Thursday, July 2, 2015

Molasses Brined Pork Butt for Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Jul 01 2015

I have had this recipe for a while and been wanting to try it. It has been ages since I made a large pork butt. Monday I got one from my butcher Kah Meats; it weighed 10.25 pounds. It would not fit the pot I do my brining in so I cut a chunk off to make it fit. I have other pots but this one fits my fridge nice. The chunk I cut off was 2.5 pounds and I vacuum sealed it and froze for later.

I still cannot lift much after my back surgery so to get it out in my garage fridge I put just the pork butt in; then mixed up the brine and carried it out to add.

The brine recipe was ¾ cup of molasses, ½ cup coarse salt and two quarts of water. I added two tablespoons of Blues Hog rub; the seasoning I was going to use on it. It was in the brine for 48 hours.

I got up this AM at 5:30 to get the pork butt on. I rinsed it well and dried then added a light coat of yellow mustard and plenty of the Blues hog seasoning. I got the Traeger fired up and at 190 deg. I got the pork butt in at 6:25. After 2 hours and 15 minutes I wanted to go to the grocery so I upped it to 220 deg. and went to the grocery. When I got back at 9:30, 3 hours in I went to 235 deg. and it was giving me 250 deg. at grill level.

At 11:30, 5 hours in I inserted a temp probe from my Maverick ET732, it was at 154 deg. and went pretty quick to 164 deg. it started it’s stall at 167 deg. I decided to try tenting it instead of wrapping in foil like I usually do. I let it go until an IT of 185 deg. then I I placed it on a broiler pan with some sliced onions on the bottom and added a cup of water and went to 250 deg. on the Traeger. It slowly went to 189 deg. and set there for at least an hour. I wanted to start checking and probing it at 195 deg. It went to 192 deg. so I gave it my probe test and was looking good. At 4:00 PM it finally went to 194 deg. so decided to pull it and place it tented in a heated 200 deg. oven to rest for an hour before pulling. It was in the smoker a total of 9.5 hours.

I made some potato salad while the pork was on. It was my favorite, Justin Wilson’s Picnic Potato Salad.
I watched my Savannah Stoker V3 controller temps pretty close after changing some parameters sent to me by Billy Merril, who makes it. It worked just the way I would like. At 200 and 225 I was getting 8 to 10 deg. above and below set point for some great smoke.  After I went to 235 deg. it held within 5 deg. never getting out of the 230 range. This gave me 250 to 255 deg. at grill level. When I get time I will do a write up in the Savannah Stoker and my latest thoughts on it.

I think this was the first pork butt I brined and not sure if it was that much better. By tenting it and then removing and in the pan with a little water the last couple of hours did give me some great bark. It pulled nice and then I did a coarse chop to get the bark chopped smaller. I think it’s agreed if you don’t wrap at all you get crispier bark; but I think unless you are feeding most of it right away whatever you save and or freeze will end up with the bark being soft when you serve it later. I think I still prefer wrapping.

My wife had a sandwich with some of Kah’s BBQ sauce, it’s a little like Sweet Baby Ray’s but a little more tangy. I had one sandwich with some mustard and sprinkled on more Blues Hog rub, my other one was with some Kah’s BBQ sauce I added some Penzey’s Galena St. rub and Blues Hog rub to. I liked it but liked the one with mustard and Blues Hog Rub the best.

The potato salad was good, a little different picnic style with more dill relish than sweet relish.

Click here for printable potato salad recipe

Brined seasoned and ready for the smoker

5 Hrs. in about ready to tent


Pellet usage, for 9.5 hrs. Filled about 1 inch from
the top at start. 10 Lb. capacity

My potato salad

About done

After a 1 hr. rest

Rough pull

Final pull and excess fat removed

Final chop and ready to serve

My supper

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