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Butt in a Bag

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a cookbook by Ardie Davis on barbecuing. In the book he had a recipe for butt in a bag. Due to the name alone I had to make it. Basically you smoke a pork butt like normal, but halfway through you place it in a paper bag. The bag limits the smoke that can penetrate the meat and also keeps the meat moist without basting. There is nothing worse than barbecue that is dried out and has been over-smoked.

This recipe made some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.

This recipe made some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.

Butt in a bag

  • 6-8lb boston butt
  • 1 paper grocery bag

Rub

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs dried mustard
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs celery salt
  • 1 tbs granulated onion
  • 1 tbs garlic
  • 1 tbs seasoning salt
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Start the fire on your smoker.  Make sure that you set your temperature around 220-240.  While you fire is starting it is time to make the rub.

It looks like a lot, but it is awesome.

It looks like a lot, but it is awesome.

Place all of the rub ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to combine all of the ingredients.

mixrub

Now rinse the butt and dry it off. Once dried add the rub to the meat. Liberally sprinkle the meat with the rub. Make sure that every inch is covered.

Make sure to get all of the sides.

Make sure to get all of the sides.

I always use a probe thermometer in the meat so that I can determine how done it is. I like to place mine into the center of the meat from the side so that it allows you to flip the meat. Make sure that you do not hit the bone as it will throw your temperature readings off. If you do hit the bone, remove the probe and try again.

Placing the probe on the side allows you to flip the meat without removing the probe.

Placing the probe on the side allows you to flip the meat without removing the probe.

Now place the meat on the smoker.  Keep an eye on the smoker temperature and replenish with more charcoal and wood when necessary.  I used a mixture of white oak for heat and cherry and mesquite for flavor.

As you can see from the picture, I use water pans to control the temperature

As you can see from the picture, I use water pans to control the temperature

Three hours into smoking and it started to rain.  So I had to assemble the tent.

This tent was definitely worth the money.

This tent was definitely worth the money.

About 5-6 hours into the smoking process it is time to place the butt in the bag.  After 5-6 hours the rub is set and the meat has had enough time in the smoke.  This is the perfect time to place the butt in the bag.

Butt in a bag.  The temperature probe on the side also works great when you place your butt in a bag.

Butt in a bag. The temperature probe on the side also works great when you place your butt in a bag.

Now continue smoking until the internal temperature of the meat hits 195 degrees.   Don’t worry, since it is over indirect heat the bag will not catch fire.

Never grilled a bag before.  Interesting.

Never grilled a bag before. Interesting.

Once the meat hits 195 remove the meat from the smoker.  Remove the meat from the bag and then wrap it in foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

Look at how nice the meat looks

Look at how nice the meat looks

After a nice resting period it is time to shred the meat and make pulled pork.

The bone comes out cleanly.

The bone comes out cleanly.

Cut a portion of the meat.

The perfect smoke ring.

The perfect smoke ring.

Using two forks, gently pull the meat apart.  You can use your fingers but the meat is a little hot.

It is a little time consuming but well worth it.

It is a little time consuming but well worth it.

Take the meat, toss it in your favorite barbecue sauce and then serve it on warm rolls or hamburger buns.  The meat and sauce also goes great with the tangy zip of dill pickles.

The perfect sandwich

The perfect sandwich

The butt in a bag trick worked great.  The meat was moist without basting and the meat also had the perfect amount of smoke.  I am going to have to get more paper bags from the store.


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Comments
  • comment avatar HoneyB July 15, 2009

    Never seen the bag grill before! The sandwich looks delicious!

  • comment avatar Chris August 10, 2009

    Awesome trick! I've not seen that one before and I've seen a good bit! It seems to make better sense than foiling the butt during the cook like some folks do. (I don't foil until after the butt comes off the smoker.)

    Nice smoke ring!

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