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Pulled pork won't pull! Help!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is my second attempt at pulled pork.

First, I started with a cheap 4lb shoulder. It was wrapped in some stretchy netting, when I removed it the piece of meat fell into two almost equal chunks. Great, I thought, it will take half as long to cook!

I rubbed it down using a rub that I really like. Started with only charcoal and got to smoking! After about 1.5 hours, I started adding pre-burnt oak and hickory coals.

I did a bang up job, I thought. Kept the temps right between 200-230 for about 5 hours, the internal temp was at 175 when I took it off.

But the thing wouldn't pull apart! It was the tastiest pork I have ever had in my life, however. I have never in my life woke up in the middle of the night with a pork craving.

So I'm wondering what I might have done wrong, or maybe I just don't know how to pull pork apart?
post #2 of 15

Re: Pulled pork won't pull! Help!

It won't pull at 175 degrees. It will slice but not pull. Bring it up to 190 degrees and it will fall apart.

post #3 of 15
I'm with Brett. That's not hot enough for it to properly pull apart.
post #4 of 15
Back onto the smoker to bring the temp up, and it will not only pull, but should almost fall apart. Go ahead and slice that puppy up, and enjoy the eats, take some notes, and try again next time.
post #5 of 15
When the bone will pull out of the butt with no resistance, the meat is ready to pull.
post #6 of 15

Re: Pulled pork won't pull! Help! 175 you have yourself a really tasty roast pork..
Take 'er up to somewhere between 190-200 (I usually grab it in the 190-195 range and wrap it up in some foil for an hour or so to further tenderize before pulling)
post #7 of 15
pyre, i got a "sack o meat" like that once at Fareway, butt at aruond 8# and 6 chunks. i believe the stores get theese and slice'em up into pork stakes, not sure just a analogy.
Now i get my meat at a wholesale place and get what i expect most of the time.
post #8 of 15

Re: Pulled pork won't pull! Help!


I had the same experience with my first pulled pork, don't get discouraged and maybe give Jeff's "My huge mistake" a try. Here's the link
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Pulled pork won't pull! Help!

Thanks for the replies! We ate every bit of it, we even used what little leftovers were left and made chile. Good stuff.

Ok, next time I'm getting it to 190 before she comes out of the smoker. I'd try again for this weekend, but its just way too hot now. We're supposed to have a high temp today of 100 degrees.
post #10 of 15
Just a suggestion, but I smoke my butts at 225 degrees until internal temp of 165, then mop and wrap in foil and bring to 195 degrees. Once internal is to temp, I remove and let rest in a cooler for an hour or two to let the connective tissue continue to break down. When you remove, the meat will just fall apart.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Pulled pork won't pull! Help!

Thanks for the reply nmayeux, I think I may do the same thing. I dont' like my stuff getting really dark on the outside, and its tough to avoid when something needs to be smoked for as long as these things take.
post #12 of 15
After foiling, one of the neatest tricks that I have learned is the use of a cooler. Almost all of my coolers are warped on the inside, which is an indication of my approval of this method. People will think you are nuts, but I bet they won't turn down your Q!;)
post #13 of 15
yo smokebuzz dude,
I declare that saint loiuis missouri is
the national pork butt capitol.

but most butts are sliced into "pork steaks"
pork steaks is the local sunday grill favorite.

i only use first two for steaks
[center cut they are called]
the rest isusually ground for sausage.
post #14 of 15
only way u get to be capital is cuz you got more Q joints and people with the smoke adiction,

getten loanly here in IOWA, me and the girls and a smoker ana cooler.
post #15 of 15

Re: Pulled pork won't pull! Help!

Also look at your raw meat that was purchased. It sounds like you got a trimmed down bone out piece. Make sure you get one with the bone in as it will help cook it quicker by heat transfer around the bone.

Take care,

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