So I've only been smoking a few months now and only did a single pork shoulder, that being around 4lbs. I really put it on myself offering to smoke a 8lb'er for the 4th of July lunch for the whole family. My biggest concern and worry was cooking through the night while having it done in time to make the 2.5hr car ride to my parents house.
I started the endeavor by brining the pork shoulder for the first time using a brine I found on here (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/here-piggy-piggy-brine). I happen to see an episode of Triple D last week where Guy was at a BBQ place and he was brining his pork shoulder. It looked AMAZING so I thought I would give it a try. I used the brine above and just cut it in half since I was only doing one shoulder. I also made piercings all around the shoulder to make sure the brine got into the meat (just what they did on the show). Started the brine Tuesday night and pulled form the fridge Thursday afternoon, rinsed and added a rub before putting back in the fridge to rest until I put it on my MF smoker.
wrapped with the rub on before headed to the smoker.
To make my concerns over cooking time/temp even worse as I prepped the smoker I noticed my Maverick probe was reading around 75 degrees higher than it should! I based it on my door temp gauge that is usually around 40 degrees off and the fact it was reading >340f and I had just cranked the smoker on. I spent some extra time warming up the smoker and trying to dial in on how far off exactly my Maverick was so I could plan accordingly. I got the smoker rolling TBS at what I figured to be around 240 and threw the shoulder on around 8:30pm. I stoked it with wood until I went to bed around 11 and threw in a handful of soaked chips to hopefully last a little longer and get as much smoke as I could.
With my alarms set for an IT of 160 to prepare for the stall it went off at 2:15am. I pulled the shoulder off, wrapped in foil and put it in the oven to finish the cooking so I didn't have to keep the propane going all night. I set my oven at 240 and went back to bed with my alarm set for 5 am in case it wasn't getting up to temp I could raise the oven temp.
Shoulder being pulled off to head for the oven. One thing I was disappointed in was the lack of bark, any ideas from anyone would be helpful?
Now for the fun part. I did a bunch of reading on here about how long I could safely let the meat rest and it seemed that 5-6 hours was max, longer than that and I would be dipping below 140 IT. Pork was at 200 around 5am, which was a little over 7 hours from serve time! I wrapped it tight in multiple layers of foil, a couple towels and threw it in a cooler to wait until I had a better idea.
As I was packing the car up for the road trip I knew I needed to add additional heat. Since I was going to be in the car I couldn't just throw it in the oven or slow cooker when it crept down near 140. To solve the problem I turned my oven up to 500 and put a small pizza stone to get up to temp. Right before leaving I pulled the wrapped meat, set it on the stone and proceeded to warp it in a few more layers of foil. Wrapped in towels again and back in the cooler with my fingers crossed.
When I made the addition of the pizza stone I was at an IT of 160 after doing the transfer. Over the next 1.5 hrs in the car the IT slowly climbed to 180 before starting to fall again. By the time I arrived around 11:30 I was back to an IT of 160 and the meat FELL apart as I was pulling the bone out and preparing for pulling.
I have to say it was some of the best pork I've ever had. Not sure if it was the brine but it was SO moist, even more so than the first one I did in which I injected it. I think I am definitely going to brine from now on instead of going through the process of injecting.
Thanks for looking and hopefully my modified long resting time solution may help some others who find themselves in a similar situation. One thing I've learned from just a short time of doing this is that there is no set time for anything, it's done when it's done!