pulled pork at 3pm - overnight low & slow or morning hot & fast?

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daytripper

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Original poster
Dec 30, 2021
29
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Hi there

As the title suggests, I'm feeding 6 people at 3pm on Sunday; have a 8.5lb pork shoulder on order at the butcher. A mid-afternoon serve time is awkward for me.

I'm considering overnight L&S or early morning H&F; I have a leaning one way but would love to hear your guys' thoughts and/or tips. Gonna rub the meat w. John Henry's Raspberry Chipotle rub (which was fantastic on pork-belly burnt ends last week). The rig is a large BGE w. Fireboard fan control.

thanks!
marc
 

clifish

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yep, put a pan under it to catch the drippings. After the fat hardens off toss that and cube the meat juice and put it back into the PP before reheating or SV. If more liquids is needed just add some canned broth.
 
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JeffShoaf

Fire Starter
Nov 4, 2021
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After having same day cooks not be ready in time, i tend to go overnight for butts but I've also had a few "turbo butts" that didn't stall and were done at 4:30 AM. I'd rather get them done early and foil and stash in a cooler with towels than have every one waiting but I also don't like getting outta bed at 4:30 in the AM...
The last several butts I've done were put in the smoker around 7 pm at 200°; I then monitored the internal temp in the morning and bumped up the smoker temp to 225° or 250° based on the internal temp and my target completion time. It really helps to have a leave-in temp probe that provides a graph of internal temp over time for this so I can see where I'm at in the stall.

I've used this method in both my Kamado and my insulated gravity feed smoker and it worked well. I did four 8 to 9 lb butts a few weeks ago in the gravity feed and pulled them out of the smoker around 2:30 PM to rest until my target 5 PM meal time.
 

Humo18

Meat Mopper
Aug 7, 2018
250
81
Near St. Charles Missouri
After having same day cooks not be ready in time, i tend to go overnight for butts but I've also had a few "turbo butts" that didn't stall and were done at 4:30 AM. I'd rather get them done early and foil and stash in a cooler with towels than have every one waiting but I also don't like getting outta bed at 4:30 in the AM...
The last several butts I've done were put in the smoker around 7 pm at 200°; I then monitored the internal temp in the morning and bumped up the smoker temp to 225° or 250° based on the internal temp and my target completion time. It really helps to have a leave-in temp probe that provides a graph of internal temp over time for this so I can see where I'm at in the stall.

I've used this method in both my Kamado and my insulated gravity feed smoker and it worked well. I did four 8 to 9 lb butts a few weeks ago in the gravity feed and pulled them out of the smoker around 2:30 PM to rest until my target 5 PM meal time.
Hi Jeff, I've got the same situation. Day after tomorrow (8/25) I'm having folks over for pulled pork sandwiches at 1:00 pm. I'm smoking a 8.75 lb butt and would like to get it to rest around 10:30 am. If I do an overnight starting at 200 deg F how long do you think it would take? My goal is not to have to get up at 4 am. Any thoughts from anyone is welcome.
 

daytripper

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Original poster
Thread starter
Dec 30, 2021
29
17
thanks all for the great answers. With the overnight, I'd have to stretch the cook to 12-hours+, which seems long for the portion.
The sous-vide idea really piques my interest, if only because I've never tried if before...

Some questions on the SV method:
- Would the meat need to cool totally before vacuuming?
- How long would it take to reheat in a sous-vide?
- What temp would it be reheated to? 160? 190?
- I guess it doesn't need to rest after re-heating?

The answers would dictate whether I cook all day on the Saturday or on the Friday overnight (to eat Sunday...)

thanks!
 

DougE

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By the time you get done pulling it, it should be about cool enough to vac seal. Reheating, 140~145° ish for around an hour per inch of thickness of the bag(s) should do it. If you need to hold it for awhile in the bath, I'd go with this temp. You can always seal it in smaller portions so it reheats faster.

Some go 165° for 45 min. per inch of thickness, but I wouldn't go any higher as you are just trying to reheat, not cook it further.
 

JeffShoaf

Fire Starter
Nov 4, 2021
44
40
Hi Jeff, I've got the same situation. Day after tomorrow (8/25) I'm having folks over for pulled pork sandwiches at 1:00 pm. I'm smoking a 8.75 lb butt and would like to get it to rest around 10:30 am. If I do an overnight starting at 200 deg F how long do you think it would take? My goal is not to have to get up at 4 am. Any thoughts from anyone is welcome.
All the cooks I've done where I went at 200° overnight, it's taken over 12 hours to get to pulling temp so I'd try to get it in the smoker by 5 or 6 PM at the latest.

If you have a temp controller that you can monitor and adjust remotely, I'd set an alarm for 6 AM and adjust the temp as needed.

.
 
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mr mac

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Oct 19, 2009
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My two cents worth says to start 12 or 13 hours ahead and whenever it gets done (should be before your serving time), wrap it in foil or paper, then a couple of towels and drop it into a cooler [no ice, of course]) and it'll be nice and hot when it's time to pull and serve.
 
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daytripper

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Original poster
Thread starter
Dec 30, 2021
29
17
yep, put a pan under it to catch the drippings. After the fat hardens off toss that and cube the meat juice and put it back into the PP before reheating or SV. If more liquids is needed just add some canned broth.
I like this idea, but most of my drippings burn into a drip tray. Would you suggest instead a water tray, refilled every so often during the cook..?
 

Humo18

Meat Mopper
Aug 7, 2018
250
81
Near St. Charles Missouri
All the cooks I've done where I went at 200° overnight, it's taken over 12 hours to get to pulling temp so I'd try to get it in the smoker by 5 or 6 PM at the latest.

If you have a temp controller that you can monitor and adjust remotely, I'd set an alarm for 6 AM and adjust the temp as needed.

.
Thanks Jeff and all others with ideas. At this low temp of 200F, do I still wrap in foil in the morning?
 

clifish

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May 25, 2019
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I like this idea, but most of my drippings burn into a drip tray. Would you suggest instead a water tray, refilled every so often during the cook..?
I put a foil pan under it and at the low temps it did not burn off but I was either doing it in a MES or kettle.
 

JeffShoaf

Fire Starter
Nov 4, 2021
44
40
Thanks Jeff and all others with ideas. At this low temp of 200F, do I still wrap in foil in the morning?
I don't foil (or spritz) during the cook. I do foil and put in a cooler with any empty cooler space filled with towels if I'm holding for a few hours.
 

noboundaries

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I do overnight smokes in my WSM. I start the fire about 6-8 PM to get a 225°F fire. Load the meat at 8-10 PM. When I get up around 6:30-8:00 AM, the meat temp is usually 175-185°F. I fully open all the bottom vents to crank the heat up to 325°-375°F. No wrapping. No spritzing. The butt usually finishes to probe tender in about 3 hours. I wrap it and throw it in my 170°F kitchen oven until lunch or ready to eat.

Pull and serve.
 

Humo18

Meat Mopper
Aug 7, 2018
250
81
Near St. Charles Missouri
I don't foil (or spritz) during the cook. I do foil and put in a cooler with any empty cooler space filled with towels if I'm holding for a few hours.
Well, I ended up doing 200F at 10 pm. Spritzed with apple juice/apple cider vinegar and foiled in a pan around 7:30 am and cooked butt to 200 F. Placed in 170F oven until lunch time.
It came out juicy, tender and delicious! Our guests said it tasted better than our local chain BBQ joint. Maybe they were being polite, but I thought so too!
 

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