How to cook a 5 lb. bone-in pork butt sous vide?

In the Sous Vide Recipes Forum
I've got a huge hunk-o-pork, a 5 lb. bone-in pork butt. Wondering what the best SV approach is for this type of cut. Can't really slice it into 2" steaks easily because of the bone, and it's too big to fit in a 1 gallon zip lock bag (I use the Handi-vac).

Any ideas?

14 Replies So Far

When I'm doing sous vide pork butt I usually trim it up and cut hunks of it off. I'm normally using it for pulled pork so I'm not overly concerned about how pretty it looks. Then I can usually fit it into 1 or 2 sous vide bags before cooking it.
Thanks Jason. Would you then cook at 155F for 1-2 days?
If you want it to be more similar to traditional pulled pork then 155F for a few days should be good. I normally do it at 135F (or 141 for medium) for 1-3 days because it's a lot more tender. You can't pull it but you can chop it. Here's our sous vide pulled pork recipe. Hope that helps!
I followed your technique on a pork shoulder.....140 for 48 hours. What a lovely result! Sous vide can be transformative on meat.....this is a prime example.
Are you pre-smoking the pork prior to bagging it (reccomended in the modernist) to get the true BBQ smoke taste, using liquid smoke or doind something different.
I'm normally too busy (or lazy, depending on how you look at it) to actually pre-smoke the meat, though for smaller cuts I'll sometimes use my smoking gun. If I want the smoke flavor I usually just add some liquid smoke to the bag before sealing it. I would think that actually smoking it first would result in better flavor, though I've never had any complaints using the liquid smoke.
Jason, I disagree, Liquid smoke has a fake flavor profile. It is time well spent to cold smoke the pork for 1 hr. before bagging the pork. I use either apple or hickory wood and I use a heavy smoke for that hour.

After smoking and bagging place in the water oven asap! Do not want to encourage any kind of bacteria growth!

This smoking will give you a great flavor profile on your pulled pork.
Chef John
I was just suggesting that liquid smoke is a good way to add smokey flavor quickly to food when you don't have time to really smoke it. But I also said that actually smoking it is definitely better. That's especially true when you are trying to impress.

But if you're just trying to get a decent meal on the table during the week then liquid smoke is a good, quick alternative.
I use one of the black models of the Foodsaver machine. I use it mostly to seal individual portion sizes of lasagna, spaghetti, etc. Have any of you guys ever purchased from The Vak Shack? I have heard great things about them...just wanted to see how they compare to Foodsaver bags. I'm honestly getting sick of forking out so much money at the store for just 26 bags :( Going to give The Vak Shack a try...
John, how do you bag it hot? I was thinking of doing this, but I dread the notion of trying to use my countertop sealer on something that just came out of a 250 degree smoker, both because of the heat and because the juices would ruin the seal.

Is this a scenario in which using Ziplocks is preferable?
Chris - smoke to with no heat for 1 hr, Will not spoil in the time frame. Will not be hot but will have the smoke taste.
Oh I need a cold smoker!
If your smoke can not do cold smoke, you can cill the meat down until you fell confortable handling it.
Ive done a 8 lb boston butt in the smoker @200F for an hour which is safe then chilled in an ice bath and torched with a blow torch to get a nice crust. Then in sous vide bath @ 155F for 30 hours. Its amazing.

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