Pulled Pork Issues

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 10, 2022
Christian County, MO
This weekend past I bought a couple of Boston Butts for 2.79 a pound. One was 10 and a quarter pounds and the other a little over 11. I smoked the 10 pounder on Sunday and had a couple of little issues. I smoked at temos ranging from 240 to 280 on my OKJ Longhorn offset it until the internal temp was 168 on the side closest to the heat and 164 on the other, which was around 5 hours. It was spritzed with 50/50 ACV and water about every 30 minutes after hour one. I wrapped it in tin foil and cranked the heat up to around 300. in the next hour and a half, part of the butt came up to 205 and the other part was still around 185. I may have freaked out a little and started watching it close close and when it hit 208 and 190 I pulled. We let it rest or about an hour and a half and started pulling. The results were less than exciting. The bone pulled out clean. However, only about half of it broke up well. The other half was done but not fall apart done, more pot roast done. I thought I had turned the meat so the cooler side was towards the fire. I was surprised most by the fact it jumped up in temp so quickly. I thought it would have been at least another couple of hours to finish. There was a large fat deposit in the end that was cooler so that might have contributed. It was tasty and we are enjoying left overs but I wasn't happy all around. I am thinking about doing a no wrap next time. Any thoughts?
On the other hand, I did a 5 pound bologna chub that made me extremely happy.


Gone but not forgotten RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Sep 12, 2009
Macungie, PA
Yup, with all the ones I've ever done, I always foil at about 165°, and they don't pull nicely until they get to at least 201 to 205. Anything at 190--195° is good for slicing, but not for pulling. In my MES units the whole thing would get done evenly, but if you have a direct heat unit, you gotta turn it around a few times.

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Smoking Fanatic
★ Lifetime Premier ★
May 13, 2019
Not sure you gain much by spritzing especially if you wrap later on on during the stall. Did you rotate or flip around the butt when you wrapped? The heat is coming from one side, on long cook turning the meat may help.
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Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 7, 2017
Michigan UP
A also never spritz. Have you checked your probes make sure the ere good on a calibrate? You can check in boiling water pretty
easily to rule that out


Smoking Fanatic
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 16, 2019
I just did a couple of Costco boneless butts on my WSM. It ran for about 7 hours at 250 ish and both were only at about 170 IT so I wrapped and tossed them in the oven at 320.

Took about 90 minutes to bring both up to 204 and they pulled fine. I always bring them up to 203 or 204 and never had a problem.

I am sure they tasted fine!! Pulled Pork is yummy.


Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 13, 2015
Coatesville, IN
Never experienced a butt with two distinct temps on each side. Is there a deflector plate in the OKJ? Somebody who has one might chime in on how to equalize the temps in order to eliminate what you ended up with. Once the butt gets into the 200-205º range, we like to rest it for 2 hours in a cooler with towels. Wonderful things happen in those 2 hours.

Texas Cookin'

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Jan 28, 2019
Anytime I have one that I’m unsure of I take it off the smoker and finish it win a foil pan covered in foil in the oven. They almost always finish up at a consistent temp and you can take them up to super probe tender temps.
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Nov 28, 2022
I have never seen that much of a disparity on the two sides, but I think you nailed it with the rotation miss (likely) and the fat deposit. I cook at a lower temp and deal with an extremely long cook. I also haven't found wrapping to have much of an effect. Good thing about pork...even sub-par pork is great!


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Oct 17, 2014
Gilbert, AZ
I never wrap and not much of a spritzer. Sounds like you may have had a probe too close to the bone, that'll throw the cook temp off. Smoke around 280º +/- 10º, pull around a IT of 203º, works for me, might for you. RAY
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