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Need Help with Pork Shoulder!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, my name is Carlos. I am new to the site. I have already gone through the 5 day email course and I also have the book "Smoke & Spice"

that I have read and re-read. My problem is I tried smoking a pork shoulder (picnic) last night. I started at 11PM. I have a Brinkman Smoke & Griller with the off-set fire box
I used all natural lump charcoal

and also hickory wood chunks
I made sure the temperature was between 180 and 230 (my thermometer was at the farthest point away from the fire box) at all times during the 13 hours I cooked the shoulder. At about noon today I checked the internal temp and it was only 120 degrees and only the outside of the pork shoulder was cooked. The rest was still raw. Can someone please help me and tell me what I did wrong?
post #2 of 8
I try to keep the temp in the 230*-250* range first of all. Temps you used will take longer, much longer! Just for time plannage, plan on about 1.5 hr/per lb of meat for the larger cuts (but always go with internal temp). BTW, how big was your shoulder? If a whole shoulder, that would take upwards (depending on size) of 18 -24 hrs.

I recommend for your next smoke, try something smaller, like a butt of around 4-5 lbs. Keep a journal or log with everything you did, how you did it, temps, wx conditions, amount of fuel, etc. Tulsa Jeff has a great discription on smoking a butt (Pulled Pork Barbeque - Complete Instructions) under WYNTK (What You Need To Know), on the main page of the SMF listed under "wormholes to related sites. Take a gander at it. Dont give up!
post #3 of 8
Like Dawg said - up your temps - I go for around 240 deg or so.

Also depends on your starting temp - was it fully thawed?? Sometimes it on a large cut - the internal core can still have some frozen parts while the outer seems fully thawed. With your lower smoke temps - and a possible frozen core - I could see how that may happen. Also - make sure to keep the temps steady - I seem to go about 1 hr to 1.25 hrs between lump fills - and I've been using about 3/4 chimney for each add.

I've got 2 Bostons on myself right now!!
post #4 of 8
I'll go along with crewdog. Try to keep the temps round 250*. The bigger the meat the longer it's gonna take, Work your way up to them bigins.

Don't get dissapointed, we all have our failures (really just small problems) and still do even with experience. It will work out for ya, just keep tryin different things and ask lots of questions.

Start alot earlier then you need the meat for, like a day before, until you really get the hang of it, that way you don't feel pressured to get it done when it starts runin longer then you expect.

Good luck and chin up!
post #5 of 8
Excellent point Husker stated!!! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif Make sure your meat is FULLY thawed. It wont hurt either to take it out of the frig 1 - 2 hrs before you put it in the smoker to bring it to room temp. Cuts down on the time it takes to finish.
post #6 of 8
I'm not running the same smoker as you, and I'm not doing a whole shoulder, but my butt's have been on since 815p last night (almost 17 hours now!!) and they only weigh about 7lbs each.

Just have patience, grab a brew (if you can) and enjoy the day.

Oh, and like was mentioned, make sure to cook before you need the meat; my butt's are for next weekend. Prep the meat as you would and then freeze it. Just another reason to love the Food Saver.
post #7 of 8
AH yes, the dreaded "plateau". I've had a 3.5 lb chuck roast go for alittle over 8 hrs. Hit the plateau around 153*, and stayed there for almost 3 hrs.
post #8 of 8
Since that's what were having for dinner, I'm glad I put it on at 10a ;)
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