I’m a big fan of the low-and-slow bbq method, but an opportunity presented itself to try a high heat pork butt. I’ve read differing reviews from friends and thought I’d give it a run. Here’s how my cook went.
I started with a full ring of Kingsford, not my favorite but it works and is consistent, one large chung of hickory, and about 2/3 of a chimney of lit coal on top. I had no water in the pan of the Weber Smokey Mountain, and set all the vents wide open. The weather outside was below 70* and clear with no wind and the WSM was positioned in full sun.
Some people have difficulty reaching high temps with a WSM so I waited until mine hit 300* before I started shutting the vents down. I first closed one when I put the meat on the top rack, fat cap up. Later, when the temp reached 370* I closed another vent, but had to re-open it later to keep the temp at 350*. With all vents opened the WSM never went above 370*.
I didn’t keep track of time as I was in and out of the house all day, but it was about 5 hours when the butt was done. I let it rest under foil for about an hour before pulling.
I found the bark to be nice and tasty, better than a long cook would be. The meat was very moist and there was a nice smoke ring all around.
The downside is the connective tissue and fat didn’t render as much as it would have doing a low-and-slow cook. I generally toss anything I think is unsavory, so I always have a nice little trashbag. This time it was larger than normal. Not a crazy amount of waste, just more.
Overall I’d give the cook a nice high rating. If I have two or more butts to cook I’d still do them overnight, but for just a single I’ll cook it this way again. It may not be perfect, but I think the extra waste is well worth the time savings for such a small amount.