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20 lb shoulder

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
my brother in law bought a 20 lb shoulder and wants to smoke it. my questions are is it safe to smoke a piece of meat this size and does anybody have any advice ? i thought about cutting that sucker in half.
thanks in advance.
post #2 of 16
That's one big chunk of meat! I don't see why, given the proper amount of time that you couldn't smoke it. I've done 17 pound briskets with not problem so another three pounds shouldn't matter. Good luck.
post #3 of 16
You might want to sear it first to get temps up a little at first. Otherwise just watch the 40' - 140' safe rule. Should be fine.
post #4 of 16
What ron said ^^^^^^^^^
post #5 of 16
If your pressed for time cut it in half. Did a 20 lb'er that way 2 weeks ago, can't tell the difference in the finished product.
post #6 of 16
Good luck. Giant ol' hog. Sammies for two weeks.
post #7 of 16
What a hunk a meat! Be sure to show us the Qview of that sucker!
post #8 of 16
I would split it, like others have said it is not going to affect the finished product. It will however speed up the cooking time as you will be dealing with two 10lb pieces of meat instead of one monster 20lb piece. This will make it easier to get through the 140 danger zone within 4 hours.
post #9 of 16
not sure on the temp danger zone, but I've smoked a quarted hog before, the quarters weighed 18-20 lb and it worked out good...took a while though. When they get that big the 90min per lb logic goes out the window...it will not take you near 30 hours to do it...But it might take 20+.

Just a note: Mine still had the hide on it...I made checkerboard scores through the hide and smoked it with the hide on...it looked like a pineapple when those cuts opened up and wow did a lot of fat render out...made a huge mess. If I had to do again I'd remove the hide and alot of the under-fat...pork shoulder has plenty of fat inside...you'll never dry it out...It will be a lot less greasy that way too. Besides with the hide on you cant get bark
post #10 of 16
I believe this comes in to play as long as you haven't injected or put your probe in too early.
post #11 of 16
danger zone rule 40° to 140° in 4hrs or less watch that close!!!
post #12 of 16
Here's some recent discussion on the issue of using a temp. probe that you might want to read.

It covers the issue of possibly contaminating the interior of your meat by taking along bacteria from the surface. This is particularly important when you've got a big piece that will take many hours.

Good luck,



post #13 of 16

QView Needed!

Nuff talkin! Let's see this BEAST!!

post #14 of 16
That's what I thought too Mikey. You ought to be able to smoke it for few hours then put the probe in to be safe. The outer 0.5" gets to 140 pretty quick compared to the rest of it.
post #15 of 16
Does it still have the backbone/ribcage on it?
post #16 of 16
I wouldn't worry about it in my opinion since people do smoke whole hogs.

Just make sure to keep your smoker temp up and you should be fine.

As a precaution just smoke a bit hot to start off with then bring the temps back down to finish it off.
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