Over the past nine months I've used my Traeger Texas to do baby backs, spare ribs, brisket, chickens, and Thanksgiving turkey but never a shoulder. Yesterday was Pitt's home opener against Delaware and I decided we'd have pulled pork for tailgating. I purchased 2, 7 lb. shoulders, applied my rub around 5pm Friday evening and had them on the smoker at 7pm. The Traeger was set at 225 and I was using CookinPellets Perfect Mix.
At 10:00pm the meat was 110 degrees and I was concerned that the cook was progressing faster than I had planned. From everything I've read I was expecting a minimum 12-hour cook so I had planned on simply going to bed and getting up at 6am. So I instead decided to catch a few hours sleep and check on things at 1am. What I found was the meat at 170 and things still progressing faster than expected. True, the shoulders could set at 170 for hours while in a stall but I wasn't taking chances. I returned to bed and set the alarm for 4:30. Good move! When I squinted at the digital thermometer through sleep-filled eyes at that time it read 205. A 9 1/2 hour cook? And now what? We had agreed to meet at 9am!
I foiled the meat, wrapped the packages in towels, out them in a cooler and returned to bed. In the morning I made my finishing sauce (mmmmm), ran a few errands, and packed the car, waiting until the last minute to pull the pork. When I unwrapped the shoulders I was treated to fall-apart meat that was an effort to plate before shredding. Two forks and almost no effort at all resulted in two half-trays of delicious pulled pork. I covered the trays, returned one of the towels to the cooler, poured boiling water over it, placed in the two trays in, added the second towel and more boiling water. The meat arrived at the tailgate an hour later still steaming hot.
Two fellow fans had been to a local BBQ joint the night before and said this pulled pork was far better than what they had. I consider my first foray a success! Every time I do ribs or brisket I try something a little different to improve on the process. I don't think I will change a thing the next time I do pulled pork.
Edited by LJ Charlton - 9/1/14 at 5:05am