I put a roast of pork in my MES last week. Put it in for about 6hrs at 240F. I put it fat cap up.
We got a very tasty roast of pork however we were expecting pulled pork.
What could have gone wrong.
Couple of things...
Did you use a pork loin roast? Or pork butt?
Most here use a pork butt(upper shoulder) to make pulled pork. It contains a good amount of fat and collagen to keep it moist. To get to the point of pulling, you need to take the internal temperature up over 195*, sometimes upwards of 205-210*. If you did this with a loin roast, you'd end up with a dried, almost inedible piece of meat.
You did not cook it long enough. At that temp for 6 hours, anything over 4 Lbs will not be done to an IT (Internal Temp) of 205°F where it will easily pull. At 255-250, I figure 2 hours per pound and ususally add a 2 hour Pad to cover a long stall....JJ
Yep. Needed to be cooked longer. I always take my pork butts to 205 IT. Then the bone slips out easily and the meat pulls beautifully. Some meats will cook fast, some slow--it all depends on the particular piece of meat you have in your smoker. You should always cook to internal temp rather than by time. It make it a lot harder to schedule supper, but that's smoking. I find that PP is much better the next day, reheated, so if you're on a schedule, then cook the meat the day before and warm it up. You can serve the meal right on schedule that way.
Yup, get your probe out and use it. 225° and like Gary indicated wait until its 205°. Next step, put it in a sealed cooler and let it rest 2 hours. There are many variations and most work well. If you are time constrained, you could consider double wrapping the butt in foil once the IT is 160-165° and placing it in the oven at 300°. The bark will be soft however but don't forget the rest time afterwards, very important. Here is a recipe we've used for years. You might find it useful.
Recipe By: Alton Brown - modified
Serving Size: 12
Summary: This recipe has never failed to delight who ever we served it to. …matt
9 pounds Boston butt pork butt, bone in, prefer not moisture enhanced
apple juice, in spray bottle
- - -
8 ounces molasses grandma's
12 ounces pickling salt , 1 1/3 cups -use only 1 cup if meat is "moisture enhanced"
2 quarts bottled water
- - -
Alton's Rub: this makes more than what a usual butt requires
2 tsp whole cumin seed
2 tsp whole fennel seed
2 tsp whole coriander
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon paprika, not smoked
1. Brine the Butt for 15 hours Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in a 2-1/2 gallon zip-lok bag, dissolve completely. Add Boston butt making sure it is completely submerged in brine by squeezing out the air and sliding the zip-lok. I place the bag with meat into a very large mixing bowl and weight the top down with 2 cans of beans from the pantry to keep everything submerged and marinating. Let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. 15 hours is ideal.
2. Prepare the RUB Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in food grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.
3. Wearing latex gloves Remove Boston butt from brine and pat dry. Lightly spay the butt with canola oil.
4. Sift the rub evenly over the meat and then lightly pat down to make help the rub adhere. I use a small 2” dia mesh strainer for this, tapping it on the side to sift the rub onto the meat. It gives a very even coating this way. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing gloves during the application. Cover every inch of the meat.
5. Alton suggests preheat to 210 ºF then smoke the butt for 4 hours. I use the smoke setting 185º for 1-2 hr, then @225 until IT reaches 160º (155-165º is fine). This usually takes 5-6 hours. We prefer the stronger flavor of Hickory but for a bit less strength try Pecan, Cherry or Apple. Keep smoking until it reaches a minimum IT of 155º… SPRAY w/APPLE JUICE every 45 min starting after hour 2.
6. @ IT 160º’ish: Remove, insert an electronic meat thermometer making sure it’s not touching the bone, double wrap in alum foil. Note: after 4-6 hours of smoke, the meat won't absorb much more, so you are essentially cooking it until done at this point.
7. Put wrapped butt into a large tin foil container (11.5 x 9.25 internal), and place in oven at 300 ºF. Continue the cook until 200-205 ºF. Meat is unpredictable, make sure to set thermometer alarm to go off when it hits 203 º. Can be anywhere from 2 to 5 hours in the oven but usually closer to 2.
- - OR - -
Instead of the oven, continue using the smoker. The total smoker time usually takes 10 to12 hours, maintaining smoker temp. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours. When done (205º), the meat still needs to rest for at least 2 hours, wrapped and placed in a large sealed cooler with a couple of bath towels covering it to help maintain warmth.
8. Remove from oven/smoker. With the butt still in the pan, wrap it with three large beach towels and let sit for at least 2 hours (3hrs even better). REMEMBER: to be safe, meat must be kept above 150º, so I leave the thermo probe in the meat and monitor it while it sits.
9. Pull meat apart with forks. It should be so done that if you grab the bone you can pull it out without loosing any meat. Can be served plain, or in sandwiches with maybe a side of coleslaw. I suggest a good barbecue dipping sauce like BBQ Sauce #2-Sweet Heat Rum.
Thanks all. Schlotz, I've printed out what you posted. I think our illustrious host has a recipe in his book as well.
Yesterday, I cooked a picnic pork for 5 hours. The internal temperature was 175 so not quite to pullable. TASTY but still only sliceable not pullable. Sadly, I started too late.I have to figure this out as well, 3 out of 3 like it in this house and I'm the bbq dude so a little pressure. My 17 year old daughter asks for pulled pork and.... when we go somewhere with bbq.
SHEESH, the stress, the pressure.
If you have an MES get up at 5am, crank the smoker up to 250F, check with your temperature probe, you should have pulled pork by 6 - 8pm.
Another option is to start the pork butt the night before, like 8 or 10 pm and smoke all night.
If I am going to make pulled pork to eat on Saturday, I start Thursday evening by rubbing the butt and wrapping with plastic wrap. On Friday night I put the butt in the smoker around 9 - 11pm with the MES set at 230F-250F. I make sure everything is smokin along good and go to bed usually around 12-12:30. I have a remote temp monitor (Mavrick ET732) that I have on the night stand and every couple of hours I look at it to check the temperature. I usually end up adding pellets to the AMAZN smoker once around 3 - 5 am.
I get up Saturday morning at 7 - 8am and usually the butt is somewhere around 180-195 IT. I will let the smoker go until the butt gets to 200/205F(usually around noon to 2pm), remove the butt, wrap in double foil, wrap on towels and put the butt into a ice chest cooler.
At this point the meat can be eaten any time, I usually wait a couple of hours 4 - 6pm, pull the meat out of the cooler (still so hot you can barely handle it) and pull that pork. Then eat.
If you plan your pulled pork up front it will always be done on time and will always PULL.
Hope this helps.