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1st attempts at Pork shoulder...3rd times the charm

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
First Off I'd like to say hi. This is my first post here.

I just got into BBQing recently. I picked up a Chargriller deluxe SFB unit.
Never having smoked a pork shoulder but loving pulled pork I read the cooking recipes in the manual of the grill(big mistake) and proceeded to smoke my 1st shoulder. I should have checked the internet first.
The grill manual said to cook pork roast at 180-220° and to 170° internal temp. So this is what I did.
I had a small 4 lb shoulder with bone.
I rubbed with Sticky Fingers BBQ rub the night before.
Started the smoker with Charcoal and used moist hickory chips for smoke. Put the shoulder in and managed the fire to try to keep it in the range specified. I ended up getting it a bit hotter in the 250° range for most of the time. I smoked it till internal temp was 170. Removed it, let it cool a bit then started to pull. The meat was tough and my hands got sore pulling. It tasted OK well kinda. Thinking about it I thought the problem was the temp being too high.
So I got another shoulder in the 4 lb range and tried again being sure to keep the temp down in the 180-200 range. This time also wrapping in foil after 2 hours. Same thing tough meat with not so great flavor.

So I started looking online to see what the heck I was doing wrong. Thanks to this site and a few others I figured out the problem. Internal temp. Just cause it's done to be safe don't mean it's done to be good.
Yesterday I smoked my 3rd 4 lb shoulder. This time I was prepared with more knowledge and a few good tips from others online.

I started with charcoal and switched to hickory chunks right away without the wet chips. Got the smoker to 225 to 250 and placed the piggy in the smoker. I smoked it for 4 hours til the internal temp was 170 then wrapped with foil and continued til the internal temp was 200. I removed it from the smoker, wrapped the foil in a towel and placed in a cooler for 1 hour then removed it and broke open the foil at the top a bit to release some heat but did not remove from the foil for 20 more minutes. I then removed it and place in a SS bowl. The meat with a nice bark literally fell apart this time. I pulled out what little fat was left. I did find a vary small part of it that was a bit tougher so next time I'll go a bit hotter on the internal temp. I then poured the juice from the foil into the bowl and pulled and mixed the juice into it. No sore hands this time and the flavor...Awesome. Extremely juicy, tender and flavorful. Probably the best I've had.

I can't wait to smoke the next one, Maybe a bigger shoulder.
Hopefully this story helps prevent some other newbie from ruining a good shoulder.

post #2 of 8
I'm glad you had good results with your PP. This site has a wealth of information on it. You have come to the right place.
post #3 of 8
yep 3rd time is the charm for you congrats
post #4 of 8
Jim welcome to SMF it's a great place to be.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I just read Meoweys sticky on pork shoulder. I hadn't seen that before the 3rd try but it appears I had it pretty much as he said. This is a great site. Thanks to all.
post #6 of 8
First off welcome Jim to SMF. Now can you swing into Roll Call and introduce yourself and we can give you the welcome we like to give new members. Now I'm really glad that your smoke was a hit and yes this place is a wealth of knowledge for smoking meat and many other things too.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #7 of 8
Welcome !!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #8 of 8
Great job....I wish everything was as much fun to learn..
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