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HELP! 1st shoulder in smoker, think something's wrong

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I started an 8 pound pork shoulder at 11:00 this morning. Set my electric "old smokey" at 275. After about an hour, I reset for 215. An hour later I inserted my probe. It is reading 190 already! From what I've read here, I figured it take 12 hours to get to that temp. I tried moving the probe, but that didn't make any difference. What should I do?
post #2 of 15

Test the probe in boiling water, should be about 212 F

post #3 of 15

Does the meat have a bone in it?  If so, you might be hitting a bone, but for that short of time, I would test your therm as that seems really high really fast.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Water is heating on the stove...
post #5 of 15
Sump'ns not right. An 8 lb shoulder after two hours at 275 then 215 should only be about 100F IT assuming it started around 45F and was out of the fridge an hour or less. Definitely test the probe.

Check the chamber temp too. If you've got a runaway heating element and are running 350+ in the chamber that could cause a fast cook. Use the food probe to check the chamber temp if you don't have a chamber probe.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Water started boiling at 210 on both my remote and my old fast read mechanical. Within 30 sec or so, both read 212.

I just now layer the remote probe on the grate next to the meat to check smoker temp... Cheap lid gauge read 225, remote probe read 220.

Stuck a fork in thickest part and twisted and it fell apart. Think I'll pull and let rest in cooler.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Got the shoulder on sale at Winn Dixie. Maybe the butcher had a heavy hand on this scale when he weighed it.
post #8 of 15
That is a fast cook. 8 lb would take me 7-8 hours at 225-250 and then an hour rest!
post #9 of 15
So it took you 4 and a half hours right? Man that is fast.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay. It,s been wrapped in tin foil and is resting in small cooler.

I did cut off all the fat on the top. Was a lot. Was that a mistake?
post #11 of 15
It will depend on how much fat was marbled throughout the roast. Most folks don't really trim too much fat off of a shoulder. I would be concerned with that fast of a cook time that it may be a bit dry, but I've been wrong plenty of times before.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
You were right, carabao, it is a little dry. Flavor is ok --- not outstanding. Overall, disappointed. But it won't go to waste and the next one will be better!

post #13 of 15

Try adding one of my Finishing Sauces, Sweet or Tangy, to add moisture. The Pork can also be added to your fav Tomato Sauce to top Pasta or make Lasagna. Leftover Pulled Pork is great in a Pasole Soup. Lots of ways to save dry pork...JJ


Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


Foiling Juice


For each Rack of Ribs Combine:


1T Pork Rub, yours

1/2 Stick Butter

1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

1T Molasses



2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style Glaze.


Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.


For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork: Make a Double batch, Butter optional.


Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.


I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ


Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...


2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice


Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, a minimum of 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together. Or bring just to a simmer and remove from heat...For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ


post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
:yahoo:Thanks Jimmy! Those are excellent suggestions.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
I sure have been enjoying my old pork sandwiches. After letting the pulled pork sit in the refrigerator overnight with the juices that I've poured over it from the dripping pan, is really much better. Doesn't seem dry it all now.

Now if I could just figure out why it cooked so fast…
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