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Help on timing 11lb Pork Picnic Roast

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone,


I'm progressing well down the rabbit hole of smoking...  :)  Last week I smoked a 6lb chicken.  Yesterday, for Xmas, I smoked a cured 14lb turkey.  Tomorrow, I'm planning on smoking an 11lb Pork Picnic roast for a neighborhood get together.  The plan is to have some pulled pork for sliders w/ fresh cole slaw.


I have a question regarding cooking times.  I know it would technically take ~16 1/2 hours to smoke this meat.  However, the party is at 4pm so I'm not going to have that much time.  I'm using a 30" MES w/ the cold smoker addition.  I plan on putting the meat in as soon as I wake up, perhaps ~7am.  I will crank the MES up to the highest temp...unfortunately, since the internal thermometer is off by up to 20 degrees, I can only get my unit up to ~250 degrees.


I figure I can slow cook it in the smoker for ~7 hours and then finish it off in a hot oven.  Does that sound reasonable?  I plan on using the finishing sauce in the "pork sticky".  The pulled pork will probably be put into a crock pot for holding/serving.


I'm going to season the meat tonight w/ Pappy's.  Should I just trim off the skin from the cut of meat before seasoning?


TIA for your advice/suggestions!

6lbChix.jpeg 2,775k .jpeg file 14lbTurkey.jpeg 2,059k .jpeg file  

post #2 of 46

I always take my pork butts or picnic roasts to 165 and then foil them.  This has the effect of increasing the moisture in the meat as well as decreasing the cooking time.  If cooking at 250 and if you foil I think you can be done in 8-9 hours.  You can, of course finish it off in the over as you indicated.



post #3 of 46

I've hear 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours per pound but I have found that trying to predict when a pork shoulder will be ready is almost impossible. Each piece of meat is cooked when it is cooked. Some take hours longer than another. 


If you give yourself lots of time, the pork will stay warm for hours if you wrap it in foil and a towel and put it in a cooler. It also reheats well.


If I wanted an 11 pound pork shoulder to be ready for 4 pm, I would start it the day before and smoke it overnight so I was sure it would be ready. If you intend to pull it as opposed to slice it, cook it to an internal temperature of about 205 F and forget about trying to time your cook.


I have even smoked it right through the day before and reheated it for serving. You don't run into time problems and no one has ever known it was cooked the day before.


So in summary, what I do is put it in the smoker the day before, smoke it overnight to an internal temperature of 205 F. I wrap it in foil and a towel and put it in a cooler for a couple of hours and pull it. You can then keep it warm or reheat it.


As for foiling, I find the advantages of foiling are the meat has a somewhat moister texture and the meat cooks faster. The disadvantage is you don't get a really dark bark. It will make a good bark but not as dark as unfoiled.


The advantages of not foiling is a great bark. The disadvantages are it will take longer to cook and the meat will be a slightly drier texture. Not a bad texture, just different.


I do both depending on what I feel like.



post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 

I much appreciate both of your replies and suggestions!  Unfortunately, I've left no time to cook this the night before, so I'm going to get up early tomorrow morning and start it.  I will do the foil method and if I start running out of time, I'm going to put it in the oven at a hotter temp.


I'll post back to this thread and let you know how it goes!  :)

post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
Woke up at 5am and started my 30" MES. It is cold for southern California, 46 degrees this morning. Temp of smoker is 250-275 degrees. Got it in at 5:30 am and went back to bed. 2 1/2 hours later, the pork is temping at 111 degrees. I am going to foil it at 165.

Wood chips always stick to the side of the Masterbuilt cold smoker attachment. There was no smoke when I woke up, half the load of chips was stuck and I had to tamp it down. I guess that is okay, seems like most don't smoke it for the entire time.

I haven't opened the door to the smoker at all. I know most mist the meat every couple hours but I don't have anything to really do that. Do you think it will be okay?

I am going to make the finishing sauce to add to it when it is pulled.
post #6 of 46

Misting isn't necessary. Some do it, some don't. I personally don't but I do add a foiling juice when I foil it.



post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Disco View Post

Misting isn't necessary. Some do it, some don't. I personally don't but I do add a foiling juice when I foil it.


Thanks Disco! We're at 162 degrees after a little more than five hours.

