My Smoked Boston Might be Underdone

Discussion in 'Pork' started by half bake, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Smoked two Bostons in my electric smoker; each one weighed about 9 lbs.  I put both in the smoker for 14 hours at 225 degrees.  I know, I should have stuck'em with a thermometer, but anyway when I got'em to work, I pulled them (they fell apart) and the meat at the densest part of the butt was pretty pink.  Now, I have eaten it this way many times, but one of my co-workers saw that and remarked that it did not look done.  That was the second time that day I should've had a thermo to stick.  So my answer to his remark was "the smoke will cause the meat to turn pink".  I cannot say I read that anywhere, just been told over the years.  So if you had to eyeball a pile of pulled pork, what would be a worrisome sign the meat was underdone? Or is it a moot point, since it went 13 hours at 225 degrees?
  2. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    There is no way that meat was under cooked at 13 hours at 225.  If you were able to pull apart without a problem, some of the pulled pieces were probably all pink because they were pulled where the smoke ring was.
  3. aceoky

    aceoky Smoking Fanatic

    I agree if even a bit "underdone" (for pulling) it would have never fell apart when pulled in my experience
  4. Gents, thanks gents for weighing in, I get a bit defensive about my smoke, even though I got a set it and forget it smoker.  Hmmmm "smoke ring".... I like that.  Good info!
  5. As a fellow electric smoker, I thought I'd mention that you'll never get a smoke ring using an electric smoker. The smoke ring is a chemical reaction with the fuel used while smoking and electric doesn't create that. The ring is for show anyways, so it's not a loss in my book for the set it and forget it aspect of electric smoking. 
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FYI, I figure a smoked butt to normally take 18 to 20 hours at 220 degrees without using a Crutch. You can not use time as more than an approximation with cooking meats, especially large pieces of pork. I have had a 10 lb. butt cooked perfectly in 13 hours without the crutch and at 220. Perfect is usually around 203 IT. I like mine pulled. That was the fastest I can remember and like I said they are normally an 18 to 20 hour smoke. Pigs can't tell time!

    BTW I am now also about 100% electric, my pits are feeling left out.

    Another thing that really weighs in on an electric smoker. Did you baste, mop, or spritz? Electrics are made to walk away from and not open.

    Its up to the cook if the meat is safe to eat, and then the person eatting has the final say. But if you don't trust it, then eat around it. Don't be a nit-picking guest.
  7. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    Naw, if it's's done. If it was undercooked, it would be fibrous.
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a relatively decent BBQ restaurant close to my house that has signs everywhere in the restaurant informing patrons that the smoking process they use will create pink meats, especially chicken and pork.  The sign ensures people the meat is completely cooked.  I don't know how they smoke their meat because I've never smelled smoke when I've been there, but when we used to go there the chicken and pork are definitely tinged pink. 

  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cooking to temp not time is always the best. With that said given the weight if the meat, the temp if the pit, and the time you should have been well past the 145* safe cook temp for pork.

    I know that the butts I take to 205* always still look pinkish in areas.
  10. Without sticking them with a thermometer you really have no idea what the meat temperature was at, even if the smoker maintains 225* for 14 hours. It's possible that it was at 195* towards the outer layers but not in the middle. Even if you don't have a thermometer, sticking the meat to see if there is any resistance would have been the least of what I would have done.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As was said above, there's no way it could be underdone after 13 or 14 hours @ 225*, and then falling apart.

    I have no idea where the pink came from in an electric smoker---It's not a smoke ring.

    Probably too late, but pics would help.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  12. There is no electric smoker that produces a smoke ring with wood chips, is there?
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some say you can put charcoal in an electric smoker, or play other games to get a smoke ring, but since a smoke ring does nothing for the meat, why bother? It's all show.

  14. I do understand that, but in the context of this conversation, the smoke ring would be relevant.. but I agree, smoke ring is athletic only.
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So in other words you're asking if there could be some smoke ring accidentally or otherwise produced, that would make some of the meat look pink & underdone, as was asked about at the beginning of this thread??

    My answer is "Not that I know of".

  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't advocate this in any way shape or fashion but there are those who so feel a smoke ring is required. They will use a too high of a solution cure, for a short period of time, thinking that red cure ring will fool folks. Personally if it doesn't add flavor why would you chance making people ill for a pink ring? If its that important, buy a fire breather.
  17. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Cherry wood? I love cherry and it does tend to add some color. It is a very strong flavor profile for a fruit wood though.
  18. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Halfbake, the one thing I would say points to not being done is the inability to pull it...[​IMG]  Don't worry about the Naysayers , they probably don't know and wouldn't want to [​IMG]  

    If it ain't done it won't pull , slice maybe , but not pull...[​IMG]  My 2cents...

    Have fun and  . . .

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