as promised, Q-view -
this was my first pork shoulder attempt ever. i used a 7.5-lb bone-in picnic shoulder. the night before, i brushed it down with mustard and then sprinkled on a liberal coating of durkee's st. louis style rub. i wrapped it in plastic and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
shoulders are an all-day project. i should have gotten up at 430a or so, but instead got up at 6a and had the fire going soon after. being unfamiliar with the smoker and not having performed any of the mods, temperature control was a huge issue that i struggled with all day. also, it's still a little cold to be doing this stuff outside up in my latitude, which must be somewhat parallel to siberia.
other than turning it now and then and mopping every hour or so with a combination of low-sodium soy sauce, dr. pepper, olive oil and wild cherry brandy, i dind't do a heck of a lot with it. these things pretty much take care of themselves if you tend the fire well.
these things usually take anywhere from 10-12 hours, and mine was finished around 8pm, so it wasn't too bad.
here are some pix of the process and the results.
this was early in the smoke - the hickory is giving a nice, light smoke and the shoulder is looking great.
here it is at about noon with my greek fatty:
an hour later.....
and a couple of hours after that - starting to look really good!
crazy as it sounds, here was my best solution to help with temperature control - a heavy wool blanket:
once i figured this out, things really started to happen and the smell was wafting out all over the block. we live on a corner, so it went i all directions.
i pulled it off when the internal temperature was 180 all around and a little higher in a couple of spots, wrapped it in foil for 15 minutes and then opened it up. it was just at the stage where it was starting to fall apart. to the right is rivet's homemade carolina sauce. i made the full-strength "two TBSP crushed red pepper flakes" version and it was great! my wife used store-bought BBQ sauce:
i'm no expert on shulders, but that looks like great smoke penetration and a good final product. the biggest share of the fat and connective tissue had melted away, leaving the fat cap and some pieces of fat and goo here and there, which went to some happy cats and dogs - of, and the bone of course! everyone in the house loved this and we're looking forward to the next one!
all-in-all, i'd say my first attempt was a success, in spite of the many adversities.