First time pulled porker.. Need some advice please

Discussion in 'Pork' started by biggqwesty, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Ok so I've been given the ok to smoke a roast for pulled pork this weekend.
    My wife isn't a fan on deep strong smoke flavours so first up in need some advice so I dont over smoke or make it to strong..
    I've read maple is maybe what I'm chasing???

    Secondly what's the average hours per pound cook time to allow??
    I'm guessing well buy around a 5 pound roast.

    I'll be using brickets for the cook with water bath.

    Any assistance?? Thanks
  2. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I would always estimate 12 hours minimum for a butt! Every one is different so there is no real time that can be given. What kind of smoker are you using?
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    As Brooksy says, every chunk of meat has a mind of its own, but a decent rule of thumb is about 1.5 hours of cook time per raw pound of meat...if you are cooking at a smoker temp of around 225*-250* F.  Chances are it won't take that long, but best to err on the high side so its done when you need it done.  And if its done early, after a rest of an hour or more you could go ahead and pull it and store it until serving time.

    The type of wood you smoke with will certainly affect the amount of smoke taste...but another thing you can do to limit the smoke is to foil it for the second half of the cook.  Once the meat reaches an internal temp (IT) of around 160* F, double wrap it in heavy duty foil and put it back in the cooker until the IT reaches around 200* (at that point you could even finish it in an oven if you wanted, because once its foil wrapped it won't take on any more smoke anyway).

    Good luck!  Looking forward to seeing and hearing how it turns out... [​IMG]

  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, that's 2's a third. Having been burned by time & stubborn butts more than once I now allow 2 hours per pound. I'm a no foil, no spritz, no water pan guy preferring the crispy bark and truthfully, spritzing & water pan don't do much of anything. Now, don't get me wrong.....there are others that will swear by them & I have been known to spritz with some company hanging around the smoker to look cool and all. But, for me, by popping the door on my electric Smokin It I really lose a lot of heat and recovery isn't instantly achieved. I'll open the door maybe once about 4 hours in to insert the meat probe. I ride it out till it's done so like an early start to the cook. On my pellet pusher I'm more likely to lift the lid for a peek but recovery is much quicker. And, on pork especially I prefer a fruit wood, like apple and cherry is a newer favorite of mine...both mild and not overpowering as my GF isn't a smoke hound either.......HTH, Willie
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are quickly learning that people have different opinions on pulled pork. I will give you my experience on smoking butts in hopes that it helps. All smokes were at 235 F.

    First - I didn't give it long enough and ended up slicing it. I learned from this to give it lots of time (I often smoke the day before and reheat).

    Second - I started smoking over a mixture of apple and pecan (She Who Must Be Obeyed liked the lighter flavour). I foiled for the last half and didn't worry about time. At an internal temperature of 200 F, I started pushing a probe in. When it went in like it was butter, I took it out and wrapped it in foil and towels in a cooler for a couple of hours. I ended up with a moist delicious pulled pork with a delicious but soft bark.

    Third - I smoked over a mixture of cherry and oak, I got an even lighter smoke flavour but nice. I did not foil and used the same test for doneness. I took it out and let it sit for an hour. I ended up with a delicious pulled pork that I thought was marginally drier than the foiled. However, it had a wonderful dark crispy bark.

    What I have learned through this process is that it is a matter of taste. Now, I foil sometimes, some times I don't. I stay with the lighter flavoured woods. I prefer the without foil marginally, the missus prefers the foiled marginally.

    I suggest you try both methods and pick the one you like better. You'll love them both. 

    As for type of wood, I find apple, cherry and oak are all nice.

    Go forth. Experiment. Find what you like!

  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL.... well looks like you have plenty of options going on here.

    Let me throw something in. Instead of looking for a milder wood to smoke, try learning how to limit your amount of smoke but how much you apply. Any smoke can be light and still retain its distintive taste, you just don't use as much, either by the lenght of smoke or by the amount.

    I learned, Mom didn't care for Pop's smoke because he believed that if its cooking it should be smoking. When I tryed reducing the smoke on meat when Mom was around, I noticed she liked it. Then I noticed that most folks liked it better too. Sure there are still the odd hard core that wants the smoke almost to the acrid stage, but not too many.

    Wood, I always suggest you use whatever wood is common to your region because its what will have been used the most by smokers. But the old smokers always seem to stay with base of hickory with pork, mesquite with brisket. Its because they are the longest smokes so they can stand up to it. Oak and pecan to me are the intermediate type smokes, the comes the fruits and nuts for a lighter taste and some different colors.

