Pork roast too fatty

Discussion in 'Pork' started by moist, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    The last roast I did had a ton of flavour but it ended up being too fatty. There was a lot of fat left over at the end. Was I cooking it at too high of a temp? I tried to keep it at 250. Also, I live in Vancouver and I can't find a boston butt. We have picnic shoulders which I usually do, and the last one I did was a pork blade roast. Would that be considered a boston butt? Are there other names besides Boston Butt it might be labelled as? I also just found a place that had large full shoulders with the very big fat caps on them.
     
  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I am guessing you are going by the factory thermometer in your lid right? Go get yourself a good quality digital thermometer or better yet one with two probes. One for the cooking chamber and one for the meat. Factory thermometers are usually off and can be way way off. You either did one of two things. Either the temp. was too low to render out the fat or you didn't take the meat to a high enough temperature or both. I use picnic shoulders all the time and full shoulders too like this one.


    You can remove all of the fat cap on any of those cuts as long as there is plenty of marbling. I prefer to score it like this. I like to have those squares of hide for dog treats and to add flavor to BBQ Beans and stuff.

    I suggest you go out and get yourself a Maverick ET-732 or 733 dual probe wireless unit so that you know what temperatures you have going on. My second suggestion is to follow a proven recipe like this http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/57139/basic-pulled-pork-smoke. If you do all that and still have a problem don't hesitate to ask questions. Here is what you get after doing it right.


    20 hours later


    You might consider a finishing sauce after you removed the juices and defatted them in the fridge for that extra little something something. Like this one. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/122319/jjs-finishing-sauce-awesome
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  3. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    Ya I was using the factory thermometer and a $20 leave in meat thermometer. Brought it up to 197 then pulled it and FTC for an hour and a half. It pulled apart real easy, but about 20% of the final product was gelatin fat
     
  4. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    What do you mean by remove the juices and defatted in the fridge? I have never been a huge fan of sauce on it. Any sauces I have tried seemed to over power the taste if the meat.
     
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Honestly the reason why your pork roast is fatty, is because those are fatty cuts of meat. If you are looking for a lean cut you will need to get a pork loin or pork tenderloin. Which those two cuts are cooked to a lower IT like 145°. These two cuts are slicing roasts and you don't want to over cook orthey will be dry.

    For the Boston butt, also known as the shoulder, butt, pork hand & spring, paleta de puerco, and espaidilla, you want to cook the roast to a higher IT of 200°-205°. This will render the fat and make the meat more tender. At the end you will still have a bunch of fat to pick out when you pull or shred the meat. Typically you will loose about 40% of the weight after removing the fat and the bone if bone in.
     
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You say you're from Vancouver, is that Washington or BC? If Washington get yourself into Cash and Carry o buy your smoking meat. You can get a 2 pack of Boston Butt (labeled there as Shoulder) for pretty good prices. The other bulk meats are good too if you have a way to re pack and freeze.
     
  7. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    Vancouver bc. When I did the small picnic shoulder (3 lbs) there was two of three pieces of fat to pull out and the rest was meat. The blade roast had a lot more left over. I just wanted to make sure it was the cut of meat and not the way I cooked it
     
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I am going with the notion that your smoker was running at or below 200 degrees. How long did it take and for what pound of roast? Case is totally correct with everything he said there. If you are into sliced pork rather than pulled then yes, go for a lean cut of pork. If you don't like sauce fine. It takes a lot of time to render a lot of fat out of a big piece of pork leg. If you can give us some more detail on what procedure you used and what you were shooting for that would help us to help you out.
     
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Your thermometer on the WSM is reading wrong. I saw the post earlier about how you couldn't get temps up on it. More info. What kind of Briquettes, what was the weather? I never end up with huge chunks of fat. Most of the fat ends up in the drip pan or on the coals if I don't have one in there. Are you still using the water pan? You Defat the juice by putting it in a container and cooling it down. The fat rises to the top and what is left after removing that is pure juicy flavor. You can use it for soup starter, au'ju's or whatever. I add it to a light finishing sauce like the one i mentioned and add it back into the pulled pork for a little extra moisture. Because almost all of the fat is gone.
     
