Pork Shoulder

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smokin' j

Original poster
Aug 27, 2006
Beaverton, Oregon
Well, I did it! I couldn't help myself. After only two other smoking adventures (ribs and brisket) I bought a seven pound pork shoulder and smoked it. I timed it for 10 hours -- not nearly enough. After 12 hours I figured the meat thermometer had to be broken so I took the pork out of the smoker and let it rest in the kitchen. It was done - but not as done as I had hoped for. I wanted it falling off the bone done. I may wrap it in alum foil and let it slow roast in the oven today for a few hours. However, having said all that -- the flavor was wonderful! I used a combo of pecan and hickory. I let the shoulder bask for 24 hours in my my famous "Bad Bascomb Rattlesnake Rub." I'm sure most of you would wince if you could see me at the smoker but I'm loving it and having so much fun. Jeff -- I'm going to most definately do the Beer Can Chicken in this month's newsletter.....sounds delish! Thanks again to all of you for the support and suggestions.

Smokin' J
aka Jill
Beaverton, Oregon
A Novice Who's Always Wanting to Learn More!
Welcome to SMF Jill. The butts sure can take some time sometimes. What temp did the thermo "break" at? I have two in right now that are hung up at 170 deg. and have been for about 2 hours.

Bad Bascomb Rattlesnake Rub. That sounds like something I just have to try to get the recipe for. :o Just the name makes me wanna know!
Geez, Jill!

I'm with Chad on that Bad Bascomb Rattlesnake Rub! Perhaps you could drop in to the Rubs, Marinades, etc section and grace us with the recipe!

As for your shoulder the problem most likely was a "stuck" shoulder, not a bad thermometer. Next time wait out the plateau. Then foil at 170 and bring it up to about 200. Wrap it in towels and rest it in a cooler for at least an hour, two if you can wait.

The 1.5 hours per pound thingy is just a guideline. A few weeks ago I had a six pound butt take almost 12 hours. Ya just never can tell! And don't be afraid to finish in the oven.

Monty and Chad --

Thanks for the input and suggestions. I plateau'ed at about 168 degrees. I just couldnt get the darn thermometer to go past that.

During the day the smoker would spike to 300 degrees for a little while and I'd bring it back down to the 225-250 degree range so I certainly it wasn't for lack of heat.

I like the idea of wrapping it and finishing it off -- my big concern when smoking for 12 hours, of course, is having the meat dry out which would be a pity. Wrapping would certainly help that potential problem.

Do you mop while you smoke? I have a propane smoker with a small water pan. I've been mopping. Is that over-kill to mop with a water pan? I have so many questions, so many meats to smoke and so little time!

The Rattlesnake Rub is great -- spicy, but not too. I created that darn recipe about 10 years ago (and it took me this long to Cowboy up and buy a smoker). I will go to the marinade section and post the recipe soon.

Thanks again,
Heya, Jill!
Mopping is definitely essential to forming a good bark and preserving moisture in the meat. The water pan is in there only to help control temperature and has nothing to do with keeping meat moist.

A couple of suggestions; keep the door closed as much as possible. An electronic remote thermometer is a wonderful gadget to help here. When you first put your meat in the smoker do not open the door for two hours. Then open only to replenish smoke wood and mop at that time. Try not to open the door more often than once every hour. Even though the temp may recover quickly the cooking process delays by about fifteen minutes every time that door opens.

And, finally, thank you for agreeing to post your personal recipe! I shall await its appearance and most likely use it next weekend!

Till then!
Looking forward to the recipe Jill. I like spicy.

Mopping- I don't mop per se, but I mist about everything I smoke with some kind of liquid now. I don't have a schedule or anything. I spray my meat when I have the door open for something else. (Adding wood or water) I use apple juice, cherry juice, pineapple juice, and sometimes add some Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam for flavor. If you spray when you foil I put the butt on my sheet of foil and spray it again and add a splash of whatever I used in the spay bottle. I assume you could do the same with a mop if that is what you prefer.

My butts plateaued at 170 today and held for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I am no expert as I just learned this since being here about the plateau, but everything I have took through the plateau and then foiled and went on to 185 to 200 deg. depending on what it was has been the juiciest, tenderest, and most wonderful meats I have ever produced. I foiled my first brisket and couldn't hardly get it picked up out of the foil and onto the cutting board because it kept trying to fall apart. I mean no brag, because it is only because the guys on here gave up their secrets and taught me a better way. It breaks down the connective tissue and ??? maybe something else.
Chad --

I like the idea of the spray bottle -- how creative! AND I like the idea of a combination of fruit juice and a little hooch -- I bet not only you get some incredible flavor but the color must be deep and dark. Also, the bourbon would certainly add to the tenderness, I would think. I'll need to try that next time.

My next smoke is going to be a chicken -- my first poultry. Any suggestions on wood type? Also, I've been buying my wood chips from a local BBQ place and their prices are totally insane!!! Any secrets about wood chip buying I should learn?

I kind of think color and looks are a big part of what you get when you spray, but even if that was all I'd still do it. I like it to look good and it's cheap and simple.

I like apple juice with chicken and smoke with apple wood chunks. You might put what kind of smoker you're using in your signature line and then everybody can answer your questions better, but depending on what your using you might be better off with chunks than chips.

I haven't used this place, but it looks interesting. Don't remember if they had chips or not but it's free shipping if you ordered enough.


We may need a chat room before long. :shock:
Chad, we do have a chat room. It is right under the "Who's On Line" section.

Huh, we sure as heck do. :oops: I have read everything in that left column. All that board navigation stuff and the links. All of it. No idea how I missed that. However, that just shows what a good idea I had. :D You buy that Monty?
Once again we'll redirect this post to the proper forum. :roll:
I've had pork butts take up to 15 hours because of a temperature plateau. Just wait it out. Your thermo is not broken. I usually spray my butts with a 3 to 1 mixture of apple juice (3) and Jack Daniels (1). It helps get good bark.

Have fun and do good!


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