    Try in the begining to use different quantities of the same smoke either by time of application or amount of wood. you'll quickly see where your tastes lie. Remember to start,that you've never heard a person say they can't eat the meat because it doesn't have enough smoke, only the opposite.
  7. This is exactly what I'm after guys. Thankyou very much.
    My smoker is a diy keg smoker. So roughly 18" diameter and 30" tall.
    I do use a water bath, purely to aid in temp control. Our climate down here swings well and can go from dry 100's to damp 50's in 24 hours.
    So I think I'll leave maybe 2 and a bit hours per pound because I have read the water can drag out a stall.
    Anyway, again thanks guys.
    I'm looking forward to it
  8. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Make sure you share some qview or you'll be banished!!!! Nah I'm kidding but we do love to see fabulous Q so share please :biggrin:
  9. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good luck and yes we want Qview ![​IMG]
  10. Of course.

    So my wife had a change of heart lol.
    Watching a show last night called "chow masters" or something like that they had the best yuiros. After seeing the pulled pork she's keen to let me go lol.
    Still I'll take it easy on the smoke.
    I'm thinking of making a pellet cradle, similar to amazn tube but square.
    So hopefully half way threw I can pull the pellets out and leave the brickets to finish and leave the pork unwrapped.
    I don't think the family will mind bark as well all love the crunchy bits.

    Another question. The crackling. Should I remove it prior to cooking and do in the oven separate , leave it on??
  11. Another newbie question, the recommended 2 hours per pound does this allow for recommended 1 hour rest time at the end?
  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would give it two hours a pound and add an hour. It will stay warm a lot longer than an hour if you have it foiled, wrap it in old towels and put it in a cooler if needed.

  13. Cool. Good to know. Thanks
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am awaiting your post! I love a pulled pork.
  15. This threat was a great read!!!
  16. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic

    Here is another 2 cents. I've foiled and not foiled. I believe foiling helps retain some of the moisture. I think when you foil and add a little apple juice just adds another layer of flavor. I also agree with DISCO foiling and placing the shoulder in a ice chest helps with the ease at which it will pull, plus it will stay hot a very long time.

    This past weekend, due to other commitments I was not able to start a 7 lb pork shoulder in my smoker until around 1:30 pm Saturday. It reached an IT of 205 at 12:30 am Sunday. I left it in the foil and put it in a styrofoam cooler with some towels wrapped around it. I did not take it out of the cooler until noon Sunday. After taking it out of the foil it was still very hot and I needed gloves to pull it.

    I've been a believer in foiling and placing it in a cooler for a long time now. It has been great for the times when you have to get it smoked early and pull it later.
  17. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ok I'll chime in with another opinion. What are we up to now, 7 or 8?
    What I've found works for me is to load up with smoke wood at the beginning and not add any more. For our tastes what works best in our mini is about 3 chunks, depending on the size, or about a cup and a half of chips. I try to keep everything buried to avoid flame ups, and I've found that even with chips I get several hours of TBS followed by invisible, yet still fragrant smoke. This has given us a nice mellow smoke flavor that's not "in your face" and not pungent enough to put people off. I've been using pecan a lot lately and for me it's the perfect balance between the bite of hickory and the subtle sweetness of fruit woods. I've also added some apple to the mix with good results.
    As for the timing of butts, I'm a bit of a heretic in that I don't have the time or patience to sit around for 20+ hours just to make a sandwich. I've had good luck with running the smoker at 300+ and getting it done with no stall in under 8 hours.
    To be honest, I've done foiled, unfoiled, high temp, low temp, crock pot, Dutch oven and I've never had a bad batch of pulled pork. It's just damn near impossible to screw it up. Great, now I've jinxed myself.
  18. :yeahthat: I'm a hot and fast guy myself.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  19. Haha I thought that this may be the outcome. Lol.
    Ok. So as it's tea time and kids will be wanting a feed I think I'll allow 3 hours rest time. That'll allow plenty of over head for any unexpecteds.
    I'll try and source some alternative woods to. Pecan seems to be flavour of choice.

    Again, cheers
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Usually how you cook/smoke is dictated (especially in the begining), by what type pit you use. Electrics are always low and slow, fire breathers are the other end of the specturm. You learn the idocsyncracies or the temperment of your own pit. Then you test its limits and try to bend its will to yours. What you see here, especially the recommendations are what each has found worked with their paticular type. That is why you will see so many replies that you'll wonder how that could ever work. Its because of their experience and their equipment.

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