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First Thread and First Shoulder


Joined Oct 18, 2016
So I am from Western North Carolina, grew up eating BBQ. I live in LA and have had for 6 years. There's just nothing comparable here. Usually it's more Texas and anyone that smokes doesn't do whole hog and uses too much mesquite. Tastes like liquid smoke to me! 

So I bought a pellet smoker. I bought a Traeger first and it was AWFUL. I actually returned it. So I went for a Green Mountain Grill and found myself extremely pleased.

So I went for a quicker smoke. I think next time I'll do it at 225. I did it at 275 this time around for time reasons. It was done in about 7 hours. In fact it was just perfect, I might have over cooked it just a touch but that only seemed to be one small part of the shoulder. The rest was so tender It just fell apart when chopped. 

As for Carolina Q, I can highly recommend a great book by Elliott Moss owner of Buxton Hall BBQ in Asheville, NC. If you haven't heard of it, you will. His recipes for rub and the vinegar pepper sauce especially are spot on. Also a great hush puppy recipe !

So I did a shoulder with his rub at 275 for 4 hours and then foil for about 3. The GMG stayed within a degree of 275, it's pretty incredible after having a Traeger shoot up over 70 degrees past where I set it. 

Rubbed up

 After 4 hour of apple and hickory at 275.

After the final 3 hours in foil so many juices i was worried it had dried out, definitely had not. 

The last bit, pretty good smoke ring! I want to do it at 200 or 225 next time to get more smoke. 

In NC we say "pulled pork" but we mean chopped. 

A test bowl with some hush puppies. I'll say this, it brought me right back to North Carolina all the way in LA. Literally I felt like I had take out from a BBQ spot back home. Can't recommend that vinegar pepper sauce recipe that Buxton Hall has in their book enough ! 


Meat Mopper
Joined Oct 16, 2016
I was a bit to busy enjoying my own dinner, sorry for the delay.

Firstly welcome to SMF!

That looks like a super shoulder cook!

Great looking bark, and smoke ring.

Point worth for sure

I know how you feel about a Traeger having insane temperature swings. I am running a Camp Chef pellet pooper myself.

I had been having some wild spikes myself. Todays smoke was a lot better. My Camp Chef runs about 20-30 degrees hotter than the dial is set too, so I dropped it down to 200 so that I could get my target temp of 225.

I had been adjusting the flue a bit more each use, today i had it turned down to the point that there was only about a 1/2 inch gap between the top of the pipe and the inside of the dome cap.

This seemed to help lower the amount of oxygen that could come in and hit the burning chamber, thus spiking it more.

I still get swings in temps, but this is unfortunately how it goes with the cycle of a pellet pooper.

As it cools from the pellets in the chamber cooking off, the auger feeds in more, then as they start to burn naturally there is a spike, then the cool starts again.. Makes for a weird cycle at times, but on mine after adjustments I was able to get the low's to only bet at 180 and the highs to only be at 240. While that is not as ideal as I would like, in the end it seems to have equaled out to still produce a great cook in the end

Welcome again to SMF
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