Apple Smoked Pork Butt Roast vs Pulled Pork
I started years ago using the "Texas Crutch" when smoking Pork Butts. The Texas Crutch is a technique that helps you to overcome the dreaded nasty old Stall. It involves double wrapping the butts with foil and returning them to the pit. The stall, for those of you not familiar with it, is when a large piece of meat or poultry stalls around an internal temperature of 150ºF to 160ºF. The stall reflects the slow rending of fat and the meat meat proteins are denaturing which begins the tenderizing and breaking down of the protein.
I smoke pork loins for 2 distinct recipes - A Pork Butt Roast and Pulled Pork. For the most part both recipes are identical up to the point of the Texas Crutch. However, the pork butt roast is removed when it reaches an internal temperature of 187ºF and the pulled pork is removed when it reaches an internal temperature of 205ºF.
The other major difference is that the pork butt roast is rested for 15 minutes whereas the pulled pork is rested (FTC) for 3 to 4 hours. FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler) involves taking the foil wrapped 205ºF pork butt and wrapping it up in a large towel before placing it in a cooler for 3 to 4 hours. The pork butt roast is sliced against the grain versus being pulled.
Which is better? Depends on your preference but I'm going to wuss out and say that I enjoy both of them equally. The texture and their uses are different and so are the sides but lordly lordly do they ever taste scrumptious. CookinPellets Apple Mash pellets and Pork are a great combination.
Started with two 7lb Costco Boneless Pork Butts. Trimmed the small fat cap and any silver skin from both butts. Unlike some, who believe that the melting fat cap bastes the pork as it's being smoked/cooked, I am in the camp that prefers to have clean pork butts because any portion of the butts that are covered with fat will not form any bark. Let's face it, the bark is one of the tastiest part of any pork roast or pulled pork.
Rubbed the pork butts liberally with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and Jan's Dry Rub. Wrapped the seasoned butts with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker-grill to 225ºF with CookinPellets Apple Mash pellets. Smoked the pork butts for 2 hours before bumping the MAK 2 Star pit temperature to 350ºF. Removed the pork butts when their internal temperature reached 160ºF. Double wrapped the pork butts in heavy duty foil and returned them to the pit.
The Apple smoked pork butt roast was taken to an internal temperature of 187ºF before being removed an rested for 15 minutes. Why 187ºF you ask? Many moons ago I attended a smoking/cooking class and a stick burner served us a pork butt roast which he cooked to 187ºF. I figured that with his experience he knew better than I did so since then I have always taken them to that temp. Yes, there is something magical about that temp ...
The only thing left was to take the other pork butt to 205ºF before pulling it and starting the FTC process. The left image below is the pork butt roast and the one on the right is the pork butt after the FTC. Note that the one being pulled is flaking some by itself.
Both pork butts turned out exquisite ... next time you smoke/cook multiple pork butts take one out at 187ºF and check it out!!