What am I missing here

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bountyhunter, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter Fire Starter

    This is my second year smoking and bbqing so still a rookie in my own eyes. This year is our 25th anniversary of the shop that my wife and I own so I thought we should have a little party. I plan on smoking 100 lbs of pork shoulder so will be doing it over the course of a week as I only have a 22.5" weber kettle as well as a home built 14.5 WSM. I know a lot of you talk about doing a 10lb butt over 15+ hrs but why not cut those 10 pounders in half and they should smoke in a lot  less time. What am I missing besides a lot of sleep? We are planning on about 150 people so am really enjoying putting a menu together and most of it will be done on the Webers.

  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Even cutting them into 5 lb. chunks your still talking about 8-9 hrs. (varies by piece a bit). The main thing to avoid is cooking them to fast, if they cook to fast you will get your internal temp up to 200 but you will not have given the heat time to break down the connective tissues and render out the fat. So you run the risk of ending up with chewy fatty pulled pork. You can cook way in advance and freeze the pulled pork then reheat for the party - better to leave them in whole chunks and smoke them till done, then shred them and vacuum seal them. Can be kept in fridge or freezer after that till needed.
  3. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you need to cut down on the time, you can definitely still produce great pulled pork.  I suggest bumping your cooking temps up to 300 to start.  Makes the cook around an hour a pound and there is usually no stall.  Cutting them into smaller pieces also works just fine and in my opinion yields an even better product because you get more delicious crispy bark.  
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You got some good help above already.

    I would combine the two of them:

    I would cut them in half to get them done somewhat quicker, and you'll get nearly twice as much tasty bark, but I wouldn't go too hot to give them time to break down.

    I wouldn't go above 275°, but that's because my MES 40 maxes out at 275°. If I could, I probably wouldn't go above 300°.

  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You really need to make yourself one of these. All 100 pounds at one time in one day, night smoke.
  6. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    timberjet, that's a cool drum smoker. You got any pics of the inside?
  7. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Kind of. Just your basic with two grates, one 7 inches down and the other 6 inches below that.

    the basket.
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    300 degrees is where it is at. I did a 7 lb shoulder over the weekend in 6 hours. The hot and fast method for shoulders produces an incredibly tender and juicy finished product. I will not be going back to cooking shoulders at 225 any time soon.
  9. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    Lot of rack area to cook on! Very cool, thanks.
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not to jump on a bandwagon here, but I've found 300° to be the "magic number" as well. As has been said, the crust is wonderful and the meat is out of this world. I've never had pulled pork as moist and tender cooked at lower temperatures. It's not mushy either. It still holds its shape, it's just incredibly tender. And it all happens in 6-7 hours. No stall, no need to wrap, no silliness.
    The most important thing, especially running at higher temperatures, is that you wrap it and rest it for at least an hour after its done cooking.
  11. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter Fire Starter

    Thank you for all the replies. That drum smoker is a sweetheart. I did increase my capacity today as my wife gave me my Bday present  I am now the proud owner of a Masterbuilt pro. Have not done any modifications yet. Looking for a needle valve for the propane line as I could not get it below 275 on propane last night. Have not tried charcoal yet.
  12. timtimmay

    timtimmay Action Team

    I haven't ever tried cooking faster or cutting the butts up. I have frozen pulled pork many times and it does reheat wonderfully. I'm guessing you don't have a 100# crock pot, but defrosting in one the day of the party works great.
  13. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

     Bountyhunter, as you can see, there is more than one way to smoke a butt! You can cook high and fast or low and slow but the time needed will still be determined more by the thickness of the butt rather than the wieght. Take an 8 lb butt from the store that is about 8" x 6" x 10".  At 225 degrees for 12 hours it might be done. If you cut it in half, (it depends on which direction), you can reduce the cook time by half. Cut it so you have 2 pieces about 8 x 3" x 10". Now you have two 3 inch thick pieces rather than a 6 inch thick piece.

      However, cutting the butts in half will also reduce your grate space by half. [​IMG]. Just some food for thought! Let us know how it all turns out.

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    All Great Points.

  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Butts look at meat smokers and say "Bring it on baby!  I can handle ANYTHING you throw at me."  They are the most forgiving cut of meat you can smoke at any temp. 

    A couple times now I've done 18-20 lbs of Costco boneless butt (total weight, 2 in a package) in 9 hours at 300-325F chamber temp.  Turned out great, nicely barked.  Wrapped one batch when it first stalled and got a softer bark.  Wrapped the second batch (and later single batches) at 170F and got a great bark.  That's my go to method now.  Once it is wrapped you can actually crank the temp up to 350 or more.  The connective tissue still melts and the PP turns out juicy. 

    The issue with the Kettle is the distance between the top of the lid and the grate.  You can have temperature variances of 80-100F the hotter you smoke between the top and the grate because the distance is so short. The boneless ones would help because they lie flatter (don't tie them up).  Just flip them after 3 hours or so.  Also, if you can build your fire to one side, put the meat on the other, and the top vent opposite the fire, you get better circulation.  

    There are a lot of ways to cook and smoke on a Kettle.  Since you are pressed for time, hot n fast is the way to go.  The Minion method works best for low n slow.  A Weber grate with the flip up side makes adding charcoal a piece of cake when you build the fire on one side. 

    Save the juices from the wrappings, let them gel in the fridge, get rid of the fat (save it for other cooking actually) and put the gelatin back in the meat when you are ready to re-heat it.  Pure flavor.   

    Congrats on the 25 years for the shop!  
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The ones I get must be scared---They just sit there with their, and don't say a word. [​IMG]

  17. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh crap! I'm hearing voices again.

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