My first smoked pulled pork

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SomeDudeOnline

Newbie
Original poster
Apr 26, 2024
11
25
Hello All,

I smoked a pork butt and shoulder for the first time yesterday and it turned out amazing. I tossed some rub on it the night before then got it in the smoker at 250 degrees around 8 AM with some Cherry wood for smoke. Based on the research I had done, I was expecting it to hit 170 and be ready for a foil wrap/transfer to the oven after something like 6 hours. That was not the case at all. Around 5 hours, I started paying attention to the internal temp, they were at something like 128, and increasing 1-2 degrees every 10 minutes. I finally gave up on the smoker at about 160 degrees and ~7.5 hours in. I wrapped it in foil and tossed em in the oven. They took a total of 10.5 hours to hit 203.

Because of how long it took, we had some sausage that I smoked along with the pork for dinner instead of pulled pork sandwiches which I was a bit disappointed by (the fact we weren't having pulled pork, the sausages were fine). By the time the pork was ready to be pulled apart we had also had dessert and I was thinking "Man, idk if I want to do this again. That took forever". However, when I started pulling it apart, I struggled to stop eating it. Probably ate a lb of it between pulling it apart and putting it in ziplocks for storage.

Long story short... 10/10, would smoke again :)
 

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Looks good. I do that myself, eat to much before I even sit down for dinner lol 😆. 👍
Same here! The cook has got to test taste as your going along! And yours looks great!
As far as the length of time goes.....Its better to finish early. A butt loves a good long rest. I always figure 12 hours to cook. Nothing worse than a bunch of folks with forks in hand asking "whens it gonna be ready."

Jim
 
I have gotten to the point of where I almost always smoke pork butt or brisket a day ahead of the time I am going to need it. I have had 18-20lb PBs go 16hrs and the next one go 22 hours. Roughly same size, consistent smoker temp, etc. Each piece of meat is different. If anything I like the "leftovers" as well or better than fresh and I do not take a chance on putting myself in a bind for time. JMO Keep practicing, you can always eat your mistakes.
 
Same here! The cook has got to test taste as your going along! And yours looks great!
As far as the length of time goes.....Its better to finish early. A butt loves a good long rest. I always figure 12 hours to cook. Nothing worse than a bunch of folks with forks in hand asking "whens it gonna be ready."

Jim
well if one piece is good, you need to check another just to make sure it is too, and since two pieces is hardly a good sampling you need to try a few more.
 
First thing I'd ask is have you verified your smoker's grate temp or were you using the built-in thermometer? Built-ins are notorious for being inaccurate. For a same day smoke and dinner I usually start a 9# butt (bone in) at 6am with a verified grate temp of 250º and go 6 hours. IT usually in the 160-165º range. Double wrap tightly in foil, placed in a pan, then into the oven at 300º for approximately 3 hours. IT usually gets to 200-205º, then pull and rest in a cooler until dinner time.

 
First thing I'd ask is have you verified your smoker's grate temp or were you using the built-in thermometer? Built-ins are notorious for being inaccurate. For a same day smoke and dinner I usually start a 9# butt (bone in) at 6am with a verified grate temp of 250º and go 6 hours. IT usually in the 160-165º range. Double wrap tightly in foil, placed in a pan, then into the oven at 300º for approximately 3 hours. IT usually gets to 200-205º, then pull and rest in a cooler until dinner time.

Yep, using a ThermPro meat thermometer which has two probes so I set one to read ambient temperature and attached it to an empty grate. I think I forgot to mention that the shoulder and butt totaled 13.5 lbs of meat so that should put them at about 6.75 lbs each which confuses me even more haha. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me, but I’ll check out that link after work.
Thanks!
 
Sure sounds odd. With both being less that 7 #s they should have easily got to +160º in 5-6 hours at 250º. How cold were they when you put them in? By chance was the smoker lid opened a few times during the 6 hours?
 
Maybe was mopping? I did this with a 5.5 lb pork butt this past weekend. Started at 225 but it took awhile to hit 165. I wrapped and put it back in, cranked the temp up gradually to 300 to push it to 200 int. was great. Still we didn't get until almost 6 and i put it in at 10:30 am.
 
Sure sounds odd. With both being less that 7 #s they should have easily got to +160º in 5-6 hours at 250º. How cold were they when you put them in? By chance was the smoker lid opened a few times during the 6 hours?
They were straight out of the refrigerator which I imagine is a factor but with meat that thick, it would take a couple hours of tempering to affect the internal temp much, right?

The times I opened the door to the smoker were to quickly knock the temp down because it was over 280 and simply turning down the flame would take a while to get the temp back down. I also don’t think it ever really dropped below 220.
 
Maybe was mopping? I did this with a 5.5 lb pork butt this past weekend. Started at 225 but it took awhile to hit 165. I wrapped and put it back in, cranked the temp up gradually to 300 to push it to 200 int. was great. Still we didn't get until almost 6 and i put it in at 10:30 am.
I didn’t hit it with water until 5 or 6 hours instead of the 3 ish that I was expecting because the temp hadn’t risen enough.
 
Pork butts and shoulders don't really need mopping or spritzing. There is plenty of fat to keep things moist. Remember the old adage: if you're lookin, ya ain't cookin! Every time the lid is opened, a tremendous amount of heat is lost and the smoker spends a good deal of time getting back up to temp thus extending the time it takes to get done.
 
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Pork butts and shoulders don't really need mopping or spritzing. There is plenty of fat to keep things moist. Remember the old adage: if you're lookin, ya ain't cookin! Every time the lid is opened, a tremendous amount of heat is lost and the smoker spends a good deal of time getting back up to temp thus extending the time it takes to get done.
Right, but the goal was to lose a bunch of heat because the temp was too high.
 
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