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pulled pork help?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

ok so i just got a cheap char-broil h20 bullet style smoker off someone on craigslist (there's a picture of it on my profile) and im looking to learn the craft, and ive decided to start with pulled pork. My first time was a few days ago with a lil 3 lb pork shoulder and i got it to 140 internally then 185 in the oven because it got late. though it was cooked fine and able to be cut and eaten it certainly was not ready to be pulled. Now i know it must reach something like 195 inside and my temp in the smoker was around 180, which is much too low, maybe from opening the little door so much to put in new briquettes and wood chips? So Im thinking my next time around i want to get some more pork and im going to use the thermometer i have now to read the smoker temp but im going to buy an electric thermometer to read the meat without opening the lid. Ill also be starting in the morning and 3 lb piece of meat should be done by dinner time i assume. What i really want to know is instead of putting briquettes down in the pan and putting wood chips on like every 30 minutes or so, couldn't i take a hickory log or something like that and cut it to my smokers size and put that on top of some briquettes, im thinking it will burn much longer and keep up a good temp. I keep the water pan in-between the meat and the heat so there isnt any indirect heat and i hear the steam can keep up a good temp as well. So honestly anything you could tell me to help me along would be great, thanks :)

post #2 of 5

Welcome to the forum!  Check the mods for ECB's to up your temps and make your unit more manageable overall.  Your target temp is 225* ish inside the smoker. Your intuition on using larger chunks of wood is right on; temps will climb higher with a combo of briquettes and wood chunks instead of wood chips or dust.  the danger here is getting temps to high, so keep an eye on it until you learn your individual smoker. 

post #3 of 5

In addition to what Adiochiro said, you might want to consider using the minion method (or "Kiss" if you prefer) for your coals.  This link will give you the back ground & the info on the method: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/minion-method


And you might want to double check your thermo's that you are using.  I hear tell that the factory thermo's can't be trusted.  As far as the 195° temp, this is kind of the routine:  Smoke your butt until the internal temp is at 165° - 195°.  Some folks pull at 165°, foil, then take it up to 195° - 205°, others to 195°, depending on who you are asking.  Double foil & place it in the cooler, wrapped in towels for a minimum of an hour, not really longer than 4 hours.  (So that the juices can redistribute within the meat from having withdrawn from the heat of the smoke.)  Then pull using bear claws, hands, (if you're brave enough) or simply use two forks.  Meat should be tender & moist.


The reason why there are so many variables is that when folks smoke their butts, they try different methods until they find one that works for them.  You too will find a method that works for you but the guideline above is just the basics.  Others will chime in to add or correct me as necessary.  Heed all advice, try you own stuff & stick with what works for you.  Good luck & don't forget the QVIEW!!!!

post #4 of 5

Well it looks like you have gotten some really good advice from theses guys here. So I really like what they said about smoking your shoulder. Now you might want to test your new thermo-meter with boiling water. It's really easy and just takes a very short time. Just boil some water and stick probe into the water without touching anything metal and it should reach 212° and that should stay there to. You can never trust the factory installed therm0meter. Then you should be ready to smoke your pork and enjoy it too.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

yah i heard the factory thermometer isnt reliable so I got a little one from publix to stick in there. With info from here and the ecourse I should be able to make a better attempt than the last and I'll be sure to fill everyone in on the results when I've got them. 

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