First picnic shoulder, need advice

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Workaholic

Smoke Blower
Original poster
May 12, 2019
139
59
KANSAS
I'm trying to plan out my smoke for this weekend. WSM 22.5 with RO lump and oak, is the plan, at this moment, along with the inkbird. May try to pick up some fruit wood this Saturday, to add in. Same place I would pick up the fruit wood also has B&B briquettes. Should I get that?

The goal here is to have this smoked and ready to be at my parent's place at 4:30 Sunday afternoon. The wife picked me up a picnic shoulder on sale, like 89 cents a pound. It weighs in at about 8.9 pounds. I need to plan this out. I'm assuming there is some trimming I need to do, but not sure.

I expect I need to run a temp of 225 or higher, but what temp do I need to run for this? What should I expect time wise, to make sure I'm not late? Am I looking at 225 at 1.5-2 hours per pound? That would put me at 12-18 hours for the smoke. Does that sound right? Any other advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Lump or Briquettes? Whatever your WSM will hold steady burning. Mix in a few chunks of fruit wood.

Remove the Skin. It won't crisp at 225-250°F. Apply a generous coat of Rub and rest overnight or go in smoker. Smoke the Skin anyway. Makes a good flavoring in Beans, Greens or Soup. You can cut it up for Dog Treats too, keep refrigerated.

Yes your timing will be 1.5 to 2 per pound. As above you can Smoke a couple days ahead or if Saturday is the only opportunity, Plan to have it done by 1pm Sunday. This gives wiggle room in case the meat goes long. And/or gives time for you to wash the Smokey Smell off and change clothes.
Start the cook at around 9 pm Saturday. When the pork is Probe Tender, IT about 205°F, double wrap in foil or place in a disposable pan and cover with foil. Wrap the foiled meat in old Towels or a blanket and rest in a cooler until you get to your parent house. The meat will still be quite warm. Pull, add a Finishing Sauce and serve...JJ

You may like to try one of these...

Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste
1/4C Brown Sugar
1T Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Granulated Garlic
2 tsp Granulated Onion
2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper
1 tsp Celery Salt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.
1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ

POP Sauce

2C Cola or other
1/2C Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Rub, whatever's on the meat.
1T Mustard
1T Molasses
1T Colgin Hickory Liquid Smoke (optional)

Add all to a pot and bring to a simmer, for 5 minutes.

For Finishing Sauce, keep warm and add to meat.
 
JJ has you covered. I did a butt the other day and it was ready a few hours early. Foil wrapped and into a cooler for 3 hours wrapped in towels. Still HOT when I took it out to pull it.
385A1019-AD84-4198-8C94-4447857A836D.jpeg
 
have it done a couple hours early and let it rest. It’s less stressful on you as far as time goes and I think makes it turn out better
Yup . Going to Tennessee in a couple weeks for vacation . Plan is to smoke a butt to take along , so I did a test last week with the reheating .

So I smoked , pulled and cooled over night . Reheated the next day . Fantastic .
Then vac'd and froze . Reheated a few days later . Perfect .

I'd get it done the day ahead .
 
Yup . Going to Tennessee in a couple weeks for vacation . Plan is to smoke a butt to take along , so I did a test last week with the reheating .

So I smoked , pulled and cooled over night . Reheated the next day . Fantastic .
Then vac'd and froze . Reheated a few days later . Perfect .

I'd get it done the day ahead .
+1. I think the results are even better than same day.
 
