This weekend I decided to try my hand at something I have wanted to do for years... Smoking Pork!!!! Alton Brown got me interrested when he assembled a "cheap and easy" flower pot smoker.
I researched it on the web, and built one. While not as cheap as advertised, I finally got all my parts together and assembled. I used a router speed control to manually control the element temperature. After a couple test runs, I got everything working the way it should, and decided to throw the dice and smoke some meat!
I started with a 4 pound shoulder that I rubbed and wrapped the day before. 6am Saturday rolls around, and I fire up the smoker, get it up to 215 degrees, and throw the pork on.
After 3 hours the meat temp hit 130 degrees, then seemed to stall out... another 3 hours goes by, and I am up to 135 degrees...
At this point I bump the heat up to 225, but it is only making a couple degrees difference. Another 3 hours goes by and I am up to 147 degrees... At this point, I wrapped the pork in foil (put some apple juice in with it) and bumped the temp to 250. After 4 more hours, I am up to 195 degrees.
I let it rest an hour, and then pulled it.
It was not nearly as tender as I was thinking it should be... It tasted pretty good, but again, was not easy to pull.
I am trying to figure out what I did wrong.... My reading of forums tells me that the "stall" should hit around 150-160 degrees - not 130-135...
I had a digital thermostat (polder) monitoring the air temp near the grill top, and this is what I was using to control the heat to. I also have a analog thermometer sitting on the grill top, and that was reading the same as the digital. Then I thought maybe the probe I was using in the port shoulder was incorrect... But I verified the temp was right using an instant read digital thermometer. Very frustrating.
I am planning on testing my thermometers this evening with boiling water to verify they are working correctly...
I am also buiding a PID temp controller, which will help me maintain temperature tighter than my current manual method.
I want to try again with an 8 pounder for the fourth, so I appreciate any advice you can give.
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." - Phil 4:13