First Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gwschenk, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. After smoking many chickens, figured it was time for pulled pork.

    Got four pounds from the local butcher. Apparently he cut one in half. He also trimmed the fat. My strategy was to use the Minion method in my WSM 18.5. I filled the ring with Stubb's briquets and 4 good sized chunks of apple. Dumped a lit chimney on that in a hole in the middle. Used the charcoal pan from a ECB for a water pan, and put about a gallon of hot water in there, planning for it to boil off. The butt was dry brined over night and then used a rub of sugar, paprika, garlic, onion and ginger powder.

    After firing it up, the temp went crazy, almost 350. I shut down two bottom vents, closed the third one half way, and the top vent half way. When things settled down I put the butt on at 10 am. The smoker temp stayed about 260 and was very steady. No foil, no spritzing. at 3pm the IT was 180. Around 4pm the smoker temp started to spike. Maybe the water was gone?

    After 7 hours it was 203, and off it came.

    A little weird looking. Maybe should have tied it up. It looked OK when sliced.

    It pulled easily and was served on buns with coleslaw and a Carolina sauce from America's Test Kitchen that was basically vinegar and crushed red pepper. It fed four, and every one liked it. Or maybe the gin and tonics made them say that.

    One thing I learned was that the stock thermometer on the Weber was within a few degrees of my Thermoworks DOT. Also, it was not as smoky tasting as the chickens, even though I used a bit more apple.

    Can't wait to try it again!
  2. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good !

    As far as the water pan, it's a temp control ! Fill your water pan with sand & cover with a few layers of tin foil.... Makes for easy clean up !
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I run a dry smoker when smoking no water. In my 18.5 WSM I just foil the water pan and put it in empty. For lighting I use what I call the side light method. I fill the charcoal ring with fuel and whatever smoke wood I'm using. Put the body and lid on the base. Open all the vents and then use a propane torch to light the fuel by sticking the lit torch in one of the lower vent holes. I watch my temps and when I get 30-50 degrees above my target temp I shut the torch off. The temp will fall. If it goes 30-40 degrees below my preferred pit temp I'll torch again. Shut off and watch the temps. If I'm within 20 degrees I let it rise and start adjusting the lower vents as needed to get the smoker to settle in. Typically I will end up with two of the 3 lower vents closed and the third barely cracked. I leave the top vent wide open the entire smoke. Hope this helps.

    Your pork looks tasty!
  4. Thanks for the replies, guys. I take into consideration everything I read here and it's helped a lot.
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My apologies, somehow I read that you pulled the butt off the smoker at 180* IT ! I see now that you pulled it at 203* IT ! My bad, totally read it wrong somehow....
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  6. Ha! At my age I read about everything wrong! Finished the pork off the next morning as fried egg and pork sandwiches. Used the Carolina sauce and they were great.

    The next butt I'll try with a dry, or maybe sand, pan. And serve the butt southern Indiana style: sliced with a KC style sauce, sliced onion and pickle on rye bread.
  7. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What they said.  I filled the water pan on my MES with sand and foiled it over.  I've found that if you pull the pork and eat part of it for supper, and then put the rest in a ziplock bag and leave it in the fridge for about 24 hours, its better.  Seems like letting it sit overnight in the fridge just melds all the flavors through the meat--smoke included.


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