First ever pork shoulder smoke approaching!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jonathandavis89, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Hi everyone, very new to the smoking world as I just got an 18 inch WSM for Christmas with a BBQ Guru and am planning on smoking my first pork shoulder early tomorrow morning. From what I've been able to gather, it's about 1.5 hours per pound at 225-250. I have a 8lb pork shoulder which should put me at about 12 hours. 

    I was planning on going with the following recipe but wanted to know what some of you fine folks thought and if you could recommend any other recipes including the rub.

    Another main question I have is how much wood for 1 shoulder? I have a bag of apple and mesquite wood chunks and wasn't sure how many I should use for a 12-14 hour cook.
  2. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    First, that's an awesome set up, and you'll love it!

    I would shy away from mesquite as it is a very powerful wood and imparts a LOT of flavor.  Maybe mix a couple chunks of apple and one chunk of mesquite if you are set on using it.

    I'd recommend at least 1.5 hours per pound, and then give yourself an extra hour or two in case the shoulder has a long stall.

    There are two schools of thought..

    Wrap it with foil when you get 160 degree internal temp, or let it go without foil and get more bark, which is what I prefer

    Also, I hate smoking on my weber at 225-250, I've actually been running my temps from 275-300 for pork butts/shoulders as I prefer the texture and bark I get with a little higher heat, and I don't have the patience for a 12-15 hour smoke any more.  

    Looking at the recipe, the first thing I see is an injection, which I've never done, so I can't speak to that.  Others will post with opinions better than mine when it comes to that aspect.

    I'd cook it until you hit 200-205 for an internal meat temp, wrap in foil, and place in a cooler with a towel covering it for an hour, at minimum.  This will allow time for the juices to soak back into the meat.  Just as a side note, you can store cooked butts/shoulder in a cooler this way for hours, and they'll still be too hot to pull with bare hands most of the time.

    Good luck, keep us updated, and post pictures.
  3. In terms of how many chunks of wood, say I stay in the 225 range, how many chunks should I do for the whole cook? Will I need to add wood at different chunks or can I go with it all in one shot?
  4. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    I'd use 4-5, some use more, some use less.  I never have to add more wood and I run the same cooker you do.  You are NOT looking for white, thick smoke.  You ARE looking for thin, blue smoke, or almost no smoke, but that you can still smell the flavored wood burning.

    The BBQ Guru will help with your temps, something I wish that I had!

    Here is one of my last smokes I did on my WSM.  4, 8-9# bone-in butts.  Tasty, tasty pulled pork!
  5. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    And what they look like before being pulled - different smoke session
  6. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Nope I do not endorse that recipe. Although that is a well written tutorial I would not inject and cook at that low of a temp. Since you are here at I would like to give you a procedure that will insure the best pulled pork you have ever had in your life. It does not include injecting as injecting is not needed for a Pork Butt. This step by step is easy to follow and a great way to get to know your new smoker without taking the chance of getting anyone sick. I would not use mesquite on pork nope not ever. Apple is great though. This recipe is tried and true and one of the favorites of many of us. Bearcarver has a step by step for just about everything and they are all just excellent. You should do some reading on why not to inject large muscle meat when cooking low and slow in a smoker. Also and this is very important so you don't get in trouble with the wife. Make sure you allow 2 hours per pound plus a two hour rest for that beast. I can not tell you how many times I have had to order pizza and the PP was not done til midnight. Pork Butts have a mind of there own and they do not follow rules very well. There are lots of good recent threads on guys just like you that are doing Butts for their first time. I wish you luck and welcome to the world of the Butt. timber. 

    Also, take lots of pictures and let us ride along with you while you do your first one, that way if you run into a snag. Someone with loads of experience can be right there to help you. Don't take advise from someone who has 2 or 3 butts under their belt, you are just asking for misery. Mark my words.
  7. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    I'm assuming you aren't referencing me as someone with 2 or 3 butts under my belt, but that's how it looks.  Regardless, timber gives some great advice and the link he provided will give you all the insight you need to have a GREAT smoke and some of the best pulled pork you'll ever have!
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Nope, just a general rule as I see try to help all the new guys the best I can. I think after you get a few basic ones out of the way you can do your own thing as long as you understand the rules of safe food handling and preperation and stuff. wouldn't you agree? By the way those butts look great. I just don't think a butt needs to be injected unless you are making ham with cure. There is a ton of moisture and flavor in there just waiting to be released. No need for brine either but that is personal choice. Leaner cuts of meat, sure. Butt is packed full of it's own goodness. why take the chance?
  9. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    Oh, I agree whole-heartedly!  140 in 4 hours rule is a big one that I follow, even though I know it has been beat over and over on this site on whether it needs to hit 140 in 4 hours, due to it being whole, unpunctured, etc.  I don't inject my butts, nor would I, and I don't brine either.  Boston Butt or pork shoulder just has soooo much moisture in it that I just don't find it necessary either.

    Preparation and food handling are key, I know I don't want to be sick the next day from something I prepared, let alone get guests sick!
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit


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