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Pork is tough

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a Masterbuilt Smokehouse and my first run was with a pork shoulder. Cooked at 225 for 6 hours.... it weighed about 4.11 pounds... It was not as tender as I would like it to be... actually kinda tough to pull. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 14
What are you using for thermometers? That's usually the problem, inaccurate temperature readings. what was the internal temp when ya pulled it? you want to got to 200-205 for pulling
post #3 of 14
What was your final temp on the pork?
You want to go by temp and not time. If you wanted to pull it you are best to bring to 160 then wrap in foil and continue to cook until 205, let it rest wrapped in towels and in a cooler or an off oven for a few hours before pulling. Hope it isn't too late to save your smoke.

*By the way Zach, welcome to the site.
Stop by in roll call and introduce yourself when you get a chance.
post #4 of 14
You need to cook it to an internal temp of 195-205 for a good pull. Follow the instructions on the "Basic Pulled Pork Smoke" sticky -

post #5 of 14
My first pulled pork on my MES was tough also. I have know idea why and have never had a tough one since.

Maybe tough old pig? icon_rolleyes.gif
post #6 of 14
It was undercooked
post #7 of 14
what he ^ said. cook to 200* internal.
post #8 of 14
6 hours probably wasnt long enough, as others have said. Go against your instincts and overcook the bejeezus out of it! At least to 195, otherwise all the tissue in the meat wont break down and it will be hard/impossible to pull.

Dont forget to let it rest for 30-60 mins after it hits the right temp as well.
post #9 of 14
Yep - cook by temp - time is just a ballpark, temp is where it's at. I like to cook to 200, wrap in foil and a towel then throw it in a cooler for an hour or 3.
post #10 of 14
>>>Cooked at 225 for 6 hours<<<

as others have said, that's the problem. try cooking closer to 240 or 250 for many more hours - it might even be twice that time, but it is worth it.

wal-mart has a very decent digital probe thermomenter called the accurite -it's a little under 15$ here, but is extremely accurate. i run it though a small potato and keep it at grate level (not touching the grate) throughout almost all of the smoke, using it to keep grate temps at the level described above. when the meat starts to get very dark on the outside and it's been "long enough to start thinking it might be close to being done," i check the internal temperature now and then at the thickest part away from fat or bone. the probe should pretty much fall right through and look for 192 MINIMUM internal temperature. 195-200 and even 205 isn't out of line. over 205 and you start to really lose all that good moisture and tenderness that you ahve been nurturing all day long. when it is done, wrap in foil, then a couple of towels, then put it in a cooler to rest at leat a half hour, but it can rest as long as the internal temp is above 140. when you unfoil it, it will be piping hot and will most likely fall apart. save the juice! then all you have to do is take a picture for us, finish the pulling, take another picture for us and serve it up (take another picture here, too).

any thermometer should be checked to make sure it is accurate. make an ice and water slurry and check the temp - it should be very near 32 degrees, only a half a degree above at most. then boil some water and check the temp there AFTER checking on the internet to find out what the boiling point of water is AT YOUR ELEVATION. mine is 207.8 degrees where i live and myu wal-mart themometer is dead-on.

the ebst thing about BBQ is that even your mistakes taste better than food that most people pay for. try again, and enjoy! when you get it right, it is SO worth it. there is something about going to turn a shoulder over and having the bone come right out or a big piece slough off that just feels right!
post #11 of 14
what ^ said-and I see he is also polishing armor too! grin
post #12 of 14
I know it sounds crazy but I smoke my ribs almost that long at times to get them right because as everyone has said its internal temp not time. And I seem to cook at lower temps than most people since I am not concerned with time. My only concern is cooking too high so i tend to go lower to give me a little buffer if the temp spikes.

Lately I cook around 225 and wait till 195-200 on internal temp when I am pulling. I cover with foil and towel (sometimes then put in cooler) when resting then pull about 30-60 later.

(Bear in mind that BBQ is very forgiving as long as you cook it to internal temp, I'm no expert, this is just my habit. :) )

Don't give up! Next time it will be perfect I am sure.
post #13 of 14
You definitely didn't cook it long enough. I did my first on not too long ago and it was about the same size. It took me about 10 hours to get the meat to 195. What scared me though is that it only took about 4 or 5 hours to come up to about 160. But then it slowed down and was delicious.
post #14 of 14
You definely want to take it to 165 and foil it and add some of your spirtz and let it go to 205 or so and in the cooler for awhile and then pull. Then it will be tender and yummy. Then you can takt that to the bank.
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