pulled pork for the first time

Discussion in 'Pork' started by seapro220, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. seapro220

    seapro220 Fire Starter

    I didn't take any pic - forgot as I was doing to many other things, but wanted to share.

    here's how it went ..

    Friday - rubbed it down and left in fridge over night.

    sat am - pulled it out around 8 am to 'warm' up and added the rest of my rub to it.

    9:30am - put the 4.9lb boston butt in the MES 40 smoker.

    started off the temp at 225 - but as the temp outside, including the wind - was pretty bad - i increased it to 250 after about 2 hours into the cooking phase.  I'd read somewhere that I needed to get the temp up to 140 pretty quickly - for safety sake.  Is this true?

    filled/re-filled 6 times the hopper with a 'fruit wood' mix.  didn't have any hickory or mesquite ...  :(

    2:30pm - temp at 160 degrees.  removed from smoker - double-foiled it and moved it to the oven inside.

    7pm - done.

    left it sit for about 40 minutes and tore it apart.

    I guess this is 'normal' for the cooking time, considering the temp in the am never got up to 40 till after 12pm.

    thoughts ...

    loved the meat and rub, but didn't care for the 'fruit wood' mix for the smoke.  Don't get me wrong - the taste was good and didn't need any extra sauce or flavors - but it's totally different that what I'm used to down here in the south (SC).

    comments or thoughts on the cooking times ??
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    That is a little long for that small of a cut but there really is no "standard" time and that is well within the expected time range.

    Yes the meat needs to get to 140 within 4 hours to get it out of the danger zone (that is per USDA guidelines). The concern is that bacteria will grow between 40 and 140 so you want to shorten the time that it is in that range. 

    6 hoppers of wood seems like a lot. That should have produced 6-7 hours of smoke. On that size but I would have let the smoke run out after 4 hours (but that is just me).

    I would stay away from wood "mixes". I like to try different types one at a time to determine what I like. Then it is easy to say yes or no to a particular wood. Once you know what you like you can start mixing it yourself to perfect the flavor.

    A few questions for you:

    Was the smoker up to temp when you added the butt? (also 1.5 hours is a long time to leave it at room temp. I usually leave it out for 45-60 min.)

    Was the MES 40 fluctuating temp drastically or was it holding to within 5 degrees of the set?
  3. seapro220

    seapro220 Fire Starter

    The temp inside the smoker was just under 200 - so I probably should have waited as I probably dropped the temp another 40 degrees or so by adding the butt inside.  Hadn't thought of that, but will try to remember next time.

    The timing of the MES stayed within a few degrees of it's 'set' point the whole time.  I used the MES temp gauge to read the internal temp of the MES and also have a another dual-temp gauge that I used.  1 side of the 'extra' gauge was used to also verify the MES unit's reading, and the other was 'stuffed' inside the butt.  Utilizing this config, I was able to verify that the MES and external probe were reading the same or within a degree of each other - and I could also get the internal temp while cooking.
  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    It sounds like the cold temps outside probably didn't mess with the smoker. The MES units seems to be able to maintain temp pretty well once they are heated up. I usually preheat mine all the way to 275 then adjust to the desired temp once I put the meat in. This way there is no recovery time for the smoker to heat back up after putting the cold meat in.
  5. seapro220

    seapro220 Fire Starter

    Thanks for that tip.  I'll keep it in mind the next I start smoking. 

    PS - is this a true process - no matter what you are smoking?

    I'm going to be picking up some more 'butts' this weekend and want to smoke 4 at a time.  I presume that if I am able to maintain the internal smoker temp at a constant temp (225 or so) and if all the butts weigh the same - would I expect all the meats to cook at the same time, or will I need to move the temp probes around between the different meats so I'm on the 'safe' side?
  6. Maybe you will remember the pics next time

    Good Luck

  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I always preheat to a higher temp regardless of what I cook. How much higher just depends on what it is. If it is something small like a fatty I might only go 10-20 degrees higher before I throw it in. My MES unit doesn't drop that much when I open the door.

    Prepare to be confused about your cooking times! Cooking times are based on temp, weight, and shape. The more surface area a piece of meat has the faster it will cook. Also, cook times can vary based on the meat itself (fat content, etc). Every piece will cook differently. I usually insert a probe in the smallest piece (or the piece I think will cook the fastest) to track how things are progressing then I check the other items independently before pulling them off.
  8. Sounds like you did well. Remember to take notes so you know what works and what doesn't work. Forget about outside temps because your meat is in the smoker. Make sure that you always have TBS and never any white smoke. As said above try only one wood at a time till you figure out what you like and don't like. It is done when it is done not when you want it to be done. PATIENCE! And always post a Qview!

    Happy smoken.


    PS [​IMG]

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