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Smoking a shoulder tonight, first time... with Q-view

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,

 

I'm smoking a bone-in shoulder tonight, planning on pulling it and using it tomorrow for a get-together my fiance and I are throwing. It'll be my first time smoking a shoulder so I'm looking for a little guidance...

 

I pulled together a rub recipe and process tips from the Smoking-Meat website and forum. I picked the shoulder up at wegman's yesterday. It weighs about 8.2 lbs. I trimmed some fat (the bald spot at the top was already cut in when i bought it).

0712122201.jpg

 

After some mustard and rub, i put it in the fridge overnight with a little bit of apple cider vinegar in the bottom...

0712122216.jpg

 

I'm curious about smoking time. 1.5 hrs/lb appears to be the standard estimate, but i'm wondering about the effects of shape on time? It might be difficult to see in these pictures, but it's actually a "stretched out" sort of shape, almost like a pork shoulder that wanted to be a brisket. I had always thought of pork shoulder as a more cubic shape, is my preconception of shape dead wrong?... basically, what should i expect in terms of time? will it be less than 1.5hrs/lb?

 

My initial thought was to keep it unwrapped the whole time, pull it at 185, wrap it in foil, let it sit half an hour, then pull it. Should i consider wrapping it in foil at some point during the smoke and if so when should that point be?

 

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated. I'm throwing it on at around 4 this afternoon... 

post #2 of 17

you can wrap it or leave it unwrapped.  If you wrap it at 165° or so, you won't develop the bark if you leave it unwrapped.  You'd want to bring it to 200°-205° to pull it.  You can wrap it in foil when you take it out of the smoker, then put in a cooler with it towel-wrapped for an hour to let the juices distribute, then unwrap and pull.  Good luck and show us the results!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops6927 View Post

you can wrap it or leave it unwrapped.  If you wrap it at 165° or so, you won't develop the bark if you leave it unwrapped.  You'd want to bring it to 200°-205° to pull it.  You can wrap it in foil when you take it out of the smoker, then put in a cooler with it towel-wrapped for an hour to let the juices distribute, then unwrap and pull.  Good luck and show us the results!

Thanks! I think i'm going to leave it unwrapped then, i want bark. I'll take it to 200-205 deg... this will create the desired tenderness i need to pull it right? Only bringing it to 185 deg would be too tough...?

 

And i'll keep updating with pictures as I go!

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Started at about 430 today, using a master forge heavy duty charcoal grill.

0713121806.jpg

About 5.5 hours in right now... at 4.5 the internal temp was low 140s, and she looked like this...0713122036a.jpg

0713122036c.jpg

 

having a little bit of trouble with the temps... dropping to 200 at times... any advice?

post #5 of 17

Don't open the lid! We like pics but your food is more important!

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by S2K9K View Post

Don't open the lid! We like pics but your food is more important!


I've only been opening it to give a quick spray of apple juice/apple cider vinegar/jack daniels to keep the surface moist (took the picture on a spray opening)... i've been spraying every hour after the first 2 hours, is this too often?  icon_redface.gif

post #7 of 17

Every time you open it you lose a lot of heat and can take up to 15 mins to recover so if you open every hour that could be up to 25% of the time spent trying to recover temps.. Do you want a good bark? If so I would stop spritzing and let the bark form. If not then wrap it in foil when the IT hits about 165* and you will have a moist surface. I don't spritz but I like a good bark. Here's a good read to keep you busy while you wait on it: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/123403/2nd-attempt-lean-trimmed-butt-wet-dry-smoke-chamber-q-view-method

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Makes sense, thank you. I appreciate it. And I do want a good bark, so I'm gonna stop spritzing now... I'll check the link out while I'm waiting
 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tito45 View Post

Makes sense, thank you. I appreciate it. And I do want a good bark, so I'm gonna stop spritzing now... I'll check the link out while I'm waiting
 

You're very Welcome! IMO with the results I have experienced I think spritzing is overrated. The last pork picnics I smoked I tried to follow Eric's method as close as I could and they were the juiciest pork I have ever done! And they had a really firm bark and when pulled and all mixed up it added such a great flavor. I will do the wet to dry chamber every time now!

Oh and in the first 12 hours I only opened the door twice.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tito45 View Post


I've only been opening it to give a quick spray of apple juice/apple cider vinegar/jack daniels to keep the surface moist (took the picture on a spray opening)... i've been spraying every hour after the first 2 hours, is this too often?  icon_redface.gif

 

Tito, I would drink the jack, why waste the jack (way over rated for that) and the apple juice. The shoulder will produce plenty of moisture if ya leave it alone!!!  I put mine in a aluminum pan and cover with foil to rest, with towels over it and pour the juices in a zip lock bag after resting to render the good fat from the bad fat!! Good luck!!! 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Done! 16 hours total, i pulled it off at 205 deg and wrapped it in foil, let is sit for an hour under a bunch of blankets, and then pulled it. It was so tender it started falling apart when i took it off the grate. I might have been a little light on the smoke, but the bark is delicious (rub just a tad spicy though), meat is very moist for the most part (around the bone it was a little bit dry, but also had much less fat marbling), and it basically fell apart. Let me know what you think!

 

Thunderstorm with pouring rain for an hour at 7am, it started dropping the temp a little so i had to improvise...

0714120733b.jpg

 

205 deg at 845am

0714120837b.jpg

 

after an hour

0714121007.jpg

0714121105.jpg

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
And thanks to everyone who provided advice!
post #13 of 17

Looks-Great.gifnice job an that butt.  Are they $.99/lb at wegmans in Md like they are in Ny?

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidhef88 View Post

Looks-Great.gif nice job an that butt.  Are they $.99/lb at wegmans in Md like they are in Ny?


Thanks! It was 1.29/lb, not terrible
post #15 of 17

Hey fellow Smokers,

 

Great thread. I have 2 shoulders ready to go tonight for an overnight smoke. I took the skin off and mustard / rubbed both of them. Planning on putting them in around 9 PM tonight. Probably check them around 3am just to make sure all is well.

 

I will post pictures this time to be sure. I have my camera back from my daughter. So I plan on detailing my process. Keep you all posted.

 

Bakerman
 

post #16 of 17

That looks awesome!!!!  Making me drool in my coffee this morning!
 

post #17 of 17

Well done, congrats on a great smoke!
 

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