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JJ has provided really good information here!!
I want to add some stuff specific to the WSM. As you break in and season your big WSM 22, you may experience some difficulties keeping those low temps (225) during the first few cooks in the big guy. This is normal for a WSM as you have all that new shinny porcelain enameled surface that just will bound the heat off and back into you smoke and at your meat. As you continue to cook you will build up a nice layer of seasoning and it will absorb some of the heat. This will also help with air leaks. There will most likely be some smoke coming out where the three sections of the WSM come together during those first few cooks, this is not a big deal. Again over time, as the smoker gets some good seasoning build up those leaks will lessen and lessen. Do not get overly concerned about this on your first cook. However, an area of concern with the WSM 22 is how the door fits onto the middle section of the smoker. Before you light up your smoker take a look at how that door fits around the middle section. Many guys need to shape the door to fit better. That is an area where if there is too much a gap it can bring in too much air and make managing temps more difficult. Doing a few pork shoulders and picnics is the best thing you can do to help season that new smoker. A Pork Picnic Shoulders can also handle higher heat and the amazing quality will not decline at all! I say all of this to let you know if your WSM wants to run at 275 don't freak out. Do not loss the fun in using your new smoker because you are so worried about that 225 mark. I would also recommend you use a minion method to start you WSM. Have you thought about what you are going to do with the waterpan? This is one of the hot button personal opinion items with the WSM, and as many WSM owners you speak to is how many different answers you will get. I personal use water in the summer months to try to control temps in the hot sun and heat, and I use a dry foil wrapped waterpan in the winter to try to keep temps up in cooler month and through the cold winter. I recommend any new user to use water and to keep it filled through the whole cook. This makes controlling temps much much easier. I recommend using water in the pan until you really learned your smoker and then you can decide how you want to move forward. If you smoke at a higher temp (275 ish) it will cut down on the cook time some but it will still be a long cook.
As for charcoal, I personally love B&B briquettes and is one of the primary charcoals I use in my WSM 14. The other two are B&B Competition Char-Logs and Blue Hogs Briquettes. You can use briquettes or lump (or a mix of both). My biggest recommendation is to be consistent over the first few cooks. If you regularly keep RO lump on hand and that is what you want to go with do it. I love briquettes in the WSM because they are so consistent, where lump can have swings because of the different size pieces.
Also, this resent thread is worth checking out.

Good Luck!
 
JJ has provided really good information here!!
I want to add some stuff specific to the WSM. As you break in and season your big WSM 22, you may experience some difficulties keeping those low temps (225) during the first few cooks in the big guy. This is normal for a WSM as you have all that new shinny porcelain enameled surface that just will bound the heat off and back into you smoke and at your meat. As you continue to cook you will build up a nice layer of seasoning and it will absorb some of the heat. This will also help with air leaks. There will most likely be some smoke coming out where the three sections of the WSM come together during those first few cooks, this is not a big deal. Again over time, as the smoker gets some good seasoning build up those leaks will lessen and lessen. Do not get overly concerned about this on your first cook. However, an area of concern with the WSM 22 is how the door fits onto the middle section of the smoker. Before you light up your smoker take a look at how that door fits around the middle section. Many guys need to shape the door to fit better. That is an area where if there is too much a gap it can bring in too much air and make managing temps more difficult. Doing a few pork shoulders and picnics is the best thing you can do to help season that new smoker. A Pork Picnic Shoulders can also handle higher heat and the amazing quality will not decline at all! I say all of this to let you know if your WSM wants to run at 275 don't freak out. Do not loss the fun in using your new smoker because you are so worried about that 225 mark. I would also recommend you use a minion method to start you WSM. Have you thought about what you are going to do with the waterpan? This is one of the hot button personal opinion items with the WSM, and as many WSM owners you speak to is how many different answers you will get. I personal use water in the summer months to try to control temps in the hot sun and heat, and I use a dry foil wrapped waterpan in the winter to try to keep temps up in cooler month and through the cold winter. I recommend any new user to use water and to keep it filled through the whole cook. This makes controlling temps much much easier. I recommend using water in the pan until you really learned your smoker and then you can decide how you want to move forward. If you smoke at a higher temp (275 ish) it will cut down on the cook time some but it will still be a long cook.
As for charcoal, I personally love B&B briquettes and is one of the primary charcoals I use in my WSM 14. The other two are B&B Competition Char-Logs and Blue Hogs Briquettes. You can use briquettes or lump (or a mix of both). My biggest recommendation is to be consistent over the first few cooks. If you regularly keep RO lump on hand and that is what you want to go with do it. I love briquettes in the WSM because they are so consistent, where lump can have swings because of the different size pieces.
Also, this resent thread is worth checking out.

Good Luck!

This isn't quite my first cook on this cooker. It's number 3, 4, or 5. 🤣 I read up, both on this site and the weber virtual site, on the smoker, and bought for the foreseeable big cooks, being well aware that my typical use would better fit an 18. Since I read up so much, I was able to put the gasket kit in place between assembly and first cook. First major cook on it was 3 hotel turkeys, which the thread for that is around here somewhere.

