ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10 Perfect Smoked Pork Butt
A Smoked pork butt is one of the most versatile smoked meats you can make. A perfectly smoked pork butt is tender and juicy and can be turned into pulled pork for sandwiches, sliced and served like a roast, and chopped and used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes. But before you have this succulent, moist, tender piece of meat it needs to be smoked at the right temperature and cooked completely to create the wonderful meat that it is.
Smoked Pork Butt:
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 11 hours
Rest time: 30 minutes
The first step is to get a pork butt, either boneless or bone-in, then trim the fat down. You don’t want to remove all the fat; a quarter-inch of the fat cap is optimal and will keep the meat moist as it smokes.
The second step is to prepare the pork butt for smoking. You have several options you can use. It can be brined first, which is mixing 1 gallon of water with 1 cup each of kosher salt and granulated or brown sugar, adding about a dozen whole peppercorns and immersing the pork butt in the liquid and allowing it to brine for 4 to 24 hours. Once you brine it, then you will want to remove it from the brine solution, rinse it, and pat it dry with paper towels.
The third step is to rub or coat the pork butt with a seasoning rub. What you use for a rub is entirely up to you, but this is a wonderful rub recipe that works well for any kind of meat you may be smoking.
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ cup granulated garlic
- ¼ cup granulated onion
- ¼ cup chile powder
- ¼ cup paprika
Once you make your rub and season your pork butt, it is time to get it into the smoker. At this point, temperature is crucial, and it needs to be monitored throughout the cooking/smoking process. A leave in oven roasting thermometer is ideal for this. You will also want to have your ChefsTemp Final Touch X10 at the ready. You need to cook the pork butt until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees before you turn the heat down to finish the cooking process. You will want to have smoke going for about 7 hours of the smoking process and finish the final 4 hours without smoke. Total cooking time is going to be 11 hours.
Once you get your pork butts in the smoker, have your probes in place and your smoke is going, close the door and monitor the temperature with your oven probe thermometer. It is important not to open and close the smoker. You need to sustain the smoke during the smoke time and adjust the cooking temperature as needed. Once the smoking process is complete, you need to turn the heat down so that the fat will finish rendering, and the meat will stay moist and tender. Once the meat is finished, you have two options. Shred the meat if you are making pulled pork or cover it and let it rest until cool if you want to slice it.
Now that we have gone through the whole process of creating the perfect smoked pork butt, learned how to season it, how to monitor and regulate the temperature. The next question is always: what do I use for a sauce?
For this sauce I chose to use a unique and delicious sauce from south-central Mexico known as Mole Oaxaca or Mole Negro. This is a sauce made from chilies, nuts, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chocolate, and as unusual as it sounds, it pairs perfectly with smoked meats.
Mole Oaxaca (Mole Negro)
This is probably the easiest of the Mole`s to make. It is a complicated sauce that will take you all day to make. You can cut about 4 hours of preparation time by using the store-bought mole base, and it is good, but does not quite taste the same as this recipe.
- 8 Pasilla Negro chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 20 Guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 6 jalapenos, roasted skinned, and seeds reserved
- 20 Roma tomatoes, roasted, skinned, and seeded
- 8 tomatillos, roasted
- 1 large white onion diced small
- Two sticks cinnamon
- 8 whole black pepper corns, Tellicherry is best
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
- 2 tbsp ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 disks of Mexican chocolate, I use Abuelita
- 1 cup packed brown sugar or 1 cone of Mexican sugar
- 1 tbsp of peanut butter (creamy)
- ½ cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- ½ cup sunflower kernels
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup hazelnuts
- ½ cup toasted sesame seeds
- ½ cup toasted pecans
- ½ cup toasted unsalted peanuts
- ¼ cup lard
To prepare the sauce:
In a pot, heat the lard, and add the tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, and jalapenos. Sweat until the onions are translucent. In a bowl, rehydrate your stemmed seeded chilies, add to the pot, and add the chicken stock also add the water from your bowl of chilies. Add the cinnamon sticks and black pepper corns, bring to a simmer and simmer until the tomatoes, tomatillos, and chilies soften and break down, add all of your toasted nuts, oregano and black pepper, allow this to cook until the nuts are completely soft. Take an immersion blender (easiest way to do it) and blend all the ingredients until smooth, then, add the chocolate and allow it to fully melt stirring frequently, then add the brown sugar and cook an additional thirty minutes. Season with salt, if the sauce is too thick, thin with chicken stock.
The most important thing to remember is to use a good quality cut of meat, fresh ingredients whenever possible, monitor the time and temperature, and double check everything to ensure that your smoked Pork Butt is perfect. Always verify your oven thermometer temperature with your ChefsTemp Final Touch X10.
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