I just purchased a new Oklahoma Joe horizontal smoker, seasoned it last weekend and then cooked a pork shoulder on it in hopes of some good pulled pork. I made the standard mods to the smoker - RTV sealant, nomex type rope seal around doors and dryer vent from chimney down to cooking level. I am relatively new to smoking on big smokers so this one didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I am a rookie so I think my biggest mistake, after reading countless threads, was not getting the internal temp up to 195-205 where the tissues in the meat breaks down thus making the pulled pork. I have no clue what the internal temp was (my guess would be 170-180), I just know I smoked it from 9:30AM to 6:00 PM (10 pound shoulder) and assumed all would be good - wrong, it was a struggle to pull the pork so I think that tells me it was under cooked, bone was tough to get out. Smoker temp was maintained between 225-255 all day. Since this past weekend I have ordered a new digital/wireless meat thermometer which is due to arrive today - lesson learned. I am going to try a pork butt this weekend in hopes I get this right.
Side note: I also have one of those small bullet looking smokers and have had great success with pork butts in the past so I think I am going to go back to a butt versus a shoulder.
The reason I need to master this quickly is I convinced my wife for my daughters graduation coming up in a few weeks that I would smokes some pork butts instead of having the food catered in - hence saving money and giving me the ability to have some cold beverages while chaos ensues in my house with family and graduation party prep occurring on Friday - party is Saturday :)
So here is the question I have...I know it would probably be better to cook this fresh on the day of her party but I will not have time with everything else going on that day. My thought was to smoke 4-5 pork butts on Friday and then place them in the refrigerator wrapped in foil over night. The next morning I could heat up the smoker with charcoal only and place them back on the smoker to warm them prior to the start of her party. Should I stick a meat probe back in them to warm them? If so what temp do you take it to knowing they were fully cooked the day before?
Is this a good idea?
Will this make the meat less desirable/tasting?
Any input or help on anything I stated above to help ensure this is a success?