Today's experiment is a continuation of a theory I have about finishing temps. Instead of taking the internal temps of the meat to over 200*, I feel a longer soaking at lower temps to finish will get the job done just the same, without exposing the meat's interior to such high heat.
I've used the temp hold method to finish meats after foiling to steam many times with good results, only at 200* temps for 10-12 hours, instead of 180* for over 18 hours as I used for today's project.
I smoked this butt to an internal temp of only 150* in 8.5 hours, then panned and tented with a cup of water and held at 180* for 23 hours, and here's the resulting finished product.........
After smoking to 150*:
After the 23 hour temp hold @ 180*...internal probed @ 174-176*:
The bone wouldn't pull out in one piece...the exposed end just kept crumbling between my finger and thumb until I worked on it for a bit and got it to pull out...the last time I've seen a large bone disintegrate like this was from the slow brazed beef stew like my Mom made when I was kid:
Moisture was slightly below average from the previous times using this method, as I used less water than I should have, but still had the liquids in the pan to toss into the PP for a finishing sauce after de-fatting it. Also, I didn't plan on doing the temp hold for the 23 hours...everyone got together for dinner a few hours later than I anticipated. 18 hours or less would have sufficed to accomplish this task.
So, this proves it to me that I no longer have any reason to reach high internal temps for pulled meats. When I saw the bone crumbling in my fingers, I knew I had accomplished something very different than you would with a normal foil/steam/resting method to finish the PP.