First Smoked Pulled Pork!

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Very very nice and congrats on a successful first attempt. Pork shoulders are pretty forgiving so you chose the right cut for your first long-haul smoke session. Don't be scared of that brisket though. Go for it!!

Robert
Thank Robert... I appreciate the praise. As far as the brisket goes, I'm less fearful of that long cook... but perhaps more fearful of the price these days. I saw a Wagyu brisket in the local grocery store that was more expensive than my lawnmower! :emoji_scream:
 
I saw a Wagyu brisket in the local grocery store that was more expensive than my lawnmower! :emoji_scream:
No question that meat prices have gotten insane. I've never done Wagyu before but am considering getting one for the 4th. If it's more than my lawn mower though, I'll pass. The least expensive mower we have (got 3 of them) was $900 last year and that's just a bit more than I'd pay for a brisket :emoji_laughing:

Robert
 
No question that meat prices have gotten insane. I've never done Wagyu before but am considering getting one for the 4th. If it's more than my lawn mower though, I'll pass. The least expensive mower we have (got 3 of them) was $900 last year and that's just a bit more than I'd pay for a brisket :emoji_laughing:

Robert
It was definitely a bit of an exaggeration on my part -- the price I saw was about $168-ish. Nevertheless, it does make one pause... gasp... then look around the store for the nearest defibrillator!
 
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Great job! Looks awesome...

I have more than a few under my belt, and as I type, I am envious as I am in hour 13 with no end in sight (175)... Great advice has already been given. All I can add is that when you think you have it conquered, the smoke gods will humble you quickly. Kinda like golf. It'll turn out delicious (and worth it), but going into work tomorrow after staying up for this is my penance...
 
Looks really good from here. To quicken the cook, bag the 225* and bump it up to 275*. Also there is no need to bring the butt up to room temp before cooking. Another tip - once you wrap bump the temp up even further. I've gone up to 350* and didn't notice any difference in the final product.

Point for sure
Chris
Good to know. I am in this boat of attempting a first Big butt or shoulder and I like this info!!
 
This past Sunday, I smoked my first pork shoulder! ...and it was that a grueling experience too! Twelve hours of waiting and checking in like an expectant father! :emoji_stuck_out_tongue::emoji_cold_sweat:

My day started around 6am. The first order of business was to caffeinate the cook, then pull the pork shoulder from the fridge to let it warm up to room temperature. This is where I started:
View attachment 667853

I started with a simple injection of apple juice, water, sugar, salt, and Worcestershire sauce (I used "W Sauce" and if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it!). After making a mess of that, I added the rub; btw: I got the inspiration from this "Girl Carnivore" recipe online.

Onto the Gravity 980 it went at about 8:30am (a little later than I had planned).

In my excitement, I didn't snap a picture of the shoulder post-rub, but I do have this first look after about 4hrs of smoke time:
View attachment 667854

The rest of the time was spent trying to keep the fires burning properly... I was getting some spikes, but since I had temp probes in both the chamber and the pork, I wasn't all that concerned.

Once I got to about the 165-ish range, I pulled the pork off and wrapped it in butcher paper, re-inserted the probe, and waited... and waited... and waited -- you get the idea; long, low-temperature smokes can be a little nerve-racking, to say the least.

As expected, I hit my target temperature around 7pm. I pulled the pork from the smoker and let it rest.
View attachment 667855

The moment of truth had arrived! The bark was absolutely gorgeous!
View attachment 667856

As I worked on this thing of beauty, my wife started to film me with her phone (and just today I -- unfortunately -- learned I couldn't actually add them to a post)... first, I was probing around to feel how tender the meat was (first "Oh, my God" moment), then I started pulling on the "money muscle" and is nearly disintegrated in my hand!... and finally, I started pulling soft, juicy chunks with almost no effort at all! Needless to say, we ate very well Sunday night! [edit: I neglected to mention just how easily that bone pulled away from the meat!]

As I had mentioned before, this was my "freshman" attempt at a long, 12hr cook. Prior to this, I'd smoked quite a few chuck roasts for pulled beef; I think those were more on the order of 6hrs. As far as I was seeing this cook, it was the prelude (and experiment) to another infamous long cook, the brisket (frankly, I'd rather screw up and learn on a pork shoulder than screw up on a full packer brisket). If there were lessons learned here, it leaned more toward the fire management side; not knowing any better, I filled my 980 chimney about 3/4 full with a mix of Jealous Devil Max XL briquettes, and apple and cherry wood chunks. Prior to this, I really didn't have experience in estimating the total available burn time. Subconsciously, I was trying to gauge the time such that I can start a cook (I'm thinking brisket here) late at night, go to bed, and still have the Gravity 980 rolling smoke when I get up for coffee in the morning. As I type this, I'm thinking that I should eat the cost of fuel and test it out for myself... but that "thou shall not waste fuel!"-minded engineer in me is singing loud. I think I should give him a beer (or twenty) and just do it.
What temp did you pull it at?
 
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