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Basic Pulled Pork Smoke

jake628

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Joined Aug 31, 2010
This is fantastic for a newbie like me.  I like what you say about temp over time.  If I were to cook a 3.5 lb shoulder would I achieve a good bark in just 5 hrs?   Would it be better for me to keep the temp at 200-225 for the smaller piece of meat?  I also like the spray suggestion.

Also what about injecting the shoulder?  If injecting is recommended what do you inject?
 

pineywoods

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Jake it will get decent bark in that amount of time. It will get more bark if left unfoiled the whole time but I would suggest trying both ways to see which you prefer. I usually smoke butts at 225-250 shoot for a range and not an exact temp its much easier. Injecting again is a matter of personal preference. People use lots of different things to inject from just some apple juice or a little of their rub mixed with apple juice to ready made injections like Cajun Injector's line of stuff to very fancy injections people come up with on their own. Many people don't inject but use a finishing sauce before eating the pork here's a link to a good finishing sauce many of us use.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/finishing-sauce-for-pulled-pork-by-soflaquer

So much of smoking depends on personal preferences and tastes that I'd suggest trying it one way then trying a different way until you discover what you and your family likes the best. One good thing about this is you get to eat all the experiments and they usually taste pretty good
 
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fatguy

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well folks, first post here. Looks like a great place. I followed these instructions and I was just amazed at how well my Boston Butt turned out. I did one before knowing how on opening day of the NFL season and while it tasted ok, it was nothing like this one.  I put the shoulder in the smoker @ 11:30 pm Sat night and it was ready to eat at half time yesterday, The thing I really find challenging is to keep a steady temperature. I have one of those Chargrill smokers with the "side car" as we like to refer it. It's a few years old so the baffles won't open and close anymore. I compensate by how far the "drawer" is pulled out. Does anyone have any tips for temp control?

Also, I started off with using charcoal briquettes and wood chips but when I ran out at 2:30am I just used smaller pieces of firewood.
 

teleburst

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Joined Jul 6, 2008
As long as you're looking for a dark, crusty bark (which I think is the absolute best), there is no need to keep the temperature at 225 - 250, at least for the first 6 hours. There is absolutely no problem with blitzing the pork butt with 350 degrees at any time during the first half of cooking. The result will be the same as long as you back down to 225 - 250 for the remainder of the cooking. When I do a pork butt in a 22" Weber, it's usually 350 for at least 2 hours hours each time I recharge the charcoal - the temp usually starts to drop after two hours and ends up around 195 - 225 before it's time to add more charcoal.

I wrote about this here a couple of years ago. I did several documented experiments with it on the forum, with pics and detailed timing/temp notes. Since then, I've probably done 10 butts the same way. There is no problem at all with high temps in the first part of the process. The key to the tender pulled pork that we expect is the final internal temperature. I find the best results with the most fat rendering occurs at 200 -205. You can still pull quite nicely at 195 but there's the chance that you might find a stray small piece of internal fat (excluding the remainder of the fat cap, of course).

This isn't a method to speed things up. It doesn't. I only bring it up to shatter the myth that great pulled pork requires keeping your temperatures at 225 - 275 and keeping your temperatures constant. If you need to monitor your temps religiously because it's part of your process or part of the fun, that's OK. But it's not necessary until about the 6 hour mark. For those who only have a small device like a round Weber, this can be a real help in cooking. You basically just fire it up and leave the top on and walk away until the vent thermometer reads 225 or less (obviously time and temp is dependent on the size of your smoker and the way you vent the device - my figures are based on a 22" Weber with about 1/3 bottom vents/ 2/3 top). Then you fire it up again and repeat the process. You usually don't have to recharge the coal until 2.5 - 3 hrs. After you do this twice, that's the time that you monitor the temperature more closely. In fact, after about 8 hours (another 2 hours of smoke), you can finish in the oven at 250 because you've already injected about all of the smoke that you're going to. You'll get a good smokering and a nice crusty dark bark, Memphis-style.

As I said, this doesn't speed up the process or eliminate the plateau. It just makes it easier for those of us who are using smaller grills. You don't have to worry about fiddling with the coals or opening the top to check progress.

You can't use this method if you have to have a mahagony exterior. 

You can see pics if you search for my posts.
 
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dick foster

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Joined Apr 24, 2010
Yes, an electronically controlled stoker fan. It really does the trick.

They are expensive to buy but if you're handy you can build one for cheap, less than $100. Maybe about $50 or so depeding on where you get the stuff to build it with.  
 

marlin009

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Joined Sep 10, 2010
Thanks meowey! I've read this over the past week or so. Have my first one in the frig waiting for tomorrow morning. Feelin' good.

Usually, I only get up this early on the weekends for fishing.
 

flanntastic

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i am going to cook a butt on Sunday, should be done by 8am, and not serving it till 1pm,

can i drop  the pulled goodness in a pan and throw in the oven @ 140 degrees?
 

gmebey

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I have taken the butt and wrap/seal in aluminum foil, wrap it up in several towels and put in a cooler. Even after 2 hours it is still steaming hot.
 

xjcamaro

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Got a questions, i know the rough estimate on a butt is 1.5 hrs per lb. Now is that per lb in the smoker or per lb per peice. i usually only do 1 butt so it didnt matter. But im thinking of doing 3, each about 4 lbs, so if there is 12 lbs total in the smoker do i got 1.5 hrs per 12 lbs, or since they are each 4 lbs would it be 1.5 hrs per 4 lbs cause they are seperate?

