Nine Pound Picnic Shoulder

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desert smokin

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jun 1, 2007
Phoenix, Az
Just pulled my 9 lb. picnic after 14.75 hours in the smoker. It is wrapped in foil and tucked into the cooler with its towel blankie. It will spend the next 11 or 12 hours there before giving itself up to being pulled pork.
This picnic spent 12 hours in the fridge swimming in pineapple juice and then another 11 hours in the fridge wrapped in saran wrap after being massaged with mustard and patted down with rub. Q-views after its smoke have been taken and will be posted tomorrow along with Q-views of the final piece de resistance.
Here are the pics as promised.

Looks really good Jim!

Was there a culinary reason for waiting 11 or 12 hours before pulling or was it just not having the time to do it?
Finished in the smoker at 8:30 pm. Put it to bed in the cooler and did the same for myself. Pulled it this morning.
Jim, I'm kind of courious, how did the temps hold in the cooler? I've had meat stay above the 140* mark for 4-5 hours, but longer than that is begins to drop into the "Danger Zone' (40*-140*).
I'd be concerned too about the temperature. I can;t iamgine it staying above 140 for 11 hours but who knows, maybe you have a great cooler.
Don't know what the meat temp was but I have been working off this info since I started smoking.

The back yard smoker is for "hot smoking". The heat source is 225-300
degrees F. The meat, depending of type, is brought to standard internal
temperatures of 145-180 degrees F. In hot smoking, the meat is not
adequately smoked for preservation and needs to be refrigerated.
In either case, the air temperature by the meat must be at or above the
internal temperature of the meat.

By sealing the cooler the air temp in the insulated area stays at the temp of the meat due to the radiant from the wrap. Additionally, most danger temps are for cuts of meat not whole muscle meats such as a picnic shoulder. In the case of whole muscle meats the bacteria would form on the exterior of the meat not internally and the smoke encrusts and kills surface bacteria, partial preservation by smoke. At 160F a wrapped meat will, on average, stay above 140 for 2-3 hours. At 205 that time frame can extend out much longer than that. I think the storage vessel also comes into play. I use a 12 x 8 x 8 insulated cooler that is a very tight fit so air for heat exchange is very minimal. By leaving the cooler on my back patio, the overnight low temp is 90 degrees, That further reduces any possible loss of heat through the walls of the cooler. Hence very slow heat loss. Would not attempt in the fall or winter with cooler temps..
Not exactly a scientific answer, I know, but the best I can provide and it works out my way. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.