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Pork shoulder - I thought I followed all the rules but will it ever finish ?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bang4dabuck, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. 8# been on in Royal Oak electric for 16 hours around 215 - 230. No bark and internal temp is just now reading 168. What gives ?
  2. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    is it bone in? have you verified your thermometer is correct? is the cooking temp from the thermometer on the door?   If the temp is from the door then its most likely wrong. I would put a temp prob in to see if the chamber temp is accurate. also if its bone in try repositioning your meat probe.
  3. Yes - bone in. Temp per Maverick Redi-Chek Smoker remote and repositioned sensor once but pretty much the same. Remember no bark. I just now cranked heat up a tad.
  4. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds to me like the smoker temp is too low. If it's really 215-230 you should definitely have bark. I've had pork shoulders stall at 160-170 for hours, but they still had bark on them. Try putting an oven thermometer in the smoker next to the meat for an accurate reading.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've never used an electric myself, but it sounds like the bark is being hindered by a really humid environment. If the water pan is using more than about a quart per hour, you might not have enough draft for ventilation (upper vent closed too much). If your chamber temp readings are accurate, that will stretch things out a bit. I try to stay at 225* and above for butts, or just getting through a stall in the upper 140's to mid 150's can seem to take an eternity.

    I've had my share of long stalls with butts, and quite a few have taken close to 18 hours 'til I  foiled them.

    With no bark forming yet, I do think it's too wet in there...my brinkmann gourmet lower grate sets right on top of the water pan, and meats in that position will actually turn grey on the bottom and sides, and will not form a bark either, so I don't put anything that low in it anymore.

  6. My smoker is a 3 rack so I pulled the middle rack so the slab could fit. Next time I will pull the top one and stick it on the middle one. I will also set my temp at the 235 - 240 range. My water pan only holds about a pint and it lasted about 3 - 4 hours before refill at those temps (215 - 225). It was sitting right above pan i.e. next time I'll move it higher.
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Aah, I thought something seemed familiar about your situation...so, you got higher humidty right above the water pan, and less heat because the pan will baffle the heat.

    Well, first time's a charm. Keep on smokin', brother!

  8. Results - I yanked off 7:30 AM , about 20 hrs later. Temp was at 187. Did get some bark.  Foiled up good. I was running late so threw in the fridge and pulled when I got home that night. Not sure if it was from the long cooking time or not pulling that morning, but the texture was a little different.  Rather than chunky or stringy , it came out rather mushy. It still tasted good though. Threw some yellow mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, rub and Sweet Baby Rays sauce on. 
  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I smoke for about 8 hours and then wrap and finish in the oven.  If you want the bark a little crunchy, unfoil and cook for the last 1/2 hour or so.  Save all the juice and add back in when you pull.  When internal temp hits 200*, I wrap back in foil and then in some towels, place in a cooler to rest for a couple hours and then pull.

    I don't use the water pan, but use a disposable foil pan to catch the juices from the meat and reuse some of the juice them when I pull.  I'm not a big fan of using a water pan, but that's my personal preference. Like forluvofsmoke said, the pan can deflect much of the heat around your meat.  It's all trial and error, but "Practice Is Fun!"

    Sounds like the end result was good, Any Pics?

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Just as a matter of safety, how long did it take to get past 140 ? Do you know for sure? When did you insert the probe
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    >>8# been on in Royal Oak electric for 16 hours around 215 - 230. No bark and internal temp is just now reading 168. What gives ?<<

    Well, to me your cooking temps are low. I would be 225 to 250. And the closer to 250 the better. Seems to give me better bark that way. The longer you can wait to foil the better, but once I hit 170 internal, on it goes. Don't be afraid to raise you smoker temps up some more once you foil. It will speed up your cooking time will little to no effect on the finished product. I usually crank it up to 275 to 295.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I know you mentioned the internal temp was being monitored by your ReidCheck digital probe, but what about the chamber temp? If you are using the stock factory therm to monitor chamber temps then you could be off by as much as 50-75°.
  13. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that was gonna be my question, If the water pan deflects most of the heat, and the heat is only running at 215-230 would the meat be out of the D-zone in 4hrs!
  14. qdog

    qdog Fire Starter

    Mushy sounds over cooked to me? And kind of holds true wit 20 hours, i would check the thermometer for sure.

  15. I had the smoker temp probe sitting on the top shelf.