I actually prefer briquettes, for the reasons you mentioned, consistent size and heat. But, I use the lump when the wife buys it, don't want to be in the dog house for not using it. The place that has B&B, which I've never used before, also has Blue Hog. Not sure if they have the char-logs or not. If B&B is as good as or better than RO, then I'm all in. That particular Ace Hardware has a large section dedicated to que stuff, including a large selection of BGE accessories. I do normally run the minion method, however, I have to admit, I am still learning this smoker a bit, since this is my first upright since an ecb in like 2000. I cut my teeth with fire management on an offset, the Brinkman smoke n pit. Decent offset, once you get it dialed in with a few mods to help with heat management in the cook chamber. However, after the first 2-4 hours, I had to feed it every 45 minutes, which is what sealed the deal for the WSM over another offset when I went looking to replace the snp. The only reason I use RO is because it was all I could consistently find, other than Kingsford, and I know better than to use that stuff, unless I absolutely have to. Also used to be a semi regular member over at the smoke ring, however, me being away from smoking for about 4-5 years, when I went back to that site, participation there has dropped off considerably.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike R.
Lump or Briquettes? Whatever your WSM will hold steady burning. Mix in a few chunks of fruit wood.

Remove the Skin. It won't crisp at 225-250°F. Apply a generous coat of Rub and rest overnight or go in smoker. Smoke the Skin anyway. Makes a good flavoring in Beans, Greens or Soup. You can cut it up for Dog Treats too, keep refrigerated.

Yes your timing will be 1.5 to 2 per pound. As above you can Smoke a couple days ahead or if Saturday is the only opportunity, Plan to have it done by 1pm Sunday. This gives wiggle room in case the meat goes long. And/or gives time for you to wash the Smokey Smell off and change clothes.
Start the cook at around 9 pm Saturday. When the pork is Probe Tender, IT about 205°F, double wrap in foil or place in a disposable pan and cover with foil. Wrap the foiled meat in old Towels or a blanket and rest in a cooler until you get to your parent house. The meat will still be quite warm. Pull, add a Finishing Sauce and serve...JJ

You may like to try one of these...

Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste
1/4C Brown Sugar
1T Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Granulated Garlic
2 tsp Granulated Onion
2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper
1 tsp Celery Salt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.
1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ

POP Sauce

2C Cola or other
1/2C Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Rub, whatever's on the meat.
1T Mustard
1T Molasses
1T Colgin Hickory Liquid Smoke (optional)

Add all to a pot and bring to a simmer, for 5 minutes.

For Finishing Sauce, keep warm and add to meat.

Wow, wasn't expecting recipes, too. Thanks! There are lump remains in the cooker, and the wife just bought me another bag. I can't complain too much, as it's her idea for me to smoke this, and she buys the charcoal. Just wish she could get it through her head to buy briquettes. I appreciate you confirming the time frame for me. This is the first overnight smoke I'll have run on this cooker. It will be interesting to see how it performs. Thanks to the inkbird, I'll have alarms on my phone for temps. As to pulled or cut, I'm honestly not sure. Hadn't discussed that. I'd like to try my hand at pulling, however. Last time I ran it, I used lump, and had consistent temps, but that was a day cook, where I could keep an eye on things. I may wind up picking up some briquettes to be on the safe side, although I know of a lot of people that use lump in the WSM and UDS for cooks, including overnight, with no issues. Will have to discuss what the wife wants for a sauce for this. I'm hoping she doesn't ask for my cherry root beer BBQ sauce. We shall see. Thanks for all the replies so far.
 
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This isn't quite my first cook on this cooker. It's number 3, 4, or 5. 🤣 I read up, both on this site and the weber virtual site, on the smoker, and bought for the foreseeable big cooks, being well aware that my typical use would better fit an 18. Since I read up so much, I was able to put the gasket kit in place between assembly and first cook. First major cook on it was 3 hotel turkeys, which the thread for that is around here somewhere.