  10. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    My last cook was a 4.5 pound shoulder. I tried a brine on it this time. Brined it overnight in 2.5 cups water, .5 cup salt, .5 cup brown sugar and some of my rub. Pulled it out of the fridge in the morning and rinsed it in cold water then patted it dry. Coated it in mustard, then my rub on it. Wrapped it in plastic wrap and out it in the fridge for another hour or two. Got my smoker going, I use kingsford briquettes. Once the smoker temp was at around 225 I took it out of the fridge and threw it directly on the smoker. I have been having difficulty getting the smoker temp up, so I used an empty water bowl to start. Took almost 30 mins from the time the charcoal was going and I put the mid section, water bowl and lid on the smoker until it reached 250 degrees on the factory thermometer. Once the pork was on for about three and a half hours I checked the meat temp and it was around 145. After that I mopped it every 45 mins until the temp stalled. Then I wrapped it in foil and mopped it one more time. Once it reached internal temp of around 197 I pulled it, and FTC'd it for an hour and a half. Then pulled it and served it. The last couple hours the smoker temp started getting a bit high, and I had to close the vents too much and it started choking the fire, so I put a few cups of boiling water in the water bowl and opened the vents and it helped keep the temp down around 250. There wasn't large chunks of fat in the finished product, just more gelatinized fat than I was used to seeing. Also, I used a digital thermometer the first time I cooked with the wsm because I couldn't get the temp up over 200. And the digital thermometer read the same as the weber one. I checked the digital one in boiling water and it read 212. I am 50 ft above sea level
     
  11. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    If you are having problems keeping your temps up I would avoid opening your smoker to mop it. A fatty cut of pork does not need any mopping to stay moist. Also, I'm not sure what kind of shoulder you are using. A pork should is usually 10 plus pounds (like the one pictured above). Does your shoulder have a fat cap? If so, did you remove it? Also, I always let large cuts rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes prior to going on the smoker. Placing a large cold mass in the smoker will drop the temp drastically.
     
  12. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    We get weird cuts up here lol. The picnic is basically a picnic shoulder cut into three or four smaller pieces with fat cap in tact. I don't have trouble keeping the temp up, just getting temp up from start. The weather here has been very cold and rainy, so I am guessing this is the main reason why it takes so long to hear up. From what I've read, you get a better smoke ring throwing the meat directly in the smoker from the fridge, cause it gets more time before it hits 140 degrees IT.
     
  13. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    Once it's up to 250, I can keep it there fairly easy. Mopping it doesn't affect the temp for me
     
  14. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the info guys. BBQ isn't super common up here. The more info I can get the better!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You know a lot of us use sand or pebbles in the water pan wrapped in foil. When you are dealing with cold moist air and wind, which I feel ya there....You do need to have a heat sink in there. Like the other poster said you really should keep the lid on as much as humanly possible.  Water is not necessary in the water pan. It doesn't add to the moisture of your end product at all or impart any flavors from anything you add to the water pan. It is there as a heat sink to stabilize temperatures and help with recovery after opening the lid up. I think a lot of folks fiddled around with their smokers and meat way more than necessary in the beginning of this hobby, me included. I have found the best pulled pork I make nowadays I may have opened the lid 2 times the whole shooting match. I would venture to guess our weather is pretty similar with you guys getting more rain than we do. That smoker of yours is a very well designed machine and you should be able to get 325 degrees out of it even when it is cold out. I wonder if a charcoal basket would help at all. I use a UDS or my Weber Performer for everything at the moment. The Drum works just like the WSM and it rules in any weather. It sounds like you might be very popular there on that island once you get this stuff perfected. I think you are doing just great. Now, next time post pictures and give us some play by play. It's fun I swear!  
     
  16. moist

    moist Fire Starter

    I think I'm gonna grab a chimney starter to help it out. Make sure the charcoal is nice and hot to start. Also, I've been using wood chips soaked in water wrapped in foil packets. I think the packets might be smothering the charcoal a touch. Gonna grab some wood chunks to throw directly on the charcoal next time. What do you normally use for wood?
     
  17. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

     A chimmney starter is a must! lighter fluid does not taste good! I use chunks. Usually branches cut up in wafers like around 3 inch diameter. Look for downed fruit trees and maple in your neighborhood after a storm. Never soak wood. Also the Minion method is the way to go http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/85924/the-minion-method-explained-w-tutorial. Plum, apple, pear, peach, cherry, grape, rosewood, lilac......they are all good on pork. Of course you can get hickory and stuff at the big box stores too. I use whatever I can find around here most of the time. I really love apple, cherry and hickory on pork best though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  18. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    i have to disagree about butt/shoulder being fatty if cooked slowly. all the interior fat n connective tissue should melt into the meat. i  smoke at least one every month. the only fat left after a smoke is the cap. you may be rushing a bit. i never smoke over 225. my last one i smoked at 110 for 5 hours then 5 hours at 225.

    it was perfectly  slicable  when it hit 190 IT. this was a very fatty cut before i smoked it. zero fat after.

    bear says if you wanna pull it, you go over 200 IT, but   he uses low low temps too..
     
  19. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    One more note. I have never brined a Butt except when making Ham with cure. It is not necessary. That is what all that fat and stuff is for. Like SuzieQ said! 
     
  20. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I don't know if i mentioned it but 225 is my go to for that kind of thing.
     

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