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Pork Butt Questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Just finished some pulled pork for the guys at the Firehouse and they absolutely loved them just feel like there's room for improvement and have a few questions.

 

Smoking on a WSM around 14 lbs of pork two shoulders.  Used Chris Lilly injection and dry rub which I thought was really good.  Also used a combo of hickory and apple chips with charcoal.  I ended up with really nice bark and smoke ring.  I thought it was a litle rubbery didn't fall apart when I was picking it apart but still very tender.  Keep it on smoker for about 7 hrs before placing in a cooler for 2 hrs then picked. 

 

My first question is about temperature contol.  I cooked outside in about 95 degree heat and my temperature was running really hot all day.  I didn't know if I should be smoking in the shade or if my temp gauge was just running hot based on the direct sunlight the black lid was receiving.  Also wondering if that is why my pork might of turned out a little rubbery based on cooking it too fast cause of it being too hot? For most park of day it running 250.

 

Second question might be based on temp control as well.  How do you keep the meat moist.  I was a littel disappointed on how it dried out towards the end.  Is it better to err on low temp and longer cooking?  Do you guys believe in the thermometers that stay in the meat and have the wireless gauge?  Figured that way I could take it off exactly when it reaches proper temperature. 

post #2 of 12

Read these 3 poosts and you will be right on the money!!

 

 

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/basic-pulled-pork-smoke 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/finishing-sauce-for-pulled-pork-by-

soflaquer 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/about-jeffs-5-day-ecourse 

 

 

Craig

post #3 of 12

Butts don't really need to be injected.  When you do that you run up against the 4 hour rule that normally only applies to the outside part of the meat.  Other than that, constant pit temp monitoring is required.  Spikes can be a problem.  Tons of patience cause those things take time.  Keep at it and you will get the formula.

 

Good luck and good smoking.

post #4 of 12

Welcome to the SMF!

 

Smoking in direct sunlight shouldn't make too much of a temp difference.  There are a number of potential diagnoses for your trouble (or any combo of these).

 

  1. Did you check your thermo(s) for accuracy?  (boiling water test.)  225-250* cook temp is perfect; do not go any lower for food safety purposes.  If your actual cook temp was higher, that could account for the "rubbery" texture.
  2. You don't mention an internal temp for the meat.  You should smoke/cook to IT, not time, so maybe you didn't reach optimal tenderness IT (195-205*). 
  3. You also don't mention foiling during the smoke.  Butts should be foiled when they reach 165* IT and then continue the cook to the optimal IT for slicing or pulling.  This keeps things moist and tender.
  4. You don't mention resting the meat for at least an hour after the cook.  This allows the meat to reabsorb juices and settle in for the slice or pull (moist and tender again).

 

Hope this helps sort out your situation.

post #5 of 12

All good advice! Question, what's in your injection?

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by adiochiro3 View Post

 

You don't mention resting the meat for at least an hour after the cook.  This allows the meat to reabsorb juices and settle in for the slice or pull (moist and tender again).

 

 


 

Actually, he did.  He said:

 

         "Keep it on smoker for about 7 hrs before placing in a cooler for 2 hrs then picked."

 

 

 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by adiochiro3 View Post

Welcome to the SMF!

 

Smoking in direct sunlight shouldn't make too much of a temp difference.  There are a number of potential diagnoses for your trouble (or any combo of these).

 

  1. Did you check your thermo(s) for accuracy?  (boiling water test.)  225-250* cook temp is perfect; do not go any lower for food safety purposes.  If your actual cook temp was higher, that could account for the "rubbery" texture.
  2. You don't mention an internal temp for the meat.  You should smoke/cook to IT, not time, so maybe you didn't reach optimal tenderness IT (195-205*). 
  3. You also don't mention foiling during the smoke.  Butts should be foiled when they reach 165* IT and then continue the cook to the optimal IT for slicing or pulling.  This keeps things moist and tender.
  4. You don't mention resting the meat for at least an hour after the cook.  This allows the meat to reabsorb juices and settle in for the slice or pull (moist and tender again).

 

Hope this helps sort out your situation.


What he said... lol.. great advice..

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post #8 of 12

Im thinking his pit was a lot hotter then he thought. He said 2 butts at 14 so im guessing they are 7lb each. When i do a butt that size at around 230 it takes closer to 14 hours not 7.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venture View Post

Butts don't really need to be injected.  When you do that you run up against the 4 hour rule that normally only applies to the outside part of the meat.  Other than that, constant pit temp monitoring is required.  Spikes can be a problem.  Tons of patience cause those things take time.  Keep at it and you will get the formula.

 

Good luck and good smoking.


   Merv is right,

Get a good meat thermo and keep the temps 225º - 250º

I don't insert the meat probe for the first 3-4 hours.
 

 

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookwow View Post

Im thinking his pit was a lot hotter then he thought. He said 2 butts at 14 so im guessing they are 7lb each. When i do a butt that size at around 230 it takes closer to 14 hours not 7.



I was going to say the same. That seems like a pretty short cook.

 

post #11 of 12



 I just finished a 6 1/2 lber in 7 1/2 hours. It can be done.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/107365/pork-butt-6-1-2-lber-in-7-1-2-hours

 

I might have missed it, but did you wrap it in foil during the smoke? At what internal temp did you remove it. You must get to the 195 to 205º region for pulling the meat.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lookwow View Post

Im thinking his pit was a lot hotter then he thought. He said 2 butts at 14 so im guessing they are 7lb each. When i do a butt that size at around 230 it takes closer to 14 hours not 7.



 

post #12 of 12

I would wager it had an internal temp of 180 or below, his statement of being dry, tells me the breakdown of the connective tissue had not completed.

 

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