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first shoulder tomorrow - suggestions?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
alright, i've got my first pork shoulder (7.5 lb bone-in picnic) slathered down with mustard and covered with rub. it's wrapped in saran wrap and sitting in the fridge overnight. there looks to be a decent amount of fat on it, but not too much; also a quarter-inch-thick or so covering on one side that is either a section of skin or the fabled fat-cap (or they are one in the same?).

i intend to smoke tomorrow along with my greek-style fatty entry for the throwdown (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=75219) and a small, 1 lb chub of pork sausage stuffed with cheese and covered with a little mustard and rub for breakfast. this will be my biggest smoke yet and i will also be using a new smoker, an unmodified SnP. i almost decided to stay in my comfort zone and use my ECB, but then i figured a person only lives once, right?

any guess as as to when i should put this on if i want it done at about 6pm tomorrow? i am figuring cooking temperature of 240-250 degrees. i'm almost thinking i have to put it on at 6am, but that seems too early.
post #2 of 41
Sounds about right remember the resting time also I might even be tempted to start earlier and if it finishes fast it can sit in the cooler resting longer with no problem
post #3 of 41
Well... It is tough to exactly say when it will be done but if you wanted to eat at 6 I would put it on at 3:00-3:30 at about 180 - 200... You figure you need to get it up to temp, then you need to let it settle, then you need to have time to pull it...

Good luck!
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
ok, i can get up that early to put it on, no big deal. the temps here will be low (around 23 degrees), but it shouldn't be terrible. the 6pm serving time is not set in stone, but any later than 7 and there will be problems.

i have an 18-lb. bag of kingsford and am hoping that will be enough for this smoke, or at least to last until the store is open. i am figuring on dumping a chimney's worth of hot briquettes next to a roughly-equal amount of un-lit (minion-stylr) - does this sound right? suggestions appreciated.

what's the schedule for mopping a shoulder? on ribs, i mop every hour or so - same for shoulder? also, i'll be away from home at church from 945a-1115a or so - any problems? will the temp hold? luckily, i only live 2 blocks from church.
post #5 of 41
For the long burn of your charcoal I would try the minion method... It should work great for you... See this link...

post #6 of 41
Sorry to say I don't use charcoal so can't help you there. I spritz/mop every hour after the first hour and a half or so
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
good link, train, thanks! we used to ahve kingsford lump up here, but so far there is none yet this year. hopefully when spring gets into full swing.

the article recommends 10-15 lit briquettes on top of a full chamber of unlit charcoal. sounds like a good plan - for the SnP, would these numbers be the same, or would i light a few more to start the unlit ones?

piney - i do have some chopped poplar and apple, but it is all pretty thin, maybe 2 inches in diameter on average. wanted to wait and use it when i wasn't doing so much other "new" stuff at once!
post #8 of 41
Just fill up your chimney 3/4 of the way, get em good and hot, and pour em on!!!

You will be fine... Some others put a coffee can (with both ends opened up) in the center of the charcoal pan with the mass amounts of coal around it... Once the chimney coals are hot they put them in the center of the coffee can. Then pull the can out slowly so the coals are perfectly in the center of the charcoal...

Or just throw them on... Who care at 4 in the morning anyways! HAHA
post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 
>>>Who care at 4 in the morning anyways! HAHA<<<

good point! i'll ahve to get a coffee can to try next time. that sounds like a good way to do it. for this one, i'll simply fill 3/5 of a chimney full, light em, get em going good and dump em!

biggest concern is keeping the temperature level while i am at church - i've never really had to keep a fire going past four or 5 hours before since i've always done ribs. i take it that as the ones that were originally unlit at the beginning burn down, they are replaced later on by more unlit ones, or should a person dump a lit chimney in now and then?
post #10 of 41
I have been told that this method will keep your smoker at a consistent temp for 8-10 hours...
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
sounds great - thanks!
post #12 of 41
Anytime! Best of luck!
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
well, as with most things done the first time, i'm getting a late start so it looks like we'll probably be eating around 730 or 8 instead of 6. no big deal.

i've got just about a full chimney of lit briquettes sitting on the right side of my firebox and maybe a chimney and a half unlit sitting on the left side, using the minion method. some hickory sitting just between them getting ready to smoke. the SnP temperature is just about up to something reasonable for putting the meat on and i'm set to begin this smoke at 7am - wish me luck.

i'll throw the small fattie (1lb sausage stuffed with cheddar and covered with rub) on just before we go to church at 945a, so we can have it for a brunch. the 2 lb greek fattie for the throwdown will go on at about noon for an expected done time around 3 or maybe 330p.
post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
well, the colder outside temperatures are keeping me at the low end of what is a good range, at least in my opinion. after a half-hour on the grate the temp where the meat is sitting (the middle of the cooking chamber. is holding steady at about 200 degrees. it's a little warmer to the left toward the firebox, but i am sure things will even out soon. if there is no improvement by 8a, i'll scoot it over.
post #15 of 41
Don't fret about that, just slide it over a bit, to about the left third to quarter of the chamber. As the smoke progresses you may have to slide it back to the right, but no worries, that's part of the fun! Try and time your shifts with the spritzes and you'll do fine. Sounds like you have everything under control, hang in there!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #16 of 41
Thread Starter 
well, things aren't going too grea,t but not terrible, etiher. the house didn't burn down while i was at church, the breakfast fatty (a simply lb of sausage stuffed with cheese, turned out great, but temps are still way on the low side. we're staying right around 200. i think it is a combination of the outside temps, which are in the low to mid 40s, and the fact that i've maybe been stingy with the charcal. i tried adding more from the chinmey and we'll see what happens.
also, had some good sized chunks of applewood that i got at the end of last summer. not quite logs, but bigger than typical chunks. anyway, put a couple on and got what seemed to be much too much smoke and it was also a bit bitter. have gone back to straight hickory.

doing my best not to peek, but the greek fatty and thoulder look good. i am mopping the shoulder once an hour with the dr. pepper/low-salt soy sauce/olive oil/wild cherry brandy mixture. looks great. i am mopping the greek fatty with a 50/50 mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. for the record, the fatty's been on since noon and doesn't look near done -
post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 
by the way, i've got everything (fatty and shoulder shoved over as far to the left as possible - still having tourble with temps even after the pan of water goes dry. - outside temps? not enough charcoal?
post #18 of 41
I added boiling water to the far left in a pan and temps have held steady from 220-230 all day. Also, i would try to take some foil and fill in the larger holes(looks like rotisserie holes) on the far left and right. This has helped me greatly.
post #19 of 41
Thread Starter 
good idea with the holes and the foil, kris - i'll do that right now.

the water pan doesn't seem to be helping much as i can't even get up past 200. the water i added was boiling but maybe it cooled off too fast with outside temps. will try again.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
well, i've got a lot of charcoal in there burning merrily, also filled the pan again with just about 2 qts of boiling water - we'll see if that helps. seems the biggest help might be a heavy wool (i hope) blanket that i've draped around the smoking chamber, keeping it away from the firebox. i've also plugged the two U-shaped holes in the end with foil.

of course, right after i did all this, pluss mopped both the fatty and the shouler, the temps were down again, but i am assuming they will climb up. i've got three analog oven thermomenters spaced out across the left half ot the smoking chamber, plus an analog probe thermometer for checking meat. as of three PM the 2-pound fatty (maybe 2.5 lbs with stuffing) that i put on at noon is nowhere near done.
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