Initiating the new MAK 2-Star w/Pork Butt


Just as I did with the original 2-Star, the new one that arrived late last week gets to start with a pork butt. Look quick, the insides won't look this good again. :p Nice to see the measured grate temp is within 5º of the PelletBoss readout. Pleasant improvement over the original unit which was off by 20º:cool:



Do you mind detailing a bit about your cook? Initial temp (and approx time) and final pull temp? Did you wrap?

Thank you.

I do them different ways but this one required meeting a dinner timeline and being started at 7am so it was wrapped. Usually smoke for 10-12 hrs but the oven method insured timing. Here is the recipe and my notes regarding this cook at the bottom. Hope this helps!


Pork Butt Smoked


9 pounds Boston butt, bone in, prefer not moisture enhanced
Canola spray
apple juice, in spray bottle
- - -
8 ounces molasses grandma's
1 cup pickling salt , use only 3/4 cup if meat is "moisture enhanced"
2 quarts bottled water
2 1/2 gal. zip-lok bag
- - -
Rub: this makes more than what a usual butt requires
2 tsp whole cumin seed
2 tsp whole fennel seed
2 tsp whole coriander
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon paprika, not smoked


1. Brine the Butt for 15 hours Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in a 2-1/2 gallon zip-lok bag, dissolve completely. Completely submerge the Boston butt in brine by squeezing out the air and sliding the zip-lok. Place the bag with meat into a very large mixing bowl and weigh the top down with 2 cans of beans from the pantry to keep everything submerged for marinating. Let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. 15 hours is ideal.

2. Prepare the RUB Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in food grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.

3. Wearing latex gloves Remove Boston butt from brine and pat dry. Lightly spay the butt with canola oil. Sift the rub evenly over the meat and then lightly pat down to help the rub adhere. I use a small 2” dia mesh strainer for this, tapping it on the side to sift the rub onto the meat. It gives a very even coating. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing gloves during the application. Cover every inch of the meat.

4. SMOKE I use the smoke setting, 185º for 1-2 hr, then @245º until IT reaches 160º (155-165º is fine), usually takes 5-6 hours. SPRAY w/APPLE JUICE every hour starting after hour 2. If wanting stronger smoke flavor, add the tube smoker.

5. SMOKER FINISH your choice - either place butt in pan and cover with foil OR, leave as it. Pan & foil will get done quicker and if doing so I raise the heat to 300º. Bark will be soft but plenty of juice *. Note, a straight smoke at 225º should take 10 to 12 hours, less at 245º. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours. Be aware though it could take longer i.e. 13-16 hours. Meat can’t tell time, it’s done when it wants to be.

* If the butt is unwrapped in a covered pan be careful when attempting to remove. Last one I did this way was full to the top with juice and you’ll need to syphon some of it out before moving.

6. OVEN FINISH - faster @ IT 160º’ish: Remove, insert an electronic meat thermometer making sure it’s not touching the bone, double wrap in alum foil. Note: after 5-6 hours of smoke, the meat won't absorb much more, so you are essentially cooking it until done at this point. Put wrapped butt into a large tin foil container (11.5 x 9.25 internal), and place in oven at 300 ºF. Continue the cook until 200-205 ºF. Meat is unpredictable, make sure to set thermometer alarm to go off when it hits 203 º. Can be anywhere from 2 to 4 hours in the oven but usually closer to 2.

7. So which finishing method do I use Depends on the time available, when there’s plenty, leave it in the smoker. We do not mind the softer bark and the total time is less using the oven method.

8. Pull Butt when IT 203-205º & REST Remove from oven/smoker. The meat still needs to rest for at least 2 hours (3 hrs even better). Place the panned butt in a large sealed cooler surrounded with a couple of bath towels to help maintain warmth. REMEMBER: to be safe, meat must be kept above 150º, so I leave the thermo probe in the meat and monitor it while it sits.

9. Pull meat apart with forks. It should be so done that if you grab the bone you can pull it out without loosing any meat. Can be served plain, or in sandwiches with maybe a side of coleslaw. I suggest a good barbecue dipping sauce like BBQ Sauce #2-Rum Sweet Heat.


6/05/18: 7.9#s OT 58º going to 85º. Kroger - natural minimal process. Approx. 1 cup pickling salt used in brine for 7 hours (remembered at 11pm, should have started soaking at 9pm). Hickory, no tube, lower racks. Using the new MAK 2. All temps notes are actual controller setting. Measured grate temps are within 5º of controller. Let is sit at smoke for 2 hours so at 6h20m IT only 156º but needs to be 165º plus.
*** NEXT TIME only ONE HR on SMOKE., and use the tube***
- 7:00a butt in, then turned on smoker using default SMOKE setting (~175º)
- 9:00 bumped to 245º, spritzed w/apple juice each hour going forward
-11:00 IT 120º
-12:00 IT 138º
- 1:20 IT 156º pulled, dbl wrapped, panned & into 305º oven
- 2:00 IT 163º bumped oven to 315º
- 3:33 IT 203º removed, into cooler w/towels to rest
- 4:00 IT still 203º in the cooler
- 5:00 IT 195º after resting in cooler
Absolutely great, gave most to the kids for their dinner too.
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Great info. I've never tried a brine. I've injected over night. Have to give that a try. I've always wrapped at 165 too. I've never just let a butt go until it was 200 and just let it rest in the cooler. I like adding the juice back when I pull. When you just let it go until it's ready and then let it rest in the cooler; do you have any issues with it drying out? I've always wanted to try that but was afraid of it being dry when I pulled it and wasted all of that time cooking it.

Great info!

Thanks for sharing!!


Have never had a dry one. Brining really adds to the profile IMO, plus if you dbl wrap tightly with foil you won't believe the amount of juice you will end up with. Not to mention the flavor! :p
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