Pork Shoulder Pulled Pork Questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by lifterpuller, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. lifterpuller

    lifterpuller Fire Starter

    Ok, I have used the search function to read a lot of great info on pulled pork. I have done my research here.

    In fact, I found this great forum through a referral on a hunting site I frequent because I was asking questions about PP because my first attempt was mediocre at best.

    Here is what I plan on doing the second time around based on the info I have gathered here. Please give me your opinions on any step you think I should do differently.

    Rub the shoulder the day before.

    Smoke at 225 with apple wood.

    Use a spritzer-any suggestions?

    Foil and add moisture at 165.

    Continue to cook in foil until 205 internal temp.

    Wrap in towel and put in cooler for 1 hour.

    Use a finishing sauce-any suggestions?

    Thanks for any help! There will be a Qview.
  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you have it down. Good luck and post some QVIEW.

    Put a drip pan below with some beef stock and get the dripings and add back to the meat.
  3. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you have a good plan.
    Spritzing with apple juice is very popular and works really well.
    For a finishing sauce soflaquer's and Rivet's are both really popular.
    Sorry I can't add the links right now, internet is being a bit of a sob.
    I'm sure someone will be able to link them to you before I get back on in the morning, good luck and don't forget the Qview.
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    tommyrob likes this.
  5. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I went back and read you are using a MES.

    With the MES or basically any electric that has a water pan, you DO NOT need to spritz. The water will keep the cooking chamber filled with moist heat. Every time you open the MES you are extending the cooking time. Right now with outdoor ambients in 90-100 range the MES will recover in less than 15 min. if you are fast opening and closing the hatch. When the outside temps start to drop that recovery could easily go to 30+ minutes. The reason though to not spritz is due to already having moist heat if using the water pan.

    On my charcoal smokes I used to do on the weber kettle and gas grill smokes using the rotisserie I always spritz. So to compensate for the MES I inject my pork/shoulder with apple juice which has a little rub mixed in. However injecting isn't necessary, and neither is Spritzing with the MES.

    Other than Spritzing I think your plan is solid and you will enjoy some great Q.
  6. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Everything sounds right, you might consider leaving it in the cooler for a couple of hrs. at least.
  7. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only time I ever spritz in my MES or in the Gas Masterbuilt is if I have to open the door anyway. I never open the door to spritz. When you open the door you are letting out more moisture than you are applying. Your also going to add considerable time to your smoke time. Sounds like you have a plan. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
  8. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I agree that in a humid cooking envoronment, spritzing is not required, however, a nice mop/spritz can impart a nice flavor, so it's personal preferance.

    Can't add much to everything above. But if you're new to smoking, I'd recommend you go easy on the smoke, and don't pop the lid much. Two big mistakes that most new smokers make. A little smoke is great, but more smoke is too much, and popping the lid dumps a lot of the already low heat.
  9. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I will add that I put cherry or apple juice in my water pan for flavor and I can taste the difference on the meat. Some agree with this and some don't but I've always done it.
  10. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i can vouch for rivet's finishing sauce - i've been using it all summer for pulled pork and it is outstanding.

    you shouldn't NEED to foil at 165 - having said that, this would be a personal preference thing, so if you want to, it's OK - personally, i don't and have always gotten rave reviews for my pulled pork.
  11. brandonb

    brandonb Fire Starter

    Do you put only juice in your water pan or a diluted mixture?
  12. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Nice thread.... [​IMG]
  13. lifterpuller

    lifterpuller Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses so far.

    Rivet, why do you prefer to not foil? Do you think it sacrifices good smoke time? (just guessing because that's what my amateur logic leads me to believe)

    All of the finishing sauces sound excellent. I will be probably be trying a couple of them.

    I need to invest in a couple of squirt bottles for BBQing.

    Deltadude, your opinion on spritzing makes a lot of sense to me. I am trying to rid myself of the habit of opening the door to look at my masterpiece in process. I am in northern MN, and you really pay the price for opening the door when smoking in the winter.
  14. shriv

    shriv Fire Starter

    Here is a mop sauce and finishing sauce. Both are recipes I have picked up on this site. I spritz woth bourban/apple juice and water. Make sure you mix up alittle xtra for the cook for the trouble!

    Mop Sauce

    1 cup chicken broth
    1 cup apple coder vinegar
    1 cup Extra Virgin Olice Oil
    1 TBSP Kosher Salt
    1TBSP course ground black pepper
    roll over medium heat until it browns

    Finishing Sauce

    1/3 cup vinegar
    1/2 cup apple cider
    1 tablespoon Season All
    1 big pinch black pepper
    1 big pinch cayenne
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    Warm it up so everything disolves. I use 2/3's on 9 lb butt and keep the rest in the bootle for table use.

    I also don't foil. My butts take 23 hours at 230-240. I foil and put in a cooler for a coupel hours to rest.
    Good luck

  15. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I generally flavor the water pan too. Although I'm still not sure if it's transferring flavor to the meat or not. I love to use water, beer, and onions. The aroma makes the neighbors (and me too) nutz.
  16. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I put only juice in to fill the first time and if I need to refill the pan I refill with water. I think the meat takes on the flavor much more at the beginning of the smoke than later in the smoke.
  17. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    lifter - i don't intend to speak for rivet, but i'll tell you why i don't foil. my opinion (and keep in mind that we all have one) is that when you foil it up and finihsin cooking it that way, you are braising, not barbecuing. you WILL get tender, juicy pork that tastes grerat, but in myopinion you will not get the full barbecue experience and will in fact be steaming the pork. foiling does also soften the crusty bark quite a bit.

    before the flames hit me, i want to make a point of saying that there's nothing wrong with this if it is what someone prefers; this is simply why i choose not to.

    i'm in north montana, so i feel your pain when it comes to temperature control. there are a few things you can do to help with this and be sure to open the door only when necessary or when you're already messing with the fire anyway, and then open it for the shortest amount of time possible.
  18. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  19. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey lifter, that's a very good question and I have three answers for you, not sure any one will satisfy, but they all tie in together in my mind.

    1- Some say I am old-fashioned, some would say a purist, others pigheaded, and I think all are are correct. Back in the "olden day's" way back when they didn't have tinfoil and they made awesome BBQ, so I want to do that too. Learning that BBQ professionals call tinfoil the "Texas Crutch" doesn't do anything except make me shun it more.

    2- As Tasunkawitko rightly pointed out, it braises the meat and essentially nullifies what you have spent hours and hours trying to achieve. If I want to steam my meat, I will steam it in the oven.

    3- Not using foil forces me to become better at heat and fire control in my smoker in order to achieve the slow smoked tender goodness. If that is the price I have to pay to improve my skill, then I will do so gladly. I firmly believe smoking is an interactive, participative event. This is why I will never have a gas or electric smoker, either.

    I know there will be a lot of dissenting opinions on my position, but that's what makes life great!
  20. rj2316

    rj2316 Fire Starter

    I never thought of foil like that before. Up until now that's always how I've done pulled pork and ribs-using foil. I'll take the challenge and see how if I can get as tender without foil. Time for a throwback smoke!

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