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First time with boneless pork shoulder...

kurt boutin

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So, after reading a bunch of posts, I'm still left with a number of questions:

My smoker won't get below 300 degrees, in general (and with the heat wave we're having, it's not likely to).  I have a good digital thermometer, so cooking to temp is the plan.

Big questions:

Inject?  Pros/Cons?

Spritzing hourly?  Necessary?

When to wrap?  At finish?

Wrap with foil and towel and put in a cooler for an hour or 2 at finish?

I have 2, but only plan on doing 1 because I want to keep one aside in case I screw up.  Both are between 8 and 9 lbs.

Thoughts?

Kurt
 

hillbilly jim

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Give us some details about your smoker. Electric? Propane? Charcoal/wood? If propane, how many burners?

Something's wrong with a minimum sustainable of 300.
 

kurt boutin

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It's a Propane Masterbuilt Gas Smokehouse.  I agree there's something wrong.  Doing some research, folks have said I need to install a needle valve.  No idea how to do that, so for now, this is what I have. 

Kurt
 

pit 4 brains

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So, after reading a bunch of posts, I'm still left with a number of questions:

My smoker won't get below 300 degrees, in general (and with the heat wave we're having, it's not likely to).  I have a good digital thermometer, so cooking to temp is the plan.

Big questions:

Inject?  Pros/Cons?

Spritzing hourly?  Necessary?

When to wrap?  At finish?

Wrap with foil and towel and put in a cooler for an hour or 2 at finish?

I have 2, but only plan on doing 1 because I want to keep one aside in case I screw up.  Both are between 8 and 9 lbs.

Thoughts?

Kurt
For your first one, I recommend removing most variables.

Apply a good rub to the meat, into the smoker it goes. Stick a thermometer in it after about an hour and see where the temp is.

I personally do not foil butts BUT I do place a foil pan under them to collect all the flavorful juices.

Being as how yours is boneless, you'll have to cook it to temp, say 190-205 or so before it'll pull. I always do bone in because the bone is a natural doneness indicator.

300 is a little high but very doable for a temp.

What kind of smoker are you running?
 
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pit 4 brains

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It's a Propane Masterbuilt Gas Smokehouse.  I agree there's something wrong.  Doing some research, folks have said I need to install a needle valve.  No idea how to do that, so for now, this is what I have. 

Kurt
You slipped this in while I was typing..

Yes a needle valve installed in the line will help get that flame down. I put a hose from a turkey fryer on my GOSM just for that reason.
 

hillbilly jim

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Kurt, this is what you're looking for. It comes with a hose that has the proper (universal) attachment to connect to your smoker. You should be able to find them in any place that sells propane grills and equipment.

The valve allows you to adjust the fuel flow from completely off to wide open. You can adjust the flame to lower than the burner control on the smoker will go.

 

kurt boutin

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So, it looks like there's two valves there...the red portion and a smaller one to the right of that.  Do I have that correct?
 

hillbilly jim

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The red thing is the regulator. It only allows a given amount of pressure to go by, not full tank pressure. The other thing is a valve to control flow from completely off to maximum regulator pressure. The one in the photo is on my smoker. It will turn the fire down lower than the controls on your smoker.

Did you find the PM I sent you?
 

kurt boutin

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GaryHibbert

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They've got your temp problems covered real well.  So, your other questions.......

1--your can inject if you want to, or you can brine it over night.  I don't do either, but my last butt was a little dry.  Next time I'll brine it overnight in a simple salt, brown sugar and water solution.  Then rub it and leave it in the fridge overnight.

2--you can spritz if you want.  I don't.  Everytime you open the door to spritz, the cook chamber temp drops.  Like they say----if you're looking, you ain't cooking.

3--to wrap or not to wrap.  If you wrap, you will lose some bark, and what has already accumulated will soften.  My smoker is a MES 30 and doesn't give me a great amount of bark anyway, so I always wrap when the butt hits the stall.  I continue cooking until the IT hits 205*,  unwrap and let it cool off some, and start pulling--my butts always end up as PP.

4--don't worry too much about screwing it up.  Pork butt is about the most forgiving thing you can smoke--its VERY forgiving.  So just sit back and enjoy. 

Don't forget to post your smoke (with lots of qview of course).

Gary
 

seenred

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So, after reading a bunch of posts, I'm still left with a number of questions:

My smoker won't get below 300 degrees, in general (and with the heat wave we're having, it's not likely to).  I have a good digital thermometer, so cooking to temp is the plan.

Big questions:

Inject?  Pros/Cons?  My opinion only, but it's not necessary to inject a pork butt.  I've never injected one and they still come out juicy and full of flavor.  There's enough fat in a pork butt to keep it from drying out.

Spritzing hourly?  Necessary?  I used to do this on every pork butt.  Then once,  just for kicks, I tried one without spritzing...and I couldn't tell the difference.  Now I don't spritz.

When to wrap?  At finish?  No wrong answer here IMO.  If you like heavy, thick bark, then don't foil wrap at all.  If you don't care too much about the bark, and want to speed the cook along, then foil wrapping is the way to go.  If you do wrap, most folks do it when the butt reaches the temperature stall...usually around an internal temp of 160-170*.

Wrap with foil and towel and put in a cooler for an hour or 2 at finish?  I don't do this at all any more.  A butt that is FTC'd will continue to cook for an hour or more, and the IT can rise as much as another 10-15*, which can make what was perfectly cooked pork kinda mushy.  I prefer to tent the butt with foil and let it rest on the counter or in a cool oven until it's cool enough to pull with my hands without burning myself (maybe an hour or a bit more).

I have 2, but only plan on doing 1 because I want to keep one aside in case I screw up.  Both are between 8 and 9 lbs.

Thoughts?  

Kurt
Good luck and happy smoking!  Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!  


Red
 
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kurt boutin

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Ok, so we're smokin!  Ball valve seems to be working fine.  I had to tweak quite a bit until I got a consistent temp around what I want.  Right now it's sitting at about 234.  Good enough for me!

I was so caught up in making sure the smoker was keeping good temp that I forgot to take "before" Q-View.  Will definitely take "after".  Here goes nothing! :)  I'm not going to wrap before it comes to temp.   I"m shooting before 200 and 205  I haven't decided whether or not to foil and towel after.

I'm just excited that I have a chance of keeping my temperature low!  Now I can use my smoker more! :)

Ok, so the pertinents:

Memphis Dust for the rub

Apple chunks for the wood.
 

kurt boutin

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Ok, so I didn't expect it to take so long to come back up to temp when I put in the pork, the water pan, etc.  It's just NOW hit 228 with a pork temp of 108.  My guess is that this will cause it to need to cook longer. 

Anything I need to worry about?  It doesn't feel like it, but this is my first pork butt.. :)
 

kurt boutin

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Ok, so the update here is that it had leveled out around 232-234, but it's now creeping up in temp and my guess is that it's due to the sun and overall temp here.  It's creeped up to 241.  I'm thinking about not worrying about it for now.  IT of Pork is 129.
 

jeffinn

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That cooking temp is fine, nothing to worry about! Its gonna turn out great!!!
 

pit 4 brains

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Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.. Sounds like your on course...

It's like sailing. You'll get there, just less wind and less speed.
 

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