Pork Shoulder Question

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Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
tomorrow i'm smoking two pork roasts (a 9 pound picnic arm and a 7 or 8 pound butt). i'm using a brinkmann upright smoker and plan on smoking it at around 200-225 degrees. can anyone give me some advice on how to long i should smoke 'em? i want them nice and tender and ready for pulling. thanks in advance for any help.
Welcome to SMF ccasiglio!!!

Time will vary due to pit temp and the connective tissue in the meat. You need to be looking for an internal temp of 200° or so for pulling those cuts. It should be just about ready to fall apart and if it's a butt the bone should slide out clean when it's done and done right. It is fine to go ahead and run that smoker on up in the 225°-250° range as well so it doesn't take quite so long. Don't forget to give the meat a little time to rest before pulling.
Welcome to SMF the best BBQ site on the net

Internal temp is the key.

I often hit plateau & swear my thermometer is broken. Once you hit 195 to 205 degrees it is ready to rest. Then pull that baby
I had a 9 pounder that smoked for 15 1/2 hours before hitting 200 degrees. The plateau was agony! I didn't think it would climb past 170. Eventually it will get there.
first off, i didn't propery introduce myself so i guess i should. name's chris, 31, been livin in texas for 3 years or so. i've been grilling since i was a teenager but smoking was never something i tried until moving to texas. after buying my smoker i managed to kill a fair dollar value in meat trying to smoke so i haven't really used it much until recently. i was always able to smoke great chicken (whole or cut-up) but ribs or brisket or anything always screwed me up. i've finally learned to control my temp properly so i'm trying to get this smoking thing down. the other day i finally managed a perfect brisket and i was thrilled. now i'm taking the big step of trying the pork shoulder.

anyway, thanks for the advice everyone. i appreciate the quick responses. particularly the part about the plateau, i would have been freakin out tomorrow, lol. debi, i'll be taking a close look at your site, thanks a lot.

i guess i'll figure on it taking 12-15 hours or so and keep a close eye on the temp. thanks again everyone. i'm glad i found this place, expect to hear from me more!
Hello Chris, and welcome to the SMF. Looks like you've got a running start, good luck on the smoke. Make sure you test your therms before using them.
The thing about butt is it is hard to kill.
If it gets done early you can always let it rest a little longer & it won't burn your fingers as much pulling it.
With a good finishing sauce you can always warm the pulled pork in a crock pot or roaster to serve it later.
Welcome to SMF, Chris!! Best of luck on the butt smoke. Most folk are intimidated by the brisket so they generally tackle to pork butts first (which has been mentioned as being more forgiving in regards to temp spikes). Since you've got the brisket down, the butts will be a walk in the park!
Smoke that butt around 220 until the internal temp gets up to 200 and you'll have some great pulled pork!

If you have to ballpark your start/end times, I use 1.5 hours per pound. That's risky though cause it may stall out for who knows how long at 150. It's best to shoot low and try to finish at least an hour before you're going to sit down for dinner, because you want it to rest for a while at room temp after you take it off - so be sure to let it sit for a little while before pulling it. And for heaven's sake, put some foil under it to save that awesome juice that drips from it back to the pulled pork!

Post us up some pics when you git 'er done!
wow, I did 2 pork shoulders (first try) Sunday and I was winging it shooting for 185. That's where I pull brisket. At 175 I was saying to myself, this looks like it needs to come off. I switched my meat thermometer from beef to pork and it's saying 170 temp for pork. I pulled it off and the were done and just a touch on the dry side. My recent test would say wrap around 160, finish around 175. I never did wrap it, I was a little late on the 170 point I would typically do that. I assume it would have been a little more moist if it was wrapped the last 15 degrees.
Wrap in foil after 140 degrees if possible. Let it finish cooking double wrapped in foil until it hits 200. Again, it takes forever, but man is it worth it. The meat just practically smothers itself in BBQ sauce and jumps on the bun even without a fork to pull it!
Welcome aboard Chris... can't wait to see the results (hint: we want pics...

Good advice has been given here, you'll do fine. Just remember the plateau... don't try to rush it by bumping up the cooker temp..

Good luck!
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