Having only cooked a chicken and turkey, I was a little surprised to see fat oozing out of the fat drain on my MES...have yet to open the door since I put it in so excited to see how it looks. I will try to take a pic and post!
post #8 of 46

Cool. Hang in there. There may or may not be a stall where it will stay at one temperature for a long time.



post #9 of 46

You are on the right track. After numerous experiences with many big Butts I have come to the conclusion that 2 hours per pound is what you get most of the time. That includes a couple hours in the cooler. You are probably about to reach the stall. Don't fret.... It happens and foiling does help get through that but that is a big hunk of meat with a lot of connective tissue and fat to dissolve. I always tell my friends and family you just can't rush perfection. Like Dave said stick with it. Tough it out. If it is not done at exactly 4 that is just the way it is. Do not, I repeat do not pull it before it is done. You will be sorry. Been there done that. A lot of guys who have those smokers swear by smoke generating devices like the amnps and such. This way you have consistent reliable smoke while it is cooking all night and you are snoozing away. A big butt like that is a commitment for sure. I probably would have started it at bed time and set my alarm to wake me up every few hours to check it out. It is also nice to have a wireless temp. probe setup so you can check it out from the nightstand. Ok that is all I have and I hope you can get it done in time. My last one took 22 hours with being foiled and it was around 10 pounds if I recall correctly. You can finish it in the oven if you really must but they are better if you let them cook as long as it takes.

post #10 of 46

And there is no shame in foiling and finishing in the oven at a higher temp if you need to. It will be delicious either way. And like I have been told and done before, If it doesn't get to pulling temp and you need to serve just slice some delicious roast pork and pretend that's the way you planned it!

post #11 of 46
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies gentlemen!  It hit 165 and I wrapped it in foil.  It SMELLS SO GOOD!  


I'm hoping it'll get done before 4pm, but we'll see...  If not, I will have to pull it and cook it at higher temp in the oven as I committed to this party and have to deliver.  Fortunately, I just have to walk across the street...


I wasn't really considering the AMNPS, but now I have second thoughts...Wood always gets stuck in the MES cold smoker such that it "runs out of smoke" at times.  The paint is kind of bubbled up inside the stack so perhaps I can clean it up and lessen this issue...


Posting a couple pics!


165_in_the_MES.JPG 1,768k .JPG file

Right_before_it_is_wrapped.JPG 3,072k .JPG file

post #12 of 46

Dang that looks like a nice chunk of meat there! Nicely done.:drool

post #13 of 46

Hi Lovespicyfood. When I pan and foil mine a lot of juice comes out so I use a pretty deep pan. If you try to pull it out of the smoker in the pan be careful that the pan is not full of juice that will spill all over. That monster piece you have there may even need to add some juice while foiled to steam it and cut the cooking time. Last night when I took mine out I had one with so much juice I had to suck some out with a baster just so I could bring it in the house without spilling it. So just make sure there is some juice in it while it is covered with foil but not too much :icon_lol:.


Here is what mine looked liked.




post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
Tom, that LOOKS GOOD! Thank you for the tip, I am using a pretty deep pan. I did not trim the skin or any fatter so I imagine it might gush a bit as I get rid of the skin/some fat...

Just did a quick bike ride and it is now sitting at 196 degrees at 1:45pm so I guess I lucked out on timing! yahoo.gif It does seem that my MESA was holding more accurate temps (according to my ET-733) so that had to help. It was more 265-275 instead of the normal 240-255 max temps...

Cole slaw is cooling in the fridge and I will be sure to take some pics and post the final images to this thread!

Thank you everyone for your gracious and kind help! Number 3 is almost in the bag...
post #15 of 46
Thread Starter 
Pulled it out of the smoker at 3pm at 199 degrees. It's resting in a cooler right now, wrapped in towels.

I didn't peak, but it felt jiggly, like a bowl full of jelly (how appropriate?), so I'm guessing that is a good sign...more later...
post #16 of 46

We need pictures



post #17 of 46

You can easily post pictures on this site so we don't have to download your pictures. Right above where you type you will see six boxes starting with size etc.... it is the little one that looks like a picture. You can then upload from your machine. I for one have an ancient computer and I am scared to death of downloads. Would love to see the pics though.

post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 




Okay, I think I figured out the pics...


OMG, out of three things I've smoked so far, I think this turned out the best!!!!  It was a HIT at the neighborhood party!  I do have to say, I think I would brine and inject that large of a pork shoulder next time.  I used the finishing sauce and that really helped a lot.  Otherwise, I think the meat was a little bland by itself.  The BARK was good, with lots of flavor, I just don't think the dry rub penetrated enough.


I had some regular and spicy bbq sauce and combined with some fresh cole slaw on a hamburger bun, it was a great combination!


Thanks to everyone who helped me!  What a great dish for a potluck!

post #19 of 46

Man that is a thing of beauty, looks great  good job



post #20 of 46

Terrific looking pork!





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