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First Post, First Smoked Shoulder

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Greetings everybody!

I found this place after wondering how best to use my electric Masterbuilt smoker. A few clever searches later, here I am. My first attempt in the electric smoker wasn't what I had hoped for, but I think my problem was that I wasn't going hot enough. I smoked three racks of baby backs at 180 for several hours, and while the ribs were tasty, they didn't have the transcendental magic that I've achieved using a charcoal side-by-side smoker. Needless to say, after reading several of the threads here, I've got some ideas on how the next mess of ribs will go, and expect significant improvement on the outcome.

Anyhow, to business. Today at the Costco, I picked up fourteen(!) pounds of boneless pork shoulder. Frigging gigantic, my eyes popped once I laid them on the half sheet pan for seasoning. I'm figuring I'm going to have to hand out all the leftover pulled pork we're going to have.

After applying the Good Eats 8-3-1+1 dry rub methodology, the beauties are napping in the fridge tonight for their eventual conversion to pulled pork tomorrow.

I found I wasn't keen on the mustard application, so I'm not playing that today. I put enough rub/shake on those things that I'm expecting it will pull out a decent amount of smoke-hungry liquids to the surface of the meat.

As for the bark formation, I'm kinda new to the concept of opening the smoker and spraying anything on it. seems kinda counter-intuitive to me, but hey, that's how I roll. I don't have Jack Daniels handy (me and Jack haven't played together for many, many years, if you catch my drift), so I'm wondering if there's an alternative that doesn't involve me trucking down to the local market to get a fifth.

For the smoke profile: hickory chips, 225 degrees F, three hours smoke, two more wrapped in foil, then an hour to 90 minutes unwrapped to finish. I'm expecting the internal temp to hit 190 minimum in order to claim victory.

I'm open to advice on how best to optimize this for my first pulled pork experience.


post #2 of 46
I purchased the same weight today at costco myself, boneless too for my first smoke, I left them packaged and did not rub them yet
post #3 of 46
3-2-1 on butts??? confused.gif
I think your confused with ribs, more like 16 hrs plus.....PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif
post #4 of 46
BTW, go hit roll call and get a proper welcome!
post #5 of 46

What kind of MES do you have.
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
Yup, I read up further (1.5 hours PER POUND). Guess who's going to be getting up REAL FRIGGING EARLY tomorrow to get started <points to himself>

Glad I got the suckers rubbed and in the fridge. Now I'm seriously wondering if I want to smoke both tomorrow or smoke half tomorrow and the other half on Monday. 14 times 1.5 hours is more math than I want to screw with.

post #7 of 46
NO, it is not the total weight, just the average of each. Also go to roll call and tell us what your using for the smoker ETC.
post #8 of 46
hello randy, welocome to smf. your introductory post was very well written and amazing to read. prety witty with the words. anyway to more importantmatters-your smoke. you have your smoke all timed out pretty well for yourself. i dont want to rain on ur parade but 2 wks ago i smoked a butt which weighed in at 11.5 lbs. i wanted it sunday for dinner so figured i start it at aprox 5 pm sat nite. granted i thawed in the frig and and did the mustartd and rub thing. and when it hit smoke at 5 pm internal temp was 31 deg. so it was cold.... i dont know how much time this may have added buti dont beeive it ti be more than an hour or so. anyway i knew it was going to go thru the nite. my plan was to get up every 2 hours and ck smoker. all went well till about 3 am when i started missing the 2 hr checks. stil no big deal. 7:30 am i rush out to smoker to ck and see how bad it burnt, smoker rite at 225 or so like it was, internal temp on but still not 135 degrees. so no big deal i let it go as was, not like i was expecting company to eat or anything, slowly butt works it way thru day and the hits areound 160 deg. and there it sticks. stays stuck 4-5 hours and dont go up a single click. anyway to wrap this up, 6 pm butt hits 190 deg. 11.5 lbs took 25 hours of thin blue to hit 190 deg at 225 smoker temp. so your 3 +2+say1.5=6.5, i dont think 6.5 will cut it, mine stayed stuck at plateau for almost that long. not to mention u have a 14 lb'r...
the big saying here is temperature not time and i indeed got my lesson firsthand. lucky nothing was planned so i just let it go til done. i guess if it were my smoke i would have it in smoker now. if done early foil and wrap in towels and cooler it and it will hold till serving time.
post #9 of 46
You second butt may learn something from the first butt...
post #10 of 46
Straight Apple Juice will work just fine.

