only way to dial it on and learn how to smoke properly with it is by using a thermometer and running through the motions a dozen or so times. Just my $.02
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:19 PM   #20
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Completely follow you here. The more you do anything, the more it becomes second nature. I seldom need a thermometer, as I grew up with some kind of meat in a smoker.

Regarding the OP, a new smoker has been introduced. The only way to dial it on and learn how to smoke properly with it is by using a thermometer and running through the motions a dozen or so times. Just my $.02
I'm with you. It all comes down to practice... practice... practice...
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