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PP - 190 and sit for hour or 195-205' and no sit?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I thought I planned ahead enough but the dreaded 4 hour plateau killed me. It's 2 hours until dinner and my 9lbs shoulder is at 181'. Let's say it hits 190' at 7pm (dinner at 8pm), should I pull it, foil it, and put it in the cooler for an hour or keep it in the smoker until it gets to 195-205' where I won't be able to let it sit for longer than a few minutes before pulling? I want to make sure it really falls apart.

post #2 of 16
I have found that it wont "pull" well unless i get it to 205....... Now if u are only looking to slice it, 190 would be fine.....The resting in the cooler for at least an hour is a must for me, lets all the juice re-distribute... Good luck with whatever u decide to do.Happy smokes....
post #3 of 16
I'd get it in foil now with some braising liquid and stuff it in an oven at 250°-270° and let it go as long as ya can, allowing enough time to get a solid hour rest in the cooler.
Thats my opinion (and I'm sticking to it) and I'm sure you'll get more. but I'm always under the gun with cook times and I know that would work for me
Good luck and let us know what ya do and how it turns out.

EDIT: I forgot you said pull it. ya got to go to at least 200° for nice pulling so get as close as ya can with it in foil then let it rest as long as ya can.
Maybe serve them some strong drinks and they'll forget diner is late. :) Just a thought, it does work for me.
post #4 of 16
I foil at 170, this softens up the barq, because my barq gets SO hard, take a jack hammer to break it up...........then either back in the smoker, or in MY case, oven till 200 or so, then rest at LEAST one hour, this lets the juices redistribute into the meat............but it can rest for several hours.........last years gathering, we had speed racers.........10 lb packers and 8 lb butts done in less than 8 hours........this was @8 in the morning........supper not till 5ish.........we wrapped and coolered em, and they was STILL TO HOT TO PULL, without gloves.............

so maybe next time, start alot earlier.........coolering, is part of the process to get good pulled pork.........
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I started at 3am. That gave me 17 hours for an 8-9lb butt. I figured I would be okay...lesson learned!

I've got it foiled in the smoker now at 270ish. It's only at 185' right now. We'll see.
post #6 of 16
With 17 hours in the smoker are you sure your thermometer is accurate? ...Long smokes happen, but a lot of people tend to trust there smokers thermometer which is off by a mile 99% of the time.
post #7 of 16
my advice -let it sit at LEAST a half-hour no matter what temp you get it to. 195 should be just fine for pulled pork, and there's nothing wrong with going up to 200 or 205, which is what i do; but no matter what, let it rest in foil (preferably wrapped in towels and in an empty cooler) for a while for the juices to redistribute back into the meat and for the meat to rest in general. you will be rewarded for your patience!
post #8 of 16
What he said, more cooler time does not hurt.
post #9 of 16
205F or bust is what I go by. Pineywoods and Irishteabear taught me that.
post #10 of 16
It depends on how you want the finished product. I foil at 165/170 and take it to 190/195 max. Wrap it in a towel and into a cooler for an hour minimum. This yeilds pulled pork that is tender but not mushy. It will reach 200 in the cooler. That seems to be the magic number for me. It will stay hot in there for hours like dude said.
post #11 of 16
I would foil it now and then try to pull just before dinner and try to let sit in the cooler as long as you have to. If it's just the family you can hold them back for alittle while. If you cann't pull it after the cooler slice it and you'll be fine. I think I would have to test that thermo-meter to see how far it's off.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I foiled it and kept it in the smoker until 197'. I let it sit for a few minutes but had to pull it as dinner was already an hour late and we had a few guests. It pulled wonderfully. The bone pulled right out. It was very tender. I could see how letting it sit in a cooler would have helped with additional moisture/juices but this was still very good.

I think my thermometers are okay. I just ran into the plateau from hell. Next time I'm starting 24 hours in advance!
post #13 of 16
Once again - I guess like everything on this forum - it depends on what you are going after! Your taste will dictate your method of cooking.

For example, I take mine to 160, foil, and then out of the smoker at 190. I ALWAYS give it a minimum of one hour in the cooler. THAT is what makes it tender and easy to pull - not necessarily the temp you remove it at, but the time in the cooler for the juices to redistribute and also, to soften any remaining connective tissue. In other words, I think if you pulled it off the smoker even as low as 180-185...but you give it 60-90 minutes in the cooler, you will still love the results.

For me - just my opinion - cooking it to 200 and then putting it in the cooler for a while, produces meat that is almost TOO tender or mushy...tastes more like crock pot roast than smoked pulled pork.

However, if you want it that tender - you can adjust your finishing methods until you get the desired results.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
I don't like soggy meat either. I'm just trying to go by what I read. For my first PP, I took it out at 190' and let it sit in the cooler for about 45 minutes. It was tender, but it was not very easy to pull. I like the big crispy bark which is why I didn't foil it at 160 (which I did last time). The bark was much more pronounced this time which we liked.

Some Qview before and after.
post #15 of 16
yeap that puppy has a nice bark....Great job. it looks great!
post #16 of 16
This is great. Reading all the expert opinions here, I am seeing the artistry is smoking! I can see why the actual smoking act is the best instructor over time. You guys are great at helping us newbies out.
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