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First Smoke Ever - Shoulders - I Have Questions! - Page 2

post #21 of 37

I injected my last shoulder with Angry Orchard Apple Ginger Hard Cider.  I'd recommend doing that!  My family thought it was the best pulled pork I've ever made.


Have fun and keep track of your process and recipes.  It is too easy to forget the things you do and not be able to replicate the amazing bbq you can make.


Have fun!

post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for all the help and suggestions! 


7:00 am, and MAN, was it cold outside!  I wasn't sure how the smoker would do in the cold, but it turned right on, and heated up fairly quickly.


7:30 am - I put some chips into the chip tray.


7:50 am - Put the shoulders into the smoker, and adjusted the temperature.  For my first smoke, I chose 225°. The photo below was taken when I first put them in.



10:45 am - Put more chips into the chip tray.  These will be the last chips I add.  I couldn't help but peek inside - they seem to be forming a crust.  The smell is already killing me!


More later.



post #23 of 37

Looks good, I hope you enjoyed the final product.  I'm still very new at this but have an MES 30 and have learned quite a bit.  First of all, be flexible.  There is very little that is cast in stone about this smoking business.  Here are a few things that helped me get started.


Get a Maverick 732 and count on its "barbecue" reading.  Learn where to set your smoker's temp to get it where you want it to be.  With me it varies a lot due to our weather Yesterday it was 40s and windy.  A setting of 240 was giving me a Maverick reading of 225 - 235, perfect for my ribs.  But hours later when the wind died down I had to cut the setting way back as it was rising into the 250s.  Here are pics of them with Jeff's rub before going into the smoker and right after taking them out seven hours later.

Next time I'll stop at six hours.


As for the wood chip tray, mine sticks.  I spray it and the runners in the smoker with Pam before turning on the smoker.  Axle grease probably would work better but might affect the product a tad, lol. 


I just discovered what the water tray is for, granite rocks.  I believe it really helped with heat loss/recovery the one time I opened the door yesterday.  I never recovered so fast before when using water or nothing at all.  If you rock it, cover with foil to keep things neat.


Your smoker's max temp setting is 275.


Don't soak your chips.  If you have trouble getting the chips started, here's what I've begun doing.  I fill the chip cylinder with chips, set them on the stove three or so minutes until they're smoking and the put it back into the smoker and dump them.  I got smoke all day long yesterday with just one regular refill and about a fourth of a fill the last hour.


You might also keep a smoker diary in your documents to refer to later because you'll be doing different meats and if you're like me you won't remember everything you did or didn't do right.


Happy smoking.

Edited by cekkk - 11/4/13 at 1:25pm
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hi, all.  The shoulders are almost to the right internal temp - maybe another hour.  Would it be best to shred it right away (after it cools a bit), or better to put it in the refrigerator over night, and shred it in the morning?  If I should put it in the fridge, would I foil-wrap it, or what?





post #25 of 37

Personally I like to pull them while they are still hot after the hour or so rest in the warm dry cooler

post #26 of 37
Originally Posted by Pineywoods View Post

Personally I like to pull them while they are still hot after the hour or so rest in the warm dry cooler

me too

post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 

Here's the first one, which I've wrapped in foil, and placed in the oven (for lack of a warm, dry cooler).  I couldn't get it into the foil fast enough, as my husband keeps wanting to pick at it.  It smells and tastes amazing!  I will pull it after an hour or so, as recommended.  Hopefully the second shoulder will also be done cooking some time tonight.  :439:





post #28 of 37
Looks like a success, enjoy it! I've had them finish several hours apart, so don't start to panic if it's taking too long.
post #29 of 37

Nice bark!

post #30 of 37

Nice work. You might try some Finishing sauce on some of the meat to see if you like it. This will enhance the flavor and restor some moisture. Looken good.

post #31 of 37

Looks like a success! Always cover the chip loader, drip trays, etc with foil as clean-up is a nightmare without it. My first several smokes in my MES 40 were done without foil and while everyone else was in a food coma I was scrubbing away! I see you only put in the racks you were cooking on, good job as this also eliminates things that need to be washed.


As far as the time goes, I run my shoulders overnight and with the MES we can get away with that because it regulates the temperature very well. I will usually start the smoker about 9pm have the meat in by 10 or 10:30pm. I use the factory thermometer in the meat and I also put a second thermometer into another spot in the meat because I don't trust the factory. They are usually several degrees off from each other. When they both read 195-205 I check the meat by wiggling the blade to make sure it is done. I add chips about every 3 hours for the duration of the smoke. I have used water in the pan every time, not sure why some people commented not to over complicate things your first few times? I fill the water pan to the fill line (about 1/3 full) and I don't need to add any more water throughout. The pan catches some of the drippings so it never dries out. It may extend cook time a little due to the fact that water absorbs heat, but I think it also helps stabilize temperatures for a long cook time. Could be wrong, I have only been doing this since April!


Also, next time you smoke anything, throw some baking potatoes on the top rack for about 3-4 hours in the smoke. Before you put them in, wash them and prick them with holes. Rub with vegetable oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Check them after a few hours to make sure the skins aren't getting too tough. As soon as you can easily stick a fork into them take them out and mash them in a foil pan with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, chives to taste. Add a little milk to moisten. Sprinkle the top with a little more cheese and some of the same rub you put on your pork. Put back in the smoker for an hour or so while your meat is resting. Amazing side dish that we do every time we smoke something!

post #32 of 37


I have a question regarding how  you smoked your pork shoulders in the Masterbuilt. Did you place the shoulder in the aluminum pan or was the empty pan placed on a lower rack? I tried a 6lb shoulder yesterday, in the pan, had the temp set @ 250 degrees (started it at 9:30am) finally was done at 2:00am close to 17 hours cooking time. I have done larger shoulders placed directly on the shelf and they took about 14 hours @ 235 degrees. I am wondering if having the shoulder in the pan slowed down the cook time (way down). Like you I cover most surfaces with foil to ease clean up.

Thanks much,


post #33 of 37

    SMOKING  The pros will tell you that every piece of meat cooks differently. with that  said  I think that cook time was long. My wife would be on me hard because I would have expected it sooner. I cook on the second shelf on the grill itself. I put a 14x10"nonstick baking pan under the butt. I am lazy so I line the drip pan with foil. My cook at 250 and smoke with a AMNPS.  I pre heat the smoker to 275 before I place the meat in.  I have the Drip pan in when I do this It is fairly heavy and helps the heat to be stable  The AMNPS is  filled with a mix of oak and hickory. It smokes hard till the internal temp is160-165. By then the meat is stalling or about to. Foil it up and replace the probe for the duration. I pull mine at 200 and let it sit warped in a towel It is still cooking and will go to 205. I let it sit for over a hour and then pull the bone shred and add my finishing sauce. Not a whole lot maybe 6 oz. I like many others feel the butt is better the day after. I will often add some sauce after I reheat what I am going to serve.


post #34 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hi, Smoking_in_nye - I smoked these shoulders right on the racks, with no pans.  I did cover the water pan, and the drip pan with foil, for easier cleaning later.  My smoker has 4 racks, but I pulled out the 2 I wasn't using, and put the shoulders in the bottom and second-from-top positions.  They came out beautifully. 



post #35 of 37

Looks like you did a great job, Katie!!  :yahoo: (My daughter's name, AND you even spell it right, too!)


After getting "burned" a couple of times trying to time getting the meat done in X-number of hours, and finding you CANNOT tell the meat when it's done, I now always smoke starting late at night for dinner the following day.


You may not need it, but here are a couple threads you may find helpful...

post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks, teebob!  I'm glad to hear that your daughter spells her name correctly, too.  There are so many of those 'other' Katys out there!  He he he.


Thank you, also for the links.  I would like to try some finishing sauce, so that'll be very helpful! 


Happy week-after-Thanksgiving!



post #37 of 37
Originally Posted by katemail13 View Post

Thanks, teebob!  I'm glad to hear that your daughter spells her name correctly, too.  There are so many of those 'other' Katys out there!  He he he.


Thank you, also for the links.  I would like to try some finishing sauce, so that'll be very helpful! 


Happy week-after-Thanksgiving!




Happy post-Thanksgiving to you as well.


The finishing sauce makes a WORLD of difference.  You can judge your audience as far as amount of red pepper to add in.  For a more general crowd (larger parties), I add about the specified amount.  If I have eaters who I know like heat, I've added 1.5x the listed ratio.  If you use a sweet BBQ sauce like I make at home, the heat and sweet is awesome.  Also, I don't bother with the bottle, I just heat in a saucepan, whisk it up good and then splash it over the pulled meat and it works fine.


Finally, I recommend "bear claw" type utensils to help with the pulling.  I found if I use regular forks, my hands get fatigued trying to pull a large-size (7-8 lbs plus) shoulder, much less the 2 I'll make for a big party.


Happy smoking!



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