I know its in here somewhere

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Aug 8, 2007
OK, I know somewhere on this forum there is an "outline" on the procedures for smoking a pork butt. But, for the life of me, I can't find it. I'm going to try to advance my "smoking skills". Basically I need to know what cut of meat to use (shoulder, butt, are they the same thing etc), what internal temp to reach (see, i'm trying to learn here), what to do once it reaches a certain temp (wrap and oven, but when?) etc. Please direct me to the appropriate thread and then I'll entertain you with how it all turns out.

One more thing. What is a reasonably priced, internal thermometer that I can buy? Thanks again, Greg (Guess I'll give in to technology to improve my abilities. Now that I think back on it, I've not tried quite a few things because of my lack of knowledge. Glad I found this site!!!)
Most prefer butts. The butt is the upper part of the whole shoulder. (nearest spine) Most of the "shoulders" cooked here are actually picnic shoulders which is the lower half of the whole shoulder that's left after the butt is removed. IMO, the ultimate in pulled pork is the whole shoulder. The two halves have a distinct difference in the type of meat and flavor and the mix seems to always put the finished product over the top. That being said, if just smoking one half or the other I'm a butt guy.

The when to foil thing is really a moot point. A shoulder will take smoke very well and drying out won't be an issue so foiling isn't really necessary. If you want to, 165°+ would be my recommendation. You want a good smoke flavor with good bark before foiling. The butt will be ready to pull at 200°. It will most likely be almost to collapse on itself in the smoker at that point. I have been putting my butts on a metal baking sheet and covering w/ foil lately then resting on the kitchen counter and hour or so. They are trying to fall apart so bad they are a pain to wrap and this method does the same thing.

The Maverick ET-73 is a great thermometer for the money.
I forgot to add one last thing about the technology. I had read your other thread about doing it wrong. There is nothing "wrong" with what you have been doing up until now. If anything keep the knowledge you already have and just check it and develop it further with thermometers and meat safety temp. guidlines. A thermometer is far from the end all be all it is represented as sometimes for determining when your product is done. While I think they are a great tool that helped me learn to cook brisket better than ever once I found SMF, Bob-BQN, and Dutch. Many of us don't have an old grizzled pitmaster in the backyard to say the fork should twist like this, the brisket should jiggle like that, the ribs should bend like this when picked up here, so the thermo is a good way to stay safe while learning.

In short you don't have a lack of knowledge, you have more knowledge than someone who won't do anything but look at clocks while cooking on a timetable or read a thermometer while not learning what is happening to the meat.
Thanks again, actually I'm kind of excited to expand my meat smoking to a higher level. Like I said, I've held off on some cuts of meat up to this point because I wasn't sure how to smoke them. Thanks for your time, Greg
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