How to BBQ a Pork Butt on a Green Egg (and a couple new Big Canoe listings!)

On May 26, 2008, Dan wrote -

As mentioned in last night’s blog about our Memorial Day weekend here in Big Canoe, one of our more popular blogs was about cooking BBQ pork butt on our Green Egg, so I thought I would rehash that blog with some more detailed info. I know some of you may be wondering what does this have to do with real estate? Well…nothing directly, but there is something conducive to outdoor cooking when you live in the mountains. Relaxing on the porch with friends and family with the smoker wafting curls of hickory scented smoke into the wind is hard to beat…particularly when the gentle green curves of North Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains are the backdrop. If you are not into outdoor cooking or BBQ, skip to the end of the blog for links to a couple new Big Canoe listings, otherwise here is my step by step on how to cook a delicious BBQ Boston pork butt!

Getting the Ingredients and Getting Setup

Uncooked pork butt - before the Green Egg!Some of you may be wondering what a Green Egg is. I guess this is the part where I should mention that my wife refers to the Green Egg as “the other woman”. In fairness to me, after spending time with “the other woman”, I smell like smoked meat and not cheap perfume, so the other woman thing isn’t exactly right. You can read more about it on the Green Egg site, but the Green Egg is a ceramic cooker/grill/smoker based on an old Asian design. The first thing that needs to be done is to get the best looking Boston pork butt you can find. I have been to just about every store local to Big Canoe (including Fergusons Meats, Kroger, Ingles, and Publix), and I think IGA has the best pork butt. For Memorial Day weekend I picked out a 8.25 pound butt and paid a little over $10 for it. I like to let the meat lose some of the chill from the fridge before putting it on the smoker, so while I prepare the fire, I leave the meat out to warm a bit.

Next, I start the fire in my Green Egg and get a good bed of coals burning. I use hardwood lump charcoal, and I use the biggest pieces I can find in the bag. Once the bed of coals is going good, I spread the coals out so they aren’t sitting only in the center of the smoker. Then I add maybe 2-3 inches of charcoal on top of the coals, close the smoker up, and adjust the vents over the next 30 minutes to come to 220-250 degrees. Last, I toss in 2-3 chunks of dry hickory.

Prepare the Pork Butt and Put It in the Green Egg

Pork Butt rubbed with yellow mustard before going on the Green Egg! I don’t do anything real special to the butt other than to liberally apply cracked black pepper and rub the whole hunk of meat with plain yellow mustard. Then I place the butt on a rack with the fat side up. This whole assembly gets placed into the Green Egg over a drip pan. Keep an eye on the temp for at least an hour to be sure the temp settles at around 220-230 degrees. FYI, I usually keep my bottom vent around a quarter inch open and the top vent open a sliver. When working with the Green Egg, temp control can be a little daunting at first, and I recommend using the lower vent for big temp changes, and use the top vent for smaller temp changes.  The best advice I can give on handling the cooking temperature is to make small changes and wait at least 20-30 minutes to check the results.  It takes some time for temp changes to settle in.

Sit Back, Relax, Enjoy a Beer, Enjoy the Scenery

Into the Green Egg it goes!Here’s the hard part. Waiting for the next 10-12 hours. As hard as it is, try not to peek! Opening the lid on the Green Egg really messes up the internal humidity and temp, so don’t open it unless you absolutely have to. So, sit back and enjoy the hints of roasted pork drifting through the air. After 10 hours, I usually check the temp. Once the meat hits 150-160 I take it off the fire. I usually let the meat stand undisturbed for an hour or so which is tough because my daughter loves anything that smells like bacon, and I do too. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree I guess. You know what to do from here. Slice it, pull it, eat it with or without sauce, you’ll love it! And I stand by what I said, it really does taste better up here in the North Georgia mountains !

Two New Big Canoe Real Estate Listings

  • 9071 Yearling Lane - This is a spacious log cabin home located in the Big Canoe Community. Tremendous amount of porch space with some nice mountain views. The huge decks would be perfect for an outdoor BBQ party!
  • 3286 Wood Poppy Drive – Large meadow lot located in Big Canoe’s Wildcat neighborhood. This lot is located on a quiet street and backs up to miles of hiking trails. The lot is in a great area of Big Canoe for families, and while there is no house built here yet, I am confident a Green Egg could grace the outdoor living space of any future home.

~Karin Elliott is a resident of the North Georgia mountain Community of Big Canoe. See all Karin’s Big Canoe Real Estate Listings here. Read more about living in Big Canoe in her blog Life in Big Canoe, Real Estate in the Mountains.

8 Responses to “How to BBQ a Pork Butt on a Green Egg (and a couple new Big Canoe listings!)”

  1. Jack Says:

    I’d love to try one of the Big Green Eggs. Thanks for the good instructions!

  2. Dan Elliott Says:

    Jack – The Green Eggs are worth every penny, and I hope the directions on cooking the pork butt help you make some great BBQ :D

  3. Phil Says:

    Very interesting! Every time I cook a butt it turns out tough. The Egg might be the answer.

  4. Todd Says:

    Do you use a setter plate when cooking your pork butt or did you just let your drip pan deflect the center heat?

    I am getting ready to cook my first pork butt on my egg and do not have a setter plat. Trying to come up with a way that I can cook it indirectly.

  5. Karin E Says:

    Hey Todd,
    I forwarded this to Dan. He’s on the phone right now but will email you as soon as he’s off. He loves that Egg!
    Good luck with it! We’ve had a lot of fun cooking all sorts of things.

  6. djelliott999 Says:

    Hi Todd –

    I just put the butt in a rack over the drip pan, and that seems to work pretty good. I try to keep the temp pretty low 220-250 and just cook it slow. There may be better setups, but mine is simple and seems to produce a nice butt. Best of luck with your butt, and let us know how it turns out! :)

    -Dan

  7. Todd Says:

    I finished the cook last night and it turned out wonderful. I changed the configuration a little bit from yours however.

    First I wrapped a strip of 2 sheets of heavy foil to help deflect the center heat. I also used a 8″ baking pan for my drip pan and filled it full with apple juice. I felt the steam from the juice would add another dimension to the flavor and provide a higher humidity in side the egg. I had to refill the pan 4 or 5 times during the cook using the entire gallon of juice. That was also when I would add more hickory and mesquite chips to the fire.

    After 8 hours cooking at 210 I kicked the temp up to 275 and finished the last 3 hours. Once the butt reached 190, I pulled it from the fire and wrapped it in heavy foil and let it rest for another 30 minutes.

    For my rub I first coated the butt in olive oil to help the rub stick. The rub I used was:

    1/8 cup of cracked Black Pepper
    2 TBS Garlic Power
    2 TBS Onion Power
    1/4 cup Kosher Salt
    1/4 cup Sugar

    This was double the amount I needed so I just stored the other half for my next cook.

    Next time I cook a pork butt I think I will try you approach and use a nice deli mustard instead of the olive oil. The oil did not give the flavor I was expecting, although I am not complaining. ;)

  8. Dan Elliott Says:

    Hi Todd,

    Thanks for letting me know how it turned out! Also thanks for sharing your rub recipe. I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but I was in our local IGA last night, and they had some good prices on pork butt. After reading your last comment, I may have to surprise Santa with milk and some pork butt instead of cookies. :)

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your success!

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