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First Pork Shouder this weekend! (need help!!!)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Greetings fellow Smokers!!

I picked up a shoulder from Costo the other day, and I failed to realize it was a 12lb shoulder!!! I've done some reading around the forums and I think I got both the butt and the picnic in one package, but I haven't opened it up yet.

I'm looking for a bit of assistance, as the forum posts have indicated this might be a smoke that is in excess of 24hr if it is in fact a whole 12lb piece of meat. I'm pretty sure this is an awesome rookie mistake that will humor you seasoned veterans of the BBQ pit here, I have thick skin so go ahead and pile it on! LOL

Do you vets think it's both the picnic and the butt in the same packaging? or did I seriously buy a 12lb butt or picnic cut. The packaging on Costo says "Whole Shoulder, Pork".

I'm looking to use Hickory and Cherry pellets on the Traeger Lil Tex Elite. I've got the digitial remote thermometer and a few good rubs and finishing sauces at the ready. Is it best to put it into a pan to smoke or is it safe to leave on the open pit on the grill.

As far as wrapping it, I would like a bit of decent bark to enjoy, but also realize if I don't wrap it, this will also increase the smoking time.

Lastly... (cringing) do you risk cutting the shoulder in half to make two, 6lb cuts to decrease cooking time??? If this is a cardinal sin of BBQ then I will accept my public lashings next weekend HAHA!

Thanks for any advice you guys might have and wish me luck!!!!
post #2 of 12

The other guys will have to help with the smoker because I have no experience with a pellet smoker but I've cut shoulders in half many times to decrease the cook time BUT ALSO to give me more crust in the mix. Good luck.

post #3 of 12
Some pictures of it would help us determine exactly what you have.
If it were me I would probably smoke it whole but there is nothing wrong with cutting it in half.
If it is a shoulder it is probably still covered with the rind, I don't eat the rind and I trim it all off, you will lose some weight there.
Here is a good thread about an 11 lb shoulder:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/141692/picnic-shoulder-wet-to-dry-smoke-chamber-q-view-prep-method-finished

This is basically the method I follow for all my large cuts of pork.
post #4 of 12

If there's no rind, there's a pretty good chance it's 2 butts in one package. I know Costco sells 2 packs that aren't clearly labeled that way.

post #5 of 12

Usually the cryovac packs at Costco have 2 boneless butts in them  I usually take them and cut them in to as even sizes as possible.  I will the tie the butterflied parts (where they cut the bone out) in to even sized roasts to keep them all uniform.

 

Butts are very forgiving.  Keep an eye on your rigs temp and the internal temp and you cant go wrong.

post #6 of 12

I did this smoke with 2 packages of Costco boneless butts.  As you can see I cut them down into equal size roasts and tied them.  I'm not sure if its blasphemous but once it was pulled who would know the difference?  And as Gringo said, more yummy crust!

 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks fellas, it was in fact 2 butts in one package. Am def going to go to the store and by some twine to tie the butts up yotzee.

The end goal is to have these ready for the 8:30pm football game on Sunday. I figured I can cook them both at the same time. Wanted to ask you vets a few questions.

I've heard its approx 1.5-2.0hr of cook @ 225. With these being bone out, I've heard you cook at higher temp, for lower time, truth or myth??

Also, I've got them rubbed and wrapped in the fridge. I hear you do not insert the thermometer until 3hr into the cook, truth or myth?

Lastly, I see some people use foil pans and some that don't. Can I get a few pros and cons about the use of a foil pan?

Thanks everyone for the help. Hope to have some QView for you guys when I start this!

Dave
post #8 of 12

What you can do is smoke them in the 225º to 250º range as long as you bear. I shoot for 170º IT, should have a decent bark by then. Splash them with some juice and double wrap in foil. Can you raise your smokers temps?? If so, after wrapping, crank up the heat to 300º or as high as you can get it. When you hit 205º IT, your done. Wrap them in a towel and let them rest. I normally can do a 8 lb butt in 9 to 9 1/2 hours with this method.

 Foil pans are good for trapping juices, but kinda deter the bark forming.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Flash!!! I think in going to forego the pan on this round. I'll start it at about 5AM.

I'm going to start a new thread to document my efforts!!!
post #10 of 12
I've cooked butts at 280* before and they come out fine and don't take as long.
I never foil, I love great bark and when you foil you lose all that bark you worked so hard for. I don't even foil for the rest. I will put it on an elevated rack over a pan and just lay a towel over it, again to preserve the bark.
I don't even like the idea of cooking a butt in a pan. If you have ever seen one done that way and all the grease it is swimming in it is not a pretty sight in my opinion.
I really don't see the point of putting a probe in until 4,5 or 6 hours, I really don't need to see the temp before it gets up to about 180*.
I never rely on temp to tell me when it is done, I use the tenderness check to tell me. Once it gets over 180* I will probe it with a toothpick or other clean thin probe and feel for tenderness. When the probe slides in with no effort like going into warm butter, it is done. I've had butts tender and pullable at just below 190* up to over 200*. I don't like them overcooked and mushy.

Remember we are always here if you have any other questions or just need some support through your first one!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info S2K9K!!! I am a bark-a-Holocene myself so I'm trying to avoid the foil wrapping also, and I'm also going to try it without a foil pan also.

Thanks everyone for all the information!
post #12 of 12
If you really like bark and love juicy meat then you might want to look into this method:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/wet-to-dry-no-foil-smoke-chamber-method-for-smoking-meats

I have adopted this method and it has taken my smokes to a whole new level. If nothing else there are some really good tips and ideas in the article, well worth the read.
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