Pork Butt/shoulder question

Discussion in 'Pork' started by adam t, May 17, 2016.

  1. adam t

    adam t Newbie

    I just purchased a new Oklahoma Joe horizontal smoker, seasoned it last weekend and then cooked a pork shoulder on it in hopes of some good pulled pork.  I made the standard mods to the smoker - RTV sealant, nomex type rope seal around doors and dryer vent from chimney down to cooking level.  I am relatively new to smoking on big smokers so this one didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  I am a rookie so I think my biggest mistake, after reading countless threads,  was not getting the internal temp up to 195-205 where the tissues in the meat breaks down thus making the pulled pork.  I have no clue what the internal temp was (my guess would be 170-180), I just know I smoked it from 9:30AM to 6:00 PM (10 pound shoulder) and assumed all would be good - wrong, it was a struggle to pull the pork so I think that tells me it was under cooked, bone was tough to get out.  Smoker temp was maintained between 225-255 all day.  Since this past weekend I have ordered a new digital/wireless meat thermometer which is due to arrive today - lesson learned.  I am going to try a pork butt this weekend in hopes I get this right.

    Side note:  I also have one of those small bullet looking smokers and have had great success with pork butts in the past so I think I am going to go back to a butt versus a shoulder.

    The reason I need to master this quickly is I convinced my wife for my daughters graduation coming up in a few weeks that I would smokes some pork butts instead of having the food catered in - hence saving money and giving me the ability to have some cold beverages while chaos ensues in my house with family and graduation party prep occurring on Friday - party is Saturday :)

    So here is the question I have...I know it would probably be better to cook this fresh on the day of her party but I will not have time with everything else going on that day.  My thought was to smoke 4-5 pork butts on Friday and then place them in the refrigerator wrapped in foil over night.  The next morning I could heat up the smoker with charcoal only and place them back on the smoker to warm them prior to the start of her party.  Should I stick a meat probe back in them to warm them?  If so what temp do you take it to knowing they were fully cooked the day before?

    Is this a good idea?

    Will this make the meat less desirable/tasting?

    Any input or help on anything I stated above to help ensure this is a success? 
  2. smokerjim

    smokerjim Meat Mopper

    if  it were me I would smoke it during the week if I had time,shred it put it in alum. trays then day of party put a little bbq. sauce in mix it up and heat in oven, I personally think smoked meats taste better after sitting for a day or two or three. just my opinion. good luck
    adam t likes this.
  3. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    One concern here is getting that meat cooled properly before placing in frig. W raping in foil the whole butt can be bad if not cooled all the way through before placing in frig. You can as previously stated cook it and go ahead and pull it then reheat

    adam t likes this.
  4. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    Pork butt is almost always better the second day. Take the internal when you're smoking it to somewhere between 200 and 210. Just probe it a few times to make sure it is tender all over once you hit 200.

    I wouldn't try to reheat in the smoker. I pull the night before, vacuum pack, and then reheat in boiling water if I can. If not then crockpots work well too. Use a finishing sauce like JJ's and you don't have to worry about it being dry.
    adam t likes this.
  5. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the point it is greatly appreciated glad I was some help.


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