My first pork shoulder for pulled pork with Qview

Discussion in 'Pork' started by hokiesmoker, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    New to smoking. I have smoked 2 chickens with Jeff's rub with good result, so I thought I would step it up a notch and go for pulled pork. Purchased a 12.5 lb 2 pack at Costco. I am assuming (perhaps wrongly) that it is butt. The label said boneless pork shoulder, so maybe some picnic too? One of the 2 pack shoulders was noticeably larger than the other. I was hoping they would be roughly the same size. I would estimate one at 7 lbs and one at 5.5 lbs. I will be smoking on a WSM 18". I am also trying a batch of Dutch's baked beans that I will put under the pork for the last 4 hours of the smoke. I rubbed the butts this morning and will post some pics shortly. The original plan was to start the smoke about 4am tomorrow for a 5pm party, but after seeing the size difference I may bump it up to a 3am start. I will be smoking over apple and pecan. Any suggestions or critiques are appreciated!

  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard! Main suggestion is don't overthink it. Pork butts are pretty easy and forgiving, so not much to worry about.
    However, hungry party guests are not so forgiving. Even allowing 14 hours is cutting it close if you're planning on smoking at 225°.
    For what it's worth, what I'd do is sleep in until 6am, and get the meat on by 7am. Get your WSM running at 300°-325° and leave it there. Don't open the lid until 1pm. check for internal temp and tenderness about every 30 minutes. When it hits 195°-205° and your probe thermometer feels like it's sliding into warm butter, it's done. Take it off, wrap it in foil, then a towel and put it in an empty cooler. Let it sit there for 2 hours, or until just before time to eat, then unwrap and pull. It'll stay hot for 4-6 hours easy, so the timing isn't critical.
    Good luck and have fun!
    cliffcarter likes this.
  3. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Thanks Md,

    Any downside to running at higher temps other than less smoke time? I may try something in between like 275 and maybe a 5am start. I definitely don't run right up to 5p. I want to rest it for an hour or two like you suggested
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been doing them at 300°+ for about a year and have found the results as good as or better than when I've done them at lower temps. There is less moisture loss and the texture of the meat is incredible.
  5. aceoky

    aceoky Smoking Fanatic

    Same here
  6. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Well, you two convinced me. It has to finish by 3-4p so a higher temp should help get it done a little quicker. I'm probably still going to start at 4a and hopefully it should finish around 12 hours or a little earlier.
  7. bigd3077

    bigd3077 Meat Mopper

    I think I'm going to cook a little higher temp myself next time. Give it a shot!
  8. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    Caught up with the change in forums. Keep the post coming.

  9. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Woke up at 4am, had everything prepped and ready to roll so the butts went on the smoker by 4:30. Wasn't quick enough to snap off pics as they went on. I took the suggestions from Md and Ace and try to run at about 300. Right now it is running at 302. So far so good except for the slight burn on my fingers as I dumbly tried to move the temp probe with no gloves on
  10. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Here is a pic of my set up in action. I will post pics of the butts when I probe the meat later. So here is my first question:
    I have only run the smoker at lower temps and for shorter periods. At higher temps and for a much longer smoke, will I need to add fuel later?
    I did a full ring on the WSM and utilized the minion method.
  11. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    HS that smoker looks like it is working great,can't see the smoke,nice TBS.

  12. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Thanks Tropics!

    The smoker is working great!

    I have run into my first issue which is a temp probe. I have a Maverick probe. From my two previous smokes, I know the lid temp on my WSM reads about 20 degrees lower than the surface temp where the maverick probe is.
    It's a pain to run the probe cords into the WSM when it is already hit, so I put both the smoker probe and the food probe in at the beginning . I don't probe the meat right away, I just lay the food probe on top of my smoker probe. On my first two smokes all went fine and the probes read the same. Today, the food probe is reading 20 degrees lower than the smoker probe. This has me very worried because if the food probe is 20 degrees lower, how can I trust it when I probe the meat later?

    And on the same subject, I'm thinking 5 hours minimum before I would first probe the pork to make sure it is above 140. Sound about right?
  13. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    HS if you think it is not right,when you check it later use a Tooth Pick when it goes in with no resistance,the meat will be super tender.

  14. On the the charcoal I loaded my wsm up with a full ring minionnmethod and ran at 325-330 last weekend for 6 hours and I had over a half ring left by the time I choked it out. I'm doing 4 pork butts now that I'm running between 225-240 and I haven't added any charcoal yet going into my 13th hour. Of course your weather conditions will vary.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  15. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Thanks Richie! I will use that or maybe send the wife out for a meat thermometer .

    Brian, thanks for the info. I should definitely be ok then on the charcoal
  16. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Probed both butts at 5 hours and both were about 165. Choosing not to foil. Seems like things are going along just fine. Dutch's beans will go on at noon for 3 hours
  17. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Here are a few pica at 5 hours and internal temp of 160
    cliffcarter likes this.
  18. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Newbie goin' hot and fast... gotta love it[​IMG][​IMG]

    Butts are looking really good.
  19. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Thanks Cliff!

    Took some advice to keep it up around 300. That was the plan, but while it started up there the temps have been slowly drifting down. Right now it is at 265 with all vents fully opened. I can't seem to get it up where I want it. Ummmm maybe I should rephrase that :biggrin:
  20. hokiesmoker

    hokiesmoker Newbie

    Probed again and at 6 hours and temp of both butts are 180. Looks like whatever was wrong with my maverick food probe fixed itself. It is reading 180 in the large butt which matches what the manual meat thermometer (that I ran out and purchased) reads. All is well. Will post some more butt pics when I drop the beans on at noon

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