Pulled pork IT and amount of smoke.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by david williams, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. Hey Ya'll,

    Ive made pulled pork a dozen or so times and have had mixed results. The taste has always been good (I apply a coating of mustard with a southwest style rub), but the tenderness has been iffy a few times as has the smoke flavor.  I normally cook to an IT of around 170 and smoke however much I feel like it. I like my pork butt to fall apart very easily when pulled.  What IT do most of you find produces the best product? Also, how many hours are you normally smoking while cooking, the way I raised the temp i need about 10 hours to smoke a 7-9  pound butt. I have a MES 40" with the smoke generator attatchment so I can keep consistent smoke as long as needed. 

    Thanks, David
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cook to an IT of 205. Let rest for 45min- 1 hour prior to pulling. Smoke is a personal preference. I run light smoke for the entire cook. I do not foil or pan or spritz during the cook. I typically use apple, cherry, alder, pecan peach or a mixture of those woods for smoke.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Time just depends on temp. I cook around 265. I've had 9 pounders take 10-12 hours and I've had them take 18-20 hours. Every cut is different.
  4. wow all the way up to 205 it, I never would have thought of going that high! Will give it a try on my next one though for sure.  Im kind of a die hard hickory guy for smoke, I did just cut a few loads of pecan for firewood though and plan on using some of it for smoking as well!
  5. Im looking more for the amount of time to apply smoke than the actual cook time, im aware that it varies greatly based on many factors.
  6. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I'd keep a TBS on it the entire time.
  7. For pulled pork you have to take the IT to 200+ and experts agree that 205 is the manic number for PP. It takes that kind of IT to break down the connective tissues.

    Pork butts and shoulders are about the most forgiving thing you can smoke low and slow provided you take the IT high enough. Don't worry about it drying it out. There is lots of fat to render in that cut of meat.
  8. I am not an expert but I learned from an expert. IT is not the goal. Probe tender is. Probe tender can happen anywhere from about 190 to 210. Start probing at 190. If it is probe tender at 195 and you cook it to 205, it will dry out. Every piece of meat is different; they will not all be probe tender at the same IT.

    Just my two cents. Your mileage may vary.
  9. I hear ya, but probe tenderness can occur as you say at 190 perhaps, but not necessarily be pull-able. Brisket being a good example, often achieving probe tenderness at 190 which is a good slicing temp but not necessarily a pulling temp. Just my observations. 
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That also varies. it's really a personal preference. It depends on how smokey you like your food. It also depends on the wood used and the quality of the smoke. For me I smoke the entire time that the pork butt is in the smoker. I use mild woods like apple, peach, cherry, pecan, alder or a combination of those woods. The smoke is TBS (thin blue smoke), and the exhaust vents are always wide open with lots of air circulation.
  11. As said above 200°-205° Make sure you let it rest. I don't foil and I smoke the whole time. I figure a 10 LBer will be done at about the same time tomorrow .I like to smoke around 225° I don't foil.

    Happy smoken.

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly IMHO.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  13. I do agree 200-210 is the right temp. I smoke heavy for 3 hours , wrap at 170 , remove at 200 , rest for 1 to 2 hours and pray. LOL.:grilling_smilie:
  14. Thanks for the responses gentlemen, I will take it up a bit higher next time and look forward to easier pulling.  Im not sure how I would adjust my cold smoking attatchment to make the smoke thick or thin though.  I think I just get whatever it feels like giving me, seems to do a good job though and I love not having to soak the chips!
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What "cold smoking attachment" do you have?

    Maybe we can help.

  16. I have the masterbuilt cold smoker attachment that hooks up to my MES 40.  See that you are a Vet Bear, 6 years as and 11B myself. thanks for your service!
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smoke is a personal prefrence.

    My 10 lb butts I smoke at 210/220, they usually take from 18 to 22 hours. I don't normally smoke that entire time. I am now experimenting with what I have read about the smoke having a sweet spot. So far I can't deny it. If you apply smoke from say, 100 to 140 or 150 IT its make a huge difference. Below that and above that I starting to believe I am just smoking to cover anything that has somehow missed the sweet spot. 100 to 150 is the big absorption.

    Now I have also used an aux snoke generator also. Both an AMPs which I am sure has been brought to your attention already (pellet type) as well as the Masterbuilt cold smoker.

    I think I will like the cold smoker more when I use it as it was intended ... as a cold smoker and not an aux. smoke generator.

    As to pull timeI too normally pull at 203+ IT, OR when the toothpick test tell me its ready.

    I usually just set mine of the kitchen counter to cool. I usually cover it with a dish towel to keep accidental pieces of bark from being knocked off. I think it makes a better bark that way than foiling and I have never had a moisture problem.

    I have read more than one board post from people adding a varible reostat inline to the cold smokers power cold and it working to slow the smoke. I am working at using a tin foil gasket around the top plate were it sits down. That slightly elevated the lower screen from sitting directly on the heating element. Can't say I have achieved perfection yet though.

    Oh, and thank you for your duty.

    Set up like this?

    The inner tower either need to be slightly raised or the power needs to be adjustable. Since I don't like electricity, I am working the raise tower idea.

    I use crumbled up foil under the tower plate when it sets on the box plate. It allows me to still seal the chamber and I can adjust it down by just crushing it harder against the foil.

    One other thing I found. Its the only time I have found that wetting the chips seems to matter. Don't drown them but it does slow the combustion. If they are dry the heat is massive straight up the tower or chimney.

    I have no real answer, only what I have tryed so far. And right after I got the MES40 and the cold smoker life knocked on the door...LOL

    I hope some of that helps you.

    BTW Pecan shells work great in MES's and the smoke generator! Its a beautiful color with the sweetest smell. if you could bottle it, it would out sell all the after shaves.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  18. Yes thank you to all military personnel past and present. U.S. Army. 45echo here.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Home 45E !!

    I don't know anything about the Masterbuilt cold smoker. Foamy seems to like his----Maybe he can help you with adjusting how thick or thin the smoke is. If it gets too thick it will cause creosote---You don't want that !!

    And Welcome Home to you too!!

  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are more than a few here that have both the AMPs as well as the Masterbuilt and I like both. My next purchase will be a dust tube. I think then I can relax and just learn how to best use each one. I know a lot of folks here love their tubes too.

    I haven't attempted cheese or fish or any of the main reasons for the cold smoke yet. I only bought the masterbuilt to try on sausage and andouille and lord knows when it'll get cool enough now to do some. Well and it was on one heck of a sale.

    There is a thread on here by folks with the masterbuilt cold smokers and I believe if I remember correctly, that most were really happy. That was why I decided to give it a try. I even heard one person say they liked it enough that they were going to attach it to a freezer smoker so as to smoke more fish.

    I really have not had a problem, but still learning. I was trying to use the cold smoker as a standard aux. smoke generator for long smokes. What I did see what a beautiful new color added to the meat vice the dark colors of the normal chips (thats a pretty color too, just different!).

    I tried it on a turkey, well turkey legs, and I hope I can do it again the same way.

    Is that not pretty?

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