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Pulled pork drying out

hermanvh

Newbie
14
8
Joined Apr 29, 2021
I never trip the fat cap... though I do score it in a diamond pattern... and mine goes right on the rack, no need to wrap unless trying to hurry through a stall, then after it's rested, pull meat apart in a foil pan and let the mat soak up any juices in the pan.

Another mistake some people make is pulling out all the fat and discarding it. At 203F IT (the goal) there's going to be a few pieces inside that will never render, but the rest of the fat is like gold.. squish it between your fingers as your pulling the pork apart and mix it in. This helps retain moisture and flavor and aids if you reheat it .
Thanks! I’m sure these tips will make a big difference.
 

noboundaries

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
8,626
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Joined Sep 7, 2013
A dry pork butt is undercooked. At 200F you are so close, but there's still unmelted collagen in the muscle. Unmelted collagen tastes dry. 3-7 degrees in final IT can make the difference between dry and tender or juicy and tender. An overcooked pork butt is juicy and mushy. It is full of melted collagen with the structure completely broken down by heat.

Many folks assume a dry pork butt is like an overcooked steak. Nope, two different physical muscles due to the amount of exercise the muscles receive. More exercise equals more collagen.

Smoke it to a higher final temp, but start probing at 200F so you can educate yourself on the changes that take place in those final few degrees.
 
Last edited:

hermanvh

Newbie
14
8
Joined Apr 29, 2021
A dry pork butt is undercooked. At 200F you are so close, but there's still unmelted collagen in the muscle. Unmelted collagen tastes dry. 3-7 degrees in final IT can make the difference between dry and tender or juicy and tender. An overcooked pork butt is juicy and mushy. It is full of melted collagen with the structure completely broken down by heat.

Many folks assume a dry pork butt is like an overcooked steak. Nope, two different physical muscles due to the amount of exercise the muscle's receive. More exercise equals more collagen.

Smoke it to a higher final temp, but start probing at 200F so you can educate yourself on the changes that take place in those final few degrees.
Did not know that, assumed cooking longer would make it drier since it has been tender. Thanks!
 

smokininidaho

Smoking Fanatic
385
119
Joined Nov 11, 2011
It just takes some practice and experimenting sometimes. I don't trim the fat cap. I like to inject with cherry Dr. Pepper and take it to 203 degrees wrap in foil and towel and put it in a cooler for a couple hours where it will continue to cook and bring the temp up a couple degrees . Never been disappointed doing it this way. I also used to do fat cap up, now I do fat cap down, works better for me as there is no way the fat cap is basting the meat that's just nonsense in my opinion, spritz with apple juice /cherry Dr. Pepper 50-50 mix every couple hours to keep moist and develop a nice bark.
 

hermanvh

Newbie
14
8
Joined Apr 29, 2021
It just takes some practice and experimenting sometimes. I don't trim the fat cap. I like to inject with cherry Dr. Pepper and take it to 203 degrees wrap in foil and towel and put it in a cooler for a couple hours where it will continue to cook and bring the temp up a couple degrees . Never been disappointed doing it this way. I also used to do fat cap up, now I do fat cap down, works better for me as there is no way the fat cap is basting the meat that's just nonsense in my opinion, spritz with apple juice /cherry Dr. Pepper 50-50 mix every couple hours to keep moist and develop a nice bark.
Thanks!
 

JLeonard

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,710
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Joined Apr 17, 2020
Welcome aboard. Lots of good info already.
Jim
 

Glenn6870

Newbie
1
0
Joined Apr 23, 2021
A dry pork butt is undercooked. At 200F you are so close, but there's still unmelted collagen in the muscle. Unmelted collagen tastes dry. 3-7 degrees in final IT can make the difference between dry and tender or juicy and tender. An overcooked pork butt is juicy and mushy. It is full of melted collagen with the structure completely broken down by heat.

Many folks assume a dry pork butt is like an overcooked steak. Nope, two different physical muscles due to the amount of exercise the muscles receive. More exercise equals more collagen.

Smoke it to a higher final temp, but start probing at 200F so you can educate yourself on the changes that take place in those final few degrees.
Wow, I did not know this. Thank you for the simple explanation. I was always afraid of overcooking and drying it out, I've been pulling it at about 195-200 and have been satisfied, but never thrilled with the product ( although my guests always rave over it ). I do remember a time where I did "accidently" let it get up to 205 and thought it was going to be dry and everyone loved it. Now I know why!!!
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,197
2,244
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I'm with the simple ideas of take it to 203F IT or a little higher and do NOT trim it at all. Leave all the fat.

These are 2 simple things you can do to see how well that improves your pork butts.

I also would suggest smoking at a higher temp therefore it spends less time losing moisture to hit it's tender and ready IT.

I never wrap, cook at 275F smoker temp, and I often let mine go to 205F. I never have issues with it being too dry. You should be able to get the same or a similar experience doing simple things :)
 

hermanvh

Newbie
14
8
Joined Apr 29, 2021
I'm with the simple ideas of take it to 203F IT or a little higher and do NOT trim it at all. Leave all the fat.

These are 2 simple things you can do to see how well that improves your pork butts.

I also would suggest smoking at a higher temp therefore it spends less time losing moisture to hit it's tender and ready IT.

I never wrap, cook at 275F smoker temp, and I often let mine go to 205F. I never have issues with it being too dry. You should be able to get the same or a similar experience doing simple things :)
Thanks! Lots of great info. Glad I joined this forum, very informative!
 

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