Been using the foil method lately for Pork Butts but SWMBO is going to visit her Sister and asked if I would do some pulled pork for her to take down … Decided to go back to basics and provide my best product! Smoked the two 9 lb Pork Butts in the MAK 2 Star Wood Pellet BBQ Smoker-Grill at 225ºF with Pacific Pellet Gourmet BBQ Pellets for 2 hours. Increased the temperature to 250ºF to finish off the Pork Butts to an Internal Temperature of 200º-205ºF (9 hours).
Note the lovely bark formation before and after a 4 hour FTC. The photo on the right is both Pork Butts – One separated and the other left whole. These Butts made for some wonderful Pulled Pork!
Selected two 9 lb Pork Butts at Cash & Carry for this cook. Many Pitmasters choose to keep the fat cap on or trim it down to ¼” on their Butts but I prefer to trim most of the fat cap. I opt to trim the fat cat cause I believe it makes for an exceptional bark formation. Where the fat cat is left on, there is very little to no bark formation and everyone knows that bark is crucial in providing flavor profiles to the Pulled Pork.
Trimming the fat cap off also keeps your pellet smoker-grill cleaner during the cook. Most if not all that fat will render and melt only to be deposited in the bottom of your pit and into your drip can. Rubbed the Boneless Pork Butts with Annie’s Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a very liberal amount of Jans Dry Rub.
Triple wrapped the rubbed Pork Butts in Plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. While the MAK 2 Star was being preheated with Pacific Pellet Gourmet Hickory Wood Pellets to 225ºF at 10:30 pm for 30 minutes the two Pork Butts were prepped and resting on the counter. Many recipes call for the meat to be brought to room temperature before inserting in your smoker but I’ve not had any issues when I don’t. I know of one Pitmaster known to many as “SquirtTheCat” on various Forums that starts with a frozen Pork Butt. You merely have to adjust your cooking time. At 11 pm I started Hickory Smoking the Pork Butts for 2 hours at 225ºF. Estimated that this traditional method was going to take 11 hours and also a 4 hour FTC.
At 1 am, after a 2 hour Hickory smoke, I increased the MAK 2 Star temperature to 250ºF to complete the cook. By 6 am the Pork Butts were beginning to form a nice bark and at 9 am the Internal Temperature reached 203ºF. Total of 11 hours for this overnight cook. When I use the foil method I reduce the 11 – 13 hour smoke/cook down to 4 -5 hours. Even though both methods provide an extremely tender pulled pork, the foil method bark formation is not as prominent.
Double wrapped the Pork Butts in heavy duty Foil, wrapped them in a Towel, and placed them in a Cooler (FTC) for 4 hours to allow the meat to rest and reconstitute the juices before pulling the pork.