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Just Rubbed Shoulder... To Start Now or Early in the Morning? That is the question.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ostrichsak, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    I'm relatively new to smoking and last time I did a pork shoulder was the first time smoking (brand new MES 30) and it turned out amazing.  I rubbed it down with yellow mustard plus a dry rub (store bought) and then threw it in the fridge overnight.  Based on what I was reading online (1.5hrs per lb) I didn't get it on until about 11:00am being as it was barely a 4lb shoulder.  I figured this would leave me plenty of time before dinner since we had company.  Well, this was a mistake and we ended up buying BBQ to go with all of our sides at a local place.  Grrrr  Once the pork was done it was incredible and I was VERY pleased with my first smoke.  My 2nd was last week and was a brisket.  Not too happy with the results (even though wife and mother said they liked it) but that's another topic.  

    Fast forward to tonight and I just rubbed down a larger (about 50%) shoulder to smoke and it's in the fridge.  Laying here watching football now I'm wondering if I should just throw it in the smoker to avoid a repeat of last week.  This means I can't let the rub sit overnight but I'm not sure that's too important based on what I've read since.  I'm reading lots of people saying they rub just before throwing it in and it's fine.  I also don't own an AMNPS<sp> so I plan to add chips every 30min or so until I go to sleep.  Based on time right now that means I would likely get about 3-4hrs worth of smoke before just leaving it sit all night at 225deg or less.  I might even shoot for 200deg since I will have more time if this yields a juicier or moister end product?  I think I read that you only need to 'smoke' the first 3hrs or so and I think I read elsewhere that it will still take 'smoke' until about twice that length of time.

    So, what would you do for those more experienced?  Wait and get up early and still chance it not being done or having to rush or throw it on now w/o letting the rub sit overnight and only get chips smoking it for the first 3-4hrs but have it done with plenty of time and possibly at a lower temp for better (?) results in meat quality?

    No pressure but I would have to be getting this thing on like right now so quick (even if short) responses would be ideal.  Other responses will get added to my cooking notes for the next time since I have another shoulder in the fridge that will likely go on towards the end of the week.

    I should  add that I also use a Maverick ET732 for remote tracking.  I could figure out how to set the alarm for the meat to 200-205ish so I don't sleep through a complete meat but I doubt that will be the case as I seriously doubt it will cook that quickly.

  2. I'd go with putting on tonight..better to be done early and resting than late and going to restaurant... 3-4hours with chips will be plenty
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If this is a bone in shoulder, start @ 225* for a couple hours, then you could back it down a little on chamber temp after that, but, 200* chamber temp will not give you tender, pull-able pork, as it would take days to ever get close to 200* I/'T. If boneless, you should follow the 35-141*/4hr time/temp guideline for compromised muscle meats to safe...that would require at least 225* for the first several hours, possibly higher, depending on the actual weight.

    Realistically, 2 hours/lb is closer to what you see for pork shoulders to reach 200* I/T with a chamber temp of 225*, so if you want to [play it safe and allow extra time for foiled/towel-wrapped resting, I'd shoot for 2.25hrs/lb, especially if you don't foil before it's finished cooking (I don't foil...it's a bark thing, and I love my bark on pulled pork).

    BTW, you can smoke for as long as you want on a shoulder...it's a large enough cut that it's pretty difficult to over-smoke it...but they will take smoke for a lot longer than most would think.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  4. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    I think I am going to put it on tonight.  I already cost myself an hour deciding so that's an hour less of 'smoke' I will get but maybe I'll just stay up a little bit later to add chips a little bit longer.  Probably going to just do 225deg for the duration and try not wrapping this time unless it still stalls for a while w/o wrapping.  Last time I wrapped at 160deg and the end result was awesome.

    Also, I'm not sure what this: "you should follow the 35-141*/4hr time/temp guideline" is.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It's explained pretty well by our food safety moderator in the upper section of the food safety forum, although he uses the older numbers of 40-140* because it's easier to remember for most folks:


    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I never cook pork for a timed delivery.  Best to low and slow today, pull, add some juices, refridgerate. Tomorrow throw in a croc pot finsh balancing with some finishing juice.

    No worries, no stress, the hardest thing you'll have to do is keep your hands off it till time to eat. You can so enjoy the smoke better when not worried about on time arrival. Kick the feet up, have a brew, act like the pit and the meat dance to your tune......

    Every time I ever thought I knew what I was doing with pork, the God of Squeal taught me better.

    Low and slow like the olden days........

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  7. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Well poop!  I had decided at about 9:00pm to get it on tonight so I went out to get the smoker preheated and then I checked it again just a few minute ago and saw it was still at 54deg.  I forgot that with the MES 30 you MUST set a time for the heating element to come on.  Dagumit!  So that's another half hour of less 'smoke' time with the chips.  I wish I could just set the temp with this turd and not have to mess with the timer since I don't go by that at all anyway.
  8. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Oh, right.  40-140 in 4.  I know that one.  225deg is what I'm going to cook anyway.  
    I think I read one of your other posts about vinegar based bbq for re-heating and such.  I dislike vinegar though so I would have to figure something else out.  I also like my meat very plain in regards to sauces and such.  I like the flavor of the meat and don't like lots of overpowering sauces but when I do I go spicy.  I'll have to find good ways for reheating because my reheated pulled pork last time was not as good as when I pulled it for sure.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Electric smokers have only lately added computer chips and thermostats. I have cooked for many a year that had no vent, and only on/off with 6 levels of heat. That was it. When I bought my MES I had to come here to learn about cooking again. Course  changing for a fire burner to electic was a learning experience also.

    Its all in what you get aquainted with....... The remote thermostat is the bees knees....
  10. ostrichsak

    ostrichsak Meat Mopper

    Ain't that the truth!
  11. I'm assuming we are smoking the pork? Sounds like putting it on last night was the way to go. If it gets done ahead of time, wrap it in some foil, nestled in among some heavy towels in a cooler and you should still be good to go.

    BTW, I have the MES 40 and when it comes to the timer on it - I just set it for 24 hrs and let it go.

    Don't forget the Q view!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013