Meat falls apart

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Original poster
Dec 29, 2013
I'm new to smoking and have decided to start with a cheap electric smoker.  I bought the Old Smokey smoker. I really like it and enjoy everything that I have made.  

One problem that I can't seem to figure out is that when I make ribs or pork shoulder it falls apart.  I know you want the shoulder to be pulled apart but it almost crumbles on the smoker.  When doing ribs I have had bones fall out of the meat before taking the ribs off the smoker.  

Any suggestions to help my pork hold together a little better????
You make it sound easy!
I try very hard to accomplish this. :D
You can smoke it to a lower IT, or use Butcher netting/string if you like how you make it.
Sounds like the IT of the meat is getting too high. I pull my butts at 195, and let them rest. I do my ribs using the 3-2-1 method; 3 hours in smoke, 2 hours wrapped in foil with a bit of liquid, and 1 hour back in the smoke to Firm up.

Get an accurate thermometer, to use if you do not already have one.  I use the Maverick ET-732, it was dead on out of the box. It is a duel probe thermometer one for the smoker temp and one for the meat, it also has a remote receving unit so you do not have to keep running to the smoker to check. You can get one from Todd off his web site. You will not find better customer service. They can be bought other places as well but I found Todd had the best prices around. Here is a link to his web site.

I am not affiliated with Tod in any way just a VERY satisfied customer. 

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Been using old Smokey (Redi-Smok), for a long long time. Since its has a guessimation analog temperature control, and it's a sealed pit. You are maintaining a higher moisture content than other electrics with vents and doors. I suppose you're starting on high for about 20 mins/lb. and then dropping to probably the #6 or #5, whichever you are using decrease by one setting and Make sure and open the lid and let the steam out about one hour before its ready to plate.

If you are using the drip pan with water, its not designed to be a water smoker. Just thought I would pass that along. 

You are probably better off just tying up what you are cooking if you like the finished product. Or use your established time table and then deduct 15 mins., still a problem I would start with 10 mins increments after that.

I loved my Redi-Smok for fowl, but I broke out a pipe pit for pork and beef. I think I have three here now with the bottom burnt out of all three.

They just are not built for a precise temp. only the 1,2,3, etc settings.

You can always use the smoker for the 3, 2, 1 method, or the 2, 2, 1 method and finish in the oven. You'll have all the smoke by then you'll get anyway.
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