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Pork shoulder question

jagger

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Joined Jun 28, 2013
Hello. I need some advice.

I have been having some trouble with my pork butts lately. ( I am kind of a rookie)
When I am smoking the butts , I seem to have trouble getting the internal tempture to 190 degrees. Is my smoker not working right? I smoked an 11 pound butt for 13 hours at 250 and only got to 170 degrees internal.

Also....how come my pork butt is not falling apart like everyone else's I see? Mine is not coming out as juicy and the bone doesn't come out as clean and easy as all the videos I see.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

pc farmer

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Need to cook longer and cook longer to 205 to pull the meat.

I have a 8.5 shoulder on right now. Been cooking for 9 hours and a IT of 190.

They take 1.5 to 2 hours a lb.
 

cliffcarter

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Hello. I need some advice.

I have been having some trouble with my pork butts lately. ( I am kind of a rookie)
When I am smoking the butts , I seem to have trouble getting the internal tempture to 190 degrees. Is my smoker not working right? I smoked an 11 pound butt for 13 hours at 250 and only got to 170 degrees internal.

Also....how come my pork butt is not falling apart like everyone else's I see? Mine is not coming out as juicy and the bone doesn't come out as clean and easy as all the videos I see.

Thanks.
An 11 pound butt cooked at 250° will take 16 hours or more IMHO, you need to cook you butts longer or at a higher temperature.
 

ob 1

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Joined Dec 11, 2011
Jagger,

First you need to plan on 1.5hrs per lb of shoulder bone-in.  And as the forum suggests..."It ain't ready till it's ready"..  As well you'll have a stall period where it seems as though the IT stays and stalls.  Various reasons why... The key here is patience.  Depending on where you are ambient temps vary so it's recommended you have a remote thermometer to monitor both meat and smoker temps.

Looking at your profile not sure your local so put that in there...

Welcome and happy smoking.  Also if you haven't yet go to the roll call page to announce yourself.  As well I recommend signing up for the 5-day smoking e-course...It's in that forum.

More on the this here;

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/...e-dreaded-stall-great-article-and-a-must-read

Good luck.

OB
 

jagger

Newbie
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Joined Jun 28, 2013
Thanks for the help guys. I figured that I just wasn't getting the meat to a high enough temp.

Gonna try again this week with a smaller one.
 

randy cramer

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Joined Dec 28, 2013
I always wrap mine in  foil with a little liquid when the internal temp hits 165.  I believe this helps retain moisture and helps make that sucker just fall apart.  Keep it wrapped and cooking till it gets to 200 no matter how long it takes.
 

imsmokingpork

Fire Starter
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10
Joined Mar 26, 2013
They definitely told you right. Sometimes a stall can be agonizing and take forever. If u want pulled meat, just get internal temp to 205. If ur pressed for time, you can foil to get thru the stall. Does anyone have a link to something that will help me calculate enough food for 50 ppl?
 

chef jimmyj

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They definitely told you right. Sometimes a stall can be agonizing and take forever. If u want pulled meat, just get internal temp to 205. If ur pressed for time, you can foil to get thru the stall. Does anyone have a link to something that will help me calculate enough food for 50 ppl?
It helps to know what you are cooking. If you have more questions, start a New thread as not to Hijack this one. Here you go a spread sheet to get you started...JJ

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/67732/spreadsheet-for-those-big-qs/20
 

noboundaries

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First off, I'm eatin', not competin', so take what I say with as just one man's opinion.

Meat can be cooked at pretty much any temperature over 200F, but I don't recommended going quite that low for safety issues.  The lower the temp, the longer the cook because there is less heat available to transfer to the meat (I'm an engineer but really don't want to break out the thermodynamics textbook).  A long, lower temp cook or smoke has it's advantages, like piling on the smoke flavor and creating an impressive smoke ring and bark.  The higher temp smokes get the meat done quicker but leave you with less of a smoke ring and a shallower, softer bark.  Taste difference is often negligible. 

When I have the time, for shoulders, butts, and briskets, I smoke them at 225F-235F until they reach an IT of 150.  Then I add juice, wrap, and crank the heat up to 325F to 350F.  I take slicing briskets to 195 before I take them off the smoker, leave them wrapped, then surround the wrapped brisket in towels to let it sit for 2-3 hours.  For butts, shoulders, and chuckies I go to 205F for pulling.  While wrapped in towels the meat slowly cools, but the whole time it is above 170F, the point where connective tissue melts, adding juices to the meat.  Three hours or more total time (smoker and resting) above 170F and you have one tender, juicy piece of meat.

I did a 4 lb bone in butt one time at 225F, never wrapped, just to see how long it would take.  At ten hours it was only at 185.  It was tender because it had been above 170 for several hours, but yeah.  Never again.  I just did an 8.5lb bone in shoulder at 325 to 350 for the whole smoke.  4 hours unwrapped, 2 hours wrapped to get to 205, then 2.5 hours on the counter wrapped in towels.  8.5 hours smoker load to sandwich.  Practically fell apart in my hands.  Still eating that succulent hunk of smoked goodness.

Read up on oven-roasted meats, then understand once you wrap you're basically oven roasting in your smoker.  Higher heat and total time above 170F is the key once you've wrapped your meat.              
 

jagger

Newbie
5
10
Joined Jun 28, 2013
Thanks Noboundaries.
Great clarity and insight.

Gonna give it another try this week.
 

shinny

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Feb 8, 2012
Did you try another, if so how did it turn out? (great I'm sure)

I learned the same info that you have been given and they're absolutely right. It's not done until it's done.

Happy Smokin'
 

flyboys

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Oct 14, 2007
I have to agree with noboundaries. I just did three butts at a higher temp this weekend because of time constraints. I even finished them in my oven after I foiled them. I could not tell a difference in the taste or tenderness at all.
As noboundaries said, there is something to be said for, especially when first starting out, cooking a shoulder roast for 12+ hours, but if circumstances don't allow, there ain't nuttin wrong with taking a little short cut. Especially when you'll still get A+ results.
 

saseekutz

Newbie
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11
Joined Jul 3, 2013
I also foil at 165. Most days I'd rather take a softer bark than wait through a painfully long stall.
 

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