I actually prefer briquettes, for the reasons you mentioned, consistent size and heat. But, I use the lump when the wife buys it, don't want to be in the dog house for not using it. The place that has B&B, which I've never used before, also has Blue Hog. Not sure if they have the char-logs or not. If B&B is as good as or better than RO, then I'm all in. That particular Ace Hardware has a large section dedicated to que stuff, including a large selection of BGE accessories. I do normally run the minion method, however, I have to admit, I am still learning this smoker a bit, since this is my first upright since an ecb in like 2000. I cut my teeth with fire management on an offset, the Brinkman smoke n pit. Decent offset, once you get it dialed in with a few mods to help with heat management in the cook chamber. However, after the first 2-4 hours, I had to feed it every 45 minutes, which is what sealed the deal for the WSM over another offset when I went looking to replace the snp. The only reason I use RO is because it was all I could consistently find, other than Kingsford, and I know better than to use that stuff, unless I absolutely have to. Also used to be a semi regular member over at the smoke ring, however, me being away from smoking for about 4-5 years, when I went back to that site, participation there has dropped off considerably.
Sorry, did not intend to treat you like a newbie! I I strongly recommend the B&B. Some of the guys over at the weber virtual site who are located in the midwest got a completely different version of the Blue Hog Briquettes than I did on the east coast. I love the 4 bags I have used, but the guys in the midwest were not impressed.
 
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I just did two large pork butts on Tuesday was worried about timing as well. I started a thread and got a lot of great advice. The best advice that was given to me was start them early even they day before because you can always put it in the oven wrapped in foil at 200 and bring it back up to temperature np. I cooked mine and got them done 6 hrs early I put them in a chest wrapped in towels then the last hr put them in the oven on 175 it was perfect. Here is the thread lot of good info.
 
Sorry, did not intend to treat you like a newbie! I I strongly recommend the B&B. Some of the guys over at the weber virtual site who are located in the midwest got a completely different version of the Blue Hog Briquettes than I did on the east coast. I love the 4 bags I have used, but the guys in the midwest were not impressed.

Not offended at all. Anyone else that comes along may be able to take advantage of that advice. I was just trying g to let you know, and may have come across wrong, that I wasn't quite that new to this stuff.

I've read through the linked threads, and it looks like I have 2 options for when to start it. Either tonight when I get off work, or early tomorrow morning. If I run it whole, I'm looking at a 12-18 hour smoke. Or,I can cut it in half, possibly get twice the bark, and shorten the cook time by few hours. Does this sound right?
 
I have nothing to add...all is covered well above except...

Picnic roast is my fave cut for PP.
Pork shoulder is just fine but, in my opinion, picnic roast is better.
 
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Not offended at all. Anyone else that comes along may be able to take advantage of that advice. I was just trying g to let you know, and may have come across wrong, that I wasn't quite that new to this stuff.

I've read through the linked threads, and it looks like I have 2 options for when to start it. Either tonight when I get off work, or early tomorrow morning. If I run it whole, I'm looking at a 12-18 hour smoke. Or,I can cut it in half, possibly get twice the bark, and shorten the cook time by few hours. Does this sound right?
Please know you did not come across wrong, I didn't like how I wrote to you!
I have done half pork shoulders a few time (around 4 lbs) and I have not seen too much different in cook time. I think what really effect time is the temps cooked, foiled or not, and the thickness of the meat. Also you have a Picnic not a shoulder correct? I have never personal or seen someone half a picnic. I always go with the route that gives me the most time!!!
 
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I've cut butts in half , cook time didn't change much if at all .
You can get a cut picnic . Don't see them much around here anymore . Big end is a sirloin cut , the smaller would be a shank portion .
 
I'd have to cut it in half myself. Was thinking about the thread that zwiller zwiller posted. I almost feel like time isn't on my side with this. Looking at rain starting Saturday night. 84% chance. I haven't cooked on the WSM in weather like that, so am thinking I want to avoid it. That means change of plans, get off work at 9 tonight, have it on the cooker by midnight. Hopefully have it finish up early afternoon tomorrow.
 
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So, I ran it yesterday. Total time wound up at about 13 hours. RO lump, 2 small chunk said of cherry, a couple decent sized chunks of oak, and some frustration. Smoker had some issues with maintaining temp towards the end of the smoke, and wound up going through a full bag of lump. This afternoon I'll take a look at the ash build up. May need to figure out a way to clean out the ashes on long smokes, or change to something other than RO lump. Picked up a bag of charcoal at the local Ace, yesterday afternoon. At the time my choices were BGE lump, B&B lump, Fogo lump, and Blues Hog Hog Logs. Grabbed a bag of the Blues Hog, and will try it next smoke. Seemed to have stalled out 3 times, 155 ish, 174 or so, and lower 190s, so after an hour at 193, I pulled it and stuck it in the oven at 275. Within an hour, it hit 203, which suggests to me that it was pretty much done, when I pulled it. When pulling, I only had a handful of fat that I had to separate from it. And on to tje important things:
 

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