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First attempt at smoking-9lb shoulder tomorrow!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
*I apologize if this ends up getting posted twice-I tried to post about 15 minutes ago and it never showed up on the forum.

Tomorrow I'm having my folks over for an early Mother's Day dinner. My wife picked up a 9lb shoulder yesterday (it was all they had left and at $1.10 a pound it was reasonable) and she's going to do the rub around 4:00 p.m. today. Let me start out by describing my equipment:

Yard sale special $20 Brinkmann electric (barely used!) gourmet smoker with store bought hickory chips as fuel. I plan on using apple cider in place of water in the pan-not sure if it will help but what the hell.

My plan for tomorrow is to get up at 4:00 a.m., pull the meat out and let it sit on the counter while the smoker heats up. I want to get it in by 4:30 because my folks are coming at 3:00 p.m. and we're planning to eat between 5:00 and 6:00. The pulled pork sticky said that 1.5 hours per pound is the rule of thumb for pork shoulders, so that should work for a 9lber I think. I plan on smoking to 165 degrees F, foiling, finishing in the oven, and packing in the cooler as per the sticky. Any advice, tips, or tricks would be greatly appreciated. I have plenty of burgers and hot dogs on standby in case something goes horribly wrong, but hopefully this will be a good first try.
post #2 of 15
I always try to plan on getting done 2 hrs before its time to eat you have to remember it's done when its done icon_mrgreen.gif. and you can foil in a cooler for 2-4hrs eazy. in the past i have taken the larger butts and split them in two this did to things for me gave me more bark PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifand speed up the cooking time a little.
post #3 of 15
ahhh the things we do for bbqing and smoking..waking up at 4:00 lol
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hehe...my wife thought I was nuts when I first starting talking about wanting to start smoking. Now she's in on the fun helping make the sauce, etc...and telling me, "better get to bed early tonight!"
post #5 of 15
You may want to get that in before 4:30am if you want to eat at 5 or 6... you might stall and it may take longer (I had a 9.5 take about 16 hours last saturday)... plus you need time to rest it... I'd go with 1 or 2 am... you can always rest it in the cooler longer but you cant rush the low n slow & you cant predict the stall...
post #6 of 15
If you foil the butt and place in the oven, there is nothing wrong with turning the oven to 325-350 in order to speed things up if needed. I personally like to keep it low and slow the whole time, but if in a pinch you can turn the oven up to finish the job. It wont effect the quailty of the butt much at all.
post #7 of 15
What Steve said...you're going to be cutting it close at best.

I would suggest starting it late the night before. You can put it in a cooler foiled and wrapped in a towel for a few hours.

Better safe than sorry. Don't want to ruin Mother's Day...
post #8 of 15
i know its a little late for this advice but.....
I'm doing an 8lb shoulder tomorrow for sunday. pretty much exactly how you described but right after i pull it i will put it in the fridge then on sunday when i pull it out i will add the finishing sauce and bring it up to temp in the good ole crock pot and let people put the bbq sauce on as they desire.

my reason for doing this was from a little bit of reading around on the web i actually found alot of people say the pulled pork was better the next day. i mean it cant hurt it and i know alot of other foods i have ate tasted better later on so it could be true.

another reason i am doing this is so i am not in any sort of a rush or holding the party up. so on sunday all i have to do is smoke burgers, abt's and dogs....nice and easy!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...will I need to stay up with it the entire time or can I get it going, nap for two hours, get up check it, nap again, etc...?
post #10 of 15
Thats what i do... I get up get it started and head back to sleep... if you can (and you want to) you can wake up every few hours to check the smoker temp, the TBS output, and spray the meat w/ a mop... if you are using gas or electric than you wont have to get up that often just check on your smoke & mop every few hours and than once you are up and awake mop it every hour... you will be good to go...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #11 of 15
If you have the ability, set an alarm on a probe that is monitoring the firebox temp, to ensure your smoker does not go out. My bradley had a timer on the oven part, and if I didnt set it long enough, it would turn off.

Also a hunk of meat that size will stay warm in foil / towel / cooler for many hours. I'd say at least 3 maybe 4, and it should stay above 150. That gives you time to finish it early.

Also some people will finish it way early, foil, and dial the temp down to 200 to keep it warm. I think RonP does this magic on his MES.
post #12 of 15
The water pan wood be my concern unless you are using sand.

post #13 of 15
Good call Beard!!!! the water pan totally slipped my mind... Keep an eye on that also IHDiesel73L... Good luck!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
You mean keep an eye on it as in keep it filled? I was going to boil the cider first before I add it so as not to cool off the smoker too much.
post #15 of 15
I plan for a 16 hour smoke every time I smoke a 9lber.

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