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First time smoking pork & have some questions

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am going to smoke a 9lb and a 8lb shoulder but also have a 6lb butt. I will be making pulled pork with these.I'm going to use Jeffs rub and sauce.The question I have is cooking time. I know it's roughly 1.5 hours per pound so my 8 and 9lb shoulders should be finished about the same time but the 6lb butt will cook faster. My problem is the smoking time. I've been told that roughly the first 3rd of the cooking time is how long to smoke the meat but since the butt is going to cook faster what should I do so it dosen't get over smoked or will it be fine because all of the meat will end up mixed together. Also should I foil the meat or not and does it need anything such as mopping while cooking. This is for my neices graduation party so I need it to turn out tasty.By the way I use a horizontal charcoal grill with the side firebox. I did'nt know if maybe I kept the butt farthest to the left it would help slow down the cooking time on the butt. Thanks for all replies.
post #2 of 22
you can have smoke on it as long as you want and it won't be oversmoked as long as your smoker is running good and warm (above 220 degrees) and you keep a thin, blue smoke. you do not want billowing white smoke. jsut a little at a time will add great flavor without overdoing it.

i have smoke on my smoked meats the entire time and since i learned about the TBS, i have no troubles at all with "oversmoked" meat. i have bcome convinced that the oversmoked flavor/taste is actualyl either creosote and/or the over-deposting of particles from the white, billwoing smoke, which is not good smoking smoke. the less you see, the better, but you will definitely smell it and taste it when it is thin and sweet!

i'm headed out the door and will offer my thoughts on the rest of your questions when i get home. in the meantime, others will come along and offer their ideas as well ~ take it all in, and then make the decisions that work for you!


p.s. - welcome to the SMF!
post #3 of 22
A good method(but not the only method) is to foil when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165. You can mop if you want, no big deal, there is plenty of moisture from the fat. When the temp hits 205 you can take it out to rest for an hour or so before pulling. If the butt gets done first just leave it in the foil and wrap it in some bath towels and put in in a cooler until the rest catches up. It will stay hot for hours. Good luck and happy smokes!
post #4 of 22
Well seems like Tas answered your smoke question, thin and blue. I usually add smoke for the first 3 or 4 hours and then stop but have gone full smokes with it rolling and never overly smoked, once I got things figured out that is.
Whenever I do butts I spritz every hour after the first hour. Foil your meat when it gets to 160, add a little of your spritz (I usually do apple juice) to it and toss back on the heat until it hits 205.
Pull off, wrap in a towel (I double wrap the foil) and place in a cooler or oven (turned off oven) for at least an hour or more if you aren't ready to pull.
I have had butts sit wrapped holding temp above the danger zone for up to 7 hours no problem when in a towel and in the cooler.
Other than that you should be fine. Just make sure to whip up a batch of SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce and you are sure to have a successful pulled pork smoke.
post #5 of 22
That is the truth! Rock On Keith!
post #6 of 22
Hey Mike. Sounds like you're getting sound advice above. The only thing I'd add is to make sure you've got a quality, calibrated meat thermometer and another for the grate.
post #7 of 22
If you are cooking on a schedule make sure to give yourself TONS of time. I did two butts recently. They took 13 & 16 hours. If you finish early you can always rest them in a cooler until its dinner time. Good luck!

Welcome aboard by the way!
post #8 of 22
That was my biggest problem when I started out. Not leaving enough time. Throwing ribs on at 3pm expecting to eat at 6.

Smoking is teaching me patience.
post #9 of 22
looks like everyone has given great answers to the other questions and pretty much have coverd what i was going to say.

the only other advice i can give is simply to do it! the more you practice, the better you will get and also the more you will tweak around to find what works best for you.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all tips but one more question.

Thanks everybody for your advice and tips. I'll start smoking about 6:00am tomorrow morning and let you know tomorrow night how things turned out. But I do have one important question. When I was prepping all of the meat I noticed that one of my pork shoulders had a slight smell. It was nothing that would knock you out or anything but none the less a smell. What would bad pork smell like or how could I tell if it is bad. Thanks for all replies.
post #11 of 22
My advice is to relax. Pork butts are almost impossible to screw up. icon_biggrin.gif

You've been given great advice. You can also read this: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=57139

You will do fine.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
So that slight smell was nothing to worry about? Just don't want to make anybody sick.
post #13 of 22
I'd be willing to bet that butt was in cyrovac they do smell a bit you can wash it off and see if that helps before you apply the rub
post #14 of 22
Well Mike, if it just had a slight smell and not a "bad" smell then it is fine. I always smell my meats when I open the package just to make certain they aren't at all bad. Not sure what it is about pork, maybe the cryovac like Piney said, but it has a slight smell, not like something like a chicken that has no smell.
As long as it didn't actually smell like it was bad then I would figure it was nothing more than that natural odor, but use your best judgement.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 


It is a smithfield that was vacsealed. Is that what you mean?
post #16 of 22
Yes thats what I mean they often have a slight smell to them just rinse it off well and then smell it
post #17 of 22
Its just before 3 am here in Ca right now and i fired up my smokin' pro to smoke 3 butts for my wifes grad party at 5 pm Friday. the first time i did butts i didnt allow enough time. it takes me about 14 hours on average to finish butts including time to rest. Dinner is served at 6 pm so i'll have plenty of time.

plan your time accordingly and allow extra time and be patient you'll be ok. your butt that smells from the packaging will be ok. those butts and shoulders, even ribs wet aged and vacuumed sealed always have a little order for some reason. just rinse off your meat in cold running water and pat dry lightly before applying rub. you dont want it to wet but not completely dry either.
post #18 of 22
We have eaten alot of 6pm dinners at 9pm when trying to do a schedule lol.
post #19 of 22
well, the butts ended up in the cooler at 2 pm and stayed in the cooler until 6 pm and registered 212 on the insta read thermo when puled just before 6
post #20 of 22
That is perfectly normal coming out of COV; there is always 'purge', or weepage, that comes out of the meat from the COV'ing process and will have an odor to it. Rinse it off and you'll be fine. What you want to be hesitant from is if there are dark grey/greenish edges or spots on the meat, indicating where air has gotten into the COV and even after rinsing have a rotten-egg odorous smell on the meat, or growth of a fungus on or around the bones - little white dots and a slimy feel along with a strong odor. Air has invaded the packaging and surface spoiling has begun, you'll definitely know it (and so will the rest of the family anywhere in the house, lol!). Depending on it's advancement, it doesn't necessarily mean the entire piece is bad; usually you can trim it off and good meat is underneath. But, if spoilage has gotten into the seams of the meat then it could have gone all through it making trimming impossible.
Over the course of many years in a meatroom you find these things and do the best to salvage what you can and toss what you can't, the golden rule of "Would you feed it to your mother?" always as the determining judge. Boxes of butts or loins not rotated properly in the meat cooler or left out on a loading dock in the blazing sun for a few hours, mixed in on a pallet of grocery left overnight in the back room, or just plain bad from the packer. Whatever the reason, your first loss is your best loss - don't endanger your customers for the sake of salvaging a few pennies of profit (or your family of household expense). If you wouldn't eat it or give it to your family to eat, then throw it out. I'm sure those don't even come close to qualifying to that bad of condition.

Pops ยงยง
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