Confused about IT

Discussion in 'Pork' started by hillbilly jim, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. hillbilly jim

    hillbilly jim Meat Mopper

    In another section, I recently posted about pulling a picnic shoulder when IT hit 150. There was some discussion.

    I went into several of my books and found recommended ITs of 145 all the way up to 205. That's quite a spread. What say the jury?
  2. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pork safe IT is 145. However for pulled pork you might need to go as high as 205 - otherwise won't pull.
  3. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I make a picnic when they go on sale really cheap(between $.69-$1.29/#). I usually pull mine about 196-200. but all i do is make pulled pork with it. i cut off the skin and feed it to my mom's dog before i cook it. i have never used a picnic pork anything else but yea its safe at 145 IT according to USDA.

    Happy Smoking,

  4. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yeah, I find that at 205 the butt pulls VERY easily, and is still nice and juicy.

  5. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    sorry what i meant was i pull mine from the smoker at 196-200 and then let it rest/hold for an hour or so before i pull it apart. So mine is probably closer to that 205 when i actually shred it.

    Happy Smoking,

  6. siege

    siege Smoke Blower

    I did a 12 # fresh picnic on the 4th. I usually do a pork shoulder, but the 89 cents a pound lured me in. I removed the skin and saved it for chicharrones. I rubbed it with a mild mixture and let it run 16 hours total at 230 degrees smoking with mostly oak and a little hickory, and took it out at 200 IT. It was foiled with some apple juice for 3 hours toward the end, and then allowed a half hour un-foiled to finish. Cooled a little under a foil tent, and pulled. Best pulled pork I have ever made. There was a nice mix of Mr Brown on the outside, and Miss White on the inside. The taste was very much like a whole hog, and my son's puppy loved me for the big bone he received. I split off the movable socket part of the ball and socket joint so he wouldn't swallow it and he was busy with it for hours. I'll do more pulled pork like this from now on, and save the butts in the freezer for sausage and buckboard bacon.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  7. hillbilly jim

    hillbilly jim Meat Mopper

    Thanks, guys. I kinda' wondered why I was finding different ITs. I'm sittin' here thinkin' "Why would a manufacturer that's selling a professional grade NSF approved thermometer mark 145 on the dial as finished IT for pork and then I see anywhere from 145 to 205 in the top line smokin' books?"

    In the thread I mentioned, I admitted it was my first large piece and a picnic at that. I don't have near the experience some of y'all do, but I ain't stupid. I read a lot here and don't go into something with having a good basic concept of what's going to happen and what I need to watch for. 

    Again, thank you all.

  8. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The only hard thing about smoking a shoulder is waiting for it to finish cooking. You can go hot and fast, low and slow - both will give you delicious pulled pork. As for finishing temp: most members here recommend the toothpick test once you go past 190F: if it feels almost like butter when poking the meat with a toothpick is done. Take it out, wrap it and rest it well before pulling.

    Good luck.
  9. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    145 is a great temp for tender lean muscles like the loin and tenderloin. For the tougher, fattier cuts like the shoulder or brisket, taking to higher temps over time allows fat and connective tissue to break down and render. This produces the juicy tender succulent meat we all love. Now there are many schools of thought as what the perfect internal temp is, but it all comes down to personal preference. Keep smoking and you will find your perfect. Hope that helps
  10. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Let me throw in another thought:

    145* healthy minimum
    195-205*. Ideal for pulling
    180-185* good IT for slicing

    Good luck with the next one. Let us have some pics.
  11. hillbilly jim

    hillbilly jim Meat Mopper

    THAT'S what I'm lookin' for!

    Thanks, Joe!

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