Good luck and enjoy your smoke!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #11 of 46
Thread Starter 
I'm about to embark on The Journey of Smoke. No one can say when exactly it will end (I like the thought of "just keep smokin' until the butt hits 145)... I always love smoking, esp. when the smells drift over the house. Our tenant living just up the hill from us always seems to make a point of stopping by when smoking is going on. I wonder why that is.

Anyhow, I'm a bit spooked at erain's comment about his stuck butt. In my case, I have two boneless pork shoulders, about 7 lbs apiece. I want to have pulled pork tonight, but it's not like I have a mess of people coming over that will go lynch mob if I don't have BBQ ready. So, I'd say I'm flexible.

Smoker's turned on, set to 225. Racks are out and clean, I'll be putting two racks in (one for each shoulder). Wood chips soaking for about 30 minutes already, though the smoker's not at temp yet. Cup of chips go in when I put the meat in, and then off we go.

I will make arrangements for Q-View, since I like taking pictures and you like looking at them.
post #12 of 46
I hope your real flexible.....your already a couple hours behind schedule!!
post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 
I hear that. I officially offer a shrug. Wouldn't be the first time I was up late for dinner, and I've already set the expectation with The Boss that we might be making a stand-in for the kids' dinner tonight.

Things are moving along nicely. Just about to drop in 3rd handful of chips to the smoker (even though TBS is still streaming out the top vent.

post #14 of 46
Then DON'T put any wood in.
If you SMELL smoke yer smoking. Trust me.
post #15 of 46
Randy welcome to the forum. May I suggest looking at the fatty posts then make a couple of them up. You can smoke these at the same time and they won't take nearly as long that way you can head off the mutiney and feed them something while waiting on the butts to finish. I hate seeing a man beaten severly by the hungry family biggrin.gif
Are you slicing these butts or pulling for pulled prok?
post #16 of 46
Thread Starter 
I will look at doing a fatty ("fatty" means something TOTALLY different to a guy who grew up in Northern California, just sayin'), though I'm not prepared to do one today.

I'm expecting to pull this pork. Having never done that, I expect it will be... interesting (in a "muahahaha-go-medieval-on-yo-***" kinda way)

And Richtee, I waited until there wasn't any TBS coming out before dosing with more wood. Didn't think to smell for smoke, though.
post #17 of 46
Randy you don't need much smoke this is probally the biggest mistake made by new smokers. If your gonna take those butts to 195-200* for pulling its gonna be a late night I'm afraid I would highly suggest a backup plan for dinner. Not trying to be a smart a** just have seen people get quite upset cause thier hungry and it ain't done
post #18 of 46
sorry randy wasnt tryin to spook ya earlier. just trying to let you know what you cud be in for. like reading your posts and really hope this turns out well for you which i am sure it evemntually will. one other thing, you gonna need a finishing sauce for when you pull that pork, here is a link for a current post for SloFlaQuers finishing sauce.


keep us informed, erain
post #19 of 46
Thread Starter 
Okay, all you skeptics!

At the six-hour checkpoint (six hours of smoke) I have one shoulder at 160, the other at 155. I'm going to smoke them another 45 minutes and then wrap the buggers in foil and stick them back in the locker.

Just told The Boss (who was chuckling at the name of this forum, to which I gave her an expression that conveyed something like, "lady, this might be funny to you, but not to me") that I wrap it and we go until the meat is at 190 then we wrap the foiled meat in towels and stick it in a cooler for at least another hour. We don't hit 190, we don't have pulled pork.

So, I might be getting lucky and eating Q tonight, you never know.


P.S. when I wrap them, Q-View part one will be incoming.
post #20 of 46
Thread Starter 
As an aside, about the MES 20070106.

This smoker kicks ***. It has the latch to seal the door, the vent at the top to throttle the smoke, and the handy little turn-and-dump loader for wood chips. This last thing has made the difference for me, since I get all uppity about opening the hot box to stuff in wood chips.

I also love that it looks like a little black beer fridge and it smells frigging incredible. Put in bland raw meat and take out jaw-dropping BBQ. Slam dunk in my book.

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