Traeger vs. Big Green Egg on Pork Butts

GrillMeister

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Howdy,

First pulled pork on the Traeger. Just to let y’all know, I’ve smoked over a ton of pulled pork (over 2,000 lbs) on my 2 large Big Green Eggs over the last 16 years for parties, fund raisers for swim, rowing teams, scout troops, catered parties and just for the family & friends. Those butts took on average 22 hours to finish and this butt was fine in just over 9 hours. It turned out tasty, tender, and moist, but since it was wrapped at 160, the bark was not formed as well and that’s the big difference according to SWMBO. It was good, but she prefers never wrapped 22 hour pulled pork off the Big Green Egg.

In any event, I got the results I expected and it’s the first same day pulled pork for me ever. There’s a place for that especially since I can cook 9 pork butts at one time on the Ironwood 885.

Bottom line, since I have Big Green Eggs, pork butts will continue to be cooked on them if I am not pressed for time or space.

I'm happy to have the best of both worlds and each has it's sweet spots.

Traeger cannot be beat for Wings, Chicken, Fish, Pork loin, tenderloin, & ribs, Veggies (including bacon wrapped stuffed Jalapenos), but the ceramic grill is still king on pulled pork, brisket, burgers, & steaks.. Just sayin from experience. I will try one more butt, without wrapping, but keeping it spritzed and a water pan under it to keep moisture in the pit, but expectations will not be the same as what I get from the ceramic grill.

390


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SD Guy

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Is there a reason you have to wrap the pork butts on the Traeger but not on the big green egg?
 

splinervision

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I've never wrapped a pork butt in my life. Several recommend it here on the forums though. I did my first pork butt in the Traeger a couple of weeks ago and did not wrap it, turned out just fine. No water pan either. I did add smoke though with a Z-Smoker, and I rubbed it the night before, wrapped in plastic, then covered in PYM and more rub the day of the smoke. Was delicious.
 

primeone

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I've always covered pork butts at 160, but next time I'm going to try without.
 

splinervision

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I've always covered pork butts at 160, but next time I'm going to try without.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it cooks faster wrapped. But then again I've always been told not to worry about smoke after about 4 hours because the meat won't absorb any more. But in the Winter I'd pull them off after 4 hours and finish them in the oven and the flavor wasn't as good as finishing them in the smoker. I use a good heavy amount of PYM or sometimes Molasses when I do pork butts so it's possible that keeps the moisture in as well as wrapping them. But I've not had a problem with dryness.
 

bfletcher

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I've never wrapped one when using the Traeger or any other pellet smoker; I like bark and running the entire ride naked gets me what I like. Sometimes, but not always, I wrap when using a charcoal smoker.
 

splinervision

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I've never wrapped one when using the Traeger or any other pellet smoker; I like bark and running the entire ride naked gets me what I like. Sometimes, but not always, I wrap when using a charcoal smoker.
I also like the bark. A little of it goes a long way so I do discard some of it, chop the rest and mix in with the shredded meat along with a bit more of my rub.
 

splinervision

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Here's the last one I did in the Traeger. Never wrapped it during cooking. I did put it in a foil pan and wrap it after the cook for about an hour with a towel because my cooler was full of beer otherwise I would have FTC'd it a bit longer. Was the perfect amount of bark.
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I totally agree with your conclusion. I have cooked on a large BGE for years and years, and just recently purchased a Timberline 850. Actually I have three grills on my deck, the two mentioned above and a Weber Summit 450. Each grill has it's use and a number of things that it does better than the others. I select the grill to cook on based on experience and which one I think will work best for the particular cook I am doing. After all cooking in by book is supposed to be fun and I have a lot of fun messing with my stable of grills.
 

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Olds442

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i'm looking forward to trying pulled pork on the T. i've had good success with kettles and the electric smoker over the years.
 

Murphy's Law

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I just did pulled pork last weekend and it was very good! I use a hot vinegar sauce on mine from a recipe I found on the Traeger app. Both my wife and I prefer the vinegar over the "regular" BBQ sauce on pulled pork sandwiches.

I seasoned overnight by layering Gospel and Holy Gospel from Meat Church and cooked for a little over 9 hours using cherry.

This is also where sous vide really shines - leftovers! We will vacuum in about 1/2 pound servings each, leaving a few bags in the fridge for lunch a day or two later and then freeze a few packs.

There is no better way to keep the moistness and flavor when reheating that I have found.
 
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GrillMeister

GrillMeister

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I actually have fine tuned doing pulled pork on my Ironwood 885 and it is just as good as the BGE.

I agree on the sous vide for reheating pulled pork, brisket, ribs, etc. too.
 

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