Thanks!
 

meowey

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It's per piece

Take care, have fun, and do good!

Regards,

Meowey
Got a questions, i know the rough estimate on a butt is 1.5 hrs per lb. Now is that per lb in the smoker or per lb per peice. i usually only do 1 butt so it didnt matter. But im thinking of doing 3, each about 4 lbs, so if there is 12 lbs total in the smoker do i got 1.5 hrs per 12 lbs, or since they are each 4 lbs would it be 1.5 hrs per 4 lbs cause they are seperate?

Thanks!
 

xjcamaro

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So even though there are 12 lbs in the smoker, but each are 4 lbs, i can plan on roughly 6 hours, (4 lbs x 1.5 hrs/lb)?

Just to be clear
 

pineywoods

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So even though there are 12 lbs in the smoker, but each are 4 lbs, i can plan on roughly 6 hours, (4 lbs x 1.5 hrs/lb)?

Just to be clear
Correct it may be a little longer but not enough to tell usually. Always smoke to temp and not by time but it should be right at about the same time.  
 

carnivorous

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I definitely like to use the juice in the pan sans the fat and put it in bags as well. It warms it up and the bags seal in the moisture instead of losing it to the microwave.
 

xjcamaro

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So even though there are 12 lbs in the smoker, but each are 4 lbs, i can plan on roughly 6 hours, (4 lbs x 1.5 hrs/lb)?

Just to be clear
Correct it may be a little longer but not enough to tell usually. Always smoke to temp and not by time but it should be right at about the same time.  
Ya, i go by temp, but roughly, If i had to figure off of 12 lbs instead of 4 lb, that a big time difference. Just wanted to make sure i left myself enough time.
 
 

chris becker

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Joined Dec 23, 2010
Here's my take...

I only cook to temp, never time. My outside temps are 90 degrees to -5 so that really kills a time thing! I use a pellet grill.  I always use a digital rat tail probe in everything I cook.

I do the mustard, seasoning then DARK brown sugar. I start at 225 and leave it... PERIOD   I leave the fat cap on top. I always cook till 200-205, that is the magic number to get all internal fat and connective tissue rendered out. I also never use sauce.... I really like how the meat tastes. I do always have some on the table for those that want it. Now in saying that, this is what I do different to get an awesome juicy chunk O pulled pork.  After I do my finish coat of brown sugar I place it in a shallow, maybe an inch or so high, pan and add southern comfort and water or orange juice to just about to the top of the pan. I check it after about 6-8 hours to make sure there is still liquid in the pan and maybe add a bit of comfort or OJ or whatever you wish. When it starts to render it will fill with the meat juices and fat and mix with whatever you started with. When I pull the finished meat off I bring it in pan and all and grab a turkey baster and tilt the pan so all juices get to one side and start sucking them out with the baster and put in a coffee cup or 2 depending on size. Then I pull the bone out...trim fat and pull by hand with high heat gloves. When I'm done pulling I put the baster to the bottom of the cup....avoiding any fat (grease) and just pulling up pure flavor from the seasoning and brown sugar then add it back to the pulled pork! Now that is some good vittles.

My average time...is 12-15 hours depending on outside temp. I use our Perfect Mix pellets.
 

pussiwillow

Newbie
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Joined Jan 16, 2011
i followed this today for my first time smoking. i smoked a 3.18 pound picnic roast following these instructions and it turned it out amazing! and used the finishing sauce that was posted in here and that really made a difference as well. thanks to everyone who contributed to this, made for a damn good meal! haha ill try and post pics right now hope it works





 

smokinhusker

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Gonna give this a shot with your rub recipe and Jeff's finishing sauce. I'll definitely post with Qview when I do it. Thanks for all the wonderful info.
 

jonrd463

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Joined Jun 6, 2010
Hi all! Well, I'm one of the lurkers. Joined up several months ago, made a few posts, then sat back and lurked. Meanwhile, I've been putting some serious mileage on my Electric ECB, all thanks to the wonderful advice from you good folks. I haven't posted any Q view because I don't have a digital camera worth mentioning, and I didn't want to waste time talking without showing. Nevertheless, I've had some great success up to and including this Sunday's butt smoke. I usually add my own little flair to the cook with mixed results, but this time, I followed Meowey's directions to the letter, including adding SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce. I have to say, this was the best pulled pork I've been able to pull off! I usually go with a K.C. or Memphis style sweet/smoky sauce, but the Carolina style of the finishing sauce was a new treat for me. Very nice!

Thanks everyone for helping me become a better smoker!
 

jwsailor

Fire Starter
49
10
Joined Jan 10, 2011
wow, I just read 13 pages of very usefull info. Going to try a Boston Butt this weekend in my MES which is new to me after years of the CharGriller with an offset firbox. But I am looking forward to a thermostat that I can set and forget. I will post next week with the results. Thanks very much to  Meowey
 

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