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MES and my first Pork Shoulder

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi guys!  Its warming up here in CT and I have been wanting to break out the smoker.  I received a free pork shoulder from the store because we had enough points and it's a great excuse to kick off my smoking season.  I have spent a lot of time reading posts about smoking pork and I see it is going to take a lot of time.  

 

I plan on smoking this pork on Sat and invited people over seeing that its 8lbs and we can use a little help eating it.  I have an electric MES and thought that maybe I can throw it on sat around Midnight and let it go the night while I slept.  Does anyone do this?  My fiancee is a little nervous about me running the smoker overnight and not attending it. Thoughts on that?

 

I have pecan and cherry for smoke.  Does that work or should I go get something else?  I use the Amazing product with pellets.

 

After reading hours worth of posts, my idea is to shoot for a smoker temp of 240 and bring it to 195-200.  I am not sure on rub yet and need to do a little more research. I will score the fat and get the rub in there and I am not sure about wrapping yet.  After reading posts about a finishing sauce, I am sold on doing one.  

 

Any tips or ideas would be great.  I just started smoking in the fall last year so it's all pretty new to me and I love it.  Already itching for a new smoker....LOL.  

 

Thanks Guys! 

post #2 of 16

Your GF is a wise woman.....never leave a MES unattended...read up on issues with the new Gen 2 model and you will understand why. I always allow 2 hours per pound so your plan seems sound. This allows for the stall and a nice couple hours to rest. I like apple wood for pig but that is just a personal taste....I prefer fruit woods over the others. Cherry is also good and nothing wrong with pecan. I apply my dry rub about 24 hours prior to smoking and apply more, if needed, just b4 it goes in. I personally don't inject but some do. I'm a no foil, no spritz, no water pan type and only insert my meat probe long after it's been in. I personally would shoot for 200-205 so it pulls easily for you and the bone will just slip out. Keep a drip pan under the pork and add the drippings back into the meat after pulling. Sometimes, the KISS rule is good....and SPOG (salt, pepper, onion, garlic) is an under appreciated rub in itself. Have fun, enjoy the smoke, allow plenty of time so you are not stressed & take pics to show it off......HTH, Willie

post #3 of 16

Do you have a remote thermometer such as a maverick to monitor the smoker temp? If not, I would not do an overnight unattended smoke. You could trip a breaker shutting the unit down and ruin the piece of meat. Also, there have been some instances of the units having faulty electrical parts that catch fire so if you are running it unattended you want to put it away from anything it could damage if it burns (this of course is a worst case scenario but why take the risk).

 

Also, 8lbs will only yield about 5lbs of finished product so don't invite too many people.

post #4 of 16

A few more items:

 

Make sure you cover the drip pan and heat deflector with foil to save yourself some time cleaning up.

 

You need to check the temp reading on the MES. If I set mine to 240 it runs at 260-275 which is hotter than I like so I usually set it at 220 for pork.

post #5 of 16

OOPS....after reading your post again I see you have a shoulder, not a butt. So, slightly different IMO but along the same lines. They do not pull as a butt will and that bone will not 'slide out' and there will probably be some slicing involved but the meat itself is also very tasty. Here's one a I did a while back as a reference. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/170391/no-foil-9-5-hour-pork-picnic

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks Guys!  I do have a maverick to watch the temp.  Guess it sounds like I am waking up REALLY early sat morning to do this.  I won't invite too many people......just my cousin and his wife and my brother might stop by.  Looking forward to it.  Great tips....Thanks!

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Bob View Post

Thanks Guys!  I do have a maverick to watch the temp.  Guess it sounds like I am waking up REALLY early sat morning to do this.  I won't invite too many people......just my cousin and his wife and my brother might stop by.  Looking forward to it.  Great tips....Thanks!


 



Don't know what time you plan to serve, but you don't want hungry folks looking at you wondering when the meat's gonna get done. This would be the extreme, but an 8 pounder could conceivably take as much as 16 hours (using Willie's "2 hours per pound" estimate). If your Maverick has an upper and lower temp alarm, you can still do the overnight smoke and get a little rest while you cook. Just set your Mav alarm to go off if the cooker temp goes above or below your cooking temp range...then you can get a little sleep. I would probably still get up every hour or two to check on it...its pretty hard for me to relax when I've got meat in the smoker.

Good luck! Be sure to let us know how it turns out! icon14.gif

Red
post #8 of 16

OYE VEY!!!.. so I just posted another thread aboutmy playing with a 9lb shoulder... and was sitting here thinking.. how long will this thing have to smoke for.. 2 hours per pound.. my shoulder is 9 lbs....18 HOURS???? so basically if I want this thing for dinner tomorrow.. i should start it.. tonight before I go to bed I assume? I do have a dual probe with a high and low smoker temp alarm...I have the Masterbuilt  pro dual fuel and a nearly full propane tank... just set it til i get about a 225* smoker temp and throw it in and go to bed? I know that my apple wood chunks last about 2 hours give or take..should I attempt to cut the bone out and then cut the thing in half to reduce cook time .. or just plan on not getting much sleep tomorrow night? I thnk I have some thread surfing to do to figure out what I need to do...

