Smoke only first 5 hours?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by toml62, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    Hello, this is my first post to this forum, as I am new here. Years ago, I purchased a gas smoker and used it mostly for picnic shoulders (pulled pork). It has been some time since I have smoked meat, but my daughter wanted me to make pulled pork for her graduation party as I did for her older sister 6 years ago. I recently purchased a new propane smoker for this purpose. My skills are a little rusty, as it has been a while since I have done this. After doing a lot of research online, I came across your forum and was thrilled to have a lot of my questions answered. I will be smoking 5-6  9 lb  picnic shoulders for this event. I am figuring around 18 hours @ 225 deg with a  rest time in a cooler of about 2 hours. My biggest question is how long do I need to run the smoke for? I have read elsewhere that the smoke only penetrates the meat for about the first 5 hours. Should I only have the smoke going for 5 hours, or should I keep the smoke going for the entire cooking period? In the past I kept the smoke going for the whole time...


  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That is personal preference,I roll smoke my entire cook most times.

  3. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    OK thanks. That's what I probably will do, as I have in the past.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree, as long as the meat is not in foil I let the smoke roll.

  5. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    I have never placed shoulders I cooked into foil...
  6. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    I suppose I could give it a try that way.
  7. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    Does the foil cut down on the cooing time? I was figuring on aprox 2 hours per pound +or-
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes foiling it at 165-170 will cook it faster, however the bark will be softer & not as thick.

  9. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    Roughly how much quicker?
  10. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    As I said I was giving it about 2 hr per pound to be safe, would I expect it to be finished with 1 1/2 hrs per lb if I foiled it?

    Also should I add any liquid into the foil before wrapping the meat? 
  11. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    By the way, this forum is fantastic! So much information, I'm love'n it!!
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Search out Chef JimmyJ he has some great finishing sauce and I believe he has a foiling sauce

  13. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    Ok thanks. I am most concerned about the cooking time with the foil method. As I have never used foil before. Just need a guideline for that.
  14. I have never seen anything scientifically tested about duration of smoking but I've read a couple of times that after about 2 hours the meat doesn't pick up any more smoke flavor.  Even if that's not exactly true I assume there's the law of diminishing returns involved.  If the wood is still smoking after 2 hours then that's okay with me but I don't load flavor wood on top of charcoal for more than 2 hours of smoke.  YMMV.
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Tom,

    Looks like you already got a lot of Great Help, so I'll just add my two cents:

    IMHO meat will take smoke as long as you give it to it. I'm sure it slows up eventually.

    I only use light smoke, but I give it to the meat as long as it is not foiled over.

    A long time of light smoke is a good thing, but even a short time of Heavy smoke can be a bad thing.

    This might help you on the Temp & Time:
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  16. toml62

    toml62 Newbie

    Yep, this forum is awsome. Thanks Bear all "two cents" are appreciated. I will check out that URL. I literally spent about 4 hours online last night looking for answers. I see these "experts" saying 1 hour a pound for picnic shoulders... It has been a while since I have fired up a smoker, but I remember it taking a heck of a lot longer than 8-9 hours...
    Everyone's "two cents" is greatly appreciated. I think I'm just a little nervous that I will be smoking 6 shoulders for a large crowd when I haven't done this for several years and am trying to remember
    how to do it correctly. Once I fire up the smoker it will all be good! :grilling_smilie:

    Bottom line, give myself plenty of time. It's better for them to come out early and sit in a cooler, that still be 20 degrees away with guests showing up in an hour...

    Thanks everyone!
  17. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I usually like to only give about 6 -8 hours of smoke to anything. i find if i smoke something for like 14-18 hours it takes on a flavor i don't like or i wrapping it half way through and burning through wood for little to no reason. I will smoke like a pork butt or picnic for 6-7 hours if it need any more it goes in a pan with some juice/vinegar and into the oven for a couple hours to finish it off. has the bark i like the flavor we like and is tender to can't be beat.

    My two cents. YMMV

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  18. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

  19. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Everybody's got you pretty well covered so far.  The length of time you let the smoke roll is, IMO, purely subjective.  I like lots of smoke flavor, so I keep the smoke rolling as long as the meat is cooking.  The smoke stops only when the meat is either done, or foiled.  How long you leave the smoke on depends on what you like.  Hey, even if, as some say, the meat quits taking on smoke flavor after X number of hours, the smell of smoke in the air is such a natural part of BBQ that it just wouldn't be the same without it.  If there's no smoke rolling, the meat might as well be on the gas grill.


    Of course, this is just me saying

  20. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The guys have you pretty much covered with this one.

    My personal preference is to run the smoke for the entire cook, foil when IT is around 170' adding some apple juice as per Bears link.

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