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.
Butt in a bag
- 6-8lb boston butt
- 1 paper grocery bag
- 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.
Place all of the rub ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to combine all of the ingredients.
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.
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.
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.
Three hours into smoking and it started to rain. So I had to assemble the tent.
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.
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.
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.
After a nice resting period it is time to shred the meat and make pulled pork.
Cut a portion of the meat.
Using two forks, gently pull the meat apart. You can use your fingers but the meat is a little hot.
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 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.