Novice needs help!!!

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by techsasgirl, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Ok, I just found this website while searching for tips to improve my game. I started smoking last summer after getting hooked on a food network cooking competition. I have a direct flow horizontal offset smoker. Please don't ask me what brand it is, because I couldn't tell you. It has no frills. We got it for 10 bucks from a church member. I signed up for the 5 day course, but here's the problem.... I already bought my picnic shoulder roast (bone-in, of course), and have planned to have people over tomorrow. So unfortunately, I'm in need of help today!!!

    I have my own rub recipe. It's good. And I sometimes do the mustard, sometimes I don't. I rub it and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I let it sit out at room temperature for 1-2 hours before smoke time. Am I good so far?

     I smoke fat side up. Is this correct, or is it a matter of personal preference?

    I try to smoke between 200 and 250. I stay outside with my smoker to keep an eye on the thermometer.  I don't have a good spray recipe for my pork. My husband is diabetic, so all of these apple juice/Dr. Pepper based recipes are out of the question. How necessary is the spray? If it is a must, does anyone have any ideas for sugar free spray? Also, assuming I find a spray recipe, at what point to I begin to use it?

    I have always smoked my shoulder naked from start to finish. But I saw someone on here recommend a double foil wrap for the last 2 hours. Again, is this pretty necessary to the texture of the meat? I have never been 100% satisfied with my meat's texture (kind of tough, almost rubbery).

    And lastly, can anyone clear up all of the discrepencies that I've found about cooking time/temp?  I've have found many conflicting statements during the course of my online research. I've typically done 1.5 hours per pound until internal temp is 165F. Is this correct?

    Thanks, in advance, for your help! And thank you for the website!!!
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Okie Doke

    I wrote out a whole reply thinking you where asking about a butt soooo!!   Yea I guess the plans you have are fine for basically a fresh ham.   You may try wrapping in foil towards the end and then letting it rest wrapped in towels for a couple of hours to build moisture and tenderness.   How about no sugar added apple juice?
  3. Okay, wait. I thought that what I bought would be good for pulled pork. Did I mess up? The sticker says Fresh Pork Picnic Shoulder Roast. It doesn't look like a ham, like what I make in the oven at Christmas dinner. I'm going to be so upset if I messed up!!! What was I supposed to buy?!?! Can you still send me the whole response you had prepared?
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Calm down,  I am sure you are going to be fine.  The butchers on the forum will be better able to explain the difference.  Sorry I am not comfortable explaining different cuts of meat but I will help you with the butt.

    Do as you described

    Rub it down, place in fridge until you are ready to smoke

    Get the smoker stable at around  225 and place the meat in the smoker.    If you are not spritzing (many of us don't) let the pork go until about 180  maybe 175   At that time you want to wrap in aluminum foil with a bit of moisture.  Your hubby is diabetic so if you can't use unsweetened apple juice maybe you can try a bit of seasoned chicken broth?     Let it go in the aluminum foil until it reaches 205 or so.    The meat will probably stall, don't get inpatient.  If you get tired of sitting in front of the smoker you can move it to the oven.  All that time unwrapped in the smoker will give you great smoke flavor.    Once it reaches 205 wrap in  towels and place in an ice chest for a couple of hours.   This rest time is one of those little secrets!

    After you hit 205 in the foil instead of going directly to the ice chest you can return to the smoke to firm up the bark if you wish gthen go to the ice chest.  The way I described will give you a moist, tender roast perfect for pulling.  When you pull remove most of the fat, incorporate some ot the bark into the meat and add a bit of finishing sauce.  I like a bit of vinegar and unsweetned apple juice.  the finishing sauce kind of cuts the bit of fat in the meat.    

    Let me know it this is the info you want?

  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    The cut you have is the "Pork Shoulder Roast" which is under the pork butt roast.

    the pork or boston butt is not the rear end of the hog, it is explained best here:

    History of the name and cut

    American cuts of pork

    In pre-revolutionary New England  and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or "high on the hog," like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as "butts") for storage and shipment.[2]  The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston  area became known in other regions as "Boston butt". In the UK it is known as "pork hand and spring", or simply "pork hand".
  7. Wow! Excellent information! Thanks so very much, to all of you. I feel much more confident with this, now. Thanks, guys!
  8. And I'm kind of stoked about using splenda sweetened coffee for the spray. I use coffee in my rub usually. But I think I will skip it this time, and use it as a spray. Again, thanks for the information!
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Anytime...Help is what we are all about...JJ
  10. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's why I suggested we wait for the calvary!  These guys know their pig.   Chef Jimmy pointed out that when foiling you are going to have a hard time getting a good bark.  When I do butts I have decent bark but I am kind of iffy about how to do a picnic  that way because of the extra fat and rind.   I'm sure it's going to be delicious.  Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    And don't forget to take some photo's!
  12. Well, it started out great. Awesome rub. I went ahead and injected it with a concoction I made up using some cider vinegar, home made pork stock, sweetner and some leftover rub, and got the smoker going. I had already researched the smoke rules, so I even succesfully achieved that thin blue smoke that I read about. I could barely see it! As a matter of fact, when my mom came over, I took her outside to show off, and I thought I had lost my heat! But, it was just smoking away at a nice 240! However, it all went to %@ when I left my smoker unattended for too long. (stupid laundry!) I never could get my temp back. Too high, then too low. The temp was so volatile that I began to worry about food safety. I spent so much time messing with the fire, that dinner was going to be late. So I finished it in the oven at a comparably high temp.... It was sliced pork, rather than pulled. I never got to foil it or do that towel trick in the cooler! :( However, it had an awesome smoke ring, and I loved the sweetened coffee as a spray. I'm definatelty smoking again this weekend. This time, I'm getting a butt. And I will delegate laundry to my daughters this time!
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Been there!...Not with Laundry but working on sides to go with the pork...As long as it tasted good...Since you chose to Inject, it was a good call to worry about temps and go in the Oven, you never know what that needle pushed in...I sure you will hit it out of the park next weekend...You will find Butts a bit easier to work with as well...JJ
  14. Okay, this is a new weekend. I got a late start, but I'm smokin' away! [​IMG][​IMG] Does this look okay so far? The pic of the smoker is after adding a chunk of wood. But, I'm having a difficult time keeping the smoke down while trying to keep the temp up. Suggestions?
  15. Okay, seriously..... it's really cold... Kinda wish I had picked a warmer day for smoking. But it's too late now! I am gonna get this sucker smoked if it's the last thing I do! I love smoking!!!!!!!!!
  16. looks pretty good, now you just need to invite us all for a picnic to devour it!
  17. I hope it is as awesome as I plan for it to be! I'm going to serve it tomorrow after we get home from mass!
  18. One cold weather trick I use is put a blanket over the top of your smoker just over the lid. I have an old bath mat(just happened its the perfect size) that is kinda like shag carpet that I use on cold days. I guess cold is relative I use it whenever it is below like 45 degrees out. Makes my char griller much easier to keep the heat in it. I was smoking a while back when it was 19 degrees out and had put two "blankets" on the smoker and low and behold the thermometer in the lid was actually right after being under the double blankets for a while. I was amazed.

    Just keep at it you will get it. Its all a learning curve. These guys are great on the forum with suggestions and help. Remember the only dumb question is the one you didnt ask.

  19. I started my butt this afternoon around noon, and just now, 10 hours later, it hit 170, so I just wrapped it in foil.... Does this sound right for a 9lb butt?
  20. I'm going to grab an old blanket right now.... As the sun went down, out has become quite chilly! Thanks for the tip!

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