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Dang! Now My Pork Shoulder Wants to Cook too Fast?!?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ostrichsak, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper


    So based on the last couple I did (which were also the first couple I did) I planned my smoke for today's (actually tonight's) football game.  I've got people coming over so I decided to pad my cook time an hour and this was based on the last two.  My notes leads to believe that my average cook time should be about 20hrs given I don't foil, keep previous temps and yadda yadda yadda.  Last time I didn't foil and it still took that long.  This time I was planning to foil at 160 with a nice spray of apple juice & apple cider vinegar 50/50 to see how it turned out.  I know some like the 'bark' but I'm actually looking for less of a 'crusty' bark and more of a caramelized bark.  In my mind foiling at 160deg and spritzing down with that mixture gets me closer to that goal.  So, I do my math, throw it on at like 8:00 last night and was surprised when I was already at 160 at about 2:00am... 6hrs later.  Now I'm WAY ahead of pace so the idea of foiling it at 160 is out the window because now I'm actually hoping for another stall or two so this thing isn't done like 5hrs early and foiling won't help that.  As I type this I'm at 176deg and am predicting it will be at 200deg within a couple of hours.  I wasn't planning to be ready to eat this until tonight so I guess I will foil, towel and throw in a cooler for at least a few hours.  Not sure how this is going to work out being done this early as every other time these things have taken longer than planned & been done hours after I wanted them to be done.  I started my temp about 25-20deg warmer for the first hour or so and it looks like that had an effect but I never expected to see this much of an effect.  Maybe I'll get lucky and it will stall in the 170's here for a few hours and get me into the afternoon at least.  Even a few hours worth of stalls barely gets me to noon before a few hours resting.

    How long can I rest it?  Last time I rested and it went from about 202deg to about 175ish as I recall (don't have my notes in front of me) in a couple of hours and I'm thinking 3hrs puts it near 160deg and I think I've read that people often rest it to 160 or so before pulling.

    Also, what are some tips for trying to prolong this?  Rest it longer?  Pop in the fridge at a certain temp and then just microwave when company arrives?

    I've still got my 50/50 mixture in my spray bottle and I was planning to spray the pork once it was pulled too give it more moisture.  I'm assuming I wait until I re-heat to do this?  How much should I use?  I really, really, REALLY dislike the idea of re-heating because no matter how much I try to warm and not cook it still is not as good as when it's first pulled.  Any tips here?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. You didn't say what temp the smoker is at. You can dial back the heat. You can also let it go to temp wrap well in foil, the wrap with towels and put in a ice chest for a long rest. If you have to reheat in the oven that is not a problem. REMEMBER it is done when it is done. cook by temp, Not by time. I have had 2 butts of  the same size in the same smoker. finish 5 hours apart.

    Remember to post a Qview.

    Happy smoken.

  3. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Oops, I was at 225deg but I have since lowered it to about 217deg.  What is the lowest temp I want to run here and how will that affect my final product?  More juicy?  Less juicy?  I always cook by temp (Maverick ET732) and only used the time as a guestimation so I knew when to get it on in order to be done in time for guests.  I think I even added an hour to what already felt like longer times due to larger stalls previously.

    Ideally I think I would like to drop temp to whatever I can safely, foil and spray with the 50/50 mixture I have in an attempt to reach the desired result.  That foil is going to shorten the cook time no matter how I cut it though, right?
  4. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    220 would be the lowest I run it man...i wouldnt worry about it being done until it IS done
  5. I have foiled and dropped the temp to 200° to slow it down. If your going to pull it at 200°-205° it will be ok for a long time. Add some liquid to the foil. If it then slowed to much you can raise the temp. Be patiend and don't sweat it. It is going to be GREAT! Remember to post some pics.

  6. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    So foil, spray with the 50/50 mix I mentioned and drop the temp to 200deg?  Got it.

    I think the BBQ gods might be reading this because it's been sitting solid at 176deg so maybe I'll get luck and it will drag out through the afternoon.
  7. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    haha there ya go![​IMG]
  8. [​IMG]
  9. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    As soon as I said that it jumped 2deg.  lol  I guess the BBQ gods don't like to be mentioned by name so I'll keep that in mind for future postings.

    How much of this 50/50 mixture should I be using?  I sprayed it down pretty good and am guessing I used like 1/4 cup or so.  Maybe more importantly, how much should I use once it's done & I pull it?  It's about a 7.5lb shoulder.
  10. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Oh, I forgot to add that I decreased the temp of the MES30 about 20deg but it's not sitting at about 15deg lower than previous.  I'm at 210deg so we'll see where it settles as it sits at temp w/the door closed for a bit.  It's only about 40deg ambient air temp so that may have caused the temp to spike a little after I had the door open for a bit foiling.  I'll monitor the temp for a bit and if it sits solid around 210deg I'll lower another 10deg in an effort to attain 200deg even.  Any worry going below that?  I noticed that my low alarm on my Maverick maxes out at 175deg so I assume not. 
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You have an MES!  The Smoke Gods ARE with you...You have it foiled, Leave the temp where it is @ 210-225°F, finish the cook until the meat is at an IT of 200°F. Then the cool part of this situation...Turn the MES down to 150°F and go about your business until ready to serve. You are now doing what Restaurants have been doing forever, except you didn't pay $5000 for a Holding Cabinet!!! It can stay at 150° all day and evening without drying out or tasting like it was reheated...JJ
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  12. I realize this is an OLD thread, but I've just found myself in the same situation.  My son is going to graduate from college, and we're going to have about 25 people over later in the day.  Because of time, I'm going to smoke the pork shoulder(s) starting maybe 6 pm or 7 pm (?) the night before, and then I need to leave it for a while around 9 am.  I was going to wrap it in foil and towels in a cooler, but if I can simply turn the MES 40 down to 150 or 160 and head out, that would be easier.  And would it be as tender and juicy as using the cooler?