Question from a Beginner

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jessestanley, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. This passed weekend, I broke in my new Brinkman Smoker with a Picnic Pork Shoulder. Being a novice, I picked up some Kingsford Charcoal, and some Hickory Wood Chunks. The night before, I rubbed the pork with some barbeque sauce, a little bit of some onions and garlic, and let it sit in the fridge over night. The piece of meat was 6 pounds (Bone In), and I followed the guideline of 1.5 Hours per pound, so it was smokin for about 8.25 - 8.75 hours. The temperature in the smoker was between 170 - 210 degrees.

    We were looking for a good piece of Pulled Pork, where it just pulled off the bone and tender.

    The pork was cooked throughout and had a great flavor to it. Some parts were tender and some parts were a little "tougher" than we would have liked - not shoe leather tough, but not pulled pork tender. We enjoyed the meat with some barbeque sauce and a side of coleslaw and corn on the was a successful day of smoking.

    Here is my question...What could I have done to make the pork "fall off the bone" tender? Where we could have some amazing pulled pork? Could it have cooked longer? Would the temperature of the smoker made any difference? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    I'm quite the novice myself, but the first thing I would do is check the internal temp of the butt.  Once it gets to around 165-170, pull it off, wrap it up in tinfoil, and place it back on the smoker.  After that, keep checking the temp until it reaches 200ish, give or take, remove from smoker, wrap in a towel or two...or three, and place in a cooler.  Next, let it sit!  It will hold internal temp for quite awhile, this will allow the meat to not only redistribute the juices that get caught in the tin foil, but when you pull it out, you should be able to pull that bone straight out and begin the pullin'!

    Good luck!
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    X2.  heyer5 nailed it for fall-off-the-bone tender.  You should be able to grab that bone & pull it out clean if you follow those directions.  Moist & succulent, too.
  4. I will definitely wrap it in some foil all makes sense, and I will take your advice and use it in the future! Thank You
  5. menk45

    menk45 Fire Starter

    I'm a newbie too, with an El Cheapo Brinkman.  I smoked a Boston Butt Pork Shoulder Saturday and had a great end product...not without a couple of issues during the smoking process.

    I had a 5lb butt. 

    Friday evening I coated it with a light layer of mustard, coated it with rub, wrapped in plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge.

    Saturday morning at 5:00am, I pulled the pork out of the fridget, unwrapped it, let it rest, and went back to bed.  About 5:45am, got up again, got the smoker "Ideal", and added a little more rub to the meat before putting it in the smoker.  Added a couple of chunks of apple wood and filled the water bowl with hot water.

    A couple of hours later I added a couple more chunks of wood and about 10 briquettes.  I had a heck of time getting my temp to stablize.  Later in the day I had a hard time getting it hot enough. Internal temp actually dropped from 165 to 160. I finally lifted the smoker of the fire pan, dumped the ashes/coals and started over with fresh hot charcoals.

    About six hours in I sprayed the meat with a combo of apple juice and apple cider vinegar.

    After about 10 hours, I had an internal temp of around 190.  I pulled the meat off, double wrapped in foil, wrapped in a large bath towel, and put it in a cooler for about an hour before pulling.

    Meat turned out great, but it was quite a journey getting there.

    I was planning on doing an overnight smoke in a couple of weeks, but am really having second thoughts now.
  6. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is great advice, I only have a little bit to add. With an ECB once you reach 165 and foil you will want to place about 1/4 cup of liquid in there. I have used apple juice, beer, ham stock, it all works and affects the flavor differently. Also, there is no reason to keep that lil ECB going once you foil, place the foiled butt in the oven set at 240 until your internal meat temp reaches 200* - 210*. When you open the foil package there will be about 1/2 cup of liquid, save that and pour it back on to your meet after you pull it. Yes let that thing rest in a cooler for 30 minutes (minimum) I like to rest for an hour and have rested for up to 3 hours, if you do it right it will stay hot in there. I have an old goose down coat that I use to keep everything insulated.
  7. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would not recommend an overnight cook with your ECB, although they are great smokers that turn out some really good food, they require a great deal of maintenance.
  8. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All the above is great advice  [​IMG]
    I would suggest raising your smoker temp to 225º - 250º.

    This will help on the cooking time and also get you past the DZ (Danger Zone) if you probe early.
  9. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good advice

    Here is what I have been doing

    Its done when its done, throw away your watch.
    • Trim fat and false cap for more bark, (Some do not trim, I do), rub buts 24 hours or the night before the cook with Rub, use mustard to help the rub stick better, some use mustard I do not) Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
    • Bring smoker up to 300°, Place meat into smoker with a pan underneath to catch drippings.(optional), slowly bring smoker temps down to about 240°.
    • Leave undisturbed until an internal temp above 145°is achieved, at this point feel free to mop I use a 3-2-1 mix, Apple Cider (3 parts), Apple Cider Vinegar (2 parts) Captain Morgan (1 part). (optional) Mops are limited only to your imagination, just remember, more sugar will give more bark and sugar can burn. Note, make sure to get the Butt through the Danger Zone 40° - 140° within 4 hours.

    • FOR MORE BARK FORMATION; smoke at 230° - 240° (un foiled) until an internal temp of 200-205° (my average is 90 minutes per lb.)

    • FOR LESS BARK FORMATION ; smoke at 230° - 240° until an internal temp of 165° then foil and smoke until internal temp of 200-205° (smoke will not penetrate while foiled).

    • While foiled, you can bump the temperature up to 260° -275°, (I do not increase the temp during a cook)
    • Once the Butt has reached an internal temp of  200°-205°, wrap tightly in Foil then wrap in towels and place into cooler for 1 - 2 hours. (1 hour minimum, however I shoot for two hours).

    • While the Butt is resting, remove the pan with the drippings and refrigerate. if the drippings are black and charred I do not use them, however, this is your call.

    • Remove the Butt from the cooler, tent the foil to leave the steam out very slowly.

    • Remove drippings from the refrigerator and remove the grease (white waxy stuff on top)

    • Shred the Butt with some forks or bear claws, (some like to pull it by using their fingers), and add some rub or finishing sauce, at the least add your drippings. (optional)

    I like to shoot for 240° but Frank can be a bear and likes to hang around 250° -  265° on occasion.
  10. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Well I was hoping someone was going to catch that. Good job raptor. There was the real problem with our newbies smoke.
  11. smokinal

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

  12. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Two things, first off don't trust the therm on your smoker they are usually off by quite a bit.Now get yourself a external therm even a analog chefs therm will do if properly calibrated. Always cook by temp and not time. [​IMG]

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