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTE241 View Post
 

OYE VEY!!!.. so I just posted another thread aboutmy playing with a 9lb shoulder... and was sitting here thinking.. how long will this thing have to smoke for.. 2 hours per pound.. my shoulder is 9 lbs....18 HOURS???? so basically if I want this thing for dinner tomorrow.. i should start it.. tonight before I go to bed I assume? I do have a dual probe with a high and low smoker temp alarm...I have the Masterbuilt  pro dual fuel and a nearly full propane tank... just set it til i get about a 225* smoker temp and throw it in and go to bed? I know that my apple wood chunks last about 2 hours give or take..should I attempt to cut the bone out and then cut the thing in half to reduce cook time .. or just plan on not getting much sleep tomorrow night? I thnk I have some thread surfing to do to figure out what I need to do...

2 hours per pound is on the high end (but sometimes it does take that long). You have two options: start it the night before or bump up the temp to 275 (well really you have plenty of options but those are the basic ones).

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTE241 View Post
 

OYE VEY!!!.. so I just posted another thread aboutmy playing with a 9lb shoulder... and was sitting here thinking.. how long will this thing have to smoke for.. 2 hours per pound.. my shoulder is 9 lbs....18 HOURS???? so basically if I want this thing for dinner tomorrow.. i should start it.. tonight before I go to bed I assume? I do have a dual probe with a high and low smoker temp alarm...I have the Masterbuilt  pro dual fuel and a nearly full propane tank... just set it til i get about a 225* smoker temp and throw it in and go to bed? I know that my apple wood chunks last about 2 hours give or take..should I attempt to cut the bone out and then cut the thing in half to reduce cook time .. or just plan on not getting much sleep tomorrow night? I thnk I have some thread surfing to do to figure out what I need to do...


LOL.....welcome to our World. I highly advise against trying to cut out the bone and the picnic in half....more difficult than it sounds and you will wind up with hunks of shit that won't cook up right. I would rely on the gasser being less hazardous (slightly) than a Gen 2 Mes and me thinks going with a 225 overnight would be OK, but maybe not next to the siding of your house. Yes, 2 hours per # IS on the high side of timing guesses BUT a stall can ruin a good game plan like Red said. IMO, it's always better to be ahead of the curve than cranking up the heat or throwing it in the oven to finish off last minute. Could've done that in the first place, no? I've been burned often enough I got tired of the stress and just went with a longer guess time to finish. I have a feeling even if you go to bed you will be awake every couple of hours anyway wondering just what is going on out there. But, I'm older and up about every 2-3 hours anyway for a leak.....Willie

post #11 of 16

This is the age old question. How do I time this so it will be ready right before the guests arrive? Well, I personally have had my Butt kicked by pork shoulder a few too many times in this manner. If you can swing it do it right when you get home tomorrow or as soon as you can. I have had nightmare shoulders and butts that take more than 2 hours per pound and if you are trying to cut it close you will probably be ordering pizza. I do mine a day ahead now because of this. Now there are rare times when one gets done sooner than expected but make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. A remote thermometer setup is the only way to go and without babysitting the smoker all night you pretty much have to have one as was mentioned earlier. I figure 2 hours per pound with a 2 hour rest on top of that. It might take longer. Shoulder as opposed to Butt has even more connective tissue to break down. I love shoulder and find that it has the edge when it comes to moistness over Butt. I take mine to 205 or even a little more as there is so much collagen to break down. The other idea I would share with you is if you get it in as soon as you can tomorrow and smoke it to 165 you can wrap it and finish in the oven. That way you can sleep with piece of mind. Happy smoking. timber

post #12 of 16

 

 

This guy was 9 pounds and took a grand total of 24 hours with rest and I ran it at 240 F

post #13 of 16
Good advice being given by all...better that it finishes early than late. Large hunks of meat each tend to have a mind of their own. While one pork shoulder might breeze through the cook with no stall at all, another of the same size may stall out for literally hours. One thing to remember is that pulled pork stores well in the fridge, or even the freezer, and reheats very well. Like Timberjet, many times I'll smoke the butt or shoulder the day before, or even several days before I'm gonna serve it. There are a number of ways to successfully reheat pulled pork...I usually just splash some apple juice or finishing sauce over the meat, then foil cover and reheat in a 300* oven.

Red
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Timber- I saw your post in my research.....That looks amazing! 

post #15 of 16

:77: Timber .... that... looks.... AMAZING!

 

I think i am going to have to start it tomorrow morning at  the most by noon. I want it to have a good brine and right now 10 hours will be about all it will have if i start it tonight.... unless you guys think thats enough. Plus I will be able to give me time to tweak the smoker to run around 225ish and give me a little "soak" time for jeffs rub to get in to it. If i start it tonight.. It will have zero time for the rub to sit until it gets tossed into the smoker... now this all could change in the next 10 minutes because my head wants this done for dinner tomorrow... but I do have some chops that i can throw in a quick brine slap some rub on them and put them in for a couple hours tomorrow afternoon and have them for dinner while the shoulder continues to cook.. will just have to stop at Wally World and get another remote thermometer.. or I could actually just use the one and when the chops are done put the probe into the shoulder.. yeah.. that sounds like it may just work since the shoulder will NOT be close to being done before the chops.

 

My wife told me the other day  that she thinks I am becoming obsessed with smoking stuff... I said.. I can smoke stuff.. or chase other women....she did NOT see the humor in that...after all....I wouldnt chase other women... she would divorce me.. and she would most likely get the smoker in the custody battle... .and I am NOT having that.

post #16 of 16

I have never brined a Butt. There is so much moisture in a shoulder you really don't need to brine. It's personal choice though so do what you want but don't feel like it's necessary.

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