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2.5 - 3lb Pork Shoulder

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So after reading the pork sticky, and a few threads I think I have a decent grasp on what to do with the pork shoulder. Is it appropriate to use an injection with the pork shoulder or is that something I shouldn't do? If it is something that is appropriate when should I inject it? 12 hours before when I add the rub/mustard? I was thinking of doing something simple like garlic, apple juice, butter, and maybe a dash of apple cider vinegar. 


The rub I will use a locally made rub here in the Upper Sandusky, OH area. It works great with chicken, poultry, eggs, and just about anything you can imagine. I'll probably add a few things to it as well. If adding mustard, someone had mentioned that the mustard flavor doesn't carry over. Therefore, does it really matter if I use a spicy brown vs yellow vs dijon? 


I have a weber 18.5 charcoal smoker, which I think I have a better grasp on thanks to a few from another thread.

Plan on 225-250, but just don't know how long it will take to cook. Again, the weight is 2.5-3lb. Any thoughts or guesses?


Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 7

If you do plan to inject, I recommend you read the header on this forum: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/list/181


Note: if injected, a smaller shoulder cut as you have should get through the danger-zone temp range in less than 4 hours provided you can maintain the minimum 225* smoke chamber temp. Also, depending on the pH of the solution and how much is injected in each site, you may notice a mushy spot in the meat from injecting,..it also creates a cavity in the meat which will somewhat bind together again from the process of cooking. While injecting can add some flavor and possibly a slight improvement in moisture content when finished there are the drawbacks that come with it. BTW, I'm assuming this is a boneless halved Boston butt, so it may have a cavity in the meat from bone removal, so the danger-zone temp/time guideline should still be followed. I prefer no injection and bone-in shoulder for a simple no-sweat smoked pulled pork...just me.


As for mustard, I've never used it for anything...not sure why some folks do, other to aid in adhesion of the rub to the meat. I can get very heavy rub application just by doing several applications over a 5-8 period. Even with low salt content, the salts will draw a bit of moisture from the meat and fat after applying...this gives the next application something to bond to. If unsure about whether it will carry flavor after the smoke, I'd skip it and go with straight rub.


If you plan to cook on open grates, then foil and towel-wrap to rest, plan for approx 2hs/lb, although it may take longer to reach ~200* I/T. If you foil @ 160* or so, it will cut cooking time about 15-20min/lb, at the cost of having a softer, less developed bark on the meat.




post #3 of 7
I wouldn't inject it....really no need as pork butt has much fat in it to make it moist.
post #4 of 7
Great advice above.....I used mustard once and that was it. I also give a heavy rub after rubbing some olive oil on the meat and then add more rub after the overnight rest. I normally don't inject butts unless on a whim...like one for Pina Colada Pig I did that was really not over the top good & not worth the time or money I spent on ingredients...IMO only. I just watched a Pit Masters episode last night and some input was given on the use of the mustard (yellow) by one guy as a way to get rub to stick and it has some vinegar in it to contribute a slight taste enhancement. I thought to myself 'what a crock' but enjoyed the show regardless. So, you can or can't with these sort of things....many do & many don't.....sometimes ya just gotta try it yourself to see and decide for yourself.......HTH, Willie
post #5 of 7
I tried mustard once as well....was just ehhh. I rub......rest overnight then rub again as well because the sugars and salts draw moisture to the top of the pork. Re rubbing makes for a damn fine bark.
post #6 of 7
Where are you guys finding these small shoulders? All we have in north texas are 8-11 pound Boston butts, and 6-9lb picnic roasts.
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by caribou89 View Post

Where are you guys finding these small shoulders? All we have in north texas are 8-11 pound Boston butts, and 6-9lb picnic roasts.

If it's under 6lbs around here, it's been cut into two pieces, and likely is boneless. Picnics run from about 8.5lbs to over 12lbs around here (I think the last one I smoked was 12.88lbs), and butts generally are in the 8-11lb range, as you're finding. Picnics are the makings for killer pulled pork...lots more of the darker meat, and they seem to have much more collagen than the butts...low & slow after removing the skin and cross-hatch scoring before the rub, of course. I'd love to get my hands on a few 14+lb picnics...I have plans for a couple